Around the World, June 2021
Featured image (above): Spiritual therapy at rehab center results in baptisms…
Blogging live from Thondwe, Malawi
The D-Malikebu Church of Christ is a simple brick building with stone pews that seem to melt into the floor. I’ve never seen anything like it.
There’s no sign outside the building.
But everybody seems to know that it’s here.
It’s been here — in a small village of the southern African nation of Malawi — since 1964, though the Christians had to rebuild it once after a fire. About 170 members worship here. The church has four elders.
Damison Nsapato has served as minister here since 1978. He and his wife are the proud parents of seven children and have 18 grandchildren.
I asked him in what year he was born and then stood dumbfounded as I scratched out the math on my reporter pad.
I’m here in Malawi, known as “the warm heart of Africa,” as part of a reporting trip to southern Africa. I’ve also visited (and blogged from) Swaziland and South Africa.
Malawi’s people have lived up to their country’s slogan. Finding Brother Damison off a winding dirt road was an unexpected joy.
I’ve heard that there are 4,000 Churches of Christ here, although some members think that number is low. Everybody here has head of the Church of Christ, which has roots that reach back more than a century.
Repeatedly, I’m meeting gray-haired Christians who grew up in the church. On African soil, that’s rare.
I asked Brother Damison how more than 100 people fit in the tiny church building. He looked at, shrugged and (through an interpreter) said, “Yeah, sometimes it’s full.”
After visiting the church, I watched as members of The Malawi Project distributed much-needed medical supplies to a rural hospital. In the afternoon, we rode far out into the countryside to present wheelchairs to a community action group that helps the disabled. More on that later.
And now for the obligatory animal picture. I shot this just before lunch in Zomba, Malawi. Who needs to go on safari when baboons roam the streets?
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