Monday, July 05, 2010

Departure day

We’re going to Malawi together!

Travel Plan: We plan to depart Laguardia Airport, NYC, on Monday, July 5, at 6am, first to Dullus, and then on to Lilongwe via Addis Ababa Ethiopia. We will arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi, on July 6 at 12:20pm (with no overnight layover stop). Most plan to return to Laguardia on Friday, July 16, at 1:48PM. Some (including the Christensens) will continue to travel in Africa.

Destination: Malawi, a small land-locked, developing country of 12 million people bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, is particularly vulnerable to famine and disease, and suffers from extreme poverty and AIDS. The July Mission Trip team will carry out its mission in and around Mzuzu City in Northern Malawi where WorldHope Corps supports HopeHomes orphan care program, Hope Tailoring School and Village Well projects in partnership with Mzuzu United Methodist Church and Malawi Shalom Zone Committee.

Reverse Mission: To raise hope in vulnerable communities through cross-cultural relationships, “reverse mission” and the ministry of presence. Our service team will focus its activities on being present in communities need and to vulnerable persons, who have their own gifts to share. By focusing our mission of help and hope on relational support and being with those who are economically poor, we hope to fulfill a ministry of presence (God’s presence through us) which may result in our own spiritual transformation. Henri Nouwen calls this “reverse mission.” In encountering the rich spirit of Christ in those whom we would serve, we ourselves are transformed in the process. A good way to prepare for the trip is to read Henri Nouwen’s book Gracias to deepen your understanding of “reverse mission.” Other reading material will be recommended to team members preparing for the trip.

Projects and Objectives: We will assist in food distribution, volunteer at selected mission sites, meet and encourage students receiving Hope Scholarships, assist participants in economic ventures that support the mission, and visit village well projects with the objective of mutual ministry and service. We will also explore with local experts social justice issues affecting Malawians, including the HIV/AIDS pandemic, extreme poverty, and local effects of economic globalization.

Specific Activities:
1. Serve daily meals to orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children and lead recreational and educational activities at two community orphan care centers, including HopeHome program sponsored by Mzuzu United Methodist Church with support from WorldHope Corps.
2. Visit with some of the youth recipients of Hope Scholarships and support for their secondary school education and vocational training
3. Visit CitiHope Malawi projects and meet local staff
4. Visit prisoners in Mzuzu Central Prison, delivering food and hygiene supplies
5. Possibly dig a village well and dedicate other village wells recently installed by WorldHope Corp as part of our community development program.
6. Help local community members develop micro-financed small businesses
7. Help organize a new ‘shalom zone” within the Mzuzu Circuit of the United Methodist Church
8. Conduct art workshops and recreational activities for vulnerable children and youth in remote rural area (possibly overnight).
9. Visit Livingstonia Mission (legacy of David Livingstone)
10. Worship with our Malawian brothers and sisters on Sunday in church

Local Ministry Partners: Mzuzu United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Synod of Livingstonia, Malawi, Mzuzu Shalom Zone Committee, and CitiHope Malawi