Inspired by Victory

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The Victory Church Center team with Cornerstone Ministries Malawi staff at the High School site.

By Samuel Malasa Banda

The Apostle Paul reframes words of Prophet Isaiah; “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news” in Romans 10:15. For Cornerstone Ministries Malawi hosting 24 missionaries from Victory Church Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma was a manifestation of the scriptures.

Spending only a day at Cornerstone did not deter them from achieving their mission; spreading the word of God through demonstration of good works.

The team first went to Rwanda where they preached Christ and helped in Christian organizations before spending three days in Malawi.

Dividing themselves into two groups, they worked on helping builders at the Cornerstone Christian High School construction site while the other group slashed bushes around the site.

With a clear demonstration of passion and zeal for work, leader of the delegation Mark Kresge attributed his team’s eagerness to having a purpose;

“Our inspiration is that our church is missions minded and we are very passionate about spreading the message of Christ. Not only the message, but also being the hands and feet of Jesus. We believe this is both important and Biblical that’s why our team is very passionate about supporting the local church.” Said Kresge, who is also the Young Adults Pastor at Victory Church Center.

Commenting on the activities being carried out by Cornerstone Ministries Malawi in Salima, Kresge admired the tremendous impact that Cornerstone is making on the kids and youths of Salima through its programs.

The team comprising 17 ladies and 7 males had time to tour the After-school program that runs every day at Cornerstone where around 180 kids are given class lessons and provided with meals and snacks at the end of learning every day.

The leader of mission’s group further said Urban Promise International and Cornerstone’s vision is amazing. He commended the ministries that they are building and providing education for the next generation while strengthening the local church and community for Christ.

Inspired by the missionary team’s zeal, Cornerstone Ministries Malawi’s After-School Program Director, Tionge Matangula said the visiting team has demonstrated to them the real definition of being sold out for Christ.

“Their attitude towards works was so awesome. I am marveled at how they worked tirelessly despite being their first time doing such kind of work.” Said Matangula, admiring how selflessly they worked.

Matangula further thanked the team for considering visiting Cornerstone as he said this also serves as an encouragement in the ministry’s daily work.

Spending their last day before departure at Cornerstone Ministries, members of the team applauded Malawians for being very warm.

“The people in Malawi are very welcoming, joyful and resourceful. And we are happy at how creative the people are by making use of every resource they have. The people are very definition of stewardship,” Acclaimed Pastor Kresge, “I urge Cornerstone and other Christian ministries in Malawi to continue the good work, and don’t get tired doing the good work as Galatians 6 says.” He concluded.

The team that was a combination of beginning and veteran missionaries did not just fulfil their mission of preaching Christ, rather they demonstrated true stewardship by committing themselves to work and gaining victory over every endeavor they partook.

 

 

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Empower the girl child; Educate the Nation

By Samuel Malasa Banda

In a traditionalist society where women are mostly regarded victims, girls at Cornerstone Ministries have chosen to challenge the stereotype and stand out as heroines.

Using the Girl Empowerment program, Cornerstone is reaching out to every girl child who attends the After-school Program, and so far, the initiative has reached to a majority of girls in the whole community.

Established in February 2013 by Enettie Malangano, the program has four focal points; enhancing academic performance, spiritual development, advancing social and life skills and promoting hygiene among girls.

According to Cornerstone’s Girl Empowerment Program Coordinator Emily Shaba, the program targets girls aged between 10 and 18.

To Shaba, the weekly meetings convened every Friday with the girls, they are not just mere girls’ time out, they have been so instrumental in shaping the girls attitude to challenges in life.

“In the one year that I have been at the helm of the program, we have seen tremendous improvement in the turn out of the girls,” she commended. “Many girls have found a safe haven in the mentors that we have in the program.” Concluded Shaba.

Shaba, an Urban Promise International fellow said the program now has an average of 50 girls.

Among other things, when the girls meet they share the word of God, discuss the challenges they face on daily basis and also help those who are in need physically like sourcing clothes to distribute to the helpless.

Asked on what challenges is the program facing three years since its inception, the program coordinator singled out lack of enough resources.

“There are somethings which we would like to do like inviting external mentors to speak to the kids, or maybe having some tours in colleges to see how successful other ladies are, but due to limited resources, we cannot do that” she said.

In a community that has a high school dropout rate, especially among girls, the girl empowerment is striving to change their attitude and mentality towards education. And as it stands, the challenge also spreads to reaching out to the communities and transform their view on girls’ education.

For Cornerstone as an organization, education for the girl is more important as she not only builds the home, but all routine responsibilities are completed by her. Today’s girl child will be the mother of tomorrow.

Cornerstone; a Team That Inspires

by Samuel Malasa Banda

It is said; every successful startup is built on four pillars, team, idea, passion and presentation, at Cornerstone Ministries Malawi, we have all the four in abundance. The unique team comprising 14 people makes things happen.

But what makes working at Cornerstone Malawi a great experience?

For Joyce Pande, Cornerstone’s Administrative Assistant, Cornerstone is more than just an office, it is a haven and play center.

“At Cornerstone you meet the most amazing people with most remarkable stories that will stick with you forever. And I am not just talking about the kids. I am talking about the staff and camp leaders. You wonder and are surprised at how God led a group of amazing people to meet here.” adds Joyce.

To achieve success, the organization has members of staff with different backgrounds. Boasting a combination of graduates of different professions ranging from Biblical studies, Mass Communication, Education studies, Journalism and Administration.

Then the question might be, what is the motive behind such a diverse workforce?

“The initial idea was to have a mixture of youths who would be able to inspire and motivate other young people to work hard in their studies and achieve more. And to accomplish this, there was a need for diversity.” says Danneck Falinya, Cornerstone’s Executive Director.

The grouping started its operations in Salima in 2013, and since then it has been recruiting young people to be trained in its Youth Empowerment Program.

Three years down the line, has Cornerstone managed to inspire the youth in Salima?

According to the Youth Empowerment Program director, Leonard Chanza, the organization has managed to reach out and touch the lives of young people in Salima. For him, this is evident by the increased number of boys and girls who are always at their offices seeking advice on academics, career and life skills.

Furthermore, some of the youth empowerment program alumni are now in universities which is a clear manifestation of the program’s impact in the community.

“We have an alumni at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, with another studying Information Technology at Blantyre International University while other two have just graduated from the Malawi Polytechnic and Kasungu Teachers Training College respectively.” said Chanza.

With such youths, the Youth Empowerment Director is proud that the organization has managed to have a positive impact in society.

All the success that hangs on the walls of Cornerstone cannot be attributed to a single person, they are fruits of working together as a team.

At Cornerstone, there is an unwritten law derived from the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

The ORU- Cornerstone Experience

By Samuel Malasa Banda

Their motto screamed; “Make No Little Plans here”, their theme questioned: “What could be?” while their kindness and attitude towards work summarized it so lightly; It would be so easy to touch lives across the world with the message of Christ if we all strived to make bigger plans in life. That’s the best way to describe the Oral Roberts University missionary (ORU) team that visited Cornerstone Ministries Malawi.

The thirteen member missionary’s team comprising nine girls and three boys arrived in Salima, Malawi on Thursday 19th May and spent two days.

The team spent their Friday at the Cornerstone Christian High School construction site handing bricks to the builders and clearing the bush on the 6 acre land that is to be the new home of Cornerstone.

Though the bush clearing is an intense task, especially to someone who has never undertaken it before, the team showed its commitment by tirelessly giving all their energy to the work.

Team Leader for the ORU missionary group, Benjamin Sherrill hailed the vision of Cornerstone saying he is thrilled by the great plan that this ministry has. “Together with my team, I am glad that we have taken part in clearing the future of a Malawian child”, he said.

During the stay, their involvement in the after school program also brought overwhelming excitement to kids in the program as one standard five learner exclaimed; “Today I have been taught Math by a white person”. (Referring to one of the missionaries who taught in the after-school program classes)

Commenting on her experience at Cornerstone, Mia Flores, a 19 year Theology student at ORU, said she was delighted by how staff at Cornerstone operate to change student’s lives, “The connection that teachers have with their students show how much the teachers care about their learners and it’s a beautiful thing to see”.

Grateful for the team’s Great Spirit, Cornerstone’s Executive Director Danneck Falinya, hailed ORU for the continued trust in the ministry by sending their teams to Malawi.

“Since 2013 we have been receiving missionary teams from the Oral Roberts University and their presence continues to be a motivation to us, he applauded. “Furthermore, we have been inspired by their hardworking spirit and kindness.” Danneck concluded.

Before departing for Lilongwe, the team spent Saturday morning at the magnificent Lake Malawi enjoying the scenic beauty.
Imagine, what could be if we all strive not to make little plans in life?