Prayer at the heart of everything


Mthenga Wabwino (Good Messenger in ChiChewa) has been designated a SIM International Priority Project. National Co-ordinator Nico Bontenbal explains what this means for the organisation

SIM Malawi’s partner, Mthenga Wabwino, which is engaged in outreach to unreached people groups, has been designated a SIM International ‘Priority Project’.

Promoted to a larger audience

This means that for the next two or three years Mthenga Wabwino will be promoted by SIM International across a much wider audience than normal.

Prayer the priority

“For us it is important to be designated as a Priority Project. Why? In the first place it is because of prayer,” he said.

“We see that Priority Projects are advertised more widely, and this means there is a good chance that more people will hear about us and our work, and more people will be able to pray for the work. Prayer is at the heart of evangelism and I am excited that this will happen.”

Delegates attending an extensive training course looking at outreach to unreached people groups.

Malawi seen as a Christian country

Mthenga Wabwino’s work is to reach out to unreached people groups in Malawi. For many, this may seem strange, as Malawi is seen as a predominantly ‘Christian’ country. But there are many from other faiths or no-faith backgrounds who remain unreached. The Yao people group around Lake Malawi and the mountains into Mozambique are a case in point.

To reach these people groups, Mthenga Wabwino works in three main areas: provision of good-quality literature, training seminars and networking.

Nico and his small team are currently working on a number of literature projects. This work encompasses the translation of books, including ‘King of Glory’ which is a chronological Bible Study written and designed specifically for non-Christians.

Positive feedback

“We read this book and then gave it to a small group of people in Malawi to read. The feedback we got from them was positive and so we decided to translate the book into some of the main local languages, said Nico.


The work of Mthenga Wabwino is supported by SIM Malawi project

MW 96653 Mthenga Wabwino

If you are interested in working with SIM in Malawi, please consider working among unreached people groups. We have a number of long-term job opportunities currently available.

You can find out more about Mthenga Wabwino by watching the “Prayer at the Heart of Everything” video by clicking here

“The ChiChewa version is now at the printers, and we are finalising the ChiYao version which we hope will be printed soon. That leaves the ChiTumbuka version which is a little further behind in the process. In addition to the book, there is a King of Glory movie, and we hope later this year to start translating the script of that into ChiChewa and ChiYao and then dubbing the film in those languages.”

Range of training courses

The training element of its work sees Mthenga Wabwino providing a range of courses for the Malawian Church. One aspect is ‘Training of Trainers’ in which individuals from churches or denominations are trained in evangelism and then go back and train people in their local situations. There is also an intensive course running for about 20 pastors in which they are given more in-depth training in outreach to unreached people groups, with a view to them being able to do this work and also training others in such outreach.

Pastors from different Malawian denominations networking at a training event

Inter-denominational networking

The third area of work is networking, and Nico explained the importance of this in a Malawian context: “What we see in the Malawian Church is that there are a large number of denominations and often they do not speak to each other. By bringing pastors from different denominations to our training events we are encouraging them to talk to each other and share ideas and experiences.

“This means that people start to see some of the failings of their own denominations but also where their strengths are, and this can be encouraging and motivate people.

“It also allows us to demonstrate how evangelism and outreach to unreached people groups is better done in collaborative working rather than trying to do things on your own.”

A valuable resource

Looking ahead to the next 12 months or so as a designated Priority Project, Nico hopes that the new status of the ministry will bring benefits to an important group of people involved in the work – Regional Co-ordinators.

“I mentioned the importance of prayer and I would ask for prayer for our Regional Co-ordinators,” he said.

“Often these are people who live and work in tough areas, and often they are under-resourced. We need to make sure that they are better supported and that they stay focused and motivated to do the work of Mthenga Wabwino in their areas, especially when it comes to their role in training others in how to reach out to unreached groups.”

Difficult-to-reach group

“Our work with the Yao people group will also be important in the next year or so. They can be a difficult people to reach out to, so we will need to have more training sessions to teach people how to do this and then have them teach others and do the outreach as well. We will need more good-quality literature available in their language to help with this work. The King of Glory book and movie, and other titles we are looking at, will help in this.

“But above all, we need prayer,” he said.

The Yao People Group is one of the main unreached people groups with which Mthenga Wabwino is

Young organisation

“Mthenga Wabwino is still a comparatively young organisation. We have been in Malawi for only about ten years and, while more people are getting to know about us and our work, there is still much to be done. I am always encouraged to see that the SIM logo includes ‘By Prayer’. Prayer is the most important aspect of evangelism. You can train as many people as you can, you can equip them with good-quality literature, but if they are not praying, or you are not praying, then you will not see fruit.

“Over the next year, as we become better known as a Priority Project, I hope that our prayer base will grow and that this will help us to take the work forward.”


Nico’s Prayer Requests


Please pray for the Regional Co-ordinators, as they work to reach out to unreached people in their areas and train others to do this.


Please Pray for Mthenga Wabwino as an organisation, that it would have the right priorities and would continue to do the work of God.


Please pray for Malawi. It is seen as a Christian country but many are still unreached. Pray for more workers because the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.