3rd September 2013
Our escorts here in Malawi, David and Janet Brown, attend the same church as Ruth and I. We consulted them early on when considering a move into mission and they lovingly offered to escort us on this trip to a country that had been on my heart since my Scottish upbringing. David and Janet work for Zambezi Mission (ZM). ZM (originally Zambezi Industrial Mission) has served God since 1892 along the Zambezi river in Malawi (formerly Nyasaland) and more recently in northern Mozambique. It founded the Zambesi Evangelical Church (ZEC) in 1894. Simon Chikwana, the Director of ZM in Malawi, is hosting us at the ZM guest house and has helped develop a great itinerary that will give us insight into ZM, ZEC, and their various ministries.
So it was fitting that we should start our visit to Malawi by visiting Luckwell Mtima, the General Secretary of ZEC Malawi, overseeing over 200 churches across Malawi. New to his role, I was immediately impressed with Luckwell’s candour and vision. And as the six of us talked through Luckwell’s vision, priorities and challenges it was amazing to hear once again how God is moving so many Christians around the world to rediscover the priority of discipling disciples, of training pastors and pastoral workers, of exorting all disciples towards missional living, and of putting church planting and multiplication at the centre of things. There was an amazing openess in the discussion as very quickly we all discovered common passions – something that bodes well for the coming days.
After hearing from Luckwell about the work of ZEC and their Zambezi College of Ministry (ZACOM) it was time to tour the campus at Mitsidi, with its ZACOM buildings, clinic, maternity unit, national Girl’s Brigade centre, and local church. It was fascinating to find ZM and ZEC – in such a similar way to our Kenya friends – practicing a balanced ministry that aimed to help Malawians help themselves materially as well as spiritually.
As someone put it so well at church on Sunday in Nairobi: only is such a balanced ministry can we both obey the great commandment and the great commission. Ruth and I look forward to spending more time with David, Janet, Simon and Luckwell in the coming days as we learn more about God’s work in this lovely country and give Him space to work in our hearts.