Now that a few days have passed since my return, the Echo team has begun to formulate a plan. Lord willing, my wife and I will be returning in March along with Pastor Rick and maybe a few others. One of the most important duties that God has assigned me is to identify obedient servants who are trustworthy. We will be establishing a biblically-based policy on how we conduct ourselves and the activities of Echo Africa. Deception amongst pastors and aid organizations is rampant. I found it to be quite ironic that I received a couple of brochures from different aid organizations while I was gone. Most of the figures mirrored what Duncan had reported: the cost of goods. The reality was that a double or triple influx seems to be the norm.
I know that God is laying it on my heart to be fully transparent. Personally I feel there is a much more effective model for working directly with the villagers. I believe it would be more forthright to say a goat is $25 than $50 to deliver it to the village or administrative cost. This would be a much more accurate description. Most people do not hesitate in supporting the additional cost of running a organization. However, as I have discovered, there is a lot of room for deception and the opportunity to skim funds for personal gain, so I am reluctant to support organizations. I encourage anyone that feels compelled by the Lord to give should do a thorough investigation. We must view our time and talents as gifts from God and be wise servants with how we use them. The Lord will guide us to see the truth and pass on the most accurate information possible.
In the next few pages, I will give a brief description of our intended actions over the next several months. Collectively, we will agree upon our focus and develop our strategies for the greatest impact. The three areas that we will be addressing initially will be spiritual, social and economic sustainability. We will be vigorously marching forward, but diligently looking for God’s course corrections continually.
1. Fellow servants for the Lord in Malawi will be identifying the church leadership that is
committed and fully obedient to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (This will be a lengthy process
and only accomplished through discernment of the Holy Spirit)
2. Those that were not called by the Holy Spirit to minister will be instructed on a clear
understanding of what the Bible requires and expects from leadership. (If God moves on
someone’s heart to be fully committed, we will assist in the discipleship process)
3. We will be supplying biblically based in-depth discipleship material to help in their growth.
4. A biblical code of conduct for leadership needs to be implemented. Procedures according to
the Scriptures have to be followed when inappropriate behaviors are discovered.
5. A leadership board for each church needs to be established. Each individual will be
evaluated according to biblical principles. All will be accountable equally to one another.
Transparency and honesty will be the foundation in order to grow. Understanding and
memorizing certain Scriptures is a must.
6. The leadership board should be granted the power to remove anyone with a unanimous
vote, due diligence, and clear and undeniable cause. Foundationally, these causes would be
guided by biblical principles.
7. There would be a collective panel set up of local ministers. This panel would take turns
visiting each other’s church to determine the best practices, and they would have the
boldness to point out areas that need improvement. Eliminating pride and arrogance is a
must for this to flourish.
8. The Pastors would vigorously promote house church. This would encourage fellowship
during the week. Also give an opportunity for in-depth Bible study. The pastor would have
the opportunity to set up accountability groups amongst the house church participants. Part
of the pastor’s responsibility would be to visit the house churches and shepherd their
9. The Pastors would be the motivational force behind the congregation, and they would serve
one another and spearhead projects for the church and community.
10. Village chiefs would be assisted by the pastors to influence any cultural changes
necessary to be in alignment with God’s word. (Majority of the people claim to be Christian,
if this is true, adopting Christian philosophies and procedures should be easy.)
11. The leadership of the church would adopt Christian principles for the shared responsibility
of the family. By their examples, they would insist that the congregation do the same.
(There seems to be a unfair burden put on the females. Males that do not have jobs should
share in the family responsibilities equally.)
12. Behaviors that are pleasing to Christ, especially with loving children, must be adopted. The
leadership and congregation have no excuse for treating the children poorly. Unfortunately,
we lost our backbone in the United States many years ago. We no longer have any
accountability for church members and the fear the Lord is practically nonexistent.
This is simply a starting point for spiritual leadership. My intention is to point out areas that I had observed firsthand. As we send more people to Malawi, God will perfect our mission. There are many others that have insight and wisdom far beyond what I can offer. I look forward to additional collaboration to be the best we can in the eyes of the Lord.
1. The strengths of the villagers include storytelling, and they have few distractions. Opening
up their awareness to the countless stories within the pages of the Bible could become a
catalyst for change. It would also allow the growth of house churches.
2. Identifying and revealing practices that contaminate the society are a must. All ungodly
sexual behavior practiced in the villages must be eliminated.
3. A strong infectious disease awareness program must be implemented. Clear understanding
how to stamp out and prevent such diseases is a must. Using God’s word as a roadmap to
accomplish this is critical.
4. Develop a strong educational system that can help eradicate some of the pitfalls of social
5. We will stamp out the remnant of the witch Dr. Culture. Proclaiming the power of the Lord
over all such foolishness will defeat Satan in his false practices.
6. We will reverse the trend of social and self-esteem collapse caused by handouts. A system
will require effort in order to receive goods, even if it is a small effort.
7. Universal principles that organizations will abide by shall help them operate. (The
government is not utilizing a huge untapped resource for road repair, trash pickup, and other
maintenance projects. Handouts should only be giving when effort is put forth) This may
seem harsh, but this practice has devastated the culture.
8. We will educate the family units on the necessity for shared responsibilities, as we train the
men on their roles as fathers and husbands.
9. Loving households are necessary. Husbands and wives are responsible to love and respect
each other, and always demonstrate love towards the children. This will break the chain of
toxic behavior that had led to generational difficulties.
I am sure that there are many other issues that need to be addressed. Some of the ones I’ve already brought up may be nearly impossible. This release will simply give us a starting point we can modify as we feel directed.
1. Skills that are easily transferable to the villagers must be found. (Wood carving, painting,
bracelet-making, sewing, pottery, and jewelry, plus others.) We will assign talented
professionals to train these skills.
2. Material and tool acquisition will improve. Through youth group sponsorship in the US, the
same youth groups become the salesforce.
3. We will develop a system of product collection and consignment at designated areas.
Packing and shipping containers for delivery to the US will be simplified.
4. The Internet storefront will need a distribution hub. We plan to use a model similar to Girl
Scout cookies. The youth groups across America will be the exclusive distribution chain.
When a certain threshold of goods have been sold, a real mission trip to Africa could be the
reward. In fact, the proceeds generated from the group could be delivered directly.
5. Fish farms and other advanced farms could be alternative revenue streams. They will be
6. The beautiful landscape and mountainous area can be tourist destinations. (Rock climbing,
hiking, zip lining, hang-gliding and other extreme sports)
7. English-speaking teachers will instruct and advance vernacular abilities. (Highly skilled
English-speaking is always been employable asset)
8. We will conduct an in depth raw material evaluation to determine if sufficient material exists
for unknown potential export.
This is just a starting point of some of the key areas that need attention. I am sure God will guide our steps as we keep moving forward. We must swiftly take action in order to avoid certain catastrophes in the near future. When our focus is aligned with God’s plan, we can change the future of Malawi for The Kingdom. May we all work together for the glory of God and the redemption of these people.