Expand Our Capacity

As we welcome new girls into our home, we are conscious of the 42-girl waiting list the police gave us. In the next few months, we hope to expand our capacity from 6 to 12 girls. We are trusting in the Spirit to lead us as we discern whom to accept. Even though 36 girls must be turned away for now, we are so happy to see a these six precious girls receive life changing care, support, and counseling.

(You can read a few stories of transformation in the sections below.)

With the extra girls entering the home, we are also adding two additional staff members. In order to continue to provide food, shelter, and counseling for each girl, we will need your help. Precisely, we need the following additional support:

  • We need 123 people to give a one-time donation of $71. 
  • We also need 83 people to become monthly supporters at $12 a month. 
  • Your contributions matter. A dear friend of ours will match the first $1,250!

For the next month we will be updating you on the progress! Join us as we bring healing to survivors of sexual abuse in the country of Malawi, where the average girl has her first sexual encounter at the age of 12 years. 71% of those girls are not willing participants in their first sexual encounter.
 
Please contact us or Donate Here to become a supporter now!

Battles Waged Against Us

When a person undergoes a traumatic experience the ramifications can be great. This is especially true of very young girls who have an incredibly delicate and valuable piece of their identity mangled as a result of a forced sexual experience. You may encounter a myriad of side effects.
 
When a new girl enters our home we see anything from nightmares to a wish to no longer live. On a few different occasions I have heard that the painful effects of having malaria leave you wanting to die. Last week our counselor Roselyn was telling me that the emotional and physiological effects of abuse are comparable to that of malaria.
 
This is true in the life of 12-year-old Asha*. She entered the WtS home 7 months ago and had suicidal tendencies. The majority of her village and her peers at school mocked and rejected her because of the trauma that was forced on her, as if that itself wasn’t enough. She had locked herself up in her room not even to come out at the command of her mother.
 
Today it is hard to get her to stop giggling. She has become the “head girl” here in the home. Even though she is now ready to return home we have asked her to stay for another month to help us welcome the new girls in. Her school results recently came out and in one semester she jumped from 43 out of 82 all the way up to the 7th best student in her grade. She now has a desire to continue living and one day dreams to be a pastor.
 
“…known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” -2 Corinthians 6:9-10

*Not her real name

Rid of Bitterness

There is a certain factor that we have found to be vital in the realization of healing and freedom. Without this fundamental piece it becomes very difficult for the girls in our program to be rid of the bitterness that often plagues their spirits. In all honesty how can you undergo someone’s misuse of authority to reap pleasure from the disarming of your control and not have some form of hatred arise within you?
 
In Zahra’s* case it was the principal of her school. Although she was not even a teenager, this did not stop him from calling her into his office. Shortly after that she found herself alone in a pool of her own blood. And the hatred began to fester.
 
Hatred, like an infected wound, is difficult to heal on its own. Over time it can spread and cause more damage to areas that were never harmed to begin with. Healing is inhibited by infection.  It is possible that bandaging up a wound causes more damage. We may find ourselves addressing the external needs of cleanliness and behavior all while evading legitimate emancipation.
 
When confronted with the proposition to exonerate her oppressor, Zahra, in all seriousness, stopped talking for over a week. She kept trying to seclude herself and was even seen shedding silent tears throughout that week. Absolution is like antiseptic to infection.
 
It’s impossible to fully understand what took place in Zahra during that week, but she is now truly a new person. There are few things in this world that inspire me more than to watch true transformation occur directly in front of my eyes. She has begun tutoring the younger girls here and can’t wait to one day become a teacher. She is excited to help others understand the mysteries of things they never once knew in a similar way to how she learned the mystery of forgiveness.
 
“Holding resentment doesn’t make you strong; it makes you bitter. Forgiving doesn’t make you weak; it sets you free.” –Dave Willis

Are You Ready?

Excerpt written by Amanda Pelletier, Our summer intern and trip member

Do you want to go on a journey with me?

It’s a beautiful voyage, a captivating destination. I warn you – you might fall in love with it. You might not want to leave. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Are you ready? And… we’re off.

You’re in the warm heart of Africa – Malawi. You sit in a small truck with your team pressed on both sides in the backseat, waiting outside the dark green gate to enter the site of When the Saints. Slowly it opens and you with your team softly gasp as the home glows in the afternoon sun before you.

Inside a woman greets you with a smile that exudes warmth – Virginia – the office secretary, and she guides you through the rooms.

When you enter the living room, the girls scurry across the concrete floor, whispering to one another with covered grins. As you shake their hands they erupt into laughter, falling over with giggles and peering at you through covered faces. Any time one of your team speaks, chuckles fill the room – your foreign speech delighting them. Their laughter makes you laugh, and a cycle proceeds where you feed off each other.

Crinkled eyes filled with joy, a language anyone can speak. You study the girls, transfixed by their bright eyes, their melodious voices. Carefully you wrap up every detail into a treasured gift to be opened over and over again.

There is joy in the rooms, in the people, in the land outside. In a world where things are unsure, the home is a safe haven, a shield of protection, a house of restoration for all who enter it. Already you fill up with delight, with positivity, with love. You find friendship, deep joy, restoration, healing. And you begin to fall in love.

A Word from our Founder
Graduation and New Arrival

After being open for 6 months it helped us all to be able to say goodbye to our first graduate with a trip to Lake Malawi! The girls got to see a lake and go swimming for the first time ever. I was astonished as each of them, with little hesitation, bounded into the water.

As we returned the graduate back to her home village, our hearts overflowed with thankfulness for the Lord’s mighty work in her. With confidence we are able to know she is going to a safe environment. The man who abused her was arrested and we have helped her family know how to care well for her. Our social worker will also be visiting twice a week to make sure the transition is a smooth as possible. At the same time we are excited to learn through this reintegration process.

They say every ending has a new beginning. Filled with hope for her future as well as the sharp pang of letting go, in the car we learned the background of the new replacement.

12 years old, Marie* (not her real name)was left on her mother’s doorstep in a pool of blood. She spent one week in a coma and six months in the hospital recovering from fistula surgery. She also needed surgery on her bladder, but both would have been too much for her. Since the abuse, her urine slowly and continuously drains out of her. When she enters the home she will receive a healthy diet to restore enough strength for her to soon undergo the second surgery.

Currently she is very reserved, when I reached out to her she would not touch my hand or even look me in the eyes. Our hope is to see restoration physically, mentally, and spiritually in Christ’s name.

With love,
David Peterka

“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
-Hebrews 7:25

The Good Portion Prayer & Worship Send-Off

When the Saints” & “The Good Portion” team up for a Prayer & Worship night @ Mid-Cities Church (6570 Manchester Rd., 63139) Next Wednesday, April 20th from 6:30 – 8:00pm

“I’m so excited to be able to spend my last night with you before heading back to Africa!  Email updates are nice and all, but by far I prefer seeing your faces. We’re going to spend some time in powerful worship. Then we’ll pray over the 5 girls we’re working with in our home. I can’t wait to share with you some beautiful stories of healing and also cast the vision of what the next steps toward freedom look like in When the Saints.”

-David Peterka

Come help us send David off with a blessing for the next four months in Malawi.

A 13 year old was referred to our home by the police in Mponela. This girl had been through a lot. The moment she entered the gate of our home she heard a voice say, “I sent these people to set you free.” She spent the next three days crying, only to now be filled with joy. 

It is truly an honor to be a part of that which is so redemptive.

“There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the valley a door of hope.
There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”
-Hosea 2:15

None who have always been free can understand the terrible, fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
-Pearl S.

 

Meet James Stull! Our WtS board recently voted James into the position of Board President. Hear from him below.

  • How long have you been partnered with WtS? I have served on the board for nearly a year.
  • How did you get connected with WtS? My wife and I became interested after a screening of “What Matters?” We have attended a few WtS fundraising banquets, and I was interested in learning more so I asked David to lunch. I asked Him to “tell me his story” and he proceeded to share his passions and dreams for WtS.
  • What about WtS do you feel most called to/ why? I love people who are passionate about their calling. I want to work with people who hear God’s voice clearly. I have met few men who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, seem as passion and equipped for their ministry as David Peterka.
  • What are you most excited about related to WtS in 2016? I am excited about the real, hands-on, face-to-face work that is being done in Malawi, and the lives that are being changed through the Gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • How has your partnership with WtS impacted you? We live in a sheltered world where we often forget the difficulties and struggles of others. WtS helps me remember the call to be salt and light; to care for those who are oppressed. The work of WtS has helped me to realize the magnitude of sexual exploitation in our world and the multitude of ways that it can be manifested.
  • If you could tell everyone on planet earth one thing about WtS, what would it be? Christians have been given the task of spreading the good news to others so that they might be saved. And that is just what WtS is doing in Malawi – spreading the love of Jesus Christ to the abused and to the predators so that they may ultimately be saved in the name of Jesus Christ.

Her Father Longs

After posting the story of the 5th girl that entered our home, we received a response from a When the Saints supporter that really moved me. I wanted to share what she wrote.

“The story of this precious girl is…. heart wrenching… but more than that. Different than that. I see that smirk upon her face. Forced. HER Father longs to hear her giggle more than you or I do. Her father longs to hear her laugh with joy more than you or I do. I know the pain in seeing such things, and hearing such things, but remember her Father loves her more.

A meek spirit is simply strength under control. His precious daughter has a voice he longs to hear. A song that is between her and her Father is unfolding. 

“It is for freedom that we have been set free”. Abba frees his daughter, all of his children, for them to dance with joy in his presence. Loving this girl from afar, friend. And thank you for loving her near.

Prayer for her step-father to be opened to the eyes of sonship. Of knowing who he is as a son of God. From there redemption will flow like a waterfall toppling into a single glass. 

Hope your heart is journeying a new story with the father through this girls story. The enemy seeks to destroy with a demented sort of ‘love’. The Father simply seeks to love.”

 

Meet Newman, he is our Home and Project Supervisor in Malawi. He is one of my best friends in the whole world (quite literally). Newman is loved by every one of the people we’ve been able to take on a trip to Malawi. He opens his home up to me to stay for months on end while I’m there. He is passionate, determined and has dedication that inspires.

One of my favorite memories of Newman happened about two years ago. We were driving and two guys were walking on the side of the road. He asked me, “David, when you look at those two men what do you think?” I replied, “I wonder where they are walking and how tired they must be.” He looked at me and replied, “There is a fire in me and it desires to know if those men are going to spend forever with Jesus.”

I’m so incredibly grateful that the Lord united Newman with When the Saints and that I get to glorify Jesus side by side with a man like him.  You can read Newman’s own story below.

My name is Newman Vansett Chavula.

I partnered with WtS since 2012, almost 4 years now.

Meeting David really was a miracle. Someone called me to tell me I was the one to help David in the Ministry he was about to start. After the meeting, God reminded me of the dream I had sometime back in 1997. My heart was happy to hear all that God showed David also.

WtS is the Ministry that God has aligned it with my calling. God has called me to stand on the word always and God has put a passion in my heart for a specific avenue of creative activity that will help to heal and discover the self-worth of people. Jesus decided to die for us all.

There is one thing that makes me feel humbled to work with WtS; and that is to see one soul of a girl who never thought of seeing a clear direction or salvation opening an eye, looking beyond all the evils she met, and deciding to go ahead after finding love from Jesus through WtS. WtS has changed the view that I had on the sexually abused girls. Now I can see their bright future coming. If we want people to see the real truth of the gospel, then love has to show its fruits.

One thing that I could tell people about WtS is that it carries the message of Love and it holds the future of many lives that are confused and disappointed with life. TO GOD BE THE GLORY. 

A New Year, A New Home

We have outrageously exciting news! After more than three years of faithful sowing and prayer, just before Christmas, the long-awaited day finally arrived and the vision we’ve all shared from the Lord became a reality.

The first long term safe-home for teenage girls, who have been sexually abused, is now open in Malawi.

While working closely with the Victim Support Unit of Police and the Social Welfare office from the Ministry of Gender, we were referred cases of sexual abuse and we’ve selected the first 4 girls, who are now living in our safe-home. We also interviewed 9 women out of which our Father supplied a housemother who seems to be a perfect answer to our prayers. We completed the full ministry team by adding a counselor and social worker to the mix.

We can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly joyful we are. The girls are doing amazingly well! Since they have arrived, we have taught 2 of them how to ride bikes, we’ve played the guitar while they danced along, and each of them has been given the responsibility of planting and caring for their own tree seed in the orchard.

We are still in awe of the fact that the first girl who was selected for our home has a Chichewa name which means “God is with us”.

This has been such a fantastic Christmas gift not only for us, but also for these girls. For months one of the girls would not talk with anyone, even her own mother. While we were working on the details of opening, she would lock herself in her room at home. This went on for nearly 2 months. When we went to talk with her, all she could do was cry. She stopped going to school and wouldn’t interact with anyone as a result of the abuse she had experienced. Now, after only 2 weeks in our home, she is dramatically different. Her mom came to visit and they sat knee-to-knee smiling and talking away.

Thank you for the faithful way in which you have tied your heart to the vision of bringing the freedom of Jesus to these girls. We have begun to reap the harvest, because we have not grown weary in doing good. (Gal. 6:9)

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.
-Zechariah 4:10

 

Founders Devotional

Do we need anything from God?

I have been studying Joshua for a few weeks now. But from the very beginning, my attention has been captivated by three things. Of course anyone could observe that “Be strong and courageous” is repeated over and over again. We see it in verses 6, 7, 9 and even the final verse 18. Something else has detained me in verses 7 and 8. God mentions this idea that being in triumph was contingent upon speaking about, meditation on and obeying His words. One other thing, that I find myself having to mention, is what God himself has already been speaking directly to me. There is this interesting juxtaposition, though Joshua is the “leader” of the Israelites, that God is the one who is providing them with the land (verse 2, 3, 6, 11, 13, 15) and that He is also present “with them” in each of their steps (verse 5 and 9).

God is the giver of all things good. God gives Joshua and the Israelites with the Book of His Law to daily sustain them, also with the land which they inherit, but most importantly He shares with them… Himself. We find these promises repeated all over the first chapter, but it doesn’t stop there. We are repeatedly reminded of them throughout each book of our Bibles. They still ring true for both you and for me. He promises His Word, His grace and most precious of all, His continual presence.

So let me ask you. Are you confident that you are walking the path that the Creator of the Universe has designed for you? Maybe the only way to step onto it is to allow His presence and whispers to guide you and go before you. What would that look like in your life? Just remember, the king of all things outrageously loves spending time with you and His invitation is always open. Be strong and courageous.  Dare to discover the deeper with Him.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
– Hebrews 4:16

 

Thank You Dearly

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our annual banquet. The Holy Spirit is so faithful to always move in such a powerful way on these nights. It is such a beautiful opportunity for the When the Saints family to gather and celebrate our Saviors’ heart bent toward captives discovering their emancipation.

Since David has been in Malawi we have been unable to complete the editing of the entire banquet video, but he will soon be returning. We are hoping to get it done shortly following his return. We want everyone to experience, if only in a small way, the glorious weight of Gods’ presence that was in our midst that evening.

If you would like to make a one-time donation or become a monthly partner, we would be honored to have your support in continuing to set the home off to a fantastic start.

“Let your choice reflect your hopes not your fears.”
– Nelson Mandela

Mother of the House

We hosted an incredibly powerful prayer and worship night in the home last week and we would like to invite you to pray with us over a few things.

  1. Our selection of a housemother. We have asked a few people for recommendations and also went into some churches last Sunday asking for people who might be interested in the position of housemother. So far we have had 4 applications and are expecting another 1 or 2. We will soon begin doing interviews. Pray that the Lord leads our decision.We are looking for an older woman who comes from around the Mponela area. Ideally a widow whose children are already on their own, so that she would be able to move into the home and live with the girls full time. Please pray over our selection of this vital staff member. This is literally the last step we need to take before bringing the girls into the home.
  1. We have finally nailed down the staff training with the Social Welfare Officer, but would love it if you prayed that no changes be made to the program that is in place. We have decided to open next week even if the training is delayed once again.
  1. We would love if you prayed for continued rains here in Malawi. Sometimes the first rains come, but then pull back quite a bit. Many people plant their crops directly after the first rains, but then it may not rain again for some time and the crops dry out. It rained last week for a couple days and we are hoping for more soon!

As always, we are so grateful for your partnership in this ministry! Bless each and every one of you!

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” -Zachariah 4:10

Freedom is Possible Banquet Total

What an amazing banquet we had. Yet again, the Spirit blew through the room in such a mighty way. He continues to be outrageously faithful. We have deep gratitude to those that attended. As a result of the night $24,756 was raised.

The video of the whole banquet will be coming in our next update.

The Africa refugees showed up with 5 minutes to spare before their time to perform. As it is said, “They were on African time”, but still it worked out perfectly!

Our Spiritual Advisor and board member, David Comstock did a riveting job as he pointed us to the colossal reality that true freedom is possible only through our savior.

For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves… –Hebrews 2:15

We tried something we have never done before. We had a time of prayer among those at each table. We invited everyone into not only praying over the freedom of others, but also over one another.

Praise and A Prayer

It is such an amazing honor to know we have friends who are committed to pray with us over this ministry.

“You can tell how popular a church is by who comes on Sunday morning.

You can tell how popular a pastor is by who comes Sunday night.

But you can tell how popular Jesus is by who comes to the prayer meeting.

My house shall be called a house of… Preaching? Music? Community? Study? Nope, but a house of prayer for the nations.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace.” –Hebrews 4:16

Counseling and Vocational Training

Would you join us in thanking the Lord for everything he allowed us to accomplish this last summer in Malawi? All kinds of stuff like; the water tower, brick fence, gate, store house, internal decorations.

Please also pray over our last big step leading up to the opening. We are waiting on a meeting that needs to take place with a Social Welfare Officer to train our staff and committee in the Child Protection Care Act. Would you help us to lay this before the Lord in prayer?

Moravian Night Watch

For 10 weeks last summer we had 14 hours of prayer each week going up between the hours of 12 and 6 am. That is a total of 140 hours of time at the feet of Jesus in intercession on behalf of WtS! There were also 16 people who utilized our Night Watch Facebook page. You are the best!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

The apostles never asked Jesus to teach them how to do miracles. They asked him to teach them how to pray because they knew the power it held.

 

 

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SAVE THE DATE! It’s our 5th Annual WtS Dinner Banquet

(It’s not a wedding, but it is the…)
5th Annual WtS Dinner Banquet Fundraiser!!!

When; Saturday, November 7th, 6:30 pm
Where: Bonhomme Presbyterian Church
14820 Conway Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63017
Why: Celebrate what Jesus has been doing and join in as we move forward!

What you can do now. 
1. Begin to cover the banquet in prayer
2. Prayerfully consider becoming a table host (More info coming soon)
3. Share this with your friends so they definitely get invited! (All are welcome)
4. Consider volunteering your time, supplies or funds toward making this banquet a reality. (Email Info@WhentheSaints.com for more details.)

Our theme verse this year is Acts 2:44-47-
“Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.”

 

Catch the recap from last years banquet here >> https://youtu.be/u6iDFHDiwiE

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MEET THE BOARD: David Comstock

A note from WtS founder about David Comstock: David plays a very vital role on the board of When the Saints. He helps to line everything that we do up with Scripture and the heart of God. I can think of no better man to play this important position. He has taught me more about Jesus than any other human I know.


Name: David Comstock

How long have you been partnered with Wts? 2 Years

How did you get connected with Wts? David Peterka is a member of our church and a friend.

What’s your role with Wts? Spiritual Advisor

Why Wts? What about Wts do you feel most called to/ why? WtS is a tangible expression of God’s heart in the world. I feel most called to bring the gospel to the men who are sexually exploiting women. These are those who have been deemed beyond help by the world… But the gospel of grace has no boundaries.

What are you most excited about coming up related to Wts in 2015? The opening of the safe home and a discipleship home for men.

How has your partnership with Wts impacted your own personal heart/ gospel centered living approach? It has helped me to see that God, in His loving grace, has invited us to participate in His work of redemption. Our greatest joy is going to be found in the glory of God. We as His people have not been invited to watch others do the work of the ministry but to participate.

If you could tell/ get across to everyone on planet earth one thing about Wts, what would it be? WtS is not a charity doing good work to make the world a better place. WtS is a people who have tasted grace responding to God’s invitation to participate in His work of redemption in the world.