After 20 hours of traveling by plane and almost 11 hours of layovers, we finally arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi. We drove about an hour outside the city to the project site of Child Legacy International (CLI), one of Church Project's global ministry partners.
We dropped our bags in our rooms and headed down the road to see the preparation of the church building. Along the way, we pass through a small village and were met by many curious and friendly locals. Things were bustling at the church, as Child Legacy staff put the final touches on the building – both setting up and decorating.
Afterwards, we went back to CLI for dinner and met with the interim pastor, Yohann, to discuss the church dedication and basic Church Project practices and beliefs. Jet lag and sheer exhaustion had us all in bed early that night.
We woke early on dedication Sunday with excitement. Rushing through breakfast, we dressed and went back down to the church for final preparations and to film the short video to send back home to CP. Then we settled in for the marathon that is a Malawian church service.
The language of Malawi is Chichewa, and the service was held in both Chichewa and English – in consideration of CLI founder Jeff Rogers and ourselves. We listened to enthusiastic sermons, listened to (and attempted to join) beautiful Chichewan worship songs, and prayed with fervor for the Gospel to be known and spread throughout the country. Among those in attendance were tribal chiefs, a choir from Lilongwe, pastors from surrounding churches, and government officials. We were expecting around 200 people, but God had other plans. After all was said and done, about 400 hundred people heard about the love of Jesus. When God shows up, he shows up BIG!
After services, a lunch was served that consisted of rice, a meat and bean curry, and salad. We stayed for food and fellowship where Lesa Talley - our International Missions Coordinator - and David Plum became honorary members of the choir.
The dedication of Child Legacy Church Project Malawi was the experience of a lifetime. Seeing Jesus brought to the nations and carrying out the biblical principles of serving, loving others, and spreading the Gospel changes your heart permanently. Day 1 has been so impactful, I can't wait to see what the rest of the trip holds.
– Nicole Cox, Malawi Team 2016