Courageous in Malawi – The Resolution

This is the 3rd of 3 blog posts (taken from a newsletter she sent to her supporters) about the impact a young missionary, Anna, had on a tribe in Malawi (the Tumbuka tribe) when she decided she was going to show the movie, Courageous to the tribe.  They had never seen a white person or a movie…ever.  In the first post, Anna shared why she even thought this was something she should do.  Then, yesterday we followed the story to the tribe actually sitting down to watch the film, even though they didn’t understand the language.  There is really no other explanation than…God.  In today’s final chapter, hear what the men did AFTER they saw Courageous and how it changed their lives, their marriages and their families.  It may have changed the entire tribe for eternity!  Amazing.

They Watch Courageous in Malawi – Final Post

At the end, Auter, like in the film, encouraged the men to sign the Resolution promising they will care for their family. To protect and serve them. To be faithful to their wife. To love and honor her .

He asked them, “Are you willing to sign this? This is a very serious decision. A decision you make before God. This is not something you sign to please me or to please the man next to you. You are signing because you want to change. You want to be the man God created you to be. It’s going to mean that you have to stop drinking, to stop beating your wives, and instead start helping your wives. Help them carry water. Help them carry firewood. It means a whole different way of life. Are you ready? Are you willing?”

Tumbuka Tribe signing The Resolution from the movie, CourageousAnd you know what? 30-90% of the men who came to watch the film, first of all accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour. They realized they had done wrong and needed God’s forgiveness. Then, most of them signed the Resolution (that was now translated into their Tumbuka language).

Auter continues, “There will be times you fail. But you get up and start again… and again. With God’s help you can do this.”

A few men commented that they were about to be married and that that was how they wanted their family to be. They wanted to give a copy to their future wife so she could hold him accountable to do what he promised!  Change is coming …. for the men and … for the women and …for their children. Not sure how quick. I know it won’t happen overnight but there is a beginning!  And I am excited!

Watch Courageous; Become Courageous

They are eager to start their new role in life. Here is an email I received from Auter this week about a man in a village we had visited back on July 26.

 “Hello Anna, When we were at Mchinkhula for follow up I met with a man who had attended the Courageous movie. He told me he is very, very happy because he now goes everywhere he can with his wife. He stopped drinking beer  & he talks with his family & helps his wife. He promised me that if you will come again, to come to his house so you can see for yourself.  God can change my country because of these teachings.   Auter.”

On Aug. 24th, the last day of our trip of visiting different villages, we had prearranged to meet with as many chiefs  and village headmen as possible to show them the film. Fifty-six came to watch Courageous. The response was the same. Amazing, amazing!  Many chiefs invited the team to come to their villages and do all the programs with their people there.

I just praise God. I had a vague plan to help a few abused women. God had another  plan. A much, much greater plan. His plan was, “I’m going to change the men from the inside out!”

All the men received a Tumbuka New Testament. They are encouraged to study God’s word together and grow in their new faith and in their new roles.

What a privilege to be a part of this mission. Whether you donate towards the Bibles or whether you pray for them, or whether you go to the mission field, everyone of us plays a part. All glory be to God.

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What an amazing story of how a film that was bathed in prayer for years before it hit the big screen and the TV screen, is being used by God as a tool to change lives in remote tribes across the world.  Because Anna stood firm and decided to do that which seemed impossible or unlikely (or even scary), these men and families lives are changed for today and eternity.

What are you and I doing each day that requires more than we can do on our own?  Let’s follow Anna’s lead.  For some of us, it might be doing the hard thing in our family.  It might be making the first step toward reconciliation with our wife, our children or another relationship.  Anna’s story should inspire us that nothing is too hard for God to overcome if we will just take the step of faith.

Courageous in Malawi–Part 1 of 3

The follow blog series is from a young missionary woman who shared this experience of how the movie, Courageous, helped to change the culture of a tribe she has been ministering to for a number of years.  The Tumbuka tribe in northern Malawi is the tribe that she has been sharing her life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It’s such a great story that she decided to send it to Sherwood Pictures to let them know the impact that the movie, Courageous, was having half a globe away.  It’s a powerful story of how a person who was courageous in Malawi, helped changed many lives and how the power of film impacts culture and, in this case, for GOOD!  We will share her story  just as she wrote it and split it into three blog posts.  Her name is Anna Ebert and she has given us the permission to share her story.  We know you’ll be encouraged.

Courageous in Malawi–Part 1

courageous in malawiWhen I returned from my fourth mission to Malawi in 2011, I was determined to help the many abused women there. The culture of the Tumbuka tribe in northern Malawi says that their purpose in life is to get together with other men and shoot the breeze while drinking beer (made of corn husks) and other alcohol. This is what about 80% of the men do from around noon until midnight every day of their lives. They drink all the resources the family has for food and necessities. All gone! How sad. Such a waste of their lives.  They believe their wives (or women in general) were created to serve them ……..after all, they are the head of the family.

When the women complain or cannot do all that is expected of them, the men either beat them, divorce them, or marry a second wife to “help” his first wife. Women are not allowed to fight back, they are only allowed to cry. Because so many women were abused or left with nothing after a divorce or now have a second or third wife to live with, I really had a huge burden to help the women. I didn’t know how exactly but I had some ideas. The only problem I had was that the problem was bigger than I knew what to do with. How can anyone help hundreds of thousands of abused women? I had heard about the story of the 1,000’s of star fish that had washed ashore and a man throwing one back into the water and thus saving its life and was asked does it do any good? Well, yes, to the one starfish it did. I thought I will save that one woman.

It was only a couple of weeks before I was to leave for northern Malawi that I felt a strong urge to bring the “Courageous” film along.  For some who may not have seen this movie, it’s a film that teaches the Biblical role of a man and of a father. I knew this film to be totally opposite the Tumbuka culture. What I didn’t know was how it would be received. How will they react? Would the men rip up the screen? Would they destroy the projector? (as my native Tumbuka team was afraid of) Would they just shake their heads and walk away? Or, perhaps, maybe, would they take it in and apply  it to their lives? I didn’t know what to expect. But I took it anyways. I always love a challenge.

And so, I brought the film with me along with many posters and a copy of the resolution that went with it.  However,  there was another issue. The film is in English!  Why even bring it, What was I thinking?

But there are a few,  maybe only 5%, who could understand it to some degree, so I decided I’ll work with them.  (to be continued…)

Tomorrow’s post…we’ll find out what happened when Anna showed the film to the tribe and they became Courageous in Malawi!