25 July 2022
Virtual visit to Malawi
From the Revd Graham Thompson, President of the Methodist Conference
Last Thursday I was part of a virtual visit to Malawi organised by All We Can, the Methodist relief and development organisation. We met with partners who are co-ordinating a community transformation project in the Chikwawa region in south-west Malawi, the Eagles Relief and Development Programme.
During the visit we heard of how the Living Waters Church is working with ecumenical and other partners in a part of the world where rainfall is uncertain, cyclones are common and flooding a regular, recent experience.
The Revd Victor Mughogho heads up Eagles and reminded us that development can only be a long-term project that engages effectively with local communities and cultures. The church, as an embedded part of community, is well-placed to be an agent for such change. Their work looks to see effective change in the way that disasters are managed and mitigated, as well as enabling greater awareness and action around public health, food security and empowerment.
In linking our conversations with the presidential theme for this year - The Greatest Commandment - Victor Mughogho asked, ‘what does love look like?’ In response, he spoke of some of the activities and engagement of Eagles and the changes that have already been seen in the Chikwawa region.
Throughout the visit there was a strong reminder that social action and evangelism go hand in hand. Once needs have been met, individuals are more ready to hear of God love made real in Jesus. A love that drives Christians to seek ‘life in all its fulness’ for others.
As we returned home from our visit, I was reminded of the quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, ‘Preach the Gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words.”
Thank you to All We Can and Eagles for a splendid visit.