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M: 0424 237 537 Home 07 31511931
E: shirley@shirleycharlton.com

Saturday
Jan072012

An Introduction

Moni. Muli bwanji?

Hello. How are you?

The Eagle Wings Christian Family started as a result of my trip back to Malawi, the land of my birth, in 2007. 

Malawi is a beautiful country, but like so many African countries it is also a place of poverty and hardship, of malnourishment and starvation. It is a country in dire need of help, where diseases such as malaria and HIV directly or indirectly affect the whole population.

It was in Blantyre that I met Pastor Julius Damson, a very humble Malawian man. He took me to his mud hut church in Manyowe.

Manyowe Township is an “unplanned” area of Blantyre, this means it lacks basic services like roads, sewage systems, electricity and proper access to clean safe water. Over 70% of people in Blantyre live in these unplanned areas. Manyowe has a population of around 9,500 people.

There was something sort of different and special about the people there, you did not get hassled and they did not beg. The kids laughed and played with nothing but sticks and stones. I cannot describe it!

While I was there Julius adopted 3 orphans. I asked how could he afford to feed them together with his wife and five children. A huge grin appeared on his face and he said, “Madam, God has always provided why would he stop now?”

I was inspired by his vision of trying to teach Malawians to become volunteers and to help themselves rather than being reliant on charities and handouts.

One of the first projects was to help rebuild the Manyowe Church. I organised an exhibition and sent the money from the sale of the paintings. Judy Burns and Ed Marshall then joined me and Eagle Wings was born.

Judy is very organized and patient. She has experience in running her own businesses and has become our treasurer. Ed Marshall is the pastor of my local church. He has a desire to have Malawians come to faith and to see them helping themselves improve their lot in life.

There was no access to free safe water in Manyowe. The people there were dependent on paying for water, if they could afford it. The only other close source was the River Mudi, which is extremely polluted and unsafe, as you can see from this very informative article from The Big Issue Malawi.

http://www.streetnewsservice.org/news/2009/june-2009/feed-188/mudi-river-in-peril.aspx

Now a tap is attached to Pastor Julius Damson’s house, which supplies free safe water, from the mains, to the whole of Manyowe. The tap runs day and night.

The water is free of charge because the water bills are paid for from Australia. This money comes from the sale of all of Shirley’s paintings and some donations that come from people’s hearts. We never fundraise but instead rely on Our Lord Jesus to supply.

 

Since then Eagle Wings has grown to include two other missionaries, Hassan Stambuli (left) from Lilongwe and Steven Silungwe (right) from Muzu.

 

I want to use this blog to keep people in touch with the efforts of the Eagle Wings Christian Family and its missionaries in Malawi. I will be posting here about some of the other good work that Julius, Hassan and Steven are doing.

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Reader Comments (4)

This is really exciting to see what is being done in Malawi. I like the pictures and the good feel about what is happening. Thanks Shirley.

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTas Walker

Hi Shirley,
I love that you have put this together for us to see and read about the wonderful things you are doing to help the people of Malawi. Keep up the great work. The Lord is using you in a big way. May He bless you in your work and help with others. love and blessings, Susan Wright

January 13, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersusan wright

Shirley, love the website. You have been busy to get the new look. when did you get the time for the paintings? Love the lot and wish I had a huge house and pots of money, so that i could buy some and live with the paintings around me. Good luck with the project. You are great. See you soon. Anne

January 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranne Breen

Hi Shirl,
The website is looking great so far and the water project section is very well done. Can't wait to tell people about it. Love Nat.

January 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

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