Charles Mithowa laid his head on the the table in front of me and began to weep. It was a warm African night in the city of Blantyre, Malawi, and we were sitting together in a small restaurant. He didn’t receive our news well.
Charles had been anxiously awaiting our arrival since early morning, and now it was past 9 p.m. After months of anticipating our visit to his Bible school for a day of teaching, we were all deeply disappointed by the likelihood that we wouldn’t even get to meet his students. We were more than twelve hours behind schedule because the rickety truck we were traveling in broke down, and we were now stranded in Blantyre. Not knowing what to do next, we listened across the table as Charles, now composed, told us his story.
Charles had been born again in 1987, delivered from a life of drunkenness and thievery. It wasn’t long before he and his wife, Regina, were reaching out to others with the gospel. They soon had a small fellowship of young disciples meeting in their little home. Within a year, attendance blossomed to 40. Eventually, Charles opened King Fisher Training Center with a vision to train others to “fish for the King,” plant churches, and make disciples. There was nothing like it in his remote region of Malawi.
Since then, King Fisher has graduated 381 students, and God’s kingdom in Malawi has expanded from village to village. Lives have been dramatically changed. Some of Charles’ students were already village pastors who had never received any Bible training, and they were so poor they didn’t even own a Bible. They would come to Charles’ school, listen to the Word of God, and return to their village congregations to tell them what the Bible said.
When we promised Charles via email that we would visit his Bible school when we were in Malawi, he told us how honored he and his students would be because no guest teachers had ever come to their school before—and now teachers were coming all the way from America! When Charles told us about their shortage of Bibles—and that even many pastors didn’t have their own copy—I knew we had to find a way to get to his Bible school. After all, as director of Heaven’s Family‘s Bibles for Believers Fund, I had to do something!
Early the next morning we hired a taxi and I purchased 15 Bibles—all that were in stock—at the Blantyre Bible Society, and we were on our way. When we arrived in Charles’ little village, named Chidothi, it was as if the president of Malawi had arrived. About 100 people were dressed in their finest, anxiously waiting for us, throwing flowers along the drive as we approached in our car. That is when I cried.
When I presented them with the 15 Bibles I had purchased, you would have thought I had given them a million dollars. They were so hungry for God’s Word! As I watched them listen intently to my husband, Dick, as he taught them that day, I saw groups of ten people sharing one Bible. As we left, I promised to send more Bibles.
Once home, we were able to send a Bible for every student at Charles’ Bible school, thanks to gifts to our Bibles for Believers Fund. Now Charles lets me know when he has new students, and we keep them supplied with the Bibles they need.