Christa Hesselink

Why our church cares about Malawi


The room quieted as our team watched a older man slowly stand and start speaking.

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” he said.  “We are here today because the answer is yes! We have one mission and it is to build the Kingdom of God together.”

Those in the room responded with a resounding, “Amen!”

These are wise words from a man whom I would have never met had it not been for the partnership our church has forged with World Vision Canada. Three years ago our church, The Meeting House, started this journey as Global Partners with two communities in Malawi. We keep in regular contact, including through in-person visits, like this one last summer, where we witnessed this wonderful moment.

The Meeting House team was impressed by this multi-denominational, multi-faith group of leaders that together tackles challenges of HIV and AIDS in their area of Malawi.

The Meeting House team was impressed by this multi-denominational, multi-faith group of leaders that together tackles challenges of HIV and AIDS in their area of Malawi.

This man’s words were especially poignant as they were spoken by a pastor addressing his peers in a multi-denominational, multi-faith group that has gathered once per month for over 3 years to address the challenges they face because of HIV & AIDS impacting their communities.

This courageous group of men and woman from Malawi have recognized that partnership with World Vision and with each other is the only way to truly make strides in caring for the widows and orphans in their communities. The group was originally organized by World Vision in efforts to foster collaboration and connection among leaders within the community– a key part of any solid community development initiative.

When asked if gathering together has made a difference, one pastor told me that the group would never have met together and is truly grateful for World Vision’s initiative to facilitate the group.

Partnership transforms everyone and I have seen this first hand as our church has linked arms with World Vision to support two communities in Malawi.

We have been so encouraged to learn that the funds we have given through child sponsorship has made a significant impact for children, families and community leaders:

  • More bore holes have been dug giving many new access to clean water.

  • The number of savings groups being organized has increased enabling families to invest money into income-generating projects.

  • More schools have been built and more children have remained healthy.

    The list goes on and on and the community is building momentum as they are seeing things change.

    Equally as important is the transformation our church community has experienced over the past 3 years. We’ve been maturing in learning to live more simply in order to give more generously. Our prayers have changed to reflect the growing friendship with those in Malawi. Our children and youth curriculum is adapting to reflect our responsibility as global kingdom citizens. Our hearts are being moved to live more compassionately.  Yes, partnership transforms everyone.

    That pastor was right. The mission is to build the Kingdom of God together and there is nothing more important.  By God’s grace and meaningful partnerships with others we will see ourselves and others restored.

    About the author

    Christa is the author of, Life's Great Dare: Risking it all for the Abundant Life, which was released in March 2016. A gifted speaker, Christa has taught in many settings and has enjoyed advocating for organizations and people who are doing important work on behalf of the world's most vulnerable.

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