Zambesi Mission

 2015 News Stories
January 2015

Planting Churches which plant Churches


  Mission Director Mike Beresford reports on another of his regular visits to meet church planting evangelists, this time in the north of Malawi


Zambesi mission's aim is to proclaim the good news about Jesus Christ, and to help extend and strengthen His Church in Malawi, Mozambique and the UK. One of the key ministry areas of our partner churches in Malawi and Mozambique is to plant more churches in areas where there are few in which the Gospel is preached faithfully

Our most recent visit was in October and November, the hottest time of the year in Malawi when the people wait in readiness for the rains to come. They are so dependent on God for the rain without which the harvest will fail and the people will go hungry. As we drove north we saw that the fields have mostly been prepared, ready for sowing to begin as soon as persistent rain comes. A reminder that we were to meet some of the men and women who are tirelessly sowing the precious Word of God and awaiting the harvest of souls that only He can give.

The visit, made with Rev Simon Chikwana , zm Director in Malawi, General Secretary of Zambesi Evangelical Church Pastor Luckwell Mtima and Regional Superintendent Pastor Duncan N'goma , took us to five church planters scattered across the northern region.

Matrix Kutsimbwe at Choma ZEC: We were thrilled to see a new church building nearing completion. This is largely due to the generosity of one Malawian who, despite living in Mzuzu, treats Choma ZEC as his home church. Although there are officially 103 members, the number of active members is significantly lower. Many of the members of the church give their tithe annually because they work as labourers in the tobacco fields and only earn ready cash once a year.

Matrix Kutsimbwe (centre) with ZEC leaders outside the new building at Choma ZEC

Although Solomon Kaimira has been in a new church planting role at Nyungwe ZEC, south of Karonga, for just a short time, he seemed to have already built up a strong rapport with the church members.

Solomon Kaimira with his wife and child at Nyungwe ZEC

Ledson Banda is at Bolero ZEC, a small remote village near Rumphi north of Mzuzu. Ledson is a very determined man and was encouraged by this visit from the ZEC leadership and zm. The church consists of just four families and meets in Bolero Secondary School.

Enock Man'ganya is at Chitipa ZEC in the ,orthernmost tip of Malawi: It was good to meet him again. He has been at Chitipa for just a couple of months and the numbers at his first church services were encouraging, but dwindled when his wife returned to Blantyre to start studying at EBCoM on the wives' course. Enock is another very determined man, with a vision that " after one year the church will be growing". Although he speaks Chichewa and Tumbuka, he has found out that many of the local people speak Chilambia, which he doesn't understand yet! He has received good support from other local pastors who encouraged him to join their fraternal.

Enock Man'ganya (extreme right) with ZEC leaders on new plot for a church building at Chitipa ZEC

As always in this spiritual battle there are discouragements too!

Chikangawa ZEC is situated in a heavily forested area where timber is farmed and used in the nearby Raiply plywood and wood products factory. Much to our disappointment we found that Pharoah Kamanga had left the church the day before we arrived having been there for just under a year. They currently meet in the local primary school and the ZEC leaders are discerning who to send as pastor to replace Pastor Kamanga.


Some points for Prayer ~

zm seeks sponsorship for a number of church planters in Malawi and Mozambique. We want to avoid a situation where a church becomes dependent on external support so our aim is to give a helping hand to a new church and its pastor until such time as the church is self-supporting. This help lasts for a maximum of four years. For more information about church planters please see our leaflet "Planting Churches, Growing Churches".

Our visit has certainly helped both zm and the ZEC leadership to realise some important aspects about the church planting programme. Firstly, there is a need for them to assess carefully the proposed pastor's gifts, character and calling. Secondly, pastors can not just "be sent". There is often a need for cross-cultural training, particularly in the north of Malawi - home of both Tumbuka and Nkhonde people who are culturally very different from the Chichewa people.

ZEC has realised the importance of regular reporting and follow-up visits from the church leadership. We thank God for our safety in travelling, and we pray that the Lord would have encouraged the different pastors in their ministry which can often be lonely and isolated.

Please remember these church planters in your prayers


 2015 News Stories

Zambesi Mission is a registered charity in England & Wales (1165004) and in Scotland ( SCO46748)