New CDJ Administrator
The new CDJ administrator Charles Nelson has settled into the new role very well and is now able to take some of the pressure off John. He has moved onto the farm with his family. The propagation of the Rooted in Jesus teaching via small groups is going well in the Dedza region but more slowly in Lilongwe and Chikwawa. John is encouraged by the progress that has been made in Nsanje.
CDJ leaders in Lilongwe with Rooted in Jesus 2 books. Charles Nelson is on the far left.
Hardship through drought and storms
Malawi is suffering from severe shortages at the present time (mid-2023) – shortages of fuel, food and fertiliser.
There have been problems with drought in the north of the country and severe storms in the south.
Some of the devastation caused to the roads in the south of the country by Storm Freddy
The high cost of fertilizer is now out of reach of many ordinary families so crop yields this year have been far below normal. Earlier this year, SaltMalawi provided the Church of the Disciples of Jesus (CDJ) with funds to help alleviate the problems of insufficient food.
At the beginning of May, 25kg bags of maize flour were distributed to the families of 200 seriously affected church members in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts following the devastation caused by Storm Freddy. The aid package included 200 blankets, 200 buckets, 36 pots, 200 basins, 204 cups and 800 plates.
Julian will be travelling to Malawi in July and will be able to witness the situation first-hand and assess how best SaltMalawi can help.
Delivery of aid to the south
Shortage of Maize 2023
The countries of southern Africa rely on maize as their staple food. Maize requires good amounts of rain and sunshine at the right times, as well as sufficient nutrients in the soil. For Malawi this means that fertilisers are necessary for there to be a good harvest.
The war in Ukraine is affecting the supply of both fertiliser and the elements required to make fertiliser (See Daily Telegraph 17 January 2023) to much of the world. The cost of a bag of fertiliser in Malawi has risen from 35,000 Kwacha in 2022 to about 80,000 this year. It is far beyond the reach of the average person living in a village. For very many families this would be more money than they see in an entire year. For a good harvest traditional farming methods require at least 2 bags of fertiliser for a 2 acre field! The fear is that there will be another very great food shortage after the current growing season.
Women from Tsumba village
Church Leaders Update 2022
Thank you to everyone who prayed for Julian and Nigel during their visit to Malawi in October to December 2022.
The principal reason for the visit was to encourage the church and provide training for her leaders. Four leaders’ conferences were held over a 6 week period. These continued the equipping of the church to run small groups in the various communities. These groups are intended to further the discipleship of the church members. Please pray for the protection of our team of leaders, and that God will raise up more workers in His harvest field that is Malawi at this time.
Leaders came to the conferences from the districts of Lilongwe, Kasungu, Dowa & Ntchisi, Dedza, Nsanje and Chikwawa as well as from parts of Mozambique. Reflecting that the church now is actively present in over one half of the Central region of Malawi, there remains some way to go before we reach the majority of the southern or the northern regions.
Dedza leaders after the final conference at the Village of Light showing their Rooted in Jesus 2 materials