On a bright, sunny day I made my way to Mpemba. This is an area just outside of Blantyre, the city I live in and where Kingdom Workers Malawi is headquartered. Although not far from Blantyre, the area feels very rural.
We turned off the main paved road onto a bumpy dirt track winding through plots of corn interspersed with village homes. As we drove, I thought about how beautiful this country is, and I felt grateful to the people I was about to meet for being willing to share their stories.
Since 2014, Kingdom Workers has partnered with many local community members and volunteers in Indonesia. Rural villages have been blessed through these connections with clean water systems, educational health workshops, access to books and literacy curriculums, and most importantly the message of Jesus’ love and salvation.
We owe teachers a lot.
This pandemic has made us all appreciate the hard work of teachers, day in and day out. When school went online in the spring of 2020, it caused a lot of us to realize how valuable it is having qualified, trained teachers to lead our students.
Class subjects, social skills, and problem-solving are all valuable lessons kids learn at school. But for six-year-old Jayden, school was not possible.
While there are resources, educators, and learning strategies for students with disabilities in the United States, the reality is different on the island of Grenada. Limited training and guidance leaves many teachers feeling helpless as they struggle to provide meaningful instruction. And their students often feel left out, misunderstood, or simply don't attend school. This was the situation Jayden found himself in.
To an outsider, Malawi seems like a country full of opportunities to serve. It regularly ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world by gross domestic product. HIV/AIDS, malaria, and poor access to clean drinking water all contribute to an average life expectancy of just over 60 years.*
But Malawi is also a place of unparalleled beauty. The people are welcoming and kind. Their history is mostly peaceful. And 77% of Malawians are Christian.
Combine all these factors and you’ll find no shortage of non-governmental organizations (NGO) working in Malawi. In fact, there are over 500 registered NGOs in the whole country. From nonprofits focusing on agricultural aid to religious organizations caring for orphaned children, there’s no shortage of “help.”
Which then begs the questions:
- What does effective help really look like?
- Who gets to decide what help is actually needed?
- And how can we help share the gospel if so many people already know Jesus?
Chances are good that if you have more than three members in your church, one of them will be touched by domestic/dating violence during his or her lifetime.
Sadly, most of these hurting parishioners (both women and men) will never find their way to your office and receive the spiritual nurturing they so desperately need.