One year ago, Dr. Kenneth Root, a member of Valley Presbyterian Church, Paradise Valley, AZ who is a physician specializing in neurology joined with a group of medical missionaries to work with the Ministry of Hope in Malawi, an extremely poor sub-Saharan African country. Upon his return, he shared his experience with fellow members, telling them that he had personally been changed by the experience, saying, “The infants and children of Malawi have placed upon my heart a new life calling for me.” Now, other members of Valley Presbyterian Church have been inspired to reach out with Ken to the children of Malawi.
On April 16, 2007 a Malawi Mission Team from Valley Presbyterian Church Valley will leave on an eighteen day journey to Malawi, where they expect to experience the “warm heart of Africa”.
In 1999, a young Malawian college student name Fletcher Matandika was deeply moved by the plight of so many orphans. He established one small feeding center in Matapila, a village outside the capital city of Lilongwe. Demand grew quickly and what began as a mission serving a few children has grown into the Ministry of Hope (MOH) with six regional centers, serving a daily meal to over five thousand children. The ministry is under the Mkuza Presbyterian Church of the Nkhoma Synod in Malawi.
MOH also supports a crisis nursing care facility for a growing number of abandoned and critically ill babies. The center opened in late 2002 and has cared for nearly a hundred infants, nursing them back to health and returning them to their extended families or placing into adoptive families.
MOH also sponsors a high school scholarship program for those orphans who pass rigorous qualification exams to enter high school but cannot afford the tuition. A $350 scholarship can cover student school expenses for a whole year. MOH believes that to break the cycle of poverty, it is important for these bright students to continue their education, so that they can become teachers, health care workers, and other professionals serving the people of Malawi.
In response to this human need in Malawi, hundreds of people, many groups, young and old alike at Valley Presbyterian Church are supporting the Ministry of Hope in Malawi by sending a Malawi Mission Team.
Their Malawi Mission Team consists of Dr. Root and his son, Brandon; Carmel Courtright and her daughter Katy; and Dr. Marilyn Manning, Valley’s Pastor for Missions, who will be traveling to Malawi.
Led by efforts of fourteen year-old Katy Courtright, over $50,000 was raised to help purchase goats and chickens for an orphanage farm, build a yogurt factory, buy a maize mill, and dig a water well. The team will also be bringing some medical supplies for diabetics, homemade blankets and some infant clothing for the Malawi Crisis Nursery.
Youth made and sold bracelets, and Sunday School “Kids with a Mission” saved coins. Malawi Mission T-shirts were designed and sold. These combined efforts raised over $1,200 for Malawi student scholarships.
The original Malawi Mission Team goal was to raise $50,000 for this mission. Entering the last month before leaving, the Mission Team decided to try to raise another $5,000 for the renovation of the Nkoma Synod Hospital in Malawi. Once again, the Courtright’s came up with a grand plan to make contact with 500 people in 10 days with an objective to raising and average of $10 from each contact. Carmel and Katie raised $1500 in one day alone and the amount is growing!
Valley Presbyterian Church asks for prayers and support for their mission team and the people of Malawi as they prepare to witness for Christ on this mission.