In recent months, two groups from different churches in the UK have been spending time in Malawi as guests of zambesi mission. The first came from Cliff Walk Evangelical Church in Canning Town in East London; the second was amalgamated from Great Blakenham Baptist Church and Cedars Church in Stowmarket, joined by a friend or two from other churches! UK Development Manager Dave Brown, together with his wife Janet (who is a member of the mission’s Executive committee) acted as guides, whilst zm’s team on the ground led by Simon Chikwana acted as hosts.
The purpose of these visits was to
• Observe the work of zm’s church partners – the Zambezi Evangelical Church (ZEC) and the River of Life Evangelical Church (RoLEC)
• Encourage those they meet
• Pray over the situations they encountered
• Consider further the significance of God’s big Mission to the World
This article draws together some of the visitors’ pictures and impressions of their visit to Malawi.
The team said.
“We wish to say thank you to David & Janet Brown, Simon Chikwana (zm Field Director) and everyone at Zambezi Evangelical Church and River of Life Evangelical Church – for making this a memorable and life changing experience. We cannot but be amazed at the work that is being carried out with such love and faithfulness by all the people we met. May the Lord continue to show His grace to them all as they continue in this amazing work”.
Trevor asks for us to “pray for Pastor Luckwell Mtima, General Secretary of Zambezi Evangelical Church, whose 5 year term of office ends in 2018”.
Beverley asks us to “pray for the rural churches who find it so hard to support their pastors. ZEC are planning to implement a plan whereby pastors are paid centrally by ZEC and also receive a pension. This would guarantee them some income. Please pray for those who meet in this church, some are walking over 8 km (5 miles) as this is their nearest church”.
Lorraine visited the maternity unit at Nthorowa Health Centre, run by ZEC. She wrote: “Mothers where presented with a knitted vest top and matching hat for their new born babies. They were all extremely grateful for the gifts given. This picture is of an older child at Nthorowa ODC modelling and showing off one of the larger sized vest tops. Unfortunately some of the vests are too big for a Malawian new born baby”.
Adriana and Janet were struck by the work of Children for Christ Ministry (CFCM). They wrote: “CFCM have amazing opportunities to share the gospel with thousands of children each week, who are keen and enthusiastic to learn about the Bible. Please pray for Elevate Mzinga, Joseph Jeke and Lackson Makawa as they also train Sunday school teachers and Children’s Workers to share the gospel without any resources or visual aids. Pray for their safety as they travel long distances and for God to empower them to continue this amazing work”.
Leandro joined one of ZEC’s Fellowship of Youth (FoY) meetings at Mitsidi ZEC. It was attended by over 150 young people. He said: “Please pray for FoY Coordinator Gift Mphongolo and his team. We give thanks for their commitment and dedication to the young people”.
Linda joined others from the group who attended a Chiyanjano Cha Amayi (Women’s Fellowship ) meeting at Limbe ZEC. She said: “During the service women aged over 60 where asked to go outside (they had no idea why). The ladies were tested and received donated reading glasses. The reaction of one lady who received her glasses was a joy to see for those who were present. Pray for Millie Jumbe the Chairlady of Chiyanjano and Alice Fatchi (the Secretary) as they lead the women’s fellowship. Pray for all the plans to focus on Mission and Evangelism”.
Tom joined the youthful Echoes of Grace as they reached out with the good news about Jesus through worship and song at Kumandaground on the edge of Blantyre. “We had an amazing afternoon spent with Echoes of Grace at a village outreach. The children and adults were very excited to see us. What a privilege to hear Leandro Merigio preach and see 12 people come forward to dedicate their life to Jesus.
• Pray for the continued work of Echoes of Grace. Pray for the outreach and that people will come to know Jesus through their ministry.
• Pray that Echoes of Grace will be able to raise enough money in Malawi to cover the cost of hiring a mini bus each time they go out to evangelise in the remote villages outside Blantyre.
• Pray that a prayer house/church will start in Kumandaground”
Dave really appreciated being able to join in a Preach the Word seminar. This is a culturally appropriate preacher training course for Malawi’s oral culture. It has been a collaborative venture between zm’s Church Development Partner Myles MacBean and Malawian workers from the German mission To All Nations. Dave said “A two hour drive to participate in ‘Preach the Word’ seminars under Myles MacBean will revolutionise my own approach to preparing a sermon. It also gave me great insight into the challenges Malawian church leaders face in demonstrating good practice in preaching.”
Jen was struck the strong and loving bonds of fellowship that developed during their visit, writing: “You start as a group of people, you leave as family – having shared thoughts, doubts, dreams and challenges, prayed with and for each other, and shared an amazing experience”.
Dave and Janet Brown’s commented at the end of their visit “It is a privilege to have accompanied these two teams to Malawi and help them experience a little of life and the work of the church there. It is humbling to hear how God is already challenging them about their part in His Big Mission.”
Our thanks go to everyone involved in Malawi with hosting our visitors – to Simon Chikwana, Rose Chirwa, Mercy Carlos in the zm office in Blantyre. To Dorothy Kaipa our housekeeper; and to Grayson Domoya, Jack Sathula, Owen Yolamu and Kondwane Chidothi who protect the mission’s guesthouses and office. We also extend our gratitude to all our church partners in Malawi who helped to make this visit such a success.