Zambesi Mission
 

 2015 News Stories
March 2015

Tili bwino, zikomo. Ruth & Myles report from Malawi

 

"We are well, thank you." But we do owe you all an update now that we are about three months into our three year stay here in Malawi.

First, thank you all so much for your prayers that we know have borne us up through this transition period. Please keep praying.

Second, we give thanks to God whose hand we can see over everything in the last three months and indeed in the last three years since we were called to change direction. Even His timing in bringing us to Malawi in late November was perfect, allowing us a quiet settling in period before the New Year.

We feel very settled into day-to-day life here in Malawi and after some weeks in the zm Guest House we are now enjoying having our own space next door in what seems to be known around Blantyre as "Abraham and Ruth's house." It has also been wonderful to become accepted into the close knit zm team - to the extent that teammates feel able to gently tease us about our faltering Chichewa. Although we are really enjoying the cultural and language training we are receiving from our bubbly and talented teacher.

Having sampled church life in Blantyre we have decided to settle at Limbe ZEC and support their English language service, even if it is a brutally early service for those used to the more relaxed Sundays of the UK! We are also enjoying the mid-week fellowship we gain from a very international house group of Blantyre Community Church.


Ruth and Myles at Namatete ZEC

The Floods !
We must admit that early January was a shock for us as the country was devastated by heavy rains and even Blantyre turned into an electricity and piped-water free zone. We learned quickly to appreciate what us westerners take so much for granted, but nothing could have prepared us for the impact of visiting a village in Mulanje district that had been swept away by the river Ruo. Death feels so close to the average Malawian that their typical morning prayer thanking God for sustaining their life until now is no mere formula. We are learning so much from God through our brothers and sisters here.

Like all new assignments things felt a bit slow to start with, but are now beginning to feel very busy and will only get busier. Ruth is fully engaged with the work of Children for Christ Ministries (CfCM), joining the minibus or bicycle taxi rides and sticky walks to bible-clubs at schools and orphanages, and teacher-training seminars. She is hoping to assist in the administration of CfCM, and encourage its growth. Doors are also opening up for music based service as EBCoM students and teenagers in orphanages show an insatiable appetite to learn how to make music.

Myles has found that his initial engagement with the leadership of ZEC, and his dissertation research, have come together very well. The dissertation research has enabled him to discuss the significant strategic opportunities and risks that ZEC faces with elders, pastors and office holders across southern and central region, and the results are building up into a significant resource that will help the synod office plan for the future. And Myles's experience in strategy, policy and organisational development have already begun to be used as he helps the General Secretary of ZEC to review existing constitutional and strategic planning documents. It is a privilege to be shown so much trust by such a courageous group of able Christian leaders such that we are becoming aware not only of the huge opportunities and needs of the church in Malawi, but also of some of the crippling challenges and deficiencies.


Myles interviewing Pastor Dambo at Ntonda

 

Christmas at Tchoda !
High spots in our time so far must include Myles being asked without forewarning and off the top of his head to talk to a large group of elders and senior women on the principles of biblical preaching and leadership! And helping CfCM run a delayed Christmas party with 470 children at Tchoda. Helping bring joy to so many young faces through bible stories, songs, games and the gift of a story book and a lollypop was a tonic to the heart.

Some of this work might all sound a bit administrative when we are faced with so much urgent need in Malawi, but both of us are more convinced than ever about how God sees us fitting in here in both a practical and strategic way. It is often right to be focused in on a particular task, but sometimes it can also be an excuse to ignore the big strategic issues elsewhere.

Paul was certainly thinking very strategically when he said: " How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? " (Rom 10:14, ESV) And in our different spheres of work it has become very clear that helping the church develop the sanctified preachers, teachers and leaders that it needs is the most relevant service we can give; praying with our faithful Malawian brothers and sisters that the Holy Spirit will move, revive the church and transform the country of Malawi.


470 children gathered for their Christmas party at Tchoda ZEC

 

Points for praise and prayer

Thank God for our smooth transition into Malawi life, the provision of a new home church, and a growing spiritual support network here in Blantyre.


Praise God for guiding us in our deepening relationships with faithful partners in ZEC, CfCM, EBCoM and beyond, and our increasing clarity of direction.


Thank God for the way He has upheld our loved ones back home and raised up so many to provide practical support to them in our absence.


Very practically, pray that our Temporary Employment Permit would come through.

 

 

Pray for help in our continued language learning and safety on the roads as we begin to travel further afield.


Above all, pray with us that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide the faithful leaders of the Church in Malawi, and that God might truly revive His Church here and transform the nation.

 
 2015 News Stories
 

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