It looked like one of those scam emails. You know, the ones that are supposedly from Africa? But there was one major difference: It didn't ask for money.
"I am pastor Felix Mbeza here in Malawi... As I was surfing on internet I saw your online teachings and we got interest as Church here that we want to learn more from you."
A pastor-friend brought the email to our attention here at Echo on October 10th, 2017, when Africa was the furthest thing from our minds.
Here on this side of the world, three massive hurricanes had just caused major devastation all over the Caribbean, an earthquake had left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in Central Mexico, and the largest mass-shooting in US history had just unfolded at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas.
There were needs everywhere we looked, but then there was this simple email...
"We would like to form strong bond with you... our wish is to learn about Jesus Christ our Lord. God bless you. Yours in Christ. Felix Mbeza
... this simple request from a village in south-eastern Africa.
Although we were a bit skeptical at first, Felix's email replies showed a commitment to gaining trust. When he mentioned a lack of Bibles, as well as famine, drought, and starving orphans, but still didn't ask for money, he was sent a small donation. Although it wasn't much money by American standards, one of our team-members joked that it would be cool if it was enough for Felix to buy like 20 Bibles, a couple bags of food for his family, and something for the orphans.
A few days later, we received pictures of Felix distributing Bibles, his family standing with two bags of beans and rice, and a message that said he had also gotten some things for the orphans. He even included a copy of the receipt, which showed he had purchased exactly 20 Bibles! We could hardly believe it! We even called the Malawi Bible Institute to confirm his purchase. It’s now perfectly clear that Felix is a faithful steward of God’s provisions. He has sent more than a hundred pictures showing the many results of God’s blessing. And he always provides receipts to verify the purchases.
However, in the short time that we’ve been in contact with Felix, at least four people in his village, including family members, have tragically died. There is a tremendous and immediate need for clean water, food, shelter, and spiritual nourishment. So that's how EchoAfrica came to be, and that's why we are taking a small team to Malawi for two weeks in early December. We sincerely believe God is opening up this opportunity to directly help people with seemingly insurmountable odds and, although we feel insufficient, the Holy Word affirms that His strength makes all things possible.
You can share in this amazing journey of faith by doing two simple things:
1. PRAY FOR MALAWI. Pray for Pastor Felix and his community. Pray that God would use our EchoAfrica team mightily during this trip to bring God’s hope to the village. And pray that we will also be able to help them in tangible ways by providing food, water, shelter, and any other physical needs.
2. DONATE TO MALAWI. Our EchoAfrica team’s trip is full funded, which means 100% of your donation will go directly to Pastor Felix and the people in his village. Click here to Donate today.
Less than 2 months ago, we couldn't have found Malawi on a map... But God turned a simple email into a movement and now we can't wait to see what He has planned next! We hope you're excited too, so please follow the blog and learn with us as we head to Malawi to serve the people of Pastor Felix’s community.