Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

A Personal Note

Jul 20, 2017

I apologize for the Newsletter being late this month. We had the Fourth of July time off and the Mission families did take one day off, and . . . oh yes, I spent 2½ days in the hospital. I know it isn’t proper protocol to talk about one’s own hospital experience, but please indulge me.

About four years ago I complained to the doctor that I was excessively fatigued by the end of the day. After running tests, he said, “You have a strong heart and clear veins, but one of your heart valves is not opening properly and the flow of blood is restricted.” And he continued, “But, it’s not time to fix it yet.Let’s wait.” Last week he said, “The valve is nearly closed. Now is the time; no more waiting.”

I’m sure you know that replacing a heart valve requires major open-heart surgery – at least it used to be that way. They now have a procedure for doing it through an artery in the groin with a man-made heart valve that’s compressed and moved into place to the heart through the vein. The new valve is pushed through the weak heart valve and expanded into place. The old valve now serves as a collar to keep the new valve in place. This is a miracle!

I am amazed at the wonders of modern medicine and I marvel at many scientific discoveries. God is so gracious that permits mankind to explore and discover the marvels of His creation and men can do wonders with modern medicine. A doctor can clean, medicate, and sew up a cut on a boy’s hand. . . but only God can heal that cut. We are so blessed to live within God’s creation – to walk and breathe. We were made by the hand of God. You and I are living miracles of God.

Back to the personal note: I’m now 85 years old and each year for the past 40-plus, I have been thankful for my continued role of supervising the Namikango Mission. Years ago, I told the Mission Board that I was willing to serve as long as they thought I was doing the job to their satisfaction. (No pink slip so far.) Serving this marvelous outreach work has been a joy and a privilege. I look forward to it each day.

I work with a Board of godly men and have an advisory team of men each with remarkable mission experience comprised of B. Shelburne, Mark Theisen, and Shawn Tyler.

I also have a strong local support team in my loving wife, Anita, and two dedicated daughters – Karen and Robyn. They send the thank you letters that I write, handle the contributions, lay out the monthly bulletins, and help in all areas of the Misson's Stateside work. I love these godly ladies who make my part of the work a blessing and a joy.

You might wonder about the three generations that separate me and our young missionaries in Malawi, but let me tell you –we are all of one mind! Here is an example: (I’m paraphrasing)Ben says, ‘I know we teach the Bible to nearly 2,000 men and women on a daily basis for six months at 23 Village BibleCenters, but how about if we were also to take a select few of these very good men and do like Jesus did with His disciples –take them aside, pray with them, and discuss personal and godly matters – mentoring them on a spiritual journey just like Jesus did?’

Wow! Who would not rejoice at such an idea? I didn’t think of this, but I can certainly encourage it. We have a young generation of spiritual giants at Namikango. This kind of mentoring causes me to shiver with excitement and to thank our God! Oh yes, in this Newsletter, you will discover that these guys have now started not two, but three of these spiritual Journeys groups. We can expect dedicated, godly servants as a result.

I have renewed my commitment to the Board that I am willing to serve as long as they think my work merits it. And now, with a renewed, young heart, I eagerly look forward to the victories in Christ that lay ahead. I thank God for the opportunity to serve and for an amazing new heart valve. Incidentally, since my procedure was on a weekend, I only had to lose one day off work and not one surgical knife touched my body. How great is that? I invite you to share my joy in the Lord.

I know this is a lengthy personal note, but I was moved to share these matters with you and I pray blessings for our dedicated Mission workers and for our loving supporters.

Sidney Vaughn