During September zambesi mission (zm) was able to host the visit of our Malawian Field Director Simon Chikwana and two of the leaders from the Zambezi Evangelical Church (ZEC): Luckwell Mtima, the General Secretary, and Joe Tsokalida, Chair.
But, the visit very nearly didn’t happen! Both Luckwell and Joe had their applications for a UK entry visa rejected, mainly on the basis of their economic status. However, thanks to prayer and the extremely timely and helpful intervention of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, the original decision was overturned and the visas were granted.
After this inauspicious beginning, the visit of the Malawian leaders went very well. They travelled as far north as Strathpeffer, north of Inverness, south west to Bridport in Devon and east to several places in East Anglia.
The purpose of the visit
Firstly, FELLOWSHIP. We wished to bring our ‘partnership in the gospel’ to life by introducing Malawian church leaders to their brothers and sisters in Christ in our supporting churches;
Secondly, LEARNING. We wanted to learn from God through our Malawian brothers. We are in an inter-dependent partnership – and as such we believe that, in our often materialistic world, we can learn much spiritually from the church in a poverty-affected country like Malawi. Some times they can also learn from us.
The reactions of our guests
Simon particularly appreciated the value of the fellowship after each meeting, the knowledge of the work obtained from the quarterly In Prayer and Update leaflets and even what some folk had remembered from his previous visit three years ago.
Luckwell noted the commitment and hard work of the zm team in the UK and felt that it is an example to Christian workers in Malawi. He valued the faithfulness of the believers he met in the churches whilst noticing the lack of young people in most of the meetings.
Joe was especially impressed by the warm welcome and gracious hospitality he and his colleagues received everywhere they went. He felt he had learned a lot from the people he met.
The reactions of the UK Churches
Mike writes, “As the ZEC leaders shared the vision that God has laid upon their hearts, I heard a number of people remarking, ‘if only our church had a vision like this!’
Our guests were delighted with the warm and hospitable welcome that they received wherever they went. The UK churches visited were very pleased to hear the Word of God preached by our Malawian guests as they shared some memorable messages from Scripture.
The visit certainly helped bring the relationship with the church in Malawi to life – zm’s supporters were able to meet the leaders for whom they pray so often, and hear from their own hearts the issues that the church in Malawi is facing.”
Sincere thanks to all who helped to make this venture such a success. We continue to look to the Lord to bring the results He desires in our lives and in His Church both here in the UK and in Malawi.