Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

Growth in Bible Studies

Dec 10, 2015

by Ben Hayes

We recently completed another school year at our Village Bible Centers throughout Malawi and at the Bible School on the Namikango Campus. From April to October, there were 23 Village Bible Centers teaching courses this year. That equals the number of Centers in operation last year. One of the greatest challenges the schools faced this year had to do with the floods that came last January. The effect on this year’s harvest made it difficult for churches to provide enough food to host students and the Bible teacher. The fact that many went ahead and held class required these committees and churches to dig deep, and it shows the commitment they have to seeing God’s Word taught in their regions. As a result of their perseverance, the number of students participating in these Village Centers increased from 1,386 to 1,576. This is very encouraging to see. Of these students, most are male, though a number of female students are also attending.

Each Village Center has a committee that manages their studies and at the close of every school year, we call in representatives from each committee to give us a report of how operations went for the year. 48 men and women came to the Namikango campus for this meeting. These people have a large role to play in ensuring that the Bible Schools move ahead each year. We had the opportunity to hear many positive elements, as well as problems faced by our Bible Schools. This year saw growth in the Bible School Centers at Maoni and Lingale who doubled their enrollment this year. Maoni had 151 students this year. Nchisi, a brand new school in the Central region, persevered through some of the start-up challenges new schools face, especially with the current food shortage and hunger situation, and are ready to move ahead next year.

We also received word from these committee members that there are other churches that are prepared to host a Bible School next year. This is encouraging to hear! This kind of initiative is not easy and takes much preparation and prayer.

It takes approximately $6,300 for Namikango to operate these Bible Schools for one year. This number has continued to rise over the years due to the increase in centers, students, and inflation. Though none of the Bible teachers are on staff, we do provide transport for the teachers to travel to these Village Centers to teach, plus we provide a small stipend to accommodate them for the three weeks at a time. This stipend is paid by the Mission for only three out of the six months with the Bible Centers taking on this responsibility the other three months. We showed these figures to the committee members so they could appreciate what it takes on our end to keep these schools operational. I believe this was revealing to these representatives. They expressed gratitude towards those who support the Mission to make these studies possible, but they also saw that if we continue to grow, the local churches will need to take on more responsibility to ensure the Bible Schools continue to operate. Some members said that they need to be preparing now in the event that for any reason support from the Mission was not possible, at least these schools would not have to cease to operate.

The sharing of costs and responsibilities between the village churches and the Mission has been an excellent partnership.

We pray that this spirit continues to spread. It is encouraging to see these wonderful leaders pressing to own their schools more and more. Support is still needed, and will be needed for years to come, but you can be encouraged to see that the funds you contribute are appreciated, and provide motivation for increased involvement by our brothers and sisters in God’s mission here.