While the UK roasted at 40°C, our Projects Coordinator escaped Britain’s summer heatwave by traveling to cool southern Africa. Geoff Holder reports on a busy but productive three weeks catching up with APF partners in Malawi and Zambia.
Extreme weather driven by climate change is causing shocks all over the world. As new temperature records were smashed back home, I visited communities supported by Pastor Lloyd Chizenga (pictured above) and Hunta Faeti from New Life Christian Church (NLCC) in Malawi’s Shire River valley.
Earlier in the year, the area was devastated by two huge tropical storms. Flooding washed away crops, homes and livestock. Your gifts helped APF provide replacement seed and training delivered by Lloyd and Hunta which was now ripening into a lifesaving harvest.
Outside of the flood-affected area, we heard how the training given by the church was having a huge impact. Global energy prices have made fertiliser unaffordable. I was told, “Pastor Lloyd is a prophet! He saved us with the message of composting now we can’t buy fertiliser anymore”.
In Liwonde, I met with Pastor Patrick Stephen Mateketa. He runs village discipleship training workshops in rural churches using our library resource app eVitabu as a reference tool. He found APF online and downloaded eVitabu on his phone. “It is good having a library there in my hand when I am teaching untrained pastors in the village” he explained.
Back in Blantyre, I ran workshops for NLCC pastors and leaders helping them also get onto eVitabu. Pastor Sousa travelled all the way from Mozambique to attend.
In Zambia, I joined Pastor Lawson Limao (pictured below) in Shibuyij, a village several hours’ drive outside Lusaka, to see him teach in a tiny mud and straw church using resources on eVitabu. The training was fantastic! He’d gathered leaders from local churches and the community to learn about agroforestry and faith, meeting the community’s physical and spiritual needs. It was inspiring to see the power of eVitabu in the dedicated hands of a brilliant young leader. In Lusaka, Lawson and I were interviewed about eVitabu on a Zambian Christian radio station with an audience from across the country.
Finally, in Luanshya, a town in Copperbelt Region, Revd Charles Mwape and I ran a workshop helping Baptist pastors use eVitabu. It was especially useful seeing how the pastors used their phones in different and sometimes unexpected ways, lessons that will help us improve the app and make it easier for African users in the future.