When talent meets passion-Meet Emmanuel

Emmanuel’s first encounter with Cornerstone was in September 2016. Unlike many camp leaders who come to Cornerstone seeking a chance in the youth empowerment program, Emmanuel was called by a friend to help write some artistic message for a missionary team that was coming in a few days.

Impressed with the afternoon prayer devotions, he asked if he could be allowed to be attending the daily prayer devotions, a request that was granted.

Few days down the line, Emmanuel showed so much passion that he was given a role to be teaching Standard 6 at the after school program.

Within a short time, the whole camp had come to know him not just as a teacher, but a gifted artistic young man.

At 23, Emmanuel knows screen-printing, drawing, making arts and crafts, making shoes and slippers. Not only that, he is a talented music composer and singer.

Manzy
Emmanuel painting an artwork

With all the talent and skills, Emmanuel, a first born in a family of seven always dreamt of making more impact in his community. And coming to Cornerstone, was his first step.

He started teaching kids how to make arts and crafts and all the kids at the camp enjoy it.

Inspired by most leaders at Cornerstone who walked through the green terrain of African Bible Colleges, he applied for admission last year.

By the grace of God, he was accepted into a Bachelor of Arts program at the college.

Now in college, Emmanuel has a higher vision to reach out to his fellow youths through his talent and inspiring other youths through his testimony

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Love in times of fear- Smith’s story

According to the global human rights body, Amnesty International, since November 2014, Malawi has seen a sharp increase in human rights abuses against people with albinism, including abductions, killings and grave robberies by individuals and criminal gangs.

At least 18 people have been killed and at least five have been abducted and remain missing. According to the Malawi Police Service, at least 69 cases involving crimes related to people with albinism have been reported since November 2014.

An aggravating sad story is told of teenager David Fletcher who went to watch football at a local ground but did not return that evening.  Days later, police confirmed that David’s body had been found in Mozambique with his hands and feet chopped off. David was last seen in the company of a colleague who disappeared along with him, who is still missing.

Due to this, many parents and guardians of children living with albinism have restricted the movement of their children.

When these attacks had just started, we were afraid that one of our Standard 4 kids, Smith would stop attending our camp.

But to our surprise, by the grace of God, nothing changed in regards to Smith’s coming to the after-school program.

 

Smith
Smith with his friends at the camp

The other encouragement was that the general aura in society was filled with some extent of isolation towards people living with albinism, but at the camp, all the kids showed so much love and support to Smith.

Seven year old Smith is one of the brightest kids at the camp. At homes he lives with his family of five. His mother runs a small tomato business which is not enough to support the family of seven.

And with his skin condition, Smith needs sensitive skin protection lotion which sells at around $15 but his family cannon afford it.

At a time when people living with albinism are being hunted and sold like animals, at Cornerstone, we aim to be a safe haven where they will find love, food, protection and care.

Remember Padana?

In 2013 when we opened the doors of our After-school program (ASP) to kids of Salima, we did not anticipate the overwhelming number of kids that we have today.

But on that mild afternoon, a small 8 year old Padana Nkorongo was one of the kids who courageously pioneered the Cornerstone ASP.  In our maiden newsletter in our maiden newsletter in July 2016 there was a story of Padana graduating from the ASP in anticipation of secondary school.

Padana
Padana captured in 2013 at the After-school program

To us at Cornerstone, Padana’s completion of primary school meant we had finished our role in her life and she would now fly away to pursue secondary education elsewhere, but God had anointed Cornerstone to be a blessing to Padana’s life.

Last September she wrote entrance examinations at the Cornerstone Christian High School (CCHS) and was successfully admitted to be part of our second intake.

But what’s the amazing story about Padana?

For the two terms that she has been part of the ‘butterflies’, her colors have shone brighter than all the girls in her class.

And for Padana’s success in the first term, Urban Promise International awarded her a school bag and some school supplies. Then to her surprise, Pastor Laura Colee who is her sponsor also brought her gifts in appreciation of her academic exploits.

Padana’s success is an indication of the benefit that kids can reap once given a good start at early education.

We believe there are many Padana’s in the streets and villages in Salima. All they need is God’s grace to be washed from the dirt where the gold within them has been covered by mud.

As Padana progresses to Form 2 once the school opens in September, we pray that the Lord gives us grace to reach out to as many Padana’s as possible.

The joy of growth

 

By Samuel Malasa Banda

 At times, it is hard to appreciate the grace and love of God when all things seem to be in place. When one’s dreams and visions seem to fall in place, many forget the tough rides that were taken and God’s grace and intervention.

Hence, months since the inception of our Cornerstone Christian High School, we are appreciating God’s provision towards the running of the institution.

In its two years of operation, our school has set a model for education in Salima district: a beautiful school campus, well-behaved students, inspiring teachers, daily Bible devotions and many other admirable aspects that make CCHS outstanding.

What’s so special about our high school?

‘CHRISTIAN’.

Many institutions are providing education in Salima district, but our school is taking the top spot because of its holistic approach to education.  As the school  Principal Chikondi Elvis Chabakha points out:

“It is a great to be a part of movement that is flowing in the blessings of God.  For example just the ability to see transformation in the lives of a few of our students is always inspiring.  I believe, education should always be holistic.”

Form two (10th grade) student Vellina Kamtsokwe says she loves Cornerstone because of its Christian stand:

“I underwent the Cornerstone After-school program when I was in primary school, and when I heard that Cornerstone has opened a secondary school, I knew that the quality education and Christian standards that were at the ASP would also be found at CCHS, so I did not hesitate to enroll as a student”, says Vellina, “and true to my thoughts, “CCHS has helped me build my identity and purpose in Christ”.

Come September 2018, our high school will be enrolling its third cohort of students. This is great news as it means preaching the love of Christ and providing better education to an increased number of youths.

But we have a challenge…

Our school needs a Science laboratory and library.  Our Science teachers are hard-working and always improvising when in need of some apparatuses, the need for a laboratory cannot be improvised.

Currently, our students use the second block as a library but since in September another group is coming, it means the improvised ‘library’ will be occupied by the students.

We believe that in line with quality education there is a need for a good laboratory and library.

Our students are excited about their school campus, it is certain that they will be more excited with a beautiful science laboratory which will enable them have a practical feel of the theories they learn in class.

 

 

*You can help grow our school by following this link:

Support CORNERSTONE MINISTRIES MALAWI

 

 

 

 

 

A plate of rice served with love

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Yohane usually knocks off from school at around 1pm. On his was home he used to be   doubtful whether he would find food or not, thinking about the homework that awaits him. Hungry, tired, he is not sure whether he will manage to finish his homework.

This was his story a year ago before he joined the Cornerstone After-school program.

“Since my coming to the After-school program I am always excited whenever I am knocking off from school” says the 9 year old Yohane, “I know that my delicious meal awaits me at the camp” he boasts.

Yohane is not a lone case.

For Comfort Gunduze, Cornerstone is more than a meal.

“I love the food at Cornerstone because the teachers are always excited to serve us. I always know that at the feeding program teachers’ love seeing us. Whenever I am there, I feel the love of God” testifies 8 year old Comfort.

Currently, the feeding program is catering for over 15o kids from seven public primary schools that surround Cornerstone Ministries’ Malawi’s catchment area