Giving our all for God and His Glory


Short-Term Associate, Shelby Walden, looks back at this year’s Spiritual Life Conference which, in addition to quality Bible teaching, saw a stand-out moment for one of our teenagers

During the second-to-last week of July, SIM Malawi held its annual Spiritual Life Conference at Kamuzu Academy. It was a great time of fellowship, relaxation, and spiritual filling! Our speaker this year was Victor Nakah (Zimbabwe), the Senior Vice-President of Spiritual Ministry at CURE International. 

Dr Nakah discussed giving our all – our work, our lives, our passions, our strengths, our relationships, even our free time – to God for His glory. “The call to trust in Christ as Saviour,” he explained, “is also a call to follow Him as Lord.” His series, entitled ‘Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing’, encouraged the team to refocus on what really matters: glorifying God.

Preparing for Taz’s baptism in the school swimming pool


Sharing struggles and praise

Along with the messages, everyone was given a chance briefly to share their praises, struggles, and stories from the last year. After a few had shared, the team then split into small groups to pray for them, living out SIM’s motto: ‘By Prayer’.




While the adults met to learn and pray, a team from the Northern District Chinese Community Church of Sydney (Australia) taught the kids. This year was particularly special for one of our teenagers, Taz, who decided to get baptised!  The baptism took place in Kamuzu Academy’s swimming pool, officiated by Pastor Jim Young. The entire SIM team was there to encourage young Taz as he made this declaration of faith! Afterwards, the kids (and some of the braver adults) took turns jumping off the high-diving block.

Groans and huzzahs!

I’ll admit – when I’ve mentioned the Spiritual Life Conference (SLC) to other missionaries here in Malawi, I’ve heard just as many groans as I have huzzahs. (Okay, fine. I haven’t heard any actual huzzahs. But the sentiment is the same.) While everyone seems to enjoy SLC once they get there, it’s not necessarily something that they wait for with bated breath. The food is often not what was requested, the beds are uncomfortable, the drive from Blantyre to Kasungu takes about eight hours, the facilities don’t always work … there’s a lot of reasons not to look forward to it.

SLC speaker Victor Nakah


But I did. All year long and with all my heart. And perhaps you think I’m crazy, but I’m not the only one. You see, I love SLC. Every year, it’s a chance for the entire SIM Malawi family to come together. Team members from all over Malawi – some who haven’t seen each other in a year – get together to worship, learn, pray, and play. Old jokes are revived, stories are told, the children rediscover the best friend they had forgotten they made last year, competitions break out over Encore and football, and, ultimately, spirits are restored. 

A time to ...

It’s a time to reconnect with people who are going through the same things you are. A time to pray for each other and be prayed for by people who love you. A time to celebrate successes and acknowledge difficulties. Because life on the mission field is hard. Exciting, culturally diverse, and meaningful, yes. But also hard. And often, when you’re feeling discouraged, it’s easy to feel like you are all alone. But SLC reminds you that you’re not. And I thank God for it.


The team getting down to work at SLC






Volume 2: Issue 6
Webpage icon Malawi Amoto Editorial
Webpage icon Seek the Kingdom of God first
Webpage icon MMI continues to build momentum
Webpage icon Nourish a child – Nurture the Nation