Dedza

Dedza is a district to the south of the capital city Lilongwe. It is one of the least developed regions of Malawi and is predominantly a rural area.

In May 2009 Julian and Caroline felt called to move here from their original base on the outskirts of Lilongwe.

 

 

 



There are 6 churches belonging to the Church of the Disciples of Jesus here. These are in the villages of Lifu and Nyombe to the west of the district, a flat and hot area despite a general altitude of about 3500 ft. The soil here is deep and good and agriculture is generally quite successful. However, that has led to the area being heavily populated and it experiences a drain of her younger people across the nearby border with Mozambique as they leave seeking more land.

Rising steeply from this plain (the inhabited area is up to 5300 ft whilst the mountains themselves rise a further 1500 ft) we enter into a mountainous section of the district around what is a plantation of pine trees known as Chongoni Forest. Sadly, in recent years the demand for wood has meant that large parts of this plantation have been cleared, causing a shortage of firewood within the surrounding villages. Within this area are to be found the village churches of Chabwanda, Mbozi and Tsumba. Close to the latter is both the Village of Light where Julian and Caroline used to live (and where John still resides) and Chiphazi village where a new church plant is currently under consideration. The local people struggle to farm the land as the soil is largely thin and relatively infertile. Again, as population sizes increase the pressure on the land is growing and the experience of hunger among the subsistence farming families of the district is a common one.

A seventh church is to be found over the Mozambique border in the village of Makala.

 
The newly finished building for the church in the village of Chabwanda