Last year I spent a week in Malawi, Africa, with my dear friend and ministry colleague, Michael Weiss. It was a life-changing experience for the two of us, and I think for the Readson household also. After meeting personally with Patrick Readson via Skype and discipling him from afar for over two years, Michael and I took the next step by visiting “Pastor Patrick,” his family and congregation. During our visit the vision of Operation Education was born, with the initial goal of providing a quality education for each member of the household with Mervis (Patrick’s wife) directing the program. Quite a lot has happened since then, to include another trip to Africa by Michael to see the Readsons and to assess Operation Education. This story is all about his experience…
First of all, it is worth noting that Michael’s trip to Africa also involved stops in Uganda and Kenya to consider opportunities for collaborative ministry endeavors with IAEC (International Association of Evangelical Chaplains) to assist MCF (Military Christian Fellowship) leaders in those countries. Michael also stopped in Rwanda to see Pastor Herbo and Evangelist Flavian, who traveled four hours from DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) to spend the day with him. You can read a previous Disciplers in Action story about Herbo and Flavian at http://disciplersinaction.org/foreign/congo-connection. So, by the time Michael arrived in Malawi, he had already spent a very full and profitable two weeks in Africa.
Michael’s week in Malawi was not only to assess the development of Operation Education, but especially to connect with each member of the Readson household personally, for all eight have become dear friends to both of us. Sadly, Mervis’ grandmother passed away the night before Michael arrived, so he went with Mervis and Patrick to their home village to pay respect. Michael was asked to offer prayer, which was an honor for him, and a blessing for the family. He also had an opportunity to preach at several worship services and provide Bibles as needed.
With regard to Operation Education, Michael visited all the schools that members of the Readson household are now attending or hope to attend. I am pleased to report that Patrick just started his second semester at Blantyre International University, where he is pursuing a degree in Community Development; Edward (Patrick’s brother) is now in his second semester at Soche Technical College, where he is learning to be a commercial plumber; and Christopher (Mervis’ brother) begins his college education on July 18th at Exploits University, where he will pursue a degree in business. Triza (Patrick’s sister), who just finished secondary school, will start attending a college for nursing soon. These particular family members are very grateful to sponsors who are funding their educations through Disciplers International Inc.
Operation Education is also actively involved in coordinating a sponsorship program that provides primary level education as well. Three children in the Readson household (Glory: 5th grade; Joel: 4th grade; Esther: preschool) have sponsors, but there is a great need for others to have the same opportunity. If you are interested in helping a child in a poor country get a quality education that makes possible a bright future, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Bart Physioc