2021 is APF’s 40th Anniversary year! In celebration, some of our longest standing partners have shared memories of partnering with APF. This time, Revd Lloyd Chizenga describes some of the ways APF has supported the ministry of New Life Christian Church in Malawi for more than two decades.
I joined the Fellowship in 2000 when Revd Ralph Hanger was APF Director. Since then, APF has been instrumental in my life and family and the ministry of New Life Christian Church here in southern Malawi. APF to us is family so we are celebrating 40 years with you.
Over the years, APF has been a true partner in the gospel of Jesus Christ. When our house was attacked by robbers in the night, APF helped us relocate to a safer part of Blantyre and build a new home.
When our church network was very young and had no trained leaders, APF helped new pastors get vital basic training. Each person got a certificate of attendance.
APF provided goats to poor church leader families. When a goat gave birth to twins, one young goat was given to another family as a way out of household poverty.
Income generation projects have been an important part of APF’s support here in Malawi. Working with pastors’ wives to set up micro-businesses has made a huge difference. Many children were able to go to secondary school and pay school fees because of the profits pastors’ wives made from these small enterprises.
More recently, APF has equipped our leadership team with eVitabu. eVitabu is like a library that grows and grows. I was one of the first pastors to use eVitabu.
I travelled to Uganda in 2018 and was given a tablet to use eVitabu on. There are so many resources on eVitabu that are good for pastors here in Malawi to read.
Covid-19 continues to be a huge challenge here. Many businesses are bankrupt and hospitals are struggling. In Blantyre, city health authorities have launched emergency activities to deal with a big increase in the number of patients. At Christmas, workers returning from South Africa brought that new Covid-19 variant with them which is more easily caught. Malawi is not likely to get any vaccines soon, but we are grateful to APF for the grant which helped us buy washing buckets, soap, masks and sanitiser.
The most significant partnership between APF and New Life Christian Church however has been the Growing Greener project. We have been running this for about five years now and it is truly a life changer for poor farming households. We train communities in village churches on farming techniques like no-till soil management, composting, mulching, agroforestry and on-farm micro-business.
Rural communities are always suspicious of change. Even when a change is shown to make a positive difference, witchcraft is blamed. But because the Growing Greener project is led by us and comes through the local Malawi church, not from outsiders, people trust it, follow the teachings and it is working. So far, this project has reached many thousands of households.
All this would have been impossible without APF’s standing alongside us. By working in partnership with the local African church, APF taps into the resources already there in the church and in the community. It is this approach that is really make a difference.
So, to all our friends who support APF back in the UK, thank you!
Revd Lloyd Chizenga is ‘Bishop’ of New Life Christian Church (NLCC). NLCC is an independent network of churches based in Blantyre. The majority of NLCC congregations are in rural communities in Malawi and Mozambique.
Lloyd with a pastor’s wife at an APF training event in the early 2000s.
Household income generation schemes
for pastors’ families supported by APF.
Milk, meat and young. Rural households
use goats as a way to save and invest.
Revd Paul Kylimpa (l) from Uganda and Lloyd (r) checking out some of the farming resources on eVitabu during the app’s launch event held in Kampala during 2018.
Geoff Holder speaking with farmers participating in Growing Greener, 2017.