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Day to Day

The most asked question I received before leaving Northern Ireland for Malawi was what I would be doing. This was a difficult question to answer as I had been given a rather lengthy job description with little detail on the exact out-working of the job on a day-to-day basis. I always knew that I would have a better idea once I got into the job and so I can now, hopefully, give an answer to that question.

The SU Offices in Lilongwe.

I am now in my third week in the office and have been taking time to familiarise myself with the work of my colleagues and the shape of the ministry in Malawi. To put it simply, my job here is to oversee the day-to-day functioning of the ministries of Scripture Union. The main ministry priority is the work in primary schools, where Scripture Union has an agreement with the government to deliver religious education. This doesn’t mean that SU teaches RE classes, but rather we work with Christian teachers to run weekly Bible Clubs during break times or after school. I am beginning to learn that there is a lot that goes into what seems on the surface to be a simple task.

The work in primary schools is mainly undertaken by Zonal Co-ordinators who work closely with teachers and volunteers in local areas. Our Zonal Co-ordinators oversee the establishment of new clubs, the equipping of teachers and volunteers who lead Bible Clubs, and the co-ordination of Teacher’s Christian Fellowship (TCF) Bible Study groups. In February I will be part of a team who will deliver training to Bible Club teachers (or Bible Club Patrons as they are called here) and this will help me understand in greater details the valuable role these teachers play in sharing the gospel and discipling girls and boys. As the months continue I will be shadowing zonal staff workers as they visit school groups and the meetings of the Teacher’s Christian Fellowship to see what our priorities in this work should be. Already I am beginning to see the value of the TCF meetings as a place of discipleship for teachers.

Resources produced in Africa for the ministry of SU – I am making my way through them to get an idea of how the work is done in this context.

Scripture Union is active in 45 countries in Africa and SU Malawi is a member of a sub-regional group in southern Africa. Together the leadership of the SU movements in these 9 countries (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) meet regularly to learn from each other, produce resources and learn together ways of doing ministry that meets the ever changing African societies. Over the years a lot of good resources have been produced specifically for the southern African countries and I have been spending my time reading through documents of good practice and reports explaining how schools work in Africa is undertaken.

Amon Chanika, National Director of Scripture Union (Malawi).

This week has been a key week in planning the next year of ministry. Amon Chanika, our national director, and I spent a day working through our ministry priority areas and a schedule for training of staff, council members and volunteers who play essential roles in the delivery of ministry. Our next stage in planning is to look into the detail of these events so that we can ensure the best training possible.

Please continue to pray for this aspect of our work. I am beginning to see that training is vital and will consume a large part of my role here. It is hoped that as Pamela gets into her role of working on resources, our work can complement each other in these training events. Along with our Malawian colleagues we will be delivering training across the country on a monthly basis. We ask prayer for wisdom, cultural understanding, good relationships with our colleagues, and safety as we travel throughout Malawi.

Pamela is still suffering from some nausea so has been unable to begin work in the office. Please continue to pray that this part of the pregnancy will soon pass.