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Stories of Hope

Reflections for every day in Lent listening | transforming | learning | growing | stewarding | healing | sharing

St Mary Redcliffe Church &

Temwa


Welcome to Stories of Hope – this year’s Lent reflections. Lent is a time for prayer and reflection, for fasting and focussing on how we can serve others, for repentance and realigning our lives with God’s will. For several years, part of our Lenten focus at St Mary Redcliffe has been a Lent Appeal – directing our time, energy, resources and prayers to support a charity chosen each year. This year our Lent Appeal partner is Temwa. This booklet has been put together by Temwa and St Mary Redcliffe staff and volunteers. It is an invitation to engage both with the season of Lent and also with the work of Temwa and the lives of the people in remote areas of Malawi that they work with. The communities Temwa works with are communities facing isolation, drought, famine, high levels of HIV and AIDS, with high mortality rates and large numbers of orphaned children as a result; communities facing environmental crises as over-reliance on single unsuitable crops, and deforestation for fuel take their toll. Healthcare is underfunded and hard to access, education is a luxury for those families able to afford to spare their children from working the land. When I think about these communities there is very definitely something that points me towards the cross. And yet, what shines through when Temwa people talk about these communities, about their work, is that they are telling stories not of suffering but of hope. Those voices shine through in this booklet – words written by Temwa staff in Malawi, and stories of people they work with. Their stories are not Lenten stories but Easter stories of new life and the triumph of love over fear. So while this Lent I encourage you to observe the solemnity of the season, to simplify and slow down your life to make more space for God, we’ll also be keeping our eyes on the horizon over which the Easter dawn is about to break. This booklet celebrates stories of hope, and through our Lent Appeal, we are working to create and share in many more such stories, as we build connections with people in Malawi though our prayer and action. Each week has a theme that links to a certain aspect of Temwa’s work, and which gives hope: listening, transforming, learning, growing, stewarding, healing and sharing. Each week has a ‘story of hope’ from Temwa’s work in Malawi, a prayer from a Malawian member of Temwa staff, a Bible reading, a reflection to draw together the strands of the week’s theme with your own experience, an action, an intercession and a thought from a Temwa staff member in Malawi. Although there is something allocated to each day, you may like to explore each week’s theme as a whole, as the different sections for each week are chosen to complement each other, and you may like to spend more than a day on some things, particularly on each intercession and action. Our prayer is that this booklet will deepen the Lenten journey of those who use it by drawing them closer to God and into deeper solidarity with people in Malawi. Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us, so we and all your children shall be free, and the whole earth live to praise your name; through Christ our Lord. Amen. Revd. Kat Campion-Spall Associate Vicar, St. Mary Redcliffe Church


We’re delighted that St Mary Redcliffe has chosen us as the Lent Appeal partner for 2017, and we’re so grateful for this opportunity to share with you a selection of our more uplifting stories of hope, highlighting some of the incredible things we’ve managed to achieve in northern Malawi over the past 14 years. Working with some of the most isolated and vulnerable communities, in one of the world’s poorest - yet oft-overlooked - countries, we still face many challenges ahead, particularly as many of the people we support are small-scale farmers who are struggling in the face of an ongoing food crisis, and our changing climate. Despite this, we continue in a spirit of hope, working in partnership with communities to bring about lasting, sustainable change. Faith is an important part of most Malawians’ lives, and we’re delighted to be able to bring you some of our field staff’s favourite prayers, poems, and thoughts throughout this book - I hope you enjoy reading them and that they help you to keep our Malawian partners in your thoughts and prayers over this Lent period. I hope you’re able to join us on the 4th March for our celebratory launch concert, or if not, at one of the other wonderful activities going on in St Mary Redcliffe over the Lent period. On behalf of everyone at Temwa - both in Malawi and here in Bristol - and all the communities we work with, thank you so much for choosing to find out more about us and supporting our work. You can learn more about our work in Malawi and how you can support us all year round by visiting www.temwa.org. Jo Hook, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Temwa

Action

Reflection

Prayer

Reading

Story of Hope

Intercession Word from Malawi


Lent Appeal key events Stories of Hope: Pop-up exhibition Throughout Lent North Nave

Development photographer Adam Dickens (Taking Pictures, Changing Lives) works with Temwa to share their stories visually, beautifully capturing the Malawian landscapes and bringing to life the people Temwa works with and the projects they run. He’s curated this temporary exhibition of some of his favourite images of hope. Celebratory concert

Saturday 4th March, 6pm-9.30pm

Join us for a special candlelit concert celebrating the start of the Lent Appeal - details opposite. Make for Malawi

Saturday 11th March, drop in between 10.30am-3pm St Mary Redcliffe Undercroft

A charity crafting event for all ages and abilities! Using beautiful Malawian fabric, you are invited to make something for yourself to take away, or for us to sell on our craft stall, to raise money for Temwa’s work in Malawi. Saturday cafe and crafts Look out for our pop-up cafe and craft stall in church on Saturdays throughout Lent. Keep up-to-date: stmaryredcliffe.co.uk/lent-appeal facebook.com/stmaryredcliffe temwa.org/lent-appeal facebook.com/temwauk


Stories of Hope A celebratory concert Saturday 4th March 6pm - 9.30pm Join us for a very special evening as we launch this year’s Lent Appeal! Doors open at 6pm with a champagne reception and preview of a pop-up exhibition from development photographer Adam Dickens. From 7pm, enjoy a candlelit concert featuring readings of stories of hope from Temwa’s projects, and performances from:

Wasuremono Senne Timcke Bristol Gospel Generation Community Choir Gurt Lush Choir Bristol MAN Chorus The Hendersons Food and bar available Suitable for all ages Tickets: by donation on the door


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WEEK ONE · LISTENING

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As a community worker, I have the power to provide hope, to inspire, to challenge, to comfort, to reassure, and to enable the sick, the homes that are food insecure and the poor. Oh God, give me the wisdom and strength to enable me to look beyond my needs Channel your abilities through me to enable each community under my service to be changed in a positive way by what I say or do, Lord I know and understand that through these communities I have the power to change the world, so help me God. Amen. Peace Katemecha, Finance and Administration Manager

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Thursday 2nd March

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Luke 18.35-43

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As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard a crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.’ Then he shouted, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Those who were in front sternly ordered him to be quiet; but he shouted even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!’ Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, let me see again.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.’ Immediately he regained his sight and followed him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, praised God.

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5MAR It seems that the more power people have, the more people listen to them. Those who are powerless often also lack opportunity to be heard, meaning they have disproportionately little influence on decisions that affect their lives. This is true both within communities and on a larger scale within countries and at an international level. In the story of the blind man, those with more power - who had pushed their way to the front - tried to silence the man who had nothing. But Jesus listened to him and asked him what he wanted. It’s important for people facing multiple disadvantages not to be ‘done to’ by agencies coming in, but to have their own voices and their own desires listened to. Temwa’s work in Malawi is always led by the communities themselves, who know what they want. Temwa staff and the communities work together, to empower the communities to become self-sufficient. Where do you have power, and where do you have a voice? Do you, intentionally or unintentionally, silence the voices of anyone who has less power than you?

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Saturday 4th March

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“Temwa, you are the community hero. Hope to the people Nkhata Bay North, born out of love and God’s grace to serve the disadvantaged.” Graham Banda, Field Co-ordinator

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WEEK TWO · TRANSFORMING

Sunday 5th March Samuel, primary school teacher Samuel is a teacher at a school in northern Malawi. This area suffers from rapid deforestation, as people cut down trees to clear land for growing crops and to provide firewood for everyday needs such as cooking and heating their homes.

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Some of the impacts of deforestation are global, including the loss of habitat for wildlife, desertification, and climate change. Others, though, are more localised, and in Nkhata Bay North, deforestation has led to widespread soil erosion. For Samuel’s school, which is situated on a steep hillside, the erosion was so severe that it was - slowly but surely - undermining the building’s very foundations.

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Four years ago, the school joined one of Temwa’s forestry projects. Led by Samuel, pupils helped to raise and plant seedlings; now, the young trees have not only reduced soil erosion, but also provide shade so that breaktimes are more enjoyable, and pupils can benefit from lessons outside when it’s hot.

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To continue caring for the trees and the surrounding area, Samuel also set up an environmental conservation club. 20 pupils - an even split of boys and girls - are involved in the club, which collaboratively manages issues that affect the environment around the school grounds. By taking such an active role in the project, and establishing the club, Samuel’s not only helped to reduce soil erosion and halt the ongoing damage to the school building, but he’s also helped create a much more pleasant local environment. Even more importantly, he’s fostered a sense of commitment amongst the children, teaching them about environmental stewardship and encouraging them to reflect on their relationship with - and responsibilities towards - nature.


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A Prayer of Mother Malawi My Lord in heaven, thank you for your flourishment of every new day and breath Thank you for the marvellous nature, and the magnificent forests I have been blessed with My beautiful nature sustains lives and every creature in my care Today I am in tears, crying in questions Where are my lovely forests I used to have? The animals and tremendous water bodies with splendid kinds of fish, where has all this gone? My only hope and an answer to my crying is in one word “Temwa� The word Temwa to my depleting forest means reforestation, The five lettered word to my hard-to-reach communities means sustainability. On the other hand the fearless Temwa shouts its lungs out, Calling on all brothers and sisters to join hands in wiping tears off my face, To put in all effort to bring in back the lost forests, so as to put back a smile on my face. Beatrice Msakwiza, Programmes Support Officer

Tuesday 7th March Isaiah 41.17-20 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

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Wednesday 8th March

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Isaiah uses the metaphor of trees growing in the wilderness to show what kind of transformation is possible with God – it’s a profound hope for life to be better for the people who are poor and needy and thirsty. In places of drought and lifelessness, tall, strong, fragrant, beautiful trees will grow as a sign of God’s blessing and abundance. This kind of transformation can be a reality in Malawi. In some areas rapid deforestation is happening as a result of poor education and short-term needs for basic necessities such as firewood, which has had a negative knock-on effect on the local environment. It is, however, possible to reforest areas, which will improve soil quality, preserve critical water sources and improve diets through providing nutritious fruits. Temwa’s forestry programmes are working with communities in Malawi to reforest dry ground and transform life for the whole community. Do any of your decisions or actions have a negative impact on the environment? Can you make decisions or actions that have a positive or even transformative impact on the environment instead?

Thursday 9th March It costs Temwa £4 to plant a tree. How many trees can you fundraise for by giving up little luxuries this week? Invite friends or colleagues to join you - together you could fund a forest!


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5MAR Pray for places where the natural environment has been damaged or destroyed, that they may know transformation and abundance. Pray for a transformation in human attitudes and behaviour that our impact on the environment may be positive.

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Saturday 11th March

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“Sadly, it’s much easier to create a desert than a forest.” Graham Banda, Field Coordinator

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WEEK THREE · LEARNING

Sunday 12th March Mickey and Frank, students Mickey is a 16-year-old girl who lives with her grandmother and two older brothers: her father died when she was young, and her mother went to Tanzania to find work. Although her grandmother is her only caregiver, she’s too elderly to help with food production, so Mickey and her brothers must tend the field at their homestead. They can just about grow enough to get by, but there’s no surplus to sell. As a result, the family has no cash income, apart from what little her mother is able to send back from abroad.

19MAR Education is key to breaking this kind of poverty cycle, and achieving a 20MAR more financially secure future. However, whilst primary school is free in 21MAR Malawi, secondary education is not. This means that only 25% of children 22MAR are able to continue to secondary school, and around a third of Malawian 23MAR adults remain illiterate.

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26MAR provided bursaries to academically promising, but vulnerable students 27MAR just like Mickey. Thanks to the bursary, she was able to start secondary 28MAR school in 2015, and she’ll continue to receive support to cover school 29MAR fees, uniform and other essentials until she graduates. This bursary is 30MAR completely transforming her life: she’s well on the way to fulfilling her 31MAR career aspirations to become a secretary, leaving the fields behind. APR

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Temwa’s 2016 impact evaluation of the bursary scheme found that 88% of previous graduates are employed, self-employed, or in higher education or training. One of the previous bursary recipients, Frank, finished secondary school at the top of his class, and his incredible exam results meant he was accepted into the University of Malawi - and he’s now studying hard to complete his medicine degree. More bright, committed healthcare professionals are urgently needed, since Malawi still ranks near the bottom of almost every health index, and access to healthcare remains limited: in Temwa’s partner communities, some need to walk nine hours to get to the closest clinic. So not only does Frank’s own future look bright, but he’ll also be helping to bring about muchneeded healthcare improvements in his country.


Monday 13th March Heavenly father, I exhort, glorify and honor your name for your faithfulness, goodness and mercies upon my life. For the gift of life, for the good health and for each and every blessing you showered me with big or small you deserve to be glorified. Lord thanks for not only being my creator but for being my father, you have never failed me, you will not fail me and definitely won’t ever start failing me. Give me courage and strength to face each day as it comes for I know the challenges that each day brings are meant to make me grow spiritually and they prepare me for a greater task ahead. For whatever I do is for your glory Lord. Thank you Jehovah because every time I pray Lord you answer for you are a living God, a God who answers by fire. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ I pray. Rehema Patricks, Intern

Tuesday 14th March

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Deuteronomy 11.13-21 If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today—loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul— then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil; and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. Take care, or you will be seduced into turning away, serving other gods and worshipping them, for then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain and the land will yield no fruit; then you will perish quickly from the good land that the Lord is giving you. You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

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Wednesday 15th March

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God’s people were about to enter into a new land with new opportunities. So they needed to learn how to live differently so that life was good and sustainable for everyone. There is a clear link presented in this passage between learning this new way of living and how good life will be. And the people are told to teach their children how to live well together, as part of their daily living, to pass on this learning for future generations.

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Temwa’s education projects benefit not just the children who attend school but their whole families, as better-educated children can help break the poverty cycle and give a brighter future for the whole family. What important things have you learned about living well with others? How have you passed this on?

Thursday 16th March

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Learn something new this week. You might like to ask someone from a different culture to you to teach you something - a phrase in their language, a recipe, a song or story.

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Friday 17h March Pray for those who are unable to access education, and for those who are unable or refuse to learn how to live well with others. Pray that they may learn the skills they need for a good life.


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“Christianity is not a religion; it’s a lifestyle one chooses to live. Team Christ.” Rehema Patricks, Intern

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WEEK FOUR · GROWING

Sunday 19th March

6MAR 7MAR 8MAR Edah, entrepreneur 9MAR 10MAR In Malawi, entrepreneurs are hard to come by. Approximately 90% of 11MAR the population survives on subsistence farming, and only 16% is formally 12MAR employed. A lack of investment in the private sector also makes it very 13MAR challenging to start up and sustain a business, especially in rural villages.

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Edah Mhango was one such small-scale farmer, barely getting by as she grew maize and cassava to feed her family. Through the microfinance scheme, run by Temwa in partnership with the Bristol-based charity Deki, Edah secured two loans, with which she set up a small grocery shop. This business was so successful that she even received a third loan, allowing her to expand her business and range of products beyond general groceries and into fishing materials too, after spotting a gap in the market. She’s also expanded her operations and opened a second grocery store in the recently-opened Usisya Community Marketplace, reinvesting her profits in order to become a competitive player in the local area. Thanks to the income from both of her shops, she’s now an active member of the Lund Women Village Bank, giving her status and a voice in the local community. In fact, the impact of her microloans is far-reaching: now she can contribute to the household, no longer relying on her husband to be the breadwinner. She’s able to buy food and other essential items for the family, including mattresses and other basic home furnishings that we take for granted. She can also pay the fees to enable her two children to go to the local Community Day Secondary School, meaning her microloan has already started to have a longer-term, sustainable impact on the next generation. Edah always has one eye on the future, with plans to expand into the hardware sector, build a good house for her parents, and support her divorced sister to set up a small bakery. She’s a firm believer that hard work begets prosperity, and that something small - like a microloan from Temwa and Deki - can lead to huge results.


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The earth is the Lord’s, unite in awesome praise to God whose truth by his gift to us displays; Accounting-stewards we are called to be, sharing divine creativity Come then, and bless the earth we share; let every moment be a prayer, blending our wills to the rhythm of his ways, joining our lives to all nature’s praise.

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Joey Mdumuka, Intern Nkhata Bay Natural Resource Initiative project

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Tuesday 21 March st

Mark 4.30-32 Jesus also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

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Wednesday 22nd March

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This parable tells us that the Kingdom of God is like the tiniest of seeds that can grow into something great which benefits many. It can be a source of shelter where the birds can thrive and rear their young. A microloan may seem like a very small amount of money, but the impact is huge – not only benefiting the person receiving the loan, but providing a better living for a whole family and boosting the local economy with new businesses and income streams.

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5MAR Setting up a new business is challenging in any circumstance - but rarely more so than in rural Malawi. By taking on a sponsored challenge for Temwa, you have the opportunity to test yourself - and have fun! - whilst giving opportunities to those in Malawi who face daily challenges. temwa.org/get-involved/challenges

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Pray for those who are denied opportunity: that they might be given a chance, trusted, empowered, and enabled to grow and flourish to reach their full potential.

Saturday 25th March “Success seems to be connected with action: successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Fishani Msafiri, Project Officer for Health and Education

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WEEK FIVE · STEWARDING

Sunday 26th March

6 7MAR 8MAR Eria, subsistence farmer 9MAR 10MAR Eria supports a large family: his wife, Rose, their seven children, and his 11MAR two children from a previous marriage. Like nine in ten people in the MAR

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Nkhata Bay North area, he’s a subsistence farmer, struggling to grow enough to meet his family’s needs year-round. Without the technical knowledge to grow a diverse and plentiful supply of crops, or access to new varieties of seeds, Eria was often unable to provide for his family, meaning they had to endure long bouts of hunger. Thanks to joining one of Temwa’s agricultural projects, Eria’s learned new sustainable farming techniques, which has helped him increase crop production and provide a more nutritionally-balanced diet for his family. As well as training, the project provided him with the seeds and tools needed to grow new varieties of produce. As a result, the family no longer has to go hungry, and Eria’s even able to sell some surplus at the market, meaning he can also afford the school fees for his older children. “After my first wife died, I was left to care for a malnourished baby girl. Today, I see that same girl is well, and my whole family is healthy. I had so many problems but now I’m overcoming them: I’m confident that my children will all go to school and eat well.” - Eria

Monday 27th March Creator Spirit, we thank you for this beautiful Malawi with its amazing variety of animals and plants. May we never forget that we are stewards of your creation and that we hold it in trust for future generations. Help us to respect Malawi’s rich diversity and to share with each other and all living creatures in responsible ways. Beatrice Msakwiza, Programmes Support Officer


Tuesday 28 March th

Genesis 1.26-31 Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.’ So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Wednesday 29th March The creation stories are not scientific accounts, but they show us important truths about how human beings relate to the world around us. God’s actions and words in this story teach us that the whole of creation is good, and that human beings co-exist with many other kinds of life. We can use what we need for food, but we are also reminded that every species is good and the whole of creation should be treated with respect and care. Temwa’s agriculture programme encourages an attitude of managing our natural resources in a sustainable manner, so that not only we, but also future generations, can continue to enjoy them and have our needs met. Are there aspects of creation that you don’t treat with the respect it deserves, as part of God’s good creation?

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Thursday 30th March

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For many people in northern Malawi, much of their day-to-day work focuses on trying to provide for their family. In Malawi, however, ‘family’ is often a broader concept than we are used to using here in the UK, often including more distant relations, and adopted orphan children. It’s not uncommon to have multiple ‘mums’ (aunts) and ‘dads’ (uncles), and for cousins to be known as brothers and sisters.

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As an organisation, Temwa is also much like an extended family especially as many of the staff are from the local communities. Here in the UK, staff, volunteers, and supporters have become part of the wider Temwa family too, and there are plenty of opportunities to join in!

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Do you have a specific skill you might be able to volunteer? Or maybe your company or workplace could provide sponsorship, or become a partner? temwa.org/get-involved

Friday 31st March

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Pray that human beings may respect God’s creation, including each other, so that we may all inhabit the earth together in a sustainable way.


Saturday 1 April st

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5MAR “The proper environment provided to people gives them space to perform well with creativity.” Peace Katemecha, Finance and Admin Manager

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WEEK SIX · HEALING

Sunday 2nd April Simeda, Teen Club treasurer Simeda is a 17-year-old girl from Usisya, the lakeside village at the heart of Temwa’s operations - an area where 16% of the population is HIV-positive. She contracted HIV at birth, and both her parents died from HIV-related complications when she was a young child - making her one of Malawi’s approximately 530,000 AIDS orphans. There remains a huge stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS in Malawi, so until recently, Simeda felt pressured to keep her HIV-positive status a secret. This meant that she lacked the support networks which could help her, and carrying such a burden led to her feeling isolated and depressed. She often worried about whether she would ever be able to lead a happy life. Two years ago, Simeda joined one of Temwa’s Teen Clubs. These groups are spaces where local HIV-positive youth meet together to support one another, discussing living with HIV and AIDS, and learning about health, nutrition, and medication. As well as being an invaluable source of essential information, Teen Clubs help to challenge the stigma of being HIV-positive and empower young people to work with their communities to break down barriers and challenge stigmatisation. Simeda’s now the treasurer of her local Teen Club. Being such an active member has transformed her life: not only has she gained invaluable information about how to live a full and healthy life whilst being HIVpositive, but she’s also become far more confident and happy in her outlook. With the support of her friends and peers in the club, Simeda now feels happy to disclose her HIV-positive status, and no longer worries about her future..


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We bow before your throne Lord in giving praise, Jesus, if it wasn’t for your faithfulness to the cross, where would we be? Today we are able to stand and testify that your death was life to us, your pain was healing to our nation Malawi and its communities, and that your tears Jesus were celebration and joy to our hunger-stricken communities. You are everything good that we desire Malawi to be, We thank you God for you are understanding, we find comfort in the fact that you are all wise and knowing and that you know and understand how HIV has affected our communities. We cry in need of you to rise from your throne of grace. Oh rise God rise!! And as you rise God, let our mighty hand touch and heal Malawi and its communities from the pain and unbearable situations resulting from HIV and other diseases. Thank you God for in faith we believe that you have heard and in faith we have received. All this we pray through the name of your son Jesus Christ. Joey Mdumuka, Intern Nkhata Bay Natural Resource Initiative project

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Tuesday 4th April Mark 5.25-34 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, ‘If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.’ Immediately her haemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?” ’ He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’

Wednesday 5th April The haemorrhaging woman was not only in physical pain and distress – because of the Jewish purity laws around bleeding, her condition made her unclean and therefore isolated her from her community, which in turn opened her to exploitation from those professing to be able to cure her. Jesus was able to heal her body, but also restore her into her community where she could live more fully among others. For people in Malawi, living with HIV and AIDS can be doubly devastating due to the strong stigma attached to the disease. Temwa’s health programme educates communities about HIV to reduce the stigma and to allow those affected by HIV to live a full, positive life, as valued members of their communities. Are there times when you treat people differently because of a disability or physical or mental condition? Are there ways you can work to reduce stigma?


Thursday 6 April th

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5MAR Look out for opportunities this week to challenge assumptions or stereotypes and reduce stigma.

Friday 7th April Pray for those whose physical or mental illness is made harder to bear because of others’ prejudice, including people in Malawi living with HIV or AIDS. Pray for healing of body, mind and spirit, for healing of relationships in communities affected by stigma and fear.

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Saturday 8th April

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“Without your health, you’ve got nothing going on. I thank God every day for good health.” Joey Mdumuka, Intern Nkhata Bay Natural Resource Initiative project

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WEEK SEVEN · SHARING H O LY W E E K

Sunday 9 April

th 6MAR 7MAR 8MAR PALM SUNDAY 9MAR 10MAR Alice and Leya 11MAR At 19 and 18, these two friends are both teen mothers: Alice lives with her 12MAR husband and his family of six, and Leya lives with her mother and siblings.

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As was the case for most of the communities Temwa works with, 2016 was exceptionally difficult for both girls and their families. Persistent drought, extreme weather events, and failed harvests have led to Southern Africa’s worst food crisis in over a decade - and people like Alice and Leya struggled to survive.

Every year in Malawi, December marks the start of the “hunger season”, 19MAR when people need to reduce their food intake as they wait for the harvests 20MAR that will come in March. But early 2016 was so much worse than usual: with 21MAR reserves already depleted, there really was nowhere to turn to.

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Alice and Leya weren’t eating properly that season; if they were lucky, they ate one meal a day, but often they had nothing. Even when they could find enough food, there was little variety and it was severely lacking in nutritional value: cassava and occasional green leaves don’t provide the proteins, vitamins and fats essential for an adult’s healthy diet - let alone an infant’s. There’s little that Alice and Leya could do. There was no piece work around to earn a little cash, no government food relief, and no wild foods to forage. Their only option was to keep on missing meals, eating less and less. It’s a frightening situation to be in, especially with a young baby: if it had continued, they would have been at real risk of severe malnutrition and - ultimately - death. To address this acute food crisis, Temwa distributed emergency food to 1,000 vulnerable households in April 2016 - to help families like Alice and Leya’s survive the extreme hunger that they were facing. Temwa also adjusted their agricultural projects to have a stronger emphasis on building long-term climate resilience and food security of the vulnerable communities in years to come. Sadly, the erratic rains in 2016 and resulting poor harvests and increased food prices have meant that many families are facing similar challenges - of extreme hunger and desperate search for food - again in the early months of 2017. As we enter Holy Week, we confront some of the stark realities of the world we live in: sometimes it is violent, merciless and bleak.

10APR 11APR 12APR know how the story of Holy Week ends - but there is hope, and Temwa 13APR We is working to bring a better ending to stories like Alice and Leya’s. Will you APR 14 help them? 15APR


Monday 10 April th

Heavenly Father, you are our comfort in times of trouble, crisis, and any calamity that befall us. I pray that may your hand be felt by all who are hit by food crisis in the world. I pray that may the good Lord have mercy upon them. Give them food in abundance, for I know, my Lord, you are the provider. In the name of the Father through the Holy Spirit I pray. Amen. Samuel Sawalco Banda, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

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Tuesday 11th April

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Isaiah 58.6-8 Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.

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Wednesday 12th April

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Again and again, the Bible is very clear that if we see a fellow human being in need we should help them. But it isn’t always easy to know the best way to make a lasting difference. This passage from Isaiah encapsulates some of the complexities of this in our society. For many people who are hungry, there are political reasons on a local or global scale, such as economics and climate change, which are causing this – these are issues of injustice that disproportionately affect the poor. In a world where almost 800 million people lack sufficient nutrition, and a quarter of children suffer from stunted growth as a result of malnutrition (source: UN Sustainable Development Goals) we can’t simply offer food without trying to address the bigger issues of injustice. Temwa’s aim is to help communities become sustainable and self-sufficient; to equip them to manage and farm their land so they can produce enough food for everyone all year round. But that’s not yet the position of every family Temwa works with – and in extreme circumstances, sometimes we need simply to share our bread with them.

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How can you work for justice for people who are hungry?

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Thursday 13th April

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MAUNDY THURSDAY What seems like a small amount of money to us can make a big difference to people who live in extreme poverty in the remote rural areas of Malawi where Temwa works. Share from your abundance - can you make a donation to Temwa this week, or use some spare time to tell others about Temwa’s work?


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GOOD FRIDAY Pray for people suffering from hunger and lacking the basic necessities needed to survive, in Malawi and around the world.

Saturday 15 April th

EASTER EVE “We thank you God, for you are the substance of all human conscious and feelings. And you understand and know the feeling of a young child going to bed on an empty stomach.” Joey Mdumuka, Intern, Nkhata Bay Natural Resource Initiative project

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Sunday 16th April EASTER SUNDAY Easter Day – new life, new hope. In Luke’s account of the resurrection, Jesus appears to two of the disciples that first Easter Day on the road to Emmaus. He walks with them as their companion, listening, teaching and comforting them, and finally making himself known to them in the sharing of bread. It’s only then that they start to understand how great is the hope that they have, that God’s love always makes possible a transformation from the darkest situation to one of light. On this Lenten journey with Temwa and the people of rural Malawi, we have had a chance to walk together, to listen, to learn and to share something through our support of Temwa’s work in prayer and action. Through all of this w have been accompanied by the one who walks beside us always, telling us the ultimate story of hope. Thank you for travelling on this Lenten journey with us. May you know the hope of the resurrection in your life..

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Scripture quotations are from the from The New Revised Standard Version of the Bible copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches in the USA. Used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England, material from which is included in this booklet, is copyright © The Archbishops’ Council 2000 All images © Adam Dickens, www.takingpictureschanginglives.org.uk

Stories of Hope: Reflections for Lent  

This booklet has been assembled jointly by St. Mary Redcliffe and Temwa. The intentions of this booklet are to engage with the season of Len...

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