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Sisters in Christ

“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3: 26-28)

zm’s work extends across churches and Christians in two different continents, separated by thousands of miles.  In many ways Christians in Malawi or Mozambique are very different from those in the UK.  And yet, as this passage from Paul’s letter to the Galatians shows, we are all one in Christ Jesus.  This is an important facet of zm’s ministry.  We want our relationship with our partners in Malawi and Mozambique to be an inter-dependent partnership.  Rather than us just helping our partners in a one-way direction, we believe that we need to receive from them as well. As different parts of the Body of Christ, we are mutually dependent on each other, equally important and all necessary for the Body to function as God intends. 

In life you come across people who brighten up your day as they radiate the love of Christ.  In this article we pay tribute to two sisters in Christ who recently died and went to be with Christ – one Malawian and one British. 

Alice Khota studied at Likhubula Bible Institute, now the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi (EBCoM).  After graduating she joined ZEC’s ministry team.  Alongside zm’s mission worker Ruth Folayan, she was instrumental in establishing Girls’ Brigade in ZEC and also in several other denominations across Malawi.  Sadly, zm lost touch with Alice in recent years, after she left ZEC.  She died in April.

Abraham and Ruth Folayan described Alice Khota warmly: “she was an admirable ambassador of ZEC and of Malawi. She lived faithfully with great perseverance as a widow for all the years we knew her, working hard to look after her children and her mother while diligently serving God and his people.  She was a great family friend and we will miss her very much.  We send our heartfelt condolences to her mother and family.  May God comfort them and grant them the grace to bear this painful loss of a devoted daughter, mother, grandmother, friend and Christian worker.  We know that her labour in the Lord is not in vain”.

Almost all zm’s supporters in East Anglia will know Colin Cresswell, who was zm’s Director for many years.  Very sadly Colin’s wife Chris died in March.  Chris often accompanied Colin on visits to churches, not just in East Anglia, but up and down the country.  Chris was an unfailing support and encouragement to Colin.  As Chris was laid to rest in Isleham, Colin and Chris’s good friend and former pastor Don Gee paid tribute to Chris: “her role as a Health Visitor brought Chris into many homes in Soham, Ely and the surrounding area over many years.  She retired many times, but kept being called back to fill the gap.  She faithfully fulfilled her professional duties, but with a smile and compassion that went far beyond the call of duty.  She had a very calming presence, but the overriding impression that people had of Chris was that she was someone who cared.  Chris used to sing “Love is the Flag” to her grandchildren:

“Love is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart,

For the King is in residence here. 

So let it fly in the sky let the whole world know,

For the King is in residence here”. 

Don Gee concluded: “the King was resident in the heart of Chris – and she now lives with the King in His residence”.

We give thanks to God for the lives of Alice Khota and Chris Cresswell, sisters in Christ who have fallen asleep in Him.  We pray that the Lord would pour out His comfort, compassion and peace upon their families as they continue to grieve. 

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