Manuel’s Story: “How COTN Equipped Me to Serve!”

02/27/17

Manuel’s childhood was full of suffering, especially after he lost his father, who was the family breadwinner, to malaria. Manuel’s widowed mother had no means of support, and so food was scarce for Manuel and his seven siblings. There seemed to be no future for this vulnerable Malawian child.

 

Young Manuel

                                 Before he was sponsored, young Manuel struggled, physically and spiritually.

 

Before Children of the Nations, Manuel never had enough food to eat, clothes to wear, or supplies for school. He says, “I remember I was struggling going to school since I only had one [pair of] shorts.” Since shorts are part of the required uniform at most Malawian schools, this meant that Manuel would have to wear the same shorts every day, which embarrassed him.

Manuel was also suffering spiritually. In the midst of his distress and grief, life seemed hopeless to Manuel. “I never knew Jesus,” he says. “I thank God that through COTN I have come to know Jesus.”

Eventually, through the help of community leaders, Manuel joined COTN’s Village Partnership Program.

 

Grown-up Manuel

                                                 Now, Manuel shares the love of Jesus with others.

 

Many children come to accept Christ through COTN’s spiritual care programs. However, Manuel’s connection to COTN’s biblical teaching was particularly strong. For him, the Bible studies, memory verses, and community outreaches were all preparing him for his future calling. “I had a vision to get into ministry,” Manuel says.

 

Manuel in group

                                             Manuel with part of his ministry group.

 

After graduating from secondary school, Manuel immediately started ministering to people in his community through Bible study groups. Manuel has also been helping a lot with spiritual support for COTN children in Mtsiliza. He has been key to spiritual counseling and guidance for children who come to COTN's feeding program. He also serves the Widows Ministry Group, bringing his childhood experiences full circle.

Manuel’s group meets weekly for worship, prayer, and preaching (like a home church). “When I started the ministry, it was just three of us,” Manuel says. Over a few years, his ministry has grown to about 35 members who actively participate in the fellowship.

 

Praying

                                     Manuel leads a group in prayer, worship, and biblical teaching.

 

Manuel’s ministry has started to reach beyond his own community. “We have been going out to different communities to preach the Word of God and many people have come to know Christ through this ministry.”

Manuel plans to continue to grow his ministry until it becomes one of the most influential Christian ministries in Malawi. God willing, he would like to have a space where he can build his own church to extend his ministry. He says, “I would further love to reach out to the world with the Good News of Jesus Christ so that even more people can be saved.”

 

You can support other children like Manuel and equip them to spread God’s love to their communities through child sponsorship.