The Thyolo mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for Mankhamba project outreach centre. The main focuses of the base is HIV support, family ministry and training in Farming Gods way. Mankhamba is the home of one of our staff members Patrick Malizani, and it is thanks to his passion for the community that our project there is moving forwards. He was joined by Frank Kratz a skilled farmer with a focus on community development. Together with volunteers and visiting teams input, this village is staring to be impacted in a special way.
The region is badly affected with HIV AIDS yet is poorly equipped to deal with its effects. Families are broken and orphans are numerous; there are few healthcare facilities so many people turn to local witchdoctors for help. In short, it is an area in great need of the Gospel’s hope and transforming power. The ministries have a primary focus in serving those in need, giving hope to the hopeless and healing to a community cut off from easy access and any support. These are the main ministries of Mankhama Outreach Centre.
A group of 30+ women and a few men gather each week to support one another as they cope with this deadly infection. This has been breaking the shame and isolation that has gripped many, lifting them up and giving them joy for mourning as they meet Christ the risen Savior that has conquered death. Last year the group rented and grew a maize field together to provide for those who where really sick and could not farm. The next village has come to join and learn as they want their own support group after seeing the impact in the lives of those in the support group.
Slash and burn farming has stripped the land of Malawi, deforestation has brought flooding and erosion taken all the topsoil in field after field. Farmers have become dependent on fertilizer which is rocketing in price and has made us look to how we can farm a different way. We are part of a movement looking at how God makes the land fruitful with a blanket of leaves protecting soil that stops erosion and holds moisture. Our aim is to adapt this farming method to the mountainous areas together with mixed cropping, contour farming and composting new fruitfulness without expensive chemicals. This will change these hungry mountains into fruitful fields. Training farmers is central to our call in the mountains and we welcome those who want to end poverty with new appropriate technologies.
We have only the resources to help a few orphans get back to school and eat but we gather them each week and share the treasure we have in our hearts and the love and support we can give. Visiting each child in their homes means that families who feel burdened by an orphan can be supported and encouraged to care for them well. We are amazed to see the kids come back not for hand outs but for a time to be loved and taught, a time to be together and know they are wanted and important.
Meeting each week for time together, games and teaching it often seems like every child in the area has arrived when its time to gather. The youth team are having their first chance to minster as they learn to lead this group and each older child visits a few younger ones in their homes to support and care for one another.
The need for biblical understanding as a foundation for churches and lives here is desperate. Mankhamba is so far out on terrible roads that have broken 4x4s and burst tires as we have reached where so few have focused before because of these challenges. The rewards are amazing though, as the core teachings of Christ and the bible change lives as DTS teams and our staff gather people from many churches to study together.
A few youth come together to volunteer and support each other as they take their first steps into serving God, this has been a uniting force for the churches as they see the youth out door to door, healing the sick together and speaking about Jesus.
Broken families are all around us in Mankhamba, and it seems as we visit people door to door that few homes have a father at home. They have either abandoned their wife and children or left for work far away. But Jesus has begun restoring broken homes and given us a passion to see more families restored. This is how the community will be healed – when our Fathers heart shines through born again fathers.
Our future visions is for Patrick to be trained in Primary Health Care so we can then bring Basic Health care to a village that has never seen medical help without many hours of hard travel for the sick. Lord make a way for healing and health to come!
Mankhamba has already welcomed several outreach teams from various nations around the world, but our desire is to establish a permanent link between YWAM and the villages there. The opportunities are huge for teams here, if you want to experience the real Africa on the mountain paths, and from the view point at the Outreach Centre gaze 1000 meters down to the wide rope of the Shire River below – Mankhama is the place to come! The welcome of this village is lovely and teams have been key in the reconciliation of the community and bringing love where only the adventurous lovers of Jesus dare to tread. contact Patrick Malizani on +265 999194491 or the main base to organize a team or individual outreach.