Thursday 10th and Friday 11th April
As with our first visit, the start of this return visit to Malawi has been relatively slow as we have recuperated from the long flight, readjusted to Malawi life, and had some important coordination meetings with the leaders at Zambezi Evangelical Church and the leaders of the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi.
However, it has been a real encouragement for us to feel so very much at home here, and we don’t think that is just because this is our second visit and things are a little less strange. There is something about the people and the landscape that makes us feel comfortable.
Even more so now it is the tail-end of the rainy season when the dry brush we experienced in September has been turned into luscious green fields and mountain vistas, and the cool 50% clouded sky is reminiscent of a highland spring. No wonder the Scottish immigrants found Blantyre so much to their taste!
Thursday was spent in a marathon meeting with the Chairman and the General Secretary of ZEC, the UK Director of Zambesi Mission, and the Malawi Director of ZM. It was a particular pleasure to renew our acquaintance with the GS, Luckwell Mtima, and hear about all the exciting developments in his first year in the role as God transforms and revives this church – one of the oldest in the country. It was great to hear that several of MEC’s key priorities remained ones close to our heart, in particular the training of leaders at all levels in the church, the development of Sunday School capability, and the encouragement of fresh expressions of worship in the heart music of the people.
Friday was spent meeting again with Michael Phiri, the Principle of the Evangelical Bible College of Malawi. This humble young academic has a huge burden on his shoulders as he seeks to steer the college through difficult economic times.
However it was heart warming to hear the creative courage and enthusiasm the Principal and his staff have for moving the college forward in new directions while remaining true a focus on bringing together academic excellence and practical pastoral training: a unique approach for Malawi.
In so many ways the vision of EBCoM mirrors that of Moorlands where I am studying and there were clear opportunities for us to partner with the staff in support of their business needs, plans for Applied Theology, and interests in children’s work and music.