The Work in Dedza

In May 2009, with a group of 10 churches established in the bush villages around the capital, Julian and Caroline felt called to move from their base on the outskirts of Lilongwe. They are now living on a farm in the village of Chiphazi in the rural area, some 80 kms further south, close to the town of Dedza. The farm, formerly known as "Bewitched" (as it sits under a mountain of the same name), is now known as "The Village of Light".

A western style house for the missionary family and visitors was the first priority. The project was a huge challenge but the end result is quite remarkable. Julian and Caroline moved onto the land in late 2011. There still is no mains electricity so lighting and limited appliances are all solar powered. Three Malawian style houses have been built to house the families looking after orphans. A pig unit and various storage units have also been added. Water is a constant problem and so a number of shallow wells have been sunk at key points on the land to supplement the main source provided from the hand-pumped bore-hole, with a water tower for storage.

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The Ground Breaking ceremony on the farm land at Chiphazi performed by the District Comissioner for the region – August 2010

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The farm is planted with a variety of crops to support the families on the land and to be able to model an approach to farming which will offer much higher yields than traditional Malawian ways. The hope is to be able to gradually restore the land after many years of growing only maize. A very large number of trees have been planted to address the deforestation, to assist the water-table, and provide nitrogen content, added security and a fruit crop.

Leaving the 10 churches within the Lilongwe district in the care of a local leadership team, they have now established two churches in villages around the farm and another three further afield in the wider Dedza region. Julian and Caroline are now principally involved in training church leaders and helping them to disciple the church members.

 
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