As with previous mission posts, the final entry is written form a first person perspective. This post is penned from the viewpoint of Dr. Michael Lanier, the Executive Director of IPICM.
To call the IPICM 2014 mission trip to Malawi, East Africa, a success is an absolute understatement. While many mission trips limit their scope to constructing churches, schools, and perhaps the occasional orphanage, among other things, the team that visited Malawi this year was blessed to far exceed the norms accomplished by most short-term mission ventures. With this in mind, I can’t help but wonder if the experiences shared by our team weren’t meant to be the norm rather than today’s exception.
I pray you’ll indulge me for a moment. I myself applaud building programs if they are part of a greater whole, however, I sometimes wonder if as Christians, we don’t too often fall short of what heaven expects us to do. After all, Scripture regularly addresses the need for reaping the harvest (Mt 9:37-38), healing the sick (Mt 10:7-8), and visiting those who are in prisons (Mt 25:39-40). While building projects are certainly meaningful, they’re not the end all when it comes to the missionary call. So I can’t help but wonder if Christians shouldn’t set their sights a bit higher. In my mind, if we are faithful (1) to carry forth the gospel message (2) in the power of the Holy Spirit—as we are clearly told to do in Scripture—the resultant increase in numbers of believers will yield more indigenous people capable of generating their own building programs. Oh well, this is just a pet peeve rediscovering its annual platform. Please forgive me.
Back to my main point before I so rudely interrupted myself, no one can fully know all that was accomplished on this trip. Who can calculate how many lives were touched; how many afflictions are no longer suffered; how many souls were snatched from Satan’s horrid kingdom? In the end, only God knows and he most likely will not share such knowledge this side of glory. But what we do know is this:
- Somewhere around 10,000 individuals heard the gospel message.
- Approximately 2,200 souls were saved.
- An estimated 2,600 healings came to pass.
- People from two continents came together to affect the work of Jesus Christ.
- Many new friendships were forged.
- The lives of 7 missionaries were forever changed.
If you were a prayer partner, or gave financially to IPICM or one of its team members, I think I can speak for all the team. Thank you so very much for caring and getting involved. Today, there are many new brothers and sisters in Christ, and many others who no longer suffer physical affliction, thanks in part to you. May God bless you.
Dr. Michael Lanier, Executive Director