The countryside of Malawi is rather flat in this part of the country. Yesterday, when we were in eastern Zambia, the terrain is very hilly and I would even say mountainous.
The farm is only one hour away. We first stopped in the settlement of Nkhwazi where Cephas and Patricia and family live. They operate the Jumpha Clinic which is right across the road from their home.
Patricia greeted us and told us that her husband Cephas, Haiton Thungula and Francis Ngpola were already at the farm. So, off to the farm, about 10-15 minutes away. Most of those minutes are on rutted road where you must travel about 10-15 miles per hour.
We come upon our 8.1 acre farm. In the middle of nowhere, this is a place that has seen development from the Lilongwe congregation and has attracted local people from the village of Mzingo. Clearly evident are the improvements on the road within the property that is lined with bricks.
Cephas showed us where people’s booths for the Feast were placed. All was done in organized fashion with specific plots outlined.
We were given the tour of the property and perimeter by Cephas and accompanied by Francis and Haiton. They first showed us where people set up their temporary booths. And temporary is certainly what they were. They were built of bamboo and grass, each costing about $20. Tents were an option, but the problem with tents is that they get hot inside and they cost more.
We first walked around the showers and toilets, and then around the solar powered pump and 2000-liter water tank.
Of special interest was the viny sweet potato with a very pretty flower. We also saw acacia/gricenia and grenedilla.
They were talking about irrigating more of this land, which really seems productive, but they will need another borehole. The one that we already have amazingly services the group of 70 or so that were there for the Feast of Tabernacles.
This area has high Portuguese influence.
Cephas’s children followed us around, notably Rachel. She has a sister, Dalless, and a brother, George. We remember these children growing up after meeting the Chapamba family about 15 years ago.
It was hot and the sun was hitting us directly at midday.
We went into an “assembly hall” where the fledgling Nkhwazi UCG congregation came together. This included the Headman and his assistant. There is always a headman and they always seem to be around when foreigners like us are there. By my count, there were 26 of us.
Some sat in plastic chairs while others sat on the ground, mostly women. This included Megan who sat on the women’s side.
Nick Lamoureux has been coming out here for Bible Studies that are held either in this structure or back where Cephas lives at his Jumpha Clinic.
These people’s background comes out of tribal superstitions and fascination with spirits. ButGod is calling some of them into His Truth. This was evident by some of the discussion that took place and seeing the fruits of the work of Cephas and Nick. Most of these people walked in here from adjoining Mzingo village.
I spoke about the Vision, Mission and Work of the Church. Usually, this is a helpful message that gives context to all we do physically in some of these areas. I know that some of the people are here because we Westerners bring things with us that benefit them.
The structure we met in was made from bamboo, and tied together with stripped and sliced rubber from tires. It looked hot, but it was actually cool inside. The structure seemed to “create” a draft that made it very pleasant to sit with all the people.
From here we went to Cephas and Patricia’s home. She prepared a tasty lunch for us, but there was no nsima! Hmmm. She had rice, chicken and chips (French fries) and it was good. We talked about church matters for some time and then headed back to Lilongwe on the M12.
It's one hour. We came to the LifeNets Business Centre. Waiting there was Wizza and Emmanuel with his six year-old son John, who is very active. We waited for Juliana, Chimwemwe and Amina to come. We had invited them to dinner.
This is the day after Easter and many places seemed to be closed, but we found a restaurant called Adlib. It was fun and we had a most enjoyable evening with the young ladies.
This is our last evening together in Lilongwe.