zambesi mission (zm)
aims to nurture "partnerships
in the gospel" between Christians and churches in the UK and their counterparts
in Malawi and northern Mozambique. One of our objectives is to help the
church there to be self-sustaining; to avoid situations where they become
dependent on outside support. It is problematic when an outside organisation
is really only propping up the local church. It prevents the the church
from carrying out its God-ordained role of supporting itself and its pastor.
It is also not sustainable: we often ask "what happens if zm dies
in the night?" Who will support the initiative tomorrow?
Helping others to help themselves
has led zm to look for ways to help the local
church to help itself. We have recently been implementing a number of
pilot income-generating schemes with our church partner the Zambezi Evangelical
Church (ZEC). The purpose of these schemes is to provide local churches
with a modest project which will pay off the initial investment and then
yield a profit which the church can then use.
Each church meets together to work out the best
way to support itself. This is vital to ensure that the church "owns" the
project. The church works out the cost and the likely benefits of their
preferred scheme; then they discuss the project and seek the agreement
of the ZEC church leaders. ZEC's leadership have to ensure that the
project is viable and proportionate, so that the various churches are
treated with equal fairness. The church makes an agreement to run the
project for the benefit of their own pastor, the needs of the local
church as well as ZEC as a whole.
A Church helping itself
In one church,
Nsanje ZEC, the church has been building a house that they will rent out
to raise income to support their pastor and their church's activities.
At Mulanje ZEC, Pastor Synoden Mulamba has been instrumental in leading
their income generating project: a pig-farming scheme.
Using funds donated from zm the
church has constructed a pig sty with three separate chambers for rearing
pigs. Just a couple of weeks ago, one of their church elders carefully
brought back three little piglets on the back of his bicycle from distant
Phalombe - about
A significant day!
zm Projects Officer Rose
Chirwa travelled with Church Development Partner Myles MacBean to Mulanje
ZEC to witness the arrival of the new piglets. He wrote, " I remain
convinced of the longer term, God-given wisdom of zm's founder
Joseph Booth's strategic approach of helping people to help themselves.
I was encouraged by the spiritual and practical determination of this
little church to find a way to stand on their own feet even while they
are being battered by the economic storms of the failing harvest; and
I felt privileged to be serving the Lord in an organisation like zm that
may be small but that has a big heart for the spiritually lost combined
with such a practical and strategic way of demonstrating Christ's love ".
Our prayer is that the ZEC church at Mulanje will be able to successfully
rear, tend and breed its pigs; so that they can make a profit. If they
can do this, they will generate vital funds that will help them to look
after their pastor and carry out the mission of the local church in their
Rephrasing the old adage - If you give a church a pig they feed for a
day ; if you give a church a sty and help them to rear pigs, then
they will look their pastor for life!
Mike Beresford (zm Director)