Provide 4,000 Bibles in the Chichewa language to vulnerable communities in Malawi
- Pastors and Church leaders: 1000
- Chiefs and traditional leaders: 400
- Widows and Women: 600
- Counselors: 300
- Volunteers: 200
- Youth: 1500
Mark Graham and Ashley Hayward never imagined that their trip to sub-Saharan Africa would affect them quite the way it has. They didn’t just come back with nice photos and some warm fuzzies, but with a chief-ordained mission to somehow get 4,000 Bibles in the Chichewa language to communities in Malawi.
When the pair set out they were expecting to simply meet and spend time with local family friends made by Mark’s father over a 10-year period of supporting the rebuilding of communities ravaged by disease and poverty in rural Lilongwe.
Instead, Mark and Ashley witnessed first hand not only the deep suffering of the most vulnerable persons affected by AIDS, extreme poverty and gender-based violence, but also the incredible hope and transformation that was taking place, and how these shocking situations and environments could be changed when a simple Biblical approach to minister and care for the vulnerable was implemented by the people in these communities themselves.
The pair desperately wanted to participate somehow, but were conscious of the community-based approach to development. How could two outsiders help out without presuming to understand the complex needs of these communities?
After struggling to find the right fit, Mark & Ashley went straight to the top for advice – community Chief, Theresa Malila. Her answer was immediate and not at all surprising… “We need Bibles.”
Theresa opened Mark and Ashley’s eyes to the fact that in most of these developing communities, there were only one or two Chichewan Bibles shared among the local leaders. She acknowledged the difficultly in putting into action a Biblical-based strategy for transformation, when these community leaders were working from memory or a few notes made when a Bible happened to pass through their hands. How much more could be done if each of these leaders had easy access to the ‘manual’ themselves?
It was during the final goodbyes that Theresa turned to the pair and said, “I’m counting on you to get us our Bibles.”
Upon returning home to the UK Mark & Ashley teamed up with Visionledd, whose work they saw first-hand in Malawi, to help facilitate the task at hand.