|Posted by Bro. Craig on June 1, 2014 at 4:50 PM|
Some incredible things are happening that I am excited to share with you in regard to some developments in Malawi. Certainly, we are not taking credit for anything, as God gets all the glory, but I do believe the Lord has used our efforts and is answering our prayers.
In February of 2016, Flame of Fire Ministry traveled by boat many hours to reach Likoma Island, and also part of our team went beyond Likoma Island into a remote part of Mozambique at Mataka Village. I have now received word that the Lord has prompted the Malawi Baptist Convention to place one of our seminary graduates at Likoma Island as a home missionary and Pastor. He has also told me that he will soon be traveling to Mataka, Mozambique, and to Ngofi, Mozambique. Ngofi is the village that sent a representative to Mataka while we were there pleading for us to come to his village as many people were gathered waiting for us. At the time, we could not accommodate this request.
Also, we have been concerned about the labor force in Makenjira Region across Lake Malawi where we have seen the Lord doing amazing things. When I arrived there in February of 2016, the Lord had freed up Pastor Demola by sending another seminary graduate to serve as pastor at Nalungu Baptist Church and to oversee the work at church plants in Mkonde, Chimphole, and Chia. Also, Malawi Baptist continues using our friend Nkhulera as the Regional Missionary in Makanjira Region. Church plants at Chilemba and Chitedzie are closer to where Pastor Demola lives in Mpilipili, and he will concentrate more there. The placement of this new pastor is partially assisted through Blantyre Baptist Church, where FOFM ministered in 2015, and I will preach in their church in August as Dalitso and I travel to Mozambique.
Our new FOFM evangelist Ephraim Maonga reports great things at our church plant in Mikundi in the western part of the Central Region between Kasungu and Mchinji. This is the village where Dalitso and I had the privilege of baptizing 94 in the water holes in 2015. We also have an open door to plant a church at Matutu Trading Center in this area, and anticipate this may happen as early as June, 2016.
Pastor Daniel and Mark have traveled to Chikho Village and to Matekenya, and also to another new church plant in that area. Their report will be coming in detail soon.
Connex has sent a report from Nkhata Bay: KALWE REPORT. WE DID DOOR TO DOOR AT THULINGA VILLAGE, WE DISCUSS WHTH MANY PEOPLE. WE LED 14 PE PLE TO CHRIST. I PREACHED AT AN OPEN AIR AT PUNDU TRADING CENTRE 9 PEOPLE SAVED. SAT. EVENING WE HAD BIBLE STUDY, TESTMONIES, SINGING. WORSHIP. I PREACHED AND MADE AN INVITATION 22 PEOPLE LED TO CHRIST. I FAILED TO BAPTIZE 8 PEOPLE BECOZ OF FUNERAL TOOK PLACE ON SUNDAY IN THE VILLAGE. I WILL CONDUCT THE BAPTISM ANY DAY. IN ALL 45 PEOPLE SAVED.
Edington has sent a report from Salima Region: Two outreachs have been done: katseka village 17th May, 74 salvations & mponda village 20th May, 63 salvations. All the trips with church band, equipment from kapha. One more coming May.
Stafford and Dalitso have other ministry plans in May and June, but are also busy making plans for my August trip, and the work on the “Chariot of Fire”.
The committee is in place for preparations for the Flame of Fire Ministry Crusade in Lilongwe for August 27 and 28. Here is the latest report from that committee: DALITSO:We have hired a big and beautiful stage. 4 big tents and 1500 chairs for pastors. The crowd will just stand as they will come to dance while worshipping. We are planning to train 100 councilors on 9 July and have 400 for the crusade. We have hired 6 buses to bring in and take away people from far places. The advertisements will be on 3 television national stations and 5 radio stations. Posters and banners are being prepared. We have hired special and professional videographer. Some television and radio stations will cover the crusade especially on last day. Reflectors for special security and councilors with written Flame of Fire Ministry 2016 Crusade are being prepared. Good decorator has been hired. Kamuzu Barrack Singers will be there as one of the guest artists. So many things have been planned for the upcoming crusade. We have hired good musical equipment and professional men for playing equipments.
CRAIG: This all sounds great. Consider making the vests just say Flame of Fire Ministry Crusade. If we leave off the 2016 we can reuse them in future events.
DALITSO: Praying for you Craig, you are hopefully going to speak to more than 20,000 people the first day of crusade and 30,000 people the second day. We have invited famous musicians that will attract many people around Lilongwe. The response is quite promising and we have hired special policemen and private bodyguards for you. There will be very tight security as many people will come. You are right to leave 2016 out on the vests. That's good idea. Kamuzu Barracks guys will be coming and they have already confirmed.
Many other things to report, but I am sure this is already overwhelming enough for now. I will share more at a later time. Keep praying!
This is Flame of Fire report from July 2013. Dalitso is on break from seminary, and was able to do much ministry along with our other FOFM evangelists.
I am humbly submitting FOFM Report of events took place in the month of July 2013 report
The month of July has been the good month for the ministry in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. The ministry started with evangelist Connex Banda going to Likoma, Chizumulu Islands and part of Mozambique on 3 – 7 July 2013. These are the islands that are found on Lake Malawi to the northern part of Malawi. Connex and Dyman visited many places on the islands. They taught, preached and witnessed. After 5 days of ministry they led 294 people to the Lord and about 342 rededicated their lives to the Lord.
On 10th July 2013, I took Mr. Mataya, his wife and three relatives from Lilongwe Hospital to their home in Salima, Thuma village. I was welcomed although some chiefs demanded my explanation of what happened for Mr. Mataya to lose his leg and spent months in the hospital. At first I felt like I made a mistake to escort them. People from Mr. Mataya’s village were very angry to see me; some wanted to smash the car that I used.
Praise God that after explaining in details about the accident that took place on my way to Makanjira for preaching they understood that I was not at fault. Before long the whole village gathered to welcome Mr. Mataya just as I imagined. Mr. Mataya himself told the people gathered that “Dalitso is the preacher of the Gospel”. I asked them if I could pray and share the Word. They accepted, 3 chiefs and 32 adults got saved including Mr. Mataya and his household. I spent a night in that village. On 11th Thursday morning before I left, I asked the chief to gather people. It was really amazing, about 800 showed up. I shared from Luke 19, man Zaccheus. 301 people got saved. In this village there are only two churches: Roman Catholic and Seventh Day Adventist. I and others will make another trip to show Jesus film and preach the word for 2 days.
From 12 to 18 July, about 7days we moved from village to village showing Jesus Film and preaching the word in the evenings. The places that we ministered are Tsokankanansi, Chatata, Kauma, and Makatani. Many people were coming for these meetings. At one gathering we were having over 4000 people. These villages are very populated and many live in poor houses. They were happy and we saw them rejoicing in the Lord even in their poverty. I have discovered that many people living in the villages of Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique need encouragement and other people to tell them about the love of Christ. People are always welcoming and looking for solutions to their problems and that is Jesus, the crucified and risen One. After 7 days of meetings in these 4 populated villages in Lilongwe, we witnessed the total number of 2234 people saved. We referred some of these to Area 43 Baptist and Kauma Assemblies of God churches which are around these villages.
From 18th to 20th July, Chingira, Mando, Nkhulawe and Ching’ombe Baptist Churches organized a 3 days Revival Meeting. These are the church that I minister time to time but they are 50km away from Lilongwe City and my home. We showered Jesus Film each day and preach the Word. On Saturday, 19th, we taught the church on Leadership, Witnessing and Giving. On Sunday, 20th we had Sunday service and baptism of the believers. During the 3 days of preaching and teaching from 18 to 20 July, 450 people got saved and 21 were baptized. We gave 4 bibles to the village headmen and 3 bibles to very senior people in the village whose I was impressed with and accepted to be baptized.
On 21st July I left for Zambia. Baptist churches in eastern part of Zambia organized a number of meetings. On 21st evening we showed Jesus film at Kapata Township and I preached. 20 got saved. On 22 July we had church leaders training at Ark Baptist Church where Pastor Isaac Daka minister. In the midst of teachings 1 church leader surrendered his life to Jesus. He has been in the church and serving in different position in the church but not saved. Elder Frank in his testimony said “it is like you came for me”. In the evening we showed Jesus Film in Gonda. Gonda is a military camp. Soldiers’ families and the communities around the camp came for the meeting. My friend Isaac Daka preached and 68 got saved. 0n 23 July, I spoke to 72 interdenominational pastors about the vision of Flame of Fire Ministry in Africa. I told them that FOFM is an evangelistic ministry with the aim of reaching unreached, discipling, equipping pastors and church leaders for evangelism and referring the saved to local churches that believe in Christ Jesus. I also shared with them what we believe, that: the Bible is the Word of God, and that Jesus is God’s Son and the only way to heaven. We believe the church is the tool that God uses to proclaim this truth and His glory, and this ministry is under the direction of the local church. And that we are the servants of Christ and are under the authority of His church. In other words we work with local churches and at the center is Jesus Christ. So, I asked them to partner with us in prayer as we are taking the gospel beyond. At the end of the meeting pastors promised to support FOFM in reaching many parts of Zambia where the word is needed most.
In the afternoon, I went to radio station for preaching live and answering questions of the listeners. The programme ran for 1 hour. This program is currently run by Pastor Isaac Daka who happens to be my friend. The programme is called “Digging Deeper”. He has promised that once FOFM evangelists are in Zambia we will be given a chance to preach live on radio. This radio covers three countries: Zambia, parts of Mozambique and Malawi.
On 24 July, we went to Msandire area close to Mfuwe Game Park. I was also privileged to meet with 12 Baptist pastors. I was given a chance to speak to them about Flame of Fire Ministry. They are all looking forward to the time that they will be taught the experiences of witnessing and how one can discover that God is leading him to the ministry of fishing souls to Christ. Many Baptist pastors in Zambia are not seminary graduates. This part of Zambia needs leaders’ training. Pastor Isaac Daka is the only seminary graduate out of over 40 pastors. I hope that one day we will help in giving them basic training. Many of these pastors don’t have an understanding of who is an evangelist and a pastor. In the evening we preached during Jesus film and 170 got saved. On 25 July, I came back to Malawi.
On 29 July, I and Majid left for Makanjira. We visited Chimphole. We found that Mrs. Banda (one of the lady who was pregnant last time we visited them) just had miscarriage. We encouraged her and the family. We proceeded to Malopa. The chief was very happy to see us. He told me that any time we feel to go back and start a church we are welcome. I met the lady you prayed for after the preaching in Malopa. She said that people are willing to start a church but many of them are afraid because of their Muslim families. Let us continue praying for this village.
On 30 July, we showed Jesus film, preached at Nalungu and 44 people got saved. The church in Nalungu is growing spiritually and in number every week. The leadership is good and members are very committed to Christ. I sorted the issue of timbers and ants-chemicals
On 31 July, we (men and women from Nalungu) went to Gome via Mkonde. At Mkonde the church has burnt the bricks but the issue of the land was not sorted. The reason was because chiefs wanted a chicken as per African tradition. Although the chief was telling me many stories of what made that delay but I knew that the issue was that the church was not able to wash their hands. I challenged the chief that what will take place here is not for us but for you and your people in this village and that this is the development of your area. I gave them a chicken and they gave us a big land with many trees and a mountain to the other side. It is indeed a good piece of property. It was I who chose that place because they gave me a liberty to. There is a fig tree which I personally called it Hobbs Tree. Anytime from now they will start putting the structure.
Then, we proceeded to Gome to show Jesus Film and preach. Many people as far as Ilembe in Mozambique came to watch Jesus Film and 23 people got saved including Susan’s father. I have been to places but people in Gome were very cooperative, no whistling or threatening us. All went on well. About 5 of the people that got saved promised us to attend the Sunday service at Mkonde. Pastor Gilbert will be there as well.
On 1st July, we were at Nalungu church teaching and visiting the homes of members who were sick and backslidden. I also visited the chief in Nalungu. He is still a saved man but not willing to come to church. I insisted but he just needs some time and our prayers.
On 2 July, we started off coming back to Lilongwe. The lake was not calm. There were big waves but we crossed safely. I wanted to visit Mr. Mataya’s village to show Jesus film and preach but the owner of Jesus Film Equipments demanded for them.
Many of the people that are saved during all mission trips have my cell number and postal address. I told them to be keeping in touch and that I will be calling them at least once a month for any help.
I have given out 9 Bibles to Neneni, Majid’s wife Lois, mr and Mrs Mataya, Gilbert wife, and 4 chiefs during the revival meeting from 19 – 21 July. I have 12 bibles in stock to give out to wives of evangelists. I have been very busy and not able to make a proper timing for giving out of the Bibles. I believe that I will finish the process of assessing who don’t have good Chichewa Bible.
Therefore, in the month of July 3640 people got saved and 21 baptized.
FOFM - Director
Report from May/June trip from 2013
In the 3 weeks I was in Africa, I had the privilege of preaching to nearly 30,000 people with 3,768 making public professions of faith. Our team of 9 from the US saw a total of over 6,000 salvations, and conducted 2 "Pastor's Conferences". I also had the privilege of preaching to the students at the Baptist Theological Seminary. In one setting in the Muslim village of Melopa, I preached to more than 5,000 in one setting with approximately 475 professing Christ as Lord and Savior.
Our reporting is always conservative in our figures, and we make every effort to report accurately without exaggeration. We praise the Lord, and look forward to adding detail to our report in the near future.
Malawi Report from “The Craig Hobbs Evangelistic Association” (2012-2013)
Report from "Flame of Fire " Ministry team that traveled across Lake Malawi
We started our trip on Friday the 12thApril not on 10th because I was waiting for Gift to get healed. Gift had malaria from 10th April. On 12th is when I decided to leave with Majid because Gift couldn’t come with me as he was still not feeling good.
We were welcomed by Pastor Gilbert Demola, members of Chimphole and Nalungu Baptist church who came all the way from their village to welcome us and support their fellow friends at Chimphole. We showed Jesus film and preached the Word at Chimphole in Makanjira. We were amazed to see lots of Muslim and Yao people who normally laugh at us whenever we share Christ in the area, coming to see Jesus film and hear the Word. 32 people accepted Christ and were counseled at the end of the meeting. The following day, we had a special meeting with the church leaders and members for prayers and encouraging them to be strong in their faith. We told them not to backslide and compromise their stand on Jesus.
In the afternoon we visited a big village called Malopa which has got 28 village headmen and women. Seeing it by the lake it looks very small village but it is spread out about 60 square Kilometers . There are about 840 houses and 4600 people living in the village. There is only one church called LAST apart from Mosque. This is a cult. The church allows polygamy, beer drinking and members do not know what it means to be born again but they are members of the church. The chief is a young man who has been chosen two months ago after the demise of his father. We had a very good chat and he has accepted us to visit his village and share the word. His name is Suleiman Jafari.
We visited Gome village close to Mozambique to meet the chief Mkwimba and some of our Baptist members. Susan said that she will be baptized together with her family members who accepted Christ. Susan was very happy to see us again. She passed greetings to Craig Hobbs who visited her last February.
The church in Mkonde is doing quite well. We gave them the offering and delivered the wheelchair to Mercy one of the Mkonde church members who had been having difficulties in crawling to the church during hot and rainy seasons. The whole village was very happy to see her in a wheelchair. The chief of the village was very happy and thankful to God for the provision of transportation to one of his daughters of the village. He thanked the people who provided for the purchasing of the wheelchair. Mercy run out of words when she asked to say something because she could not believe that she could have a gift of a wheelchair in her entire life. She was full of joy and thankful.
W e also went to Mtsinje village which is one of the biggest villages around the big area of Senior Chief Makanjira. The chief was very receptive and he has accepted that we may visit the village any time we wish. He said that we are even welcome to start the new church in his area if we may find some who will respond to the message and want to follow the Christian faith.
I happened also to visit the group village headman Nalungu at his house on Saturday. I encouraged him and his wife about the new faith in Christ that they accepted. They were very happy to see me back to their house. On Sunday, the chief came to the church but in the midst of service he left to attend the funeral service in the next village.
We showed Jesus film and preached the Word at Nalungu. 28 people came to Christ and on Sunday 6 of them came to join the Baptist church.
The church in Nalungu is doing well spiritually and numerically although challenges are there too. The church is even growing numerically than ever before despite of this challenge.
I spent much time encouraging and teaching the church on the Holy Spirit (who is He and how does He work in the lives of people). I also took time visiting homes of some church leaders who left the church long time ago even before we started going to Nalungu for missions. I thank God that 3 families that I visited promised me to come back to the church. I left Nalungu Baptist a very happy church.
February/March, 2013--Thank you so much for making this amazing trip a great success. We praise the Lord for what He has done, and we thank you for your prayers and support. We have seen 307 lost people come to Christ including a Muslim Village Chief, his wife, and his ambassador. Two new churches that we have had a hand in planting were encouraged as well as Nalungu Baptist Church. Pastor Gilbert Demora is serving as Pastor at these 3 churches as well as 4 other Baptist churches in the Makenjira Region. He travels by bicycle, boat, and foot to each church once every 7 weeks. It is usually a 60 mile roundtrip through the jungle for him to reach the church. Pray for him and the church leaders who lead in his absence. The report is on the back of this newsletter, and more details, pictures and video should be on the website now or soon.
MALAWI REPORT 2013
The USA Team of Evangelists Craig Hobbs and Charlie Keim, and Pastor Steve Gallagher landed at Kamuzu Airport in Lilongwe, Malawi, on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. They were met by the Malawian team of Evangelist Dalitso Matekenya, Pastor McEdwin Blackson, Majidu Phiri, and Devison Tembo (driver).
After eating lunch at the home of Missionaries Mat and Janet Lawrence, the team from “Flame of Fire Ministry” proceeded to Senga Bay in Salima. On Wed, 31 students prayed to receive Christ after Brother Charlie preached in Mackenzie School. That evening, Brother Steve preached during a break in the “Jesus Film”, and 45 people repented of their sins.
On Thurs, the team traveled by boat to Nalungu where 348 had been saved in March of 2012 while Brother Craig was there with “Creek Ministry”. Craig and Dalitso preached in the afternoon, and 25 were saved. That night, over 300 attended the showing of the “Jesus Film”, and 66 people came to Christ, as Craig preached.
The next day, the team travelled by boat to Chiphole, and preached in the new church planted by “Flame of Fire Ministry” through Nalungu Baptist Church. Ten professed Christ and 2 were baptized in Lake Malawi. Upon returning to Nalungu, 34 were saved in the afternoon service where Brother Steve preached, and 44 more were saved in the evening service where Brother Craig preached.
On Saturday, Brother Charlie preached at Mkonde Village, where FOFM has been a part of planting the first Christian Church ever (Mkonde Baptist Church). There were 35 saved in the evening service.
The mission trip concluded in Lilongwe with a two-day “Evangelism Conference” for pastors and church leaders. A total of 307 were saved during the 2 weeks.
Our ministry to Malawi, Africa, began as a part of CREEK ministry, as I was privileged to travel with a group of six men from the United States as their “evangelism coordinator”. While there, we preached and shared in two Muslim villages on the east side of Lake Malawi, one village on the west side, and trained about 50 pastors for three days. 613 made professions of faith on this trip.
The Lord used this experience to place on my heart and my wife’s heart to branch our own ministry into Malawi. We have now begun that extension of our evangelistic association, and have named it “Flame of Fire Ministry” from Exodus 3:2. This ministry is headed up by our partner in ministry in Malawi, Evangelist Dalitso Matekenya.
About two months after I returned to the United States, Dalitso returned across the lake to follow up in this remote area where there are no cars, no roads, no electric, and no running water. On this trip, seven more repented of sin and turned to Jesus for salvation. Also, the Christians in this area were encouraged and strengthened.
August and September, 2012
In August, some friends of our ministry helped to support another effort headed by Dalitso and other ministers in Malawi. We received a report that “all villages in that area are Muslims, and people are afraid to preach the Word in that part of Malawi. They are afraid of being stoned or persecuted…” The trip was postponed until September, and the Lord blessed with 23 saved in Mkonde village, 26 saved in Gome village, and 41 saved in Nalungu village. Upon returning to Mkonde, the chief security man in the village was saved and baptized along with eight others.
In early November, Dalitso preached at a national crusade with 3,000 in attendance. Over 400 made public their professions of faith in Christ.
The Lord strengthened Nalungu Baptist Church while we were there in March of 2012. During our three days of ministry, 348 people were saved. This church has been instrumental in our successful efforts to plant a church in both Chimphole village and Mkonde village. I am privileged to be joined by fellow-evangelist Charlie Keim, and Pastor Steve Gallagher of Second Baptist Church of Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to return to Malawi in February of 2013. We will minister in one village and school on the west side of the lake, and in Nalungu, Chimphole, and Mkonde on the east side of the lake. We will then train pastors for two days in a “Pastors Conference” in the capital city of Lilongwe at the Baptist Seminary.
Our departure date is the evening of February 17. We are scheduled to return on March 2, and look forward to extending this praise report at that time.
Please pray for us for safety in our travel, health issues within our team, promptness in completion of essential paperwork and documents, finances for the trip, and finances for providing Bibles, Sunday School materials, hymn books, and baptism certificates for these new churches. Mostly pray for a great outpouring of God’s Spirit as we minister to these isolated people whom God loves.
On Feb. 17, Evangelist Craig Hobbs (Haskell, OK), Evangelist Charlie Keim (Tahlequah, OK), and Pastor Steve Gallagher (Second Baptist Church of Okmulgee, OK) left for Malawi in southeast Africa on a mission to share the gospel and encourage Christians. During the two weeks they were on the field, the team witnessed 308 individuals become followers of Jesus by professing that He was the only access to God and to heaven. Among these were many Muslims including a village chief, his wife, and his ambassador.
The team also preached to the seminary students at the Baptist Theological Seminary in the capital city of Lilongwe, and conducted an "Evangelism Conference" at the seminary for approximately 50 Pastors and church leaders. The mission trip was conducted through "Flame of Fire Ministry" founded by "The Craig Hobbs Evangelistic Association", which partners with "Creek Ministry" under the direction of Pastor Greg Hall (First Baptist Church of Cleveland, OK), and the Malawi Baptist Association.
Many Oklahoma churches and individuals combined to make this effort a success including Haskell First Baptist Church, Okmulgee Second Baptist Church, Okemah First Baptist Church, Lamar First Baptist Church, Yale First Baptist Church, Cleveland First Baptist Church, Morris First Baptist Church, Eram Baptist Church, and many others in Oklahoma and other states through giving and prayer. Also Vesperman's and Haskell Homeland Store provided beef jerky and essential items for the team to eat while serving in remote villages where food is sometimes scarce.
Much of the time was spent in an area where there are no cars, roads, electricity, running water, or other conveniences found in the United States. Flame of Fire Ministry has been a part of planting two churches on the east side of Lake Malawi, and has seen more than 2,000 people become "Christ-Followers" in the past year. Craig will return to Malawi in May of this year with "Creek Ministry" to continue the amazing work that God started through Oklahoma Baptists several years ago. Mat and Janet Lawrence are missionaries in Malawi from Carter Baptist Church in Park Hill, OK. These missionaries, along with many others, help to prepare the way for the teams to come and minister.
More information, pictures, and video are available on this website.