You may have read in the latest edition of zm ‘s Update that
two of the mission's former members have recently passed into the presence
of Jesus. Here we include tributes which reflect more deeply on their lives,
character and ministry.
Zione Majiga (1978 – 2018)
Zione Majiga, zm's former administrator in Malawi, went
to be with the Lord at the end of December. She worked for the mission in
Blantyre from 2000 until 2011 when she left to study accountancy at university.
She was well loved with the zm team and known for her
gentle and caring character and the steely resolve she showed when necessary.
She was a highly dependable and faithful servant of the Lord.
Former zm's missionaries Abraham and Ruth Folayan wrote
that “Her place in the work of zambesi mission in
Malawi cannot be easily forgotten and we remember her devoted and upright
service. She served with humility, competence and maturity and was very
zm's former Mission Director Jim
Hasnip said “Above
all Zione proved herself totally reliable and faithful, not only in relation
to zm but also as a follower of her Lord Jesus Christ”.
Myra Wilson , who served as a missionary with zm with
her late husband Bill , describes Zione as “A lovely,
intelligent, Christian girl – she handled everything in the office in Malawi
so well”. Myra also notes Zione's ability to be extremely firm when
needed, adding that “She was also gracious, warm and caring”.
Please pray for God's grace,
peace and comfort to flow out to her husband Shadreck and five children aged
between fourteen and three years old.
John Simons (1932 – 2018)
John, former zm missionary from
Australia, was ‘promoted
to glory' just before Christmas. John's life could be summed up in his testimony
printed in zm's newsletter soon after his arrival in Malawi
in 1960. “First of all I would like to say that I love the Lord Jesus
with all my heart, and I want to serve Him faithfully. His grace IS sufficient
for me. Praise His name”.
Early on in his time in what was then called Nyasaland, John met fellow zm missionary Gladys
Ravenscroft . Their engagement was announced in October 1961
and they were married soon afterwards at Mitsidi in February 1962. Their
children Jennifer and twins Gillian and Stephen were born whilst they
were serving in Malawi. They returned to Australia in 1978, where John
became pastor at Armadale Congregational Church in Western Australia.
He continued afterwards in pastoral ministry at Gosnells Baptist Church
near Perth, Western Australia.
John fixing landrovers, 1969
One of John's key roles in Malawi was to build up and encourage local pastors
and their churches. In order to do this he travelled widely on what were
often extremely challenging road conditions. He was very active in Malawi
at a time of great change for the country and the church. John was involved
in the expansion of the Likubula Bible Institute (now the Evangelical Bible
College of Malawi) and also instrumental in the handover of the mission's
property and churches to the Zambezi Evangelical Church at Malawi's independence
in 1964. In addition to his leadership skills, he was a very practical man,
mending the mission's vehicles, overseeing church construction and implementing
Church opening in Mitsidi, 1976
John was also a devoted family man. He often spoke about how grateful he
was for his wife Gladys and his family. He had learnt to thank God in all
circumstances, knowing that God loved him and had a plan for his life. He
loved not only applying the simple truths he learnt from the Bible in his
own life, but also passing them on to benefit and enrich the lives of others.
Crowds and baptisms
His daughter Gillian shared some reflections about
her childhood with John in Malawi, “ Dad was a private, self-taught man, with the ability to
work things out for himself. He was an amazing mechanic and some of my earliest
memories were of spending time with him looking under the bonnets of the
mission vehicles as he fixed them. To me that part of life was an adventure ”.
Please remember John's wife Gladys,
their three children Jennifer, Gillian and Stephen and their nine grandchildren in
prayer, giving thanks to God for John Simons' life,
ministry and witness.
The death of those who belong to the Lord is precious in
His sight .