Visit to Village of Light by Andrew and Liz November 2014

Last November, we had the privilage of being able to visit Julian and Caroline in The Village of Light for a second time that year. The trip had been prompted by the apparent usefulness of the Flannel Graph kit we had used in the villages on our previous trip.

The team had seen this as a very useful teaching aid for both children and adults, and had made enquiries as to how a complete kit could be obtained. The answer to this question appears to be “from America using a parcel delivery service”. When considering a delivery to a small town in Malawi has a “this year, next year, sometime, (probably) never” feel about it. After some discussion with the SaltMalawi trustees, we volunteered to cary a complete kit and deliver with far greater certainty, at least in timing, than one sent by a parcel delivery service.

We were able to spend time using the flannel graph in the villages teaching the children more stories of Jesus, continuing on from our time earlier in the year.

Flannel Graph being used in one of the villages
Two elderly women being visited by the
“Mercy Group”
  During this time in Malawi, we were also able to work with, and encourage The Mercy Group. Being able to walk with members of the group, and visit the elderly and poor in the villages was a privilege, and being able to speak in those situations of the wonderful salvation we can have by faith in Jesus was in many ways just like being one of the disciples in the gospels going to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. In every instance we were well received, and as with many visits in African villages, we went to speak to one particular person, but ended up speaking to an extended household of family and friends.

One highlight for me during the visit, was the opportunity to travel north to see some of the people I had seen some years ago in the Makosana district churches. I travelled with Cameron initially to see Kaisha, a man I briefly met about five years ago, as the church at Dzoole was just starting. He is now the leader of the church in that village, but is very ill. It was a great relief to see him walking about outside his home, and to be able to encourage him from the scriptures and to pray for him and his wife and children. It was also an encouragement to me to see a portion of the congregation gather spontaneously around us and to receive their greeting.

Kaisha and his wife in the village of Dzoole

We then went on to Makosana, and stayed in Biliat’s house, catching up with leaders from most of the churches in that area. Over the next day, we met with over 30 leaders of the churches, and we were able to devote two extended periods of teaching on servant leadership, which were well received, and provoked some lively and interesting discussion.

Biliat’s house - typical of the area
“Anyone for tea?”
Yes, brewed in a 3 gallon bucket
with one (or was it two) bags of sugar added

Staying overnight with this group of leaders, who were hungry for fellowship and more understanding of both the word of God, and it’s application, was an exciting experience, which demanded a listening ear to the leading of The Holy Spirit. It was indeed a sad moment when we had to leave to get back to Village of Light before dark.

All in all we were thrilled with being with Julian and Caroline for those two weeks, delivering the flannel graph set, walking with and encouraging the Mercy Group, visiting the Makosana district churches and seeing faithful men and women who we had seen several years ago, and being part of the discussion on the immediate development of the work on the farm, and being around at the inception of the church in the neighboring village of Tsumba.

A wonderful fortnight -- Thank you Jesus!

Andrew and Liz Thurlow