Mike Beresford, zm director, reports from
his current journeys
in Malawi and Mozambique
Mike Beresford writes: Friday,
3rd May. A really great day at Nthorowa where ZEC
run a health centre and Orphan Daycare Centre. There were
so many positive things happening at Nthorowa almost too
many to mention! We were guided by Administrator Fashion
Faiti and Pastor Francis Ntepa. Finishing touches are being
applied to the church building, such as doors, plastering
and flooring. The new maternity unit is nearly complete
(funded by BEIT Trust). The health centre was packed with
women attending clinics. From the ODC perspective, we met
a Form 4 student who did excellently in his MSCE (end of
Secondary School) exams and narrowly missed being selected
for university. We will soon be starting maize and rice
mill projects to provide income to support the children.
We brought a new fuel-efficient stove for cooking food for
the children (see picture with Pastor Francis Ntepa on the
left). There are now 23 healthy looking goats kept at the
ODC; and the rice and maize harvests are looking promising.
All round a most encouraging day.
Mike Beresford writes:
Thursday, 2nd May. Our journey today took us along the ridge of hills that separates
Malawi and Mozambique. They are building a new road along
the way, but sadly it is not ready yet. So, slow progress,
but all the same we reached Matanda in the middle of the morning.
It is situated in an incredible position on top of the hills
looking across miles and miles of Malawi. The exciting development
at Matanda is that the new maternity unit has now been opened
and deliveries have commenced. This project was funded by
Norwegian Church Aid. There were no babies in the delivery
unit, but lots of mothers awaiting their ante-natal clinic.
These checks are vital as they allow midwives to highlight
any potential delivery concerns and refer the mother to the
nearest hospital. As a result of health centres like Matanda,
infant and maternal mortality rates in Malawi have been reduced
dramatically over the last two or three decades.
writes: Wednesday, 1st May. Today is a bank holiday here in Malawi (Labour Day).
We were loading up the vehicle this morning with a range
of items, including a fuel efficient rocket stove for Nthorowa.
More pictures of that later. This time we are travelling
with the General Secretary of ZEC, Pastor James Baisson
Phiri. Our first stop was at Ntonda where we were warmly
welcomed. The maize harvest is in progress here is looking
good. They also seem to hav e a plentiful crop of groundnuts.
Ntonda are planning a project to buy a two tonne truck that
can be rented out. The proceeds will be used to support
the children at the Orphan Daycare Centre. There are 55
children at the ODC and 28 further children that zm supports
to study at secondary school. After a good visit to Ntonda
we moved on to Muluma arriving as the sun was going down.
The great news from Muluma is that the Nurses' Council have
approved the maternity centre to start deliveries and these
should start from the middle of May. We are very thankful
for zm's supporters that contributed gifts towards the medical
equipment and also for the staff houses (see picture). Then
back to Ntcheu for an overnight stop.
Mike Beresford writes:
Tuesday, 30th April. Early morning activity
as the mission's vehicle and a hired two tonner were being loaded
up with buckets, plastic sheeting, soya pieces, soap and salt.
zm's Projects Officer Rose Chirwa was in charge. Further items
would be taken directly to the churches in the Phalombe area.
On the same day Simon Chikwana and I attended the EBCoM Council
meeting and AGM, with Jon Mackenzie attending as an observer.
Unfortunately we heard late in the day that Rose's vehicle had
a puncture. As a result they did not finish the distribution
work and have had to stay near Phalombe overnight. zm's Malawian
staff have such commitment! They will hopefully complete the
work tomorrow and then return to Blantyre.
Mike Beresford writes: Sunday, 28th April. We split three ways for
Sunday services. Jon Mackenzie went with Pastor Mvula Mvula to Nsanje River
of Life Evangelical Church, where former EBCoM student Joseph Pius is pastor.
Field Director Simon Chikwana stayed at Nsanje ZEC, whilst Pastor Jekemu and
I travelled on to Ndamera ZEC at Marka, which is right on the southern tip
of Malawi. Pastor Luka is serving in this church. We had a great service, with
the congregation arrivi ng steadily as the service continued. At the end the
former school that is being used as a church was pretty much full. This church,
like others in this area, has been affected by the flooding. We passed a number
of temporary camps including one set up in a school. These house the people
who have lost their homes. The road passed areas where crops had been flattened
and swept away by the flood water (see photo). People are trying to grow a
second crop in the same fields. Pray for those affected by the floods, particularly
those in temporary camps. Let's give thanks for the relief organisations that
are providing this support. zm is making its own small efforts to provide emergency
support for those amongst its partner churches who are in need at this time.
Mike Beresford writes: Saturday
27th April. It was down to the
Lower Shire today, taking with us the Chair of ZEC's Trustees
Pastor Zaccheus Jekemu. Our first visit was to Dzinthenga ZEC
where we found a Preach the Word training session (see https://steppingoutwithgod.wordpress.com/
being run by Pastor Sekeya at the church. We discussed the impact
of the recent flooding and then discussed the effectiveness of
the goat farming project that was implemente d after the last
episode of flooding. The project has been very successful, with
the number of goats multiplying and being handed on to new recipients.
The three church members shown (L to R - Asine Demiano, Gloria
Ndeule and Joliam Gusto) now have five goats each. Next we travelled
to Chikwawa ZEC and then further on to Bangula ZEC. The impact
of the floods is very variable. Some people have lost everything
- their homes, their belongings and are now living in camps near
Bangula or Nsanje. Others haven't been affected at all. We are
gearing up for emergency distribution to those that the churches
have said are in need.