The Unexpected Answer
“If we pray earnestly,” he said, “God will make something happen.”
A small group of Adventists in Malawi planned to hold evangelistic meetings. On the first night of the meetings they were disappointed when only a few people came. They prayed, but attendance hovered around 30. Some suggested that they cancel the meetings, but the speaker refused. “If we pray earnestly,” he said, “God will make something happen.”
The next evening the meeting opened with the same 30 people. They sang and prayed, then the speaker stood up. Suddenly a commotion of clapping and cheering drowned out the speaker.
The commotion increased as a crowd of people following a nyau [nee-ow]—a spirit worshiper dressed in swishing grass skirts and rags and wearing an ornate headdress and mask—approached the meeting place. The nyau probably was on his way to a graveyard.
Spirit Worshiper Comes to Church
When the nyau came nearer, he stopped dancing and turned toward the speaker. The crowd following him stopped, and the nyau didn’t move. Instead, he leaned against a wall, apparently planning to listen to the evangelist. The crowd following him stopped clapping and listened as the speaker quickly resumed his message.
The nyau listened quietly to the rest of the sermon. Someone estimated that 200 people who had been following the nyau listened as well. The speaker was nervous, but he continued with his presentation about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. After the closing prayer, the nyau and his followers continued toward the cemetery.
The next evening the meeting started with the same 30 people, but as the program progressed, more came. Even the nyau, dressed in his mask and swishing skirts, came with his followers. He didn’t stand outside the meeting place this time, but entered the tent and sat down. His followers sat down too. The speaker couldn’t be sure that the nyau was the same who had come previously, but he recognized many of the nyau’s followers. Other visitors came, curious to know what was being preached in their neighborhood that could possibly interest a nyau. That night almost 80 people attended the meeting.
Attendance at the meetings continued increasing. A few nights later, the speaker invited listeners to accept Jesus as their Savior. That evening 95 people accepted Jesus and asked for further Bible studies.
More Spirit Worshipers
The next night close to 200 people came to the meeting, including two more nyaus, dressed in torn clothes and wearing leafy branches to cover their faces. That night an additional 50 answered the call to accept Jesus.
The meetings continued for 21 nights, and baptismal classes followed. On the day of the baptism 145 were baptized. Among them was a man who identified himself as the nyau who had interrupted the meeting when he stopped to listen that first night. This former nyau continues to be faithful to Jesus.
Today the little group that prayed and worked to increase their membership are now worshiping in a larger church. Their previous church was too small to accommodate all the new members and those who continue to come, curious about the message that attracts devil worshipers to worship the living God.
Medical Missionary Work
In 1908 a small Adventist hospital was started near Makwasa, Malawi. For more than 100 years this hospital has provided physical and spiritual healing to one of the poorest countries in Africa. Malawi is home to more than 13 million people, many of whom live in poverty and are in dire need of medical care. HIV/AIDS is rampant and is changing the face of Malawi.
Today Malamulo Adventist Hospital has more than 200 beds and runs numerous community outreach and outpatient programs. The hospital also runs a medical school that trains nurses, laboratory technicians, and other medical staff. The school attracts students from all over the country and is an important part of the hospital’s outreach to the community. Students learn skills that will help them earn a living, as well as save lives of those in need.
One of Malamulo’s greatest challenges is HIV/AIDS patients. Approximately 50 to 60 percent of adults who are admitted to the hospital have HIV/AIDS. Despite the high number of these cases, the hospital is often able to help transform their patients’ lives, both physically and spiritually. Thank you for your support of Adventist mission.