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E: shirley@shirleycharlton.com

Papalala Za Ongwala (the wings of the Eagle)

All of the proceeds from the sale of Shirley's paintings go to the Eagle Wings Christian Family. Eagle Wings is Chiomba Nkhanga  in Chchewa.  Eagle Wings is made up of a very small group of Christians, who support five local Malawian missionaries and their families in their work. Eagle Wings is not a charity organisation, instead it aims to help Malawians to become self sufficient.

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not be faint.”

Friday
May252012

News from the Malawi Pastors

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus.  All the best to our ministry Eagle Wings Ministry. Here in Malawi I tried my part to minister people in Spiritual and physical. I have attached photo of the Church I was preaching. I found the young lady the time I was ministering door to door evangelism in September last year and the whole family accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. During our discussion I realized that the young lady had a problem that time, so it was when she started telling me about the story of her father raping her. Her father impregnated her and she gave birth to a baby boy. Through the support you gave me I decided to buy a Mosquito net to protect the baby from malaria and the duvet. I donate this on last Saturday. Thank you for your prayers and very soon I will give you reports about our Ministry. Thank you very much God bless you.

- Pastor Julius Damson.

I have been to prisons yesterday.  The number of prisoners dropped from 690 from December to 440 this month.  This time we go there as Eagle wings mission on opposed to last year when we went as Baptist Association.  I have set my programmed as follows:  twice a month  prisons twice a month  chipatala twice a month door to door, once a week bible study in sectors, once a month helping elderly by helping in thatching a house for them.  Above all this, soul winning is the great commission.  Kestinah is knitting some small baby cloths for chipatala born babies.  From the three past months 13 people have come to the Lord these are men and women whom we have designated in sectors for bible studies and going together in rural areas.  In Christ

- Pastor Steven Silungwe.

A report from Hassan Stambuli the third Malawi Pastor in Muzu will be in the next post.

Friday
Mar092012

Ed Marshall's Visit

This report is from Ed Marshall about his two visits to Malawi. Ed the Pastor of my local church and an active member of Eagle Wings Christian Family.

“On my trip to South Africa in 2009 I was able to visit Malawi to connect with pastor Julius Damson who has planted a church in Manyowe Village, a suburb of Blantyre.

Crystal Hawken provided good food and a very comfortable cottage in the garden of her home.

Julius Damson introduced me to his family and the church at Manyowe. He is a humble and godly man who wants his village to come to faith in Christ and have a life that is full in every way.

 

 

The church is growing under Julius’ ministry and he is faithful in serving the Lord. The service I attended was very lively and was typical of zealous evangelical services I have attended elsewhere in Africa with much singing and dancing. 

Julius is very popular among his colleagues in other denominations and is well accepted by them in the weekly prayer meetings.

Water is a great need in the village and is available from sellers who buy their supply from the Blantyre Water Board. For people who are some of the poorest in the world, buying drinking water represents a significant cost. A group of Christians in Brisbane thought it would be good if they could have a tube-well drilled. Upon investigation, I discovered that the main water line of Blantyre Water Board was laid not 10m from the church building and that for a very small cost a connection could be made. “

Ed took a video of women and young girls waiting all day for water to seep out of a hole in the ground (which I can only assume is the polluted Mudi River in the dry season), so they could fill their buckets.

On Ed’s second visit to Malawi in 2011 he took the three local missionaries and their wives to the lake.

For Julius and Hassan and their wives it was the first time they had seen so much water or been to Lake Malawi.

“I met our three partners in the gospel at Lilongwe Airport and we traveled together to Lake Malawi at Salima. We were later joined by their wives, who traveled independently. It was good to meet them and share with them the joys and challenges of the ministry."

Pictured below are: 
Julius and his wife Elida, Ed, Kestinah and her husband Stephen, Flocy and her husband Hassan and baby Hanna.

"Johan and Marie at the Zehandi Missions Lodge at Selima provided accommodation and were extremely helpful to us.

Julius Damson is continuing the ministry in Manyowe Village Blantyre. He has expanded his ministry to the prison at Zomba and is working with the leaders of the churches he has planted in the area.

Steven Silungwe is the “new man” on the team is from the Northern town of Mzuzu. He is a well-educated man, having worked as a government land-surveyor before leaving all to serve the Lord. He comes across as a man of substance and a very clear thinker theologically.

Hassan Stanbuli is from Lilongwe, came to faith in prison and now has a large church of 300 people and an extensive ministry in the prisons.

All three are involved in church planting in and around their place of ministry.

In Malawi Jails depend upon relatives to supply such items as soap, sugar, salt and clothes. All three of our partners in ministry, felt that if they were able to supply even a small amount of these articles, it would greatly ease the distress of the Malawians awaiting trial prisoners without families.

While I was in Malawi, I was told that the period between the last harvest and the gathering of the current maize harvest was a period of great food scarcity. I noticed that at that very time mango trees were fruiting prolifically and that avocado trees were also bearing fruit. The possibility exists for us to help people to support themselves by planting mangoes and avocados.

Bibles are very sought after as they are very expensive for the average Malawian to buy. There is a need for Bibles in the prisons.

My visit to Malawi in December 2011 was very helpful. It was to see the situation for myself and the other members of the committee. There are great opportunities for the Gospel in Malawi with about 70% of the population being nominal Christians.

The model we are promoting is to allow the Malawian pastors to do what they believe is best for their situation, and to provide their basic needs such as housing and food.

The results so far are very encouraging in terms of people coming to faith, being built up in the faith and church planting.

I wholeheartedly urge anyone with a vision for mission to consider supporting Eagle Wings.”

Judy Burns and I would like to thank Pastor Ed Marshall for taking the time to visit Malawi and encourage our local missionaries. His advice and help was invaluable in allowing us to set up a tap, providing free safe water in Manyowe.

We are also blessed to have three very faithful and hard working local missionaries, who are willing to sacrifice their own comforts to help others in their villages, hospitals and prisons.

Sunday
Feb262012

John and Megan Spranklin's Visit

John and Megan Spranklin visited Malawi in 2010. This is their report.

“My wife Megan and I visited Malawi in June and July 2010.  We had both been interested in cross cultural mission for a number of years and decided it was time that we experienced it first-hand.  Our purpose for the trip was to gain some insight into what it would be like to be missionaries in a country like Malawi, and what opportunities there might be for us to serve people. 

We stayed with a number of missionary families and visited various parts of the country including Blantyre, Mangochi, Salima, Nkhotakota and Lilongwe.  Our experience also included a visit to Manyowe Village and Manyowe Baptist Church.  We were warmly greeted by Pastor Julius and the church congregation.  With donations from Eagles Wings we were able to purchase Bibles, blankets and mosquito nets, which were distributed by the church to those most in need.  We were blessed to join the church one Sunday for worship.  The singing and dancing was brilliant, but Aussie blokes really can’t dance like Africans do. 

In Manyowe, as in the rest of Malawi we were confronted by the poverty, the basic way people lived and the lack of health care and prevention.  We were also surprised and almost shamed by the incredible generosity Malawian people showed toward us.  Many of us are very wealthy compared to most Malawians.  We have an incredible opportunity to be generous and to bless people like those in Malawi with far less than us.   What might be a small amount of money to us, can make a huge impact in communities like Manyowe.  There is so much we can do to help. 

We discovered that people are much the same everywhere.  We have many issues and problems we face in life.  Money will certainly solve some of these, but not all.  This is obvious enough in societies like Australia.  Most of us have plenty of money, but we have just as many problems, and people are not really any happier.  We realised that the best things about our own society are the shared values given to us by our Christian heritage (though often not recognised as such in modern society).   Malawians, and people everywhere, need to find purpose in being created by God, they need the freedom of God’s forgiveness through Jesus, they need the joy of knowing God personally and being known by him, and they need the hope of something better in heaven.  This changes how people live, and this is what will change a society in a much more lasting way than just pouring money into it. 

The other thing that became clear to us was that in most situations, local people are the ones best equipped to meet the needs of their own people.  Sometimes our efforts to help people are more of a hindrance because we don’t understand their culture and worldview – we just don’t think the same way they do.   People’s physical and spiritual needs are often best met by those who are most like them, who will understand what they really need.  Sometimes we are better taking our hands off the controls and merely providing the resources for others to do the work. 

It’s 18 months since our trip to Malawi.  I am now studying at Sydney Missionary and Bible College to be prepared for ministry.  We don’t think we will return to Malawi for the long term, but we do hope to see Manyowe, and other communities like it, transformed for the better.” 

Sunday
Feb052012

Sally Anne's Visit

I am planning on spending the next few posts sharing reports from visitors to Malawi about some of our work there.

The first of these visitors was Sally Anne Timbrell in 2009.

“My visit to Manyowe was truly awesome. In fact, I subsequently visited lots of schools, churches and orphanages all over the central and southern region but none was as moving or as powerful as the visit to Manyowe.”

She describes her wonderful welcome and meeting many people including the Chief of Manyowe Village (pictured right).

“However, the most challenging visit was to the home of a 14 year old girl, a ‘double’ orphan (this is a new term to me - double orphan is a child who has lost both parents, and a single orphan is one who has lost just one). She was caring for 3 siblings as well as 2 children of her own. The poverty and deprivation in this child’s home left me lost for words. The church is caring for them, feeding them and providing what they can for them. She had a baby suckling at her breast - and it was evident that there was very little milk there for the infant. The home had gaps in the roof (another issue for when the rains come), a few clothes were in the corner of one part of the house, and they were sitting eating some insima from a bowl - barely the amount you and I might have for breakfast. I must admit it was at this point that I wept. 

A major issue in the press at the moment is about girls being promised in marriage sometimes even before they are born. A new law has just been passed that a girl cannot get married before she is 16 - an outcry has arisen as women’s groups and health and education organisations believe that even at 16 a girl is not biologically, emotionally or intellectually ready for marriage (often to older men) let alone to take on the responsibilities of having children and raising a family. The girl in the hut is the result of such tradition and law. Unable to provide for herself and her siblings, Pastor Julius Damson said that girls are then forced to prostitution - with the resulting increase in babies and AIDS/ HIV.

The greatest killer in Malawi is Malaria. One of the most effective preventative measures is mosquito nets. These can cost as little as $4 - and can significantly reduce the death rate and illness. And yet, I did not see 1 mosquito net in all the homes I visited in Manyowe. Not one. Cerebral Malaria strikes with overwhelming frequency and invariably leads to death.
It would seem that there are levels of poverty in Malawi - and this is the deepest level of need that I came across the entire visit. It was heart breaking and left me deeply challenged. It is more than a question of throwing money at the situation - although that is desperately needed. It is about education, health and welfare.

Manyowe was, for me, characterised by the deepest level of poverty I met in all the time I was in Malawi. But it was also characterised by a deep sense of community, where the people are prepared to love and to serve each other. This sense of community emerges with the preparedness for people to find meaningful common goals and purposes (welfare, sharing of scarce resources, education, worship) - and it becomes a rich community because within the community there is room for diversity as well as unity.”


In this picture are: Sally Anne with Julius Damson (carrying the choirmaster’s son), some elders from Manyowe Church and Aise Kachenje (who Sally talked about in her report) with the six children she looks after.

Aise was married to an older man when she was 11 years old. He died and she was left with her own children and also several siblings after her parents died as well. She was 14 years old when this photo was taken.

We re-roofed her one room house and gave her seeds to plant her own vegetables, which she could then sell to make a living.

Monday
Jan232012

Manyowe Baptist Church

Mbuye mwayenera.
Lord you are worthy.

Palibe wina ofana nanu.
There is none like you.

 

 

 

 

Yes of course we can worship underneath a tree, however the Lord laid it on our hearts to build a new Manyowe Baptist Church.

The Manyowe Baptist Church was started in 1972. The Church is now used as a school during the week. Manyowe is a big village (about 9,500 people) so there are a few church buildings. This was our first big project in Manyowe.

Included in this page are photographs of the new church being built and a touching photograph of a little boy who sought shelter in the church.