Blog: May 2010

May 29, 2010

It has been a great first 4 days in Malawi!  With only a few luggage and stomach adjustment glitches, things are going well.  I have been welcomed so warmly into the Madisi community by Tinashe, Za, and the other leaders of Rise Malawi Ministries.  I have spent most of my time at Tinashe’s home and the multipurpose Rise office/Za’s home, where many children and friends continuously drop by to greet me and hang out with the leaders.  This is so neat to see a safe and positive place where youth can come to be encouraged, inspired, and just to be themselves--reminds me of the UrbanPromise student center in Camden.   I can already tell how much the kids and teens look up to the leaders, even though we haven’t begun the next session of after-school program yet!  I have also been able to go on a walking tour of the community, which includes a moderate size trading center as well as a few schools and a hospital, in which I hope to volunteer.  One of the most exciting parts of the tour was seeing the plot of land Rise has purchased and to hear of the vision the leaders have for a future community center there.

    I appreciate the slower, simpler lifestyle here so far.  It is a welcome opportunity to refocus and understand how millions of people live around the world.  While things may not be as convenient, such as the lack of a sink, refrigerator, or internet at our home, we have more than most in the community.  I hope that I can continue to grow in my contentment not only in my time here, but also in whatever setting I find myself in the future.  We are visiting the capital city this weekend, about a two hour minibus ride from Madisi, where I have the privilege to stay with some of Tinashe’s family tonight and visit her college alma mater tomorrow.  We hope to make it back to the internet café next week to share more updates!

Pictures: Me receiving such a warm welcome to Malawi & Tinashe and her nephew Chikondi outside her home

May 25, 2010

Janelle Billig, former UrbanPromise Intern is now in Malawi beginning 2 months of volunteering with Rise Malawi.  These are her reflections as she prepared for her trip...

Friends reunite at a prayer commissioning before 5 of our leaders headed back to Malawi.  Janelle is second from the right.

It is truly amazing to reflect on how much can happen in 3 years. In June, 2007 I began a one-year internship with UrbanPromise Ministries in Camden, New Jersey expecting to be challenged and grow in my involvement with urban youth. Little did I know that I would also have the opportunity to live alongside peers from the country of Malawi! It was an amazing year that opened my eyes to the perspectives of diverse people around the world. Getting to know the UrbanPromise International Fellows, Tinashe, Gibozi, and Sullivan, also profoundly touched our whole intern class. One of the most joyful parts of this spring has been having our Malawian friends return to visit. Ive had the pleasure of seeing our intern teams reunite to reminisce about the past, celebrate the present, and show our support for the future of their ministry endeavors. It is encouraging to see how our own individual journeys have unfolded in the time since we interned together. The Malawi crew certainly continues to inspire us with their passion, dedication, and boldness in taking steps to impact the lives of children in their home communities.

If you had asked me 3 years ago, I also never would have guessed that in 2010 I would have the chance to spend the summer in the Warm Heart of Africa! I have a passion for eliminating health disparities in our world and lifting the disease burden that prevents individuals and communities from achieving their God-given potential in life. During my summer break from medical school, I have been provided with an opportunity to serve alongside my former roommate Tinashe in her home country for the next 9 weeks! I am looking forward to living and volunteering with RiseMalawi Ministries and various health clinics to learn about the gifts and challenges that are present there. I hope to share with you what I learn through this blog regularly, so stay tuned and keep us in your prayers!


May 25, 2010

Early yesterday morning, 5 of our Malawi leaders started their 24hour trek home after a month of training and generating support for their work.   Joining them is a friend named Janelle Billig.   Janelle will be volunteering with Rise Malawi for two months. During her time, you can follow our blog to hear about her journey!

May 4, 2010

Written by Alinda Charity - UPI Fellow.

It is so amazing to know that even in this generation there are young leaders who are still passionate about transforming the lives of the children in the most under-resourced communities in the world. In this case, Tinashe Saka, Sullivan Kandulu, Gibozi Mphanzi, Robert Manda, and Za Chijere are my heroes!

Two weeks ago these five leaders from Malawi (Urban Promise international affiliate ministries) flew into the States to share stories about the wonderful work taking place in Malawi . It has only been two years since theses ministries started but what has been done so far is phenomenal.  They are changing the lives of children, their families, and their villages.

Tinashe the leader of RiseMalawi says, “Our program provides a full healthy meal each day of camp, we get kids to play, teach them bible verses, pray together and also help them with their homework. The kids who have been coming to our program have developed relationships with us and you can tell that they love it and that they’re very happy about what we teach them.”  Tinashe is so passionate about educating young women; she says that education is the only way for young girls to be empowered to succeed in this developing world.

For the time they have been in the States, they have visited various churches, individual groups and friends, they have told stories about the ministries and for sure great work is happening in Malawi , and lives of children are being changed.

If you want to connect with them during their visit, please see our Calendar.

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