Connex Ijalisi, a long standing and greatly valued
friend of zm, has just concluded a UK tour in his present
capacity as Malawi Director of J-Life which partners Churches and organisations
to promote Christian discipleship, Church leadership training, education,
outreach and compassion ministries in Malawi.
Connex has 20 years experience as a ZEC pastor during which he has also
served as Youth Co-ordinator and General Secretary of the national Church
in Malawi. Together with Dr Jonathan Groves, UK Mission
Director of Kerusso Trust, he has been visiting Churches in Scotland and
England and here he shares some key prayer points for his country.
January's extreme rainfall will have a long term
impact in a number of ways ~
Communications have been badly disrupted with roads washed away
and bridges collapsing. This means costly and extensive detours on many
journeys and makes it much harder for rural pastors to visit their various
congregations. (Connex experienced some of these problems whilst visiting
the Phalombe region with zm's Simon Chikwana ).
Health problems are widespread with cholera reported in some
areas. Whilst some places with a piped water system lost their supplies
for a while, the main concern is that the overflow of the Shire River and
some of its tributaries has caused blockages and polluted wells leaving
the people with little option but to use polluted water. This is at its
worst in the rural areas where adequate health care is scarce.
Education is affected because most of the 300.000 or more displaced
people are now sheltering in school buildings making it impossible for teaching
to take place. In such situations the school calendar is being significantly
Agriculture. In the affected areas most
crops were washed away only a couple of months before they were due to be
harvested. This leaves subsistence farmers and their families in a really
desperate situation. Now the rains have ceased the land is too dry to consider
planting another crop. Where the rivers have left thick layers of silt and
rubbish on the land it is unlikely that crops can be successfully grown
Economically. The damage to roads, bridges, etc is estimated
at millions of Malawi Kwacha which adds to the burden of one of the world's
very poorest countries.
Most important of all is the personal tragedy of people who have
lost loved ones, homes, possessions, crops and homes.
Please pray for J-Life , Kerusso
Trust , zm and other organisations
as they seek to
bring relief in Jesus name.
Training Church Leaders
We praise God that His Church continues
to grow in Malawi but a great cause for prayerful concern is the fact that
90% of the pastors in rural areas have had no Biblical training and are
trying to lead their congregations with, in most cases, no resources whatsoever.
- Many have had little or no formal education
and some might not be able to read or write themselves.
- There is still a great shortage of Bibles. Indeed,
one pastor reports a Sunday attendance of around 100 people with only
one Bible between them!
- Very few rural pastors have any devotional or study
books and no access to the internet to give them assistance in preparing
to teach their people.
J-Life under Connex's leadership, together with the Kerusso Trust, aims
to provide short courses in rural areas through the Learn2Serve Bible training
programme. These are initiated either by a local pastors' fraternal, with
men and women from a number of denominations attending, or by an individual
Church and are attended by pastors and their wives, elders, youth and ladies
leaders. The courses consist of a number of modules which build upon each
other over a period of time.
In 2014 zm and J-Life joined forces to run a very encouraging
course for the River of Life Evangelical Church and it is planned
to follow this up when the resources are available and the opportunity arises.
pray for this training to have a ever widening impact in
the Churches as the Holy Spirit moves in the lives of the
leaders. Also for the funds and resources so that Kerusso
Trust, J-Life, zm and other Christian organisations
can extend such training to many more parts of the country.
Connex greatly values our prayers
as he continues to adjust to his new roles and seeks God's direction in
developing the work.. He and his wife Synolia live
in the Chilomoni area of Blantyre with their two children, Blessings (22)
and Abigail (18).
Connex remains a member of Michiru Zambezi Evangelical
Church (ZEC), the congregation he formerly pastored. Zambesi mission works
closely with ZEC as a partner in Malawi. zm and
its supporters have strong historic bonds of fellowship with Connex and
Jonathan, including discipleship training through participation in the zm Book
Set Conferences. The Kerusso Trust,
J-Life and zambesi mission are
separate independent organisations, but work together as partners. zm is delighted
to offer its wholehearted support to The Kerusso Trust and J-Life in all
their work and endeavours together in the Lord's name in Malawi
Please visit www.thekerussotrust.org or
email Jonathan ( email@example.com )
to find out more about the work in Malawi.