After her husband died nearly 10 years ago, Jean began growing and selling assorted vegetables to provide for her seven children. In Malawi, where 88 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, Jean often struggled to put food on the table or pay school fees.
When Jean’s church began training groups of people to save money together, she became one of the founding members of Chivumbulutso, meaning “Revelation,” savings group. A proud pioneer of this ministry, Jean describes the financial and spiritual transformation she has experienced: “I became a Christian a long time ago and have been reading the Bible since my youth days, but it had never occurred to me that the Scripture can help me on financial matters.”
Prior to joining the savings group, Jean struggled to manage her finances, remaining in constant debt. Now, saving approximately $2 each week, she owns a piece of land for farming and has hired several workers. Jean dreams of growing her business and opening a grocery store.
Her spiritual life has also flourished through prayer and meditation on the Word of God. “My knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures as the living Word of God speaking directly to me has increased greatly through the sharing of the Word and experiences which we have at our group every time we meet,” Jean explains. Now, she views communication with God as a two-way street, saying, “God speaks directly to me through His Word while I speak directly to Him through prayer.”
Since joining the savings group, Jean’s understanding of giving has also changed. “I used to see no reason why I should give to God especially because I never knew the connection between my resources and God,” she reflects. “However, this program has helped me to recognize that God is the owner and source of all that I have and that giving back to Him is an expression of my gratitude and worship to Him.”
Realizing that faith without works is nothing (James 2:20), Jean wishes to share her testimony with others in her community and has experienced reconciliation with those she used to view as business competitors. “This program has introduced me to a totally different world of working together, sharing experiences, and trusting one another to the extent of even sharing ideas on how to succeed in business,” she adds.
Jean no longer views challenges as stumbling blocks, but rather as instruments of God to grow her faith. Knowing that God will never fail, she rejoices in times of joy and hardship, faithfully relying on God to provide for her needs: “I have seen God working in my life in all circumstances. God has strengthened and encouraged me in times of need and has been with me in times of joy as well.”
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19