The following people celebrate their birthday this week: Val Cross, Evie Boreham, Jonathon Hine, Poppy Jupp, Timmy Kanmi-Jones, Kezzie Croucher, Anna Neal, Hazel Wilkinson, Sally Plumb, Ian Jones, Heather Sanderson, Margaret Beech, John Race, Joshua Kealey, Rosemary Cartlidge and Tom Langlois. Elizabeth Chitty is back from working on Mercy Ships in Madagascar and celebrates her 30th birthday this Sunday. Happy Birthday everyone!

Stephen Chitty would like to thank all at ACC who prayed and sent goodwill messages following his heart attack last month.

Lesley Yates writes:

I would like to tell you about my dream and how God has been bringing it to fruition. In 2012 I went on a Links International trip to Malawi. One of the things I did there was to teach some sewing. The students in Malawi had very old manual sewing machines, as there was no electricity in the village. At the time I thought; these people deserve something better – they have no electricity but plenty of sunshine – perhaps they could have some sort of solar powered modern machine. I came back to the UK and tried to look into this but didn’t get very far apart from discovering that my original idea wouldn’t work.

At the beginning of this year I was walking on the beach and started thinking what on earth would I do if I had millions of pounds?  I thought, I could explore the solar powered sewing machine idea! Then I realised that with God you don’t need heaps of money, just Him. The very next Sunday, 17th January 2016, I was at ACC. During the worship Becca had a word about Queen Esther, about when she went to the king so she could bring her request and save her nation (Esther 5). Becca said that God is pointing the sceptre at certain people, saying “Now is the time – I am giving you a new ability and path to do whatever. I am giving you permission.”  I knew God was speaking to me about the solar power idea, and put my hand straight up for prayer.

The next week I did research, emailed Andy Neal who was very helpful, met with Andy Read, CEO of Linksinternational, and we agreed to do a trial.

Last week I went back to Malawi with Andy and his wife Lina, to a village called Gunde to one of Links’ partners called Hope Missions. We bought the equipment, drove to the village and set everything up. Wow – it worked!  Suddenly the light on the sewing machine came on and there was singing and dancing (I was trying hard not to cry)! I spent three days teaching sewing and how to use the machine before coming home.

Once the tweaks are sorted out, this project can be repeated in other places. The solar panel can also provide light and recharge mobile phones. The solar equipment and sewing machine can all be sourced in Malawi for about £300, so once this starts moving forward I’ll be raising money for more of these projects.

Yes, God does what He says He will.

Lesley Yates

Links International:
It was wonderful to see the looks of amazement and excitement when the final connection was made, the machine was switched on – and the foot-pedal produced the satisfying sound of an electric motor. Before long, fabric samples were showing zig-zag and other stitching which will hugely improve the clothes that can be made. Thank you Lesley! Once again you have helped to change lives in Malawi.