September 2016 – Visit being arranged from our twinned congregation in Engcongolweni
A visit is being arranged to bring some of our friends from Engcongolweni to Dalgety Bay in September 2016. We are planning to have them arrive in time to share in the communion service on Sunday 11 September, join with us as we celebrate Harvest Thanksgiving the following Sunday and return home later that week.
A full programme of events is being organised and this will involve not only the Church and its organisations but the Dalgety Bay Friends of Engcongolweni, Dalgety Bay & Hillend Community Council, both primary schools, the Rotary Club and other local groups.
Dalgety Parish Church has been twinned with Engcongolweni Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) in rural northern Malawi since 2007. A number of visits have been made there (2008, 2010 and 2014) and a reciprocal visit was made in 2009. The relationship is now established and well-developed.
The visit will give us the opportunity to meet Engcongolweni’s new minister who took up his post in December 2015. Rev Nase Chunga is a young man, not long out off Theological College in June 2015. He is married to Chimwemwe, and they have a young daughter, Munthondwe. Also visiting will be: Mr Geoffrey Simbeye, Mr Vaison Nhlema, Mr Joubert Soko, Mrs Dolisa Mtawali and Mr Humphrey Chione.
Over the years, assistance has been provided to the Church and community in Engcongolweni. At the Church’s request Dalgety completed the construction of their church building (and installed electricity) and also built a new manse to replace the small termite-ridden building. Knitted goods for babies and infants have been sent, as have books.
Also at the community’s request, Dalgety Parish Church, in partnership with Dalgety Bay Friends of Engcongolweni and the support of a church in Montrose, undertook to fund the provision of a clean water supply to the area. The project started in 2008 and in five years had raised the £40,000 required. Negotiations with Malawi’s Northern Region Water Board saw them undertake the work and also be responsible for its repair and maintenance.
The initial proposal was for 5 standpipes to be erected but this soon expanded and now there are over 70, scattered throughout the area. The clean water now serves a catchment area of over 7,500 people and the plan is to further extend this and include a maternity unit at Enukweni (10 miles away) within its scope. The community is already benefiting from improved health and increased school attendance.
During our 2014 visit, the Water Project was ‘signed-off’ and it and the new manse were dedicated in a ceremony in which Rev Christine Sime, Rev Levi Nyondo, General Secretary of the Synod of Livingstonia and the Hon Mrs Olipa Muyaba MP took part.
In May 2015, we sent nearly 30 boxes of knitted goods, pencils, writing materials to each of the 8 Prayer Houses associated with Engcongolweni Church and we were delighted to hear these had arrived safely at the end of October. More boxes of goods, including books for their community library, will be sent early in the New Year.
The Ministry of Presence was a powerful factor during the 2014 visit. “Together in Christ” or “Umoza mwakhristu” is the slogan that binds us together and with our 2016 visit we are looking to develop that bond even further.