Educate. Empower. Serve.
Bread of Life Bible Institute
In 2013, Pastor Joseph had a vision to start a Bible Institute in order to train men and women to more fully understand the Word of God so that they can teach and shepherd the many who are putting their faith in Jesus. He rented a small house and eight men came. He taught them Bible for two years, but the interest was growing. He needed a larger, more permanent structure for Bible training.
In 2015 the Lord provided the funding, and Footsteps To Joy was able to build a separate facility for the Bible Institute. It is now a two-year study program which accommodates 30-35 students. Students also receive training in carpentry, sewing, and growing crops.
Crop production at the Bible Institute is a growing program. Because of the well, crops are able to be grown year round.
This provides opportunities for training the students in agriculture as well as in selling the crops to offset the cost of the ministry.
Much of the available water in Sharp Valley and Malawi is contaminated by animals, humans, and pesticides. Many of their wells are not deep enough to offer clean water.
In late 2015, the Lord provided the money to drill a clean-water well on the property and to install a water tower. Not only does Bread of Life now have clean water, but the surrounding community does also. In addition, the well is used for irrigating crops at the Bible Institute which can be grown year-round.
Soon after the well installation, a 2-year drought hit the region. The church community was able to grow crops for themselves and had some to sell. This was a tremendous, timely success for the Bread of Life Community.
hope Valley Primary + Secondary school
There is a tremendous shortage of secondary schools (high schools) in the country of Malawi. Because of this shortage, communities are eager for their children to get an education when a new school is started. At the end of the 2017 school year, in the Sharp Valley district (where pastor Joseph ministers), there were 1,100 students advancing to secondary school level. BUT there were only 100 slots available for those 1,100 students. Sadly, this situation is true throughout Malawi.
Hope Valley Private Christian Secondary School was established with this in mind. Pastor Joseph wanted a Christian secondary school in Sharp Valley where Bible and Christianity would be a part of every student’s day.
Through funding from within Malawi, the school opened on September 18, 2017 with 108 students. The school is both a local and boarding school.
Footsteps to Joy is excited to partner with Pastor Joseph and the community by finishing the buildings, and purchasing necessary school supplies.
The 2018-19 school year began with 430 students, grades 9-12 with nine teachers. A 700-book dewy decimal system library was complete and operational.
The 2019-20 school year began with 692 students and 12 teachers. The science laboratory was stocked and operational. A vocational training center was begun with classes in carpentry, tailoring, motor vehicle maintenance, driving school, electricity & electronics, and satellite dish installation.
With no Christian primary schools in the area, that need has become larger and larger. Christian influence and education was completely lacking in the lower grades. In September 2019, the Hope Valley Christian Primary school was begun in a rented building with 78 students and eight teachers. They are doing grades K-8.
It is encouraging to see how the Lord worked to get the school started. We look forward to seeing what the Lord will continue to do as the school grows and expands.
The school was temporality closed in April 2020 due to the coronavirus epidemic that had made its way to Malawi.
Pastor Joseph began the Bread of Life Bible Institute in May, 2013. This has enabled him to take church planting to a new level. The people of Malawi are hungry-searching for the hope and help that only the Lord Jesus Christ can provide.
Evangelism is an important part of the Institute’s training. On Tuesday and again on Friday through Sunday, the students go to an area of need. They share the gospel with individuals and groups throughout the afternoon, and in the evening they show the Jesus Film. After all this, a student will then proclaim the Good News through preaching. Another student will also preach on Sunday morning in the village.
Some of this work is done at existing churches to encourage and strengthen the work, but mostly it is done in areas without a Christian presence. In new areas, they are usually invited and approved by the chief of the village. And after the Sunday morning message, those attending decide if they want to begin a Bread of Life Church in their area. Most of the time they do.
Before the Bible Institute was established, when a new work was begun, the new church would either be without a pastor; or the most qualified member would become the pastor. Now, there are pastors available from the Bible Institute that are trained and seeking to fulfill the Lord’s calling on their lives.
In the 12 years before the Bible Institute, Pastor Joseph, with help, planted 30 churches. Since the first graduating class from the institute at the end of 2013, there have been over 19 new works established.
New works usually start meeting outside on someone’s private property, in either a rented building or a newly constructed pole building with a grass roof. After about a year the congregation makes their own brick and constructs a building. Typically there is no money for a metal roof, but Footsteps To Joy is able to provide trusses and the metal roof.