Palm Sunday, 13th April 2014
Today we celebrated a very special Palm Sunday with a new group of Malawi brothers and sisters at Malosa Zambezi Evangelical Church. And there was no mistaking it was Palm Sunday either as we spent the 70 mile drive from Blantyre on the Zomba road either dodging long lines of palm branch waving locals on the way to church, or the palm branch selling entrepreneurs desperate to make a quick buck!
We were warmly welcomed by Abusa (pastor) January to his church and were very quickly relieved that we had passed up his kind invitation to sing a duet by (truthfully) explaining that we had not come prepared. We were relieved because we discovered that the the whole church was even more musically accomplished than the typical ZEC church. The January family alone were an amazing ensemble, the Malawi equivalent of the Von Trapp family, producing wonderful four and five part african harmonies that allowed for some wonderful worship.
As well as a gifted singer, Abusa January was also a gifted interpreter and I once again had the wonderful experience of preaching God’s word in Africa. And watch out Great Blakenham Baptist Church, for better or for worse I think some of the african propensity for a more energetic homiletic style is rubbing off on me!
We were then re-joined by Mike Beresford, Simon Chikwana and the General Secretary of ZEC, Luckwell Mtima, and a thankfully short journey to the Anglican run Chilema Training Centre where we had two nights staying in a little taste of colonial history; with our individual chalets set out in front of the green hills, complete with a bishops house and flower beds surrounded by whitewashed stones.