Friday, January 15, 2016

Furlough 2016

Our furlough officially started this month (January) with a visit to our supporting churches in Illinois. As we realized we would be sitting somewhere with nothing to do, we remembered being invited to Lincoln Christian University to participate in the Missionaries in Residence program. After making all of the arrangements, we have been privileged to move on campus into married student housing. We get to attend and do some speaking in some of the missions classes and mingle with students as they learn. Topics include missions in the 21st century and preparing for long-term service on the mission field.

This has allowed us to be useful all during the weeks between Sunday visits to our supporting churches. We pray we can make and maintain relationships with students and encourage them along their journey.
This photo shows one of the beautiful signs at the entrance, but imagine the flowers dead and snow covering this sign. It is just as beautiful, but would depict the sub-freezing temperatures we have endured while here.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

January update

January 2014

The new year brings a bright hope of new beginnings. We reflect on 2013 as one of our most defining and productive years. It was the climax of answered prayers that had been brewing for many years. We had labored in prayers and fasting for the events that happened in 2013. What can 2014 bring that can top our 2013? We wait with anticipation of what the Lord has in store for this ministry. He has opened doors that we have been pounding against. What doors will he open this year? We are so thankful for his mighty and amazing provision.

Rain, rain, and more rain seemed to be the focus of the month of January. Lilongwe and the surrounding areas have seen a great abundance of rain. Despite the impossible odds, Larry ventured to the villages to survey drill sites. He discovered that in some areas, the rain has been delayed. This provides an even more optimal time for drilling because the ground water tables are even lower than last month. When the bore hole is drilled during the driest part of the year, and he finds water, that means the village will be ensured water all year round. The well will not run dry, if water can be found now. In the village of Maganizo, where they were drinking from water that was milky looking, Larry drilled them a bore hole that was 15 meters (49 ft.). He found such an abundance of water that when he was cleaning the well, the water did not deplete! He was amazed and when he figured the amount of money spent on that well, it was less than half of what the other wells cost. This was the village where the chiefs had banned the traditional Gule Wamkulu followers. In his daily devotional time, Larry found special inspiration from Matthew 10:42, "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward."

Please continue to pray for the Lord's provision as wells continue to produce water and the hope. And for the presence of our Savior as it is presented in villages. 


Rita and Grace have finished another phase of village development training. They have trained a committee to take over the work (eventually). Some of the things they learned are: how to oversee the CHE work in their community, home visitation, promoting CHE, mentoring others, all of the CHE principles, and many others. We are praying for the next phase which is choosing CHEs to do home visits. These people will be trained to teach about basic health issues and hygiene and will also tell Bible stories and do some basic teaching.

Please continue to pray that our CHE work will increase, thus spreading the message of Jesus in the Lemesi and surrounding communities that many more will come to know Christ and be discipled to lead others.


Please pray with us that funds will be received soon for a good truck. If you feel led to help, please click on the "donate" button at the bottom of the page or send a check to the address listed below. We still have a way to go, but we are confident that the Lord will provide. 

This is what their water looked like before!

These ladies just got their first basin of clean water from their new well. They were so grateful! 

If you wish to help us give clean water, please send your donation to Wellspring Ministries, PO Box 1471, Pinellas Park, FL 33780. Wellspring Ministries operates under the umbrella of First Christian Church of Seminole Florida and all gifts are tax deductible. 

Thanks for your prayers! The well drilling has been successful and we are almost finished for the season (Nov. to Feb.)!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

December Review

Although we were all about drilling wells, the people on whom we were dependent were all about the December holiday. In Malawi, many workers are given the entire month of December for a break. Despite the challenges of the season, Larry was able to drill two more wells successfully. Truthfully, he needed to take a break. Drilling is hard and doing back-to-back wells takes its toll on him and the crew.

The experience for Larry and Andy in the village has been a tremendous blessing and benefit. Not only for them, but for the presentation of the Gospel. The crew that Larry takes with him are Bible college graduates with a heart to teach about Jesus. Rita, Andy's fiance went with them for a few days and taught the kids about Jesus.

Larry said the people in the second village did not want to help the chief because they did not like him. He smelled of alcohol when they arrived, but one of our workers was able to share the Gospel with him. We pray his heart will be changed by the presence of Christ being in his village that day. The chief's heart melted somewhat when the clean water flowed from the well and he grabbed a bucket to save water for his bath. It's a start. The people were given hope that day - teaching about Jesus, the Living Water, and clean water to make their lives better.  

Please continue to pray for the Lord's provision as wells continue to produce water and the hope and presence of our Savior is presented in villages. 


Rita and Grace continue to serve the Lord developing the village of Lemesi. They recently reported that the people are so receptive of CHE principles. One lady who was not a Christian said she would never have stayed around to listen about Jesus, but the way He has been presented, she wants to hear more. She is a woman of influence in the village. We are praying that she will become a fully-devoted follower of Jesus Christ as she hears more about His great love and mercy. 

Please continue to pray that our CHE work will increase, thus spreading the message of Jesus in the Lemesi and surrounding communities that many more will come to know Christ and be discipled to lead others.


Please pray with us that funds will be received soon for a good truck. If you feel led to help, please give through this link: or send a check to the address listed below. We still have a ways to go, but we are confident that the Lord will provide. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We realize some of you will be seeing this after Christmas, but if yours is like our family, the holidays sort of run into each other and we enjoy the whole season and squeeze as much as we can get out of it. We don't like it to end. May you be blessed beyond measure during the season and may you experience true worship and peace in your heart.

Check out our website for more ministry information:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A little bit of culture...

This morning we were scheduled to speak to a group of pastors from New Christian Church in Lilongwe. We set out to get there just a little bit late as we had to search for a printing place that made photocopies. It's been a while since we visited this church and there have been many new homes popping up all around the tiny church building. After driving back and forth, we finally connected with one of the pastors who showed us where the road is for the church.

We presented the Community Health Evangelism program to them and they loved it. They want more teaching as CHE helps new churches to spring up. It is a different way to do evangelism and discipleship, but it has longer lasting results. After the meeting, we had Malawian cooking for the first time since arriving back after our furlough.

After the meeting we went back home to nurse Larry's ear. He had been bitten by something and his ear was all red and swollen. After researching it from a book called, "Where There Is No Doctor" (because we had no doctor available on a Saturday), he didn't think it was too serious. He put some Benadryl cream on it and it felt better.

In the evening, Andy and Rita wanted to cook Malawian food for our guest, Miriam Njuguna, from Kenya who has been staying with us this week.
Andy and Rita cooking an authentic Malawian dinner 

Rita whipping up the nsima
On the menu: Nsima, beans, eggplant, and chicken in tomato sauce. Pretty tasty.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grace of God Orphanage needs clean water

Grace of God Orphanage children singing for us

Recently we visited an orphanage that is supported by the church we attend in Lilongwe. They need drinking water. Fortunately, they do have access to some good, clean water that they have to pay for. Unfortunately, their income is meager and the money is needed for food and school fees for the children. The City Water Board regulates who gets water and issues permits for the drilling of deep water wells.

We would like to drill a well for them, but the process to apply takes time. Please pray with us for the orphanage to receive this special permission so they no longer have to pay for their drinking water and will have access to good water that is free for them.

This is a shallow well that the orphans use for washing. It is not suitable for drinking.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Furlough 2013 - Missions Accomplished!

Evan enjoying his "paw paw"
 Our furlough is almost over and we've had a very good time. This has been our most memorable furlough. After leaving Malawi in September of 2012, we have been able to enjoy precious time with our family. Larry's father, John Renfro passed away at the end of March. It was a sad time and we will miss him so much and we are so thankful that it happened in God's perfect timing while we were in the states so we could be with family during the very difficult time leading up to John's death.

The main mission is accomplished as we also were able to successfully transition from New Mission Systems International to First Christian Church of Seminole Florida as we became "Wellspring Ministries." The Lord has blessed us beyond our imaginations by putting together a "dream team," a group of special friends who will become our sending team. They will provide the support we need to make sure all legal requirements are met for donations, etc. They are an incredibly gifted group and we have the highest confidence in them. Larry named them our dream team after realizing God's plans and thoughts are higher than ours and He does what we, at times, can only dream of.

We are eager to return to Malawi and dive into our CHE ministry. The trainers have been working to establish relationships in the new village where they are working. When we return, we will resume the pace we used before our furlough.

Nearly all of our goals were met in the seven months we have been in America. We give all the credit to the Lord as He has done this marvelous thing.

Monday, February 18, 2013

See Larry's Faith Promise Sermon:

Faith Promise 2013

Just in case you have never heard of Faith Promise, it is an annual missions emphasis that gives people a chance to be faithful to the Great Commission. Many churches give to missions out of their general budget. Some churches give to missions from a separate missions fund. At First Christian Church of Seminole, each year we focus on missions during the month of February. On February 10th, we kicked it off with a sermon from Larry. Larry's assignment was to inspire the congregation to give towards missions (separate from their regular giving) and inspire them to pray for missionaries. Commitment cards are distributed and each family is encouraged to give out of their faith, trusting God to provide not only for the offering they want to give, but to provide for their financial needs in the coming year. It is impossible to out-give God. We are a prime example of that. Even in giving up the lifestyle we had before becoming missionaries, God has given us back a much richer existence than we could ever have imagined. We can not give up anything, and not see Him multiply whatever we give up!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!!

We haven't posted in a while, but if you follow our blog, we wanted to say "Happy New Year!" Thank you for your prayers and financial gifts that have made the world of difference in our lives and those we serve in Malawi. We have been on furlough in the USA since September 11, 2012. Our time has been too short, but we have savored every minute. It is almost time to return and we anticipate a happy reunion with our son, Andy and our friends and co-workers in Malawi. It will be a tearful time when we leave our family here. That is what missionary life is about sometimes - lots of tearful good-byes and excited adventures ahead. It makes for a rich, never dull life.

Our time to return will be around the first week of March. We would appreciate your prayers for grace and peace and God's provision as we return. We hope you received our newsletter in the mail towards the end of the year. If you did not receive one, please email us at and give us your email address.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

First CHE Training Completed

Our CHE Training Team
We are so excited about what God is doing in our ministry. For months we have been praying for what we believed was the next step in our ministry strategy. Community Health Evangelism is a development tool that is used to develop people thus causing development of communities. We were so blessed that this past week we hosted the trainers from South Africa who represent the Medical Ambassador's program.

Andy presenting our team project in training
Please pray for us as we put together our CHE project and watch God work. Please pray for Chifundo, Charles, Andy M. and Rita as they work this project into their schedules. Also pray for Larry, Mandy and Andy R. as we see our roles clearly and support the team as they train others.