Women and Girls Program to Change Life

Mrs. Lilian

Mrs. Lilian

By: Aubrey Bunguzu
This is the first success story of the Women and Girls Program that Lutheran Hour Ministry is implementing at Mkanda Area in Mchinji Distrct-Malawi.

Women and Girls program is an empowerment outreach program that targets vulnerable women and young girls through micro-financing in remotest areas where poverty is affecting women and girls most.

Men leaving families for employment in towns, premature deaths of husbands, gender unbalance and violence in families, food insecurity due to erratic and unreliable rainfall are some of the underlying causes of women poverty in Mchinji and other districts in Malawi.

“Just like women, young girls are also facing challenges ranging from drop out from school for lacking financial supporting, early pregnancies and marriages because many girls come from poor female-headed families that fail to support them.” Reports villagehead Mndaka at ground opening function.

Mndaka is one among 10 villages whose women and girls are benefiting from the program.

Making the first monitoring exercise to the program that was established in March, 2016, the team visited ten selected beneficiaries at various villages to find out how the program can best assist them. Though the reaction was a mixed bag, the program will still make a very big impact to many households in the area.

Mrs. Lilian Mangwere is one of women who is making money, and believes will grow with it.

“I decided to make small-scale investment in vegetable gardening with the seed money that I received from Lutheran Hour Ministry last month, and have started selling my produce to the vendors in the market.”Lilian reports.

Growing vegetables for cash is a relatively big deal of making money in remotest areas in Mchinji, especially during the dry season that if treated well vegetables will still sell for a time period.

Lilian used the seed money to buy fertilizers and increase the production of vegetables, a small-scale economic system that normally lasts for three to four months.

She added that by September this year she expects to purchase at least enough bags of fertilizers and seeds for her small garden in preparation for the next growing season.

In a country that is facing serious hunger and food insecurity this year, many women and girls at Mkanda area have embarked on trading in maize imported from distant places at a reasonable profit.

With varying talents, some women and girls have also invested in small-scale livestock production, raring chickens, guinea fowls, pigeons, others are keeping goats.

The women and girls program is expected to make life changes among the female households because most of the seed money is being invested in small-scale production rather than consumption.

The job of the LHM-MALAWI ministry, as community development workers, will among others, be facilitating the learning of basic economic concept of investing than consumption for the women and girls to continue benefiting in future, if not attainment of financial independence.

The program seeks to help vulnerable women and girls to be able to experience dignity through economic empowerment.

Young married girls learning business

Young married girls learning business

Facilitation in progress

Facilitation in progress

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A Woman signing to get seed money from LHM staff

A Woman signing to get seed money from LHM staff

March 2016 Pictorial Report of Outreach Activities

By: Aubrey Bunguzu

Apart from the Salima Outreach achievements this month (March), most of our events were successful especially due to the launch and establishment of Women and Girls Empowerment project that LHM is doing in Mchinji at Traditional Authority Mkanda. Below are some of the photos taken at events in the District.

This man left his bicycle inside the arena and responded to a piece of praise music at the BCC graduation at Mkanda in Mchinji

This man left his bicycle inside the arena and responded to a piece of praise music at the BCC graduation at Mkanda in Mchinji

Multitude of watchers grouped well to see Gospel drama at Mkanda in Mchinji

Multitude of watchers grouped well to see Gospel drama at Mkanda in Mchinji

Some of women who were trained in micro-finance project at Mkanda in Mchinji District

Some of women who were trained in micro-finance project at Mkanda in Mchinji District

Workshop started with "why everyone is affected with current economic challenges?' what can women and girls do to alleviate the poverty among them?

Workshop started with “why everyone is affected with current economic challenges?’ what can women and girls do to alleviate the poverty among them?

Mphatso Thole facilitating on 'entrepreneurship' module

Mphatso Thole facilitating on ‘entrepreneurship’ module

registration exercise was done prior to disbursement of seed money to beneficiaries.

registration exercise was done prior to disbursement of seed money to beneficiaries.

Women controlled themselves during disbursement of seed money.

Women controlled themselves during disbursement of seed money.

Local chiefs were also oriented in microfinance management together with the whole group of women

Local chiefs were also oriented in microfinance management together with the whole group of women

Paper work at the microfinance training

Paper work at the microfinance training

Women received MK 15,000 each

Women received MK 15,000 each

Selection was not done randomly, the rate of vulnerability of a woman was minimum qualification get the seed money for business

Selection was not done randomly, the rate of vulnerability of a woman was minimum qualification get the seed money for business

These women and girls happily went away with business skills and financial support through Empowerment project

These women and girls happily went away with business skills and financial support through Empowerment project

This is one among many younger married girls at the age of 18, she explains to use the seed money to do small business and feed her daughter since the husband abandoned them.

This is one among many younger married girls at the age of 18, she explains to use the seed money to do small business and feed her daughter since the husband abandoned them.

Team Leaders have been empowered with bicycles to use when organizing new groups and various meetings of women and girls in the empowerment project

Team Leaders have been empowered with bicycles to use when organizing new groups and various meetings of women and girls in the empowerment project

Urban Evangelism Catches nonChristian Community

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By: Aubrey Bunguzu

Evangelism team, on 10th to 13th March, 2016, was in Salima at Kaphatenga where weather was too harsh for us. Coming from Lilongwe with mild weather experience, we were burned down to sweat at Kaphatenga where temperatures reached extreme high.

But extreme temperatures could not prevent local people from gathering and listening to our Gospel messages. Over a thousand villagers and traders converged to our ground between shops and the main road. Villages, shops and the open benches occupied by vendors were common sources of our audience.

Above all, the most interesting and happy thing was the presence of many Muslim women and men at the event who came with inquisitive faces to hear Christ message. It was very interesting because, despite wrapping their heads with black and white clothes, Muslim women dared to stay and listen attentively to Gospel messages presented by LHM evangelism team through live drama, music, Bible teaching, and BCC booklets.

Presence of Muslims encouraged us to intensify our scope of outreach. For example, while drama was performed, some of the evangelism team members moved across the audience telling listeners about importance of free Bible Correspondence Course.

I saw one of the Muslim listeners, head covered with black cloth, struggling for a booklet which Nyuma Majekete (a volunteer) was distributing.

Even our data frame of students who enrolled into BCC program has a list of more than 10 Islamic names.

We enrolled 200 local people in the BCC program. Muslims are among the people who received free BCC booklet to study the Gospel at home, the willingness that indicated to us that more of these non-christian groups are in need of Living Word of God. But how should it be fulfilled, the answer remains in the hands of God Himself.

Apart from the public rallies, LHM-Malawi also conducted Evangelism Training seminar at Salima parish center, where Lutheranism and Stewardship were taught per request made by Reverend Petros Zombe.

Both the public rallies and the ETS seminar were closed down with Church service held at Kaphatenga where 17 lay people received certificates of attendance, and were sent off by Rev. Zombe.

At church service, 2 public rally listeners joined the church, and Rev. Zombe received the connections.DSCF4032DSCF4035DSCF4017DSCF4025DSCF4018DSCF6323DSCF6382DSCF6464DSCF6488DSCF6502

Risky Youth Get Reselient Skills

By: Aubrey Bunguzu

Young people are the basic assets for the growth of both the church and the nation. But if youth are deprived of guidance and counseling, they are likely to survive with difficulties or perish.

Like anywhere in Malawi, young people at Mkanda in Mchinji face challenging issues of early pregnancies, early child marriages, substance and drug abuse that often lead to ardent poverty and unconventional deaths.

Silvester Banda, Director of New Life Behavior Ministries (NLBM), a local organization at Mkanda in Mchinji revealed when LHM staff visited the his office early this month about all these hidden issues that youth face.

NLBM which is doing sexual reproductive health project at Mkanda has over 30 existing youth clubs in place.

As evangelism outreach ministry, LHM-Malawi held an intervention conducting a day seminar this month, counseling about 39 young people in social and sexual issues affecting their daily lives.

After training the youth rally was held at the trading center ground where about 1,000 people attended, and 167 listeners were enrolled into the Bible Correspondence Course.

Meanwhile the Reverend Daniel Chibwe of Mkanda Lutheran Parish with assistance from Mr. Silvester Banda are conducting follow ups to the students who are currently learning the Gospel through ‘Growing in faith’ booklets.

We anticipate to register more than half of the BCC respondents graduating by March 30, 2016.

The Bishop Talks about Lutheran Hour Ministry in Malawi

Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe

Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe

By: Aubrey Bunguzu

The Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi (ELCM) tells thousands of radio listeners a story about LHM in Malawi.

His Lordship, Bishop, Dr. Joseph Bvumbwe of the Lutheran Church speaks that LHM since 2002, has done tremendous work in evangelism and holistic outreach works in and outside his church.

He says, as partner of the church, LHM will always be remembered with its works in training the local congregational members on issues of outreach that have helped the church to grow in the country.

He acknowledged the research reports that LHM staff used to give to the church leadership that although the church is growing there is still issues of lack of basic faith foundations among members and they rarely understand the origin and teachings of the Lutheran church.

“Sometime when these people told us that there is this issue in our congregations we missed their points, but let me take this opportunity to congratulate the LHM for initiating a new teaching module about ‘Lutheranism’, because trained congregations have knowledge about Lutheran teachings and backgrounds.” The Bishop argues.

He therefore invited listeners to continue supporting radio program by participating on youth issues being discussed on radio by phoning in, or sending SMS so that together everybody is taken on board to deal with youth challenges.

The Bishop speaking on Yoneco FM on Wednesday 24th January 2016 in Zomba, further thanked the management and staff of the Yoneco for a good and quality job the radio station is performing especially on programs that Lutheran Hour Ministry is currently doing in Malawi.

Prior to program presentation, the Bishop has opportunity to talk business with the Mr. MacBain Mkandawire, the Executive Director of Yoneco FM Radio.

The Bishop was accompanied by Mr. Mphatso Thole (The LHM Country Director) and Rev. Evance Mphalasa (Assistant Administrator for Evangelical Lutheran Church)

LHM-Malawi ministry center is conducting youth forum program known as ‘Growing in Faith’ on Yoneco FM targeting youth affected by issues ranging from social, psychological and sexual health.

Dr.Bvumbwe, MacBain Mkandawire (YFM Executive), Mphatso Thole (LHM Director) and Rev. Evance Mphalasa (Assistant Administrator-ELCM)

Dr.Bvumbwe, MacBain Mkandawire (YFM Executive), Mphatso Thole (LHM Director) and Rev. Evance Mphalasa (Assistant Administrator-ELCM)

Talking business

Talking business

Volunteer Speaks about Open Air Rally

By: Aubrey BunguzuDSCF6192

This is witness story told by Sometimes Kalilangwe, LHM-Malawi volunteer.

Kalilangwe starts story by acknowledging that preaching can not only be done at the pulpit but even at an open place through drama can play a major role in bringing Christ to the nations and nations to church.

This has been revealed at Kapesi Primary School in Dedza District where Langitoni Banda one of the dwellers of this area expressed that he has been greatly touched with the dramas Lutheran Hour Ministries Malawi performed during the Open Air Evangelism organized by the Ministry in the area on January 23, 2016.

Kalilangwe talks about how Mr. Langiton Banda, 57 who participated in the outreach events at Kapesi School ground.

“Mr. Banda, he has never ever been accessed to the word of God in a dramatic way as LHM-Malawi has shown to him. Kalilangwe reports.

“He was very impressed with what LHM-Malawi has done to my life, even to the communities around this area. For a long period of my life I have never ever been accessed to the living word of God related to what this group has done to my life.” He writes.

According to Kalilangwe, Mr. Banda shared that besides the entertainment that this group has performed dramas, the evangelism team really transformed people’s lives including him.

It was noted that most people in this modern life greatly prefer social life that is of music and drama such that disseminating the Gospel through this as how LHM-Malawi is doing can really reach many people at a time.

“Many people in these days like music and drama. This is an indication that the work of LHM-Malawi is really reaching many audiences at once. Flocking to where there is entertainment is one of the alternatives one can not miss. On the other hand, edutainment attracts our hearts and make us not to forget what we have seen and heard” Kalilangwe quotes Banda.

The dramas performed have really reflected to the family challenges that are being facing by many spouses nowadays.

“It is therefore so good that the teachings in all the dramas are to give us hope in Jesus Christ and keep us grow in our faith in Him so that all the problems we are facing can only be solved by our Lord Jesus.” Kalilangwe concludes the report.

“Growing in Faith” was among the dramas that was played by the group that received overwhelming response both entertainment and comfort in time of challenges where the play is stressing faith in Jesus Christ as the only way of overcoming all the challenges people face on this earth.

Before the Open Air Evangelism, LHM-Malawi volunteers were engaged in door to door evangelism as one way of reaching people in their own places and share the word of God so that every individual has access in this living word.

At the end of the program over 20 participants in the Equipping the Saints seminar were given Certificates following their completion of the seminar. About 37 local people requested and enrolled in Bible Correspondence Course. Willingly 3 young girls connected to the church. After all the rally engaged 27 youth who performed live choir, and 6 women who provided hospitality to the evangelism team.

LHM-Malawi uses drama, music, door to door evangelism, Bible Correspondence Course and many others in making sure that the word of God is being disseminated to every body in the country even those areas that are considered to be hard to reach.

Women scene

Women scene

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One of village boys who herd cattle attended the rally

One of village boys who herd cattle attended the rally

Bicycler stopped and watched the drama

Bicycler stopped and watched the drama

Part of audience

Part of audience

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Children were encouraged to learn the Word of God at Sunday School

Children were encouraged to learn the Word of God at Sunday School

Rev. Patrick Siliya thanked the LHM Ministry

Rev. Patrick Siliya thanked the LHM Ministry

During ETS closing ceremony, one of graduates demonstrating how to witness using Witness Beads that participants learnt at the seminar

During ETS closing ceremony, one of graduates demonstrating how to witness using Witness Beads that participants learnt at the seminar

Reception of ETS certificates

Reception of ETS certificates

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ETS Graduates

ETS Graduates

We experienced an Increased Responsibility

DSC08303By: Aubrey Bunguzu

Number of listeners to the LHM-Malawi’s “Growing in Faith” radio program, who accept that caring for the grieved youth is their responsibility increases.

On Wednesday 9th December this year, the Country Director, Mphatso Thole, together with Audience Relations Aubrey Bunguzu had a panel discussions at Yoneco FM radio station.

We received more positive responses from guardians and parents who have changed minds and take care for the needy youth within their neighborhoods.

Listeners were challenged by a provocative question that required critical thinking whether it is good or bad to reject grieved youths on religious and cultural grounds.

For the first time, 16 listeners confessed they were wrong, and will take the responsibility caring for the youth.DSC08304DSC08305DSC08305DSC08306DSC08307DSC08308

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