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Eric Gephart, Malawi, Namikango Mission, discipleship, training, church planting.

Expanded ministry in Malawi: ‘I never expected the chance to train at Namikango!’

On a rainy day in the small town of Ntchisi, Malawai, CMF team member Eric Gephart and three staff members of the Namikango Mission listened while Assani, a young Malawian, explained why he wants to attend the new Discipleship Training Institute (DTI) that opened May 1 on the Namikango campus.

“I’ve known about Namikango since I was a child, but I never expected to have the chance to train there,” Assani said. “When news of this new program reached my village, I couldn’t believe my ears! I know men who have trained with Namikango through the Bible schools and seen their work with the church. It’s my dream to step into the same role and help unify the church through biblical teaching.”

Eric Gephart, Malawi, Namikango Mission, discipleship, training, church planting.
Eric Gephart, left, and staff members from Namikango Mission interview a candidate for the new Discipleship Training Institute on the Mission’s campus.

Launching DTI

Eric and the three Namikango Mission staffers recently traveled across the central and northern regions of the country to interview eager candidates like Assani for this new opportunity.

“The DTI is our newest educational ministry we are offering to the Church of Christ in Malawi,” said Eric. “It’s a three-year, intensive program that transforms students into disciples of Jesus with the skills to read and interpret the Bible, lead in local churches and bring community development to the communities.”

The program has been in the planning stages for about six years at the request of the area churches.

“Our Village Bible Schools were meeting the demand for easily accessible Bible training for anyone interested in the program, but there was a need for a more rigorous training aimed at current and future church leaders,” said Eric.

Assani, like the many other candidates Eric and the team interviewed, has a deep desire to build the church in Malawi. Each candidate has noticed the same issue: a lack of biblical understanding always leads to division.

“When no one can understand the Bible,” noted candidate Micah, “the church divides itself. Namikango is the place where we learn how to read the Bible well and unify the church.”

“In every meeting, I am reminded of the rich heritage of Namikango’s educational programs,” said Eric. “Even in these far-flung villages in Malawi’s remote districts, the mission’s name is synonymous with Bible education, a voice for unity and an encouragement for churches. It is a humbling experience to step into that legacy, carry the vision forward with DTI, and work with my Malawian brothers and sisters as we build the Kingdom of God here.”

church planting, discipleship, Eric Gephart, Malawi, Namikango Mission, training