Women challenge hunger and fight poverty

By:        Aubrey Bunguzu

Women in Malawi are the most vulnerable groups of people. By virtue of being a woman, Malawian societies regard females as powerless, isolated, and uncommunicative in nature, so that very few can develop. The powerlessness comes in due to illiteracy, unemployment, hence low income which is the poverty manifestation among women. Story of poverty can continue be narrated if ever women have little or no access to income generating programs.

Lutheran Hour Ministry, through its Women Empowerment Program strives to assist poor women and girls to seal this economic gap that exists among them. The program issues the seed money to the most vulnerable women and young girls to finance small scale businesses, as to improve the life.

During monitoring exercise, the ministry staff found that more than half of the program beneficiaries experience positive change in their household economy. Two of the women beneficiaries narrate their success stories to the ministry staff.

Betina Sande, aged 24, is a young woman who is physically challenged, as she moves on crawling since she does not own any walking aid.

Living at Lameke village in Mchinji District, Betina is single, and cares for two siblings whose parents passed on due to AIDS attack.

“My life was difficult before I received the seed money from the ministry people.” Betina starts her story.

“Imagine how we stayed with these children here without anything supporting our lives? I do not need to tell everything since you know what I mean by that.” Her face showed the touch on the previous experiences.

After getting MK 15,000.00 as starter pack, Betina invested it in her small business which market tomatoes, onions and dried fish.

She wakes up as early as 3 am. “I hire a bicycle to collect goods supplies from the nearby market places, and use the same money to pay for transport services of my goods.” Reports Betina.

Betina said on good day she makes revenue ranging from MK 4,000.00 to MK 5,000.00. The development has changed her family. For example, “I am able to feed, send my siblings to school, buy clothes, meanwhile have planned to buy a goat.”

“I will not die with hunger.” Ends her story.

As if this is not enough, Chrissy Sandifolo is another business woman who noticed economic development in her family after getting and using the seed money third time.

“I first ventured into marketing second hand clothes. While this kept on improving, the proceeds were invested into another portfolio product, such as groceries, and benefits boosted up.” Reported Chrissy.

Using the business proceeds, she supports her two children in high school education, another two in primary school education.

“I have even reroofed my house with corrugated iron sheets, and we are living in the house that does not leak in rainy seasons than it was before.” Happily, Chrissy expresses her experience.

Commenting on what women are experiencing in the program, Village headman Lameke thanked the LHM-Malawi, and those that pray for the program for making differences in women lives.

“You have trained women in establishing and conducting small businesses. I hope they will use and die with the knowledge and skills.” Comments Village headman.

He concluded the remarks by saying a proverb: ‘do not give them fish, give them a hook to fish they will sustain.’ The seed money could not yield anything alone. Training in business skills plus the seed money makes the program a success.

 

LHM is reaching hard to reach areas with the Gospel

By: Aubrey Bunguzu

On 20th January 2016, Mapira village was blessed with Gospel messages that LHM evangelism team brought in a day light through the music, and Bible studies.

Villagehead Mapira was among the people who expressed happiness because the Good News of Jesus Christ was preached in his village.

Mapira village lies in among the four closer hills, at a place difficult to reach with vehicles. The road is very rocky that if care is not taken tyres can burst due to its roughness.

LHM has established a new prayer group of 9 members in the village.

Rev. Patrick Siliya hailed the ministry team for the outreach efforts in his parish. Mapira is the second preaching point to Lizulu trading center in Dedza Mission area where the Siliya is serving.

BCC in Schools

By:  Aubrey Bunguzu

Bible Correspondence Course is a follow up program to ministry respondents to various ministry programs. For example, the free BCC program at Genius Foundation School in Dedza, 69 learners received certificates after completing the course.

The Audience Relations staff made a visit, a month ago, to this school advertising various outreach activities in the area. dsc_13511

A Respondent Inspired by Apostle Paul

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By: Aubrey Bunguzu

This is a story of Richard Izeki, 45 years old who said that Apostle Paul inspired him to follow the Word of God and share it with neighbors.

Richard Izeki is a secondary school teacher who retired at the position of a Primary Education Advisor (PEA) in Dedza district some five years ago.

Meanwhile, Richard is running a private secondary school named ‘Genius Foundation’ in partnership with another pensioner at Linthipe II in the District.

Before visiting LHM office, one day he met Reverend Patrick Siliya who told Richard about the Lutheran Hour Ministry and the free Bible Correspondence Course program.

“We met at Chimbia Trading centre in Dedza, and the Pastor introduced me to free Bible Correspondence Course.” Narrated Richard.

He received the English version of the Growing in Faith booklet and completed answering the questionnaire.

Unfortunately, the answer sheet had no contact information such that it was difficult for the Audience Relations staff to send back a marked script to Mr. Richard, therefore, it was kept for a couple of two months in office.

But God works His own way.

It was on Tuesday, 27th September, 2016 when Mr. Richard Izeki came into LHM-Malawi office in person following up the marked script of the BCC.

“I have come to collect my script to see how I have done. I am coming from town where I was buying some items for my school, and used this chance to pass by your office and get the script myself.” Richard introduced himself in the Audience Relations’ office.

Mr. Richard, the Director of Genius Foundation, talked about how God is wonderfully blessing the investment.

“On September 21st, 2015 we opened school with form one only with 5 leaners, by the end of term there were 15, second term 40 and closed with 48 in all forms in the same academic year. In short I should proudly report that in 2016 our school graduated 13 out of 15 who sat for Junior certificate examination (JCE).” Reports Richard Izeki.

According to Richard, Genius Foundation has a total enrolment of 128 learners.

Answering to the question, why he is also interested in the Bible Correspondence Course offered by Lutheran Hour Ministry, Richard said that despite having a lot of work to do, his love to the Word of God was inspired by the well learned people.

“I also asked Dr. Kayange, a lecturer at Chancellor College the similar question but I was amazed to learne that Kayange also got inspired from the work of Apostle Paul.” He answered.

He said Dr. Kayange is a senior lecturer at Chancellor college, a constituent college of University of Malawi, but use to preach the Gospel as if he is a pastor.

He also said, “I learnt from him that even Apostle Paul was an educated person, and that was why the government wanted his services to destroy the church, and later God used his skills and knowledge to defend the church.”

LHM-Malawi has engaged Richard Izeki to act as an advocator for the ministry programs, especially the free Bible Correspondence Course.

Upon leaving, Richard took some booklets to continue the study. He has also invited the Audience Relations staff to visit his school and talk to over hundred school community members about the programs.

Sometimes good models produce good followers. Mr. Richard got inspired by both Dr. Kayange and more importantly by the work of Apostle Paul to share the Gospel to all people.

Direct connections

DSC_0646[1].JPGBy: Aubrey Bunguzu

Reverend Patrick Siliya has happily received twenty local people who willingly affiliated to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi through the outreach efforts of LHM-Malawi team at Lizulu in Ntcheu district.

LHM-Malawi had live drama and music performances over the weekend. a one day evangelism training empowered the people to know the more about the church and the ministry. what Lutherans believe was major subject to let people understand the church they want to join.

BCC will reduce repeated cases at Kachere Juvenile Reformatory Centre

By:  Aubrey Bunguzu

90 juvenile prisoners graduates from free Bible Correspondence Course at Kachere prison centre in Lilongwe.

Mr. Kamenya, the officer in charge of the prison centre asks for more books to allow the remaining prisoners access the Gospel because it is observed that some of students behaved well after undergoing through the course.

“her we have about 300 inmates, we would like at least all of them read your educative materials because we have found that the Word of God is needed here for behavior change.” says Kamenya after presenting the certificates to students who completed the course.

Radio Program

DSC_0393[1]By: Aubrey Bunguzu

LHM-Malawi expressed concern over the maternity leave of a woman radio presenter (name withheld) who anchored radio programs in 2015-2016 Fiscal year.

The woman in her 20s is a Muslim employed at YFM where LHM-Malawi run its proclamation broadcasting programs to youth and her dedication and creativeness towards the programs contributed more than what anyone could have done.

After hearing news about her maternity leave from YFM staff, Mphatso Thole, the Country Director, complained because “she was salt to our radio programs.”

Often in our society it is very rare for Muslims to do interactive jobs for Christians to avoid being exploited, but with this presenter, it was exceptional to God. We believe the Christian messages she used to give to the public have impacted her conscious and the rest of her family. Let us all pray for God’s Spirit to continue proclaiming in their souls.

The news was learnt in Zomba while LHM-Malawi staff presented the first radio program for 2016-2017 Year soon after signing contract agreement with YFM.DSC_0384[1]DSC_0385[1]DSC_0388[1]