By Samuel Malasa Banda.
To those who are fortunate to be residents of Salima, a small lakeshore district in Malawi, it is no strange scene seeing a group of Whites in a fleet to the lake and spend a weekend basking in the sun. Malawi boasts one of the best freshwater lakes in Africa.
But, it is a peculiar view seeing fourteen Canadians staying three weeks, not at the lake, but at a small local lodge, all for a cause greater than refresh and luxury. Sacrificing twenty-one days to be burnt by the heat of Salima, all for the love of mission and spreading the love of Christ.
That’s the story of the Ubwenzi (Partnership) team from Ladner Baptist Church, British Vancouver, Canada.
The team arrived in Malawi on July 21st and spent the next three weeks working hand in hand with their partner organization, Cornerstone Ministries Malawi.
During their stay, they spent their early days mornings learning about Malawian culture and planning on how to precisely work out their time in Malawi. While afternoons were spent visiting homes of kids being helped by Cornerstone and also homes of camp leaders.
The visits were not without impact.
One of the camp leaders, Medwel, expressed his excitement at the visit of the Canadian fellows to his home: “It was the first time that a White person had visited my home. Both my parents and people in my community were astonished seeing my new friends in my neighborhood”, such is Medwel’s joy.
With the visits, many people had become aware of the activities and programs of Cornerstone Ministries in Salima.
The subsequent days were fun thrilled as Cornerstone’s three weeks summer camp rolled out.
The Ladner team was divided into two groups; one was helping teach at the Cornerstone Christian High School where youths aged between 12 and 20 were taught: Bible, Computer Discoveries, Science and Discovery, Crocheting, Tailoring and Design, and other several skills.
One of the teachers at the high school, Lucy hailed the presence of the Ladner team during the summer camp:
The other group helped at the kids’ summer camp where the Bible, Life skills, sports, music and arts, and crafts classes were run.
On his part, Cornerstone’s After-school program Director, Tionge Matangula relives all the memories of the Ubwenzi team:
On one Sunday, the team attended a church service at a local Presbyterian church where Cornerstone’s Director Danneck, is one of the leaders. The team also took time to appreciate God’s creation at the magnificent Lake Malawi before going on a safari to Zambia.
The team at Cornerstone still has fresh memories of the humility, selflessness, and love shown by the Ladner Baptist Church team and aspires to replicate the same as they work to touch the people of Salima with the message of hope in Christ.