The first two weeks in country, I was leading a group of ten including myself, on a short term Y-Malawi trip. It was a jam packed two weeks with an amazing team! I’m going to try to give you the Reader’s Digest version of all that we did.
We started out by working with World Relief. This is the newest partner for Y-Malawi. Their main goal is to empower the local church’s, who then come together to help the most vulnerable in their community. It was great to see multiple congregations from different denominations working together to serve and do what God designed the Church to do. It was also a privilege to get to work along side them and help with their project.
The project we were able to be a part of was for an elderly woman whose house had fallen down. The church group had already helped her rebuild the walls, and on this day the men would be thatching the roof and the women would be smearing the floors (think spreading mud with your hands to even out the floor). We definitely gave the local people a good laugh in our attempts to help, but I know both groups were honored to be working along side each other, and it was clear to see the elderly woman appreciated what was being done for her.
The next group we had the privilege of serving with was Fishers Trainers and Senders, or FTS. This part of Y-Malawi focuses on evangelism, discipleship and other charity work. At the time we were with them, they were hosting a two week discipleship program in a new area called Nkhotakota, which is located near Lake Malawi. People came from all over Malawi to camp for two weeks and be discipled. They would take classes in the morning and then go out and practice what they had learned in the local villages. The dedication of the people was amazing to see. We were also able to participate in local kids clubs and adult literacy programs that FTS runs and supports.
The next group we partnered with was the Nkhoma Youth Department. Youth is defined very differently in Malawi, and pretty much consists of anyone from birth to 30 years old. This department is helping to inspire some amazing things. Some of the things we got to see were a Dare to Discover class which is helping to give the youth a sense of who they are in Christ, literacy programs, a savings and loan club, a fish pond that was created by young men whose proceeds are helping to support their local kids going to school, a program where students were trained to use sewing machines and then turned around and trained other youth, and gardens planted and tended by youth to use as a source of income and nutrition. The Youth department is definitely making a huge impact in the community.
I couldn’t keep this as brief as I wanted, because there is so much to share. For this reason, I will end here for now.