13 Nov 10th Anniversary Celebrations
Mtunthama has been buzzing this summer. The tenth anniversary of the opening of St Andrew’s Hospital took place on 30 July, attended by the Minister of Health, the Bishop of Lake Malawi, local MP’s, local chiefs and village headmen, and over three thousand people eager to celebrate the occasion!
There were of course speeches (de rigeur in Malawi) and singing and dancing by choirs, community groups and several branches of the Mothers’ Union, some of whom had travelled considerable distances to be there.
Also able to join in the celebrations were three groups from UK – St. Peter’s School, Exeter, Wrekin College, Shropshire, and Sedbergh School, Cumbria. St. Peter’s and Wrekin had adult groups as well as students.
St. Peter’s constructed a roof for a primary school in a nearby village and then rebuilt the orphanage playground; Wrekin repainted the church and helped out at the orphanage; Sedbergh created imaginative designs which they painted on the interior walls of the hospital wards.
But more importantly, they all spent time with the local community, sharing ideas, learning about each other’s cultures, experiencing something of different ways of life.
No doubt many of the UK youngsters will have returned home with a new perspective on life, having seen how material possessions do not in themselves create happiness, but that love and kindness in a deeply caring community are the values that really matter. Let us hope that such a perspective will stay with them.
One of the orphans, Jacob, has just completed the first year of his training to become a Clinical Officer. His fees have been met in part by money from the books sold at the back of church.
Another of the orphans, Thomas, has just been interviewed for the same course and we are optimistic that he will be accepted; Sedbergh School have undertaken to pay his fees.
Jacob has been volunteering at St Andrew’s over the summer break, and he intends eventually to seek a permanent post there when he qualifies. We have just received his first year exam results which are excellent, placing him among the top ten students of his year.
Frank and Eunice Dzantenge, after fifteen years at All Saints’ Church, have moved to St Paul’s parish in Lilongwe, the capital city, and Frank is also to be Diocesan Projects Officer. Please pray for them in their new role; their drive and vision will be much missed in Mtunthama.
As Stephen Drew takes over the reins of Medic Malawi, having long supported us and having initiated the involvement of Wrekin College where he was until July the Headmaster, Dot and I step back – a little!
We shall continue to work for Medic Malawi and of course we shall support Stephen in any way we can. We thank you all for your wonderful support over the years, and ask for your continuing prayers for the work of Medic Malawi, and especially for Stephen as he takes on the challenges that lie ahead.