There are about 8,700 members in 177 ecclesias, and it is pleasing to report about 280 baptisms during the year.
Sadly, the year began again with a need to support brothers and sisters affected by flooding in the southern areas of the country. The environmental issues felt across the globe continue to impact those whose livelihoods depend on subsistence farming, and this is a large percentage of our members.
Covid-19 has also impacted the country, but at the end of April the Malawi Supreme Court upheld an injunction against the Malawian Government’s plan to enforce a national 21-day lockdown, concluding that the government had not made enough provision to stop poor people going hungry. Official figures report nearly 12,000 cases of coronavirus, half of which are active, and 300 deaths. Thankfully so far, we have yet to hear of any brothers and sisters who have become seriously ill because of the virus. The economic effect, however, is being felt by many, especially in urban areas.
As no national lockdowns were enforced most ecclesias continued to meet, having received advice on best-practice from the CBM Office at Chinamwali. We continued to receive news that baptisms were still able to take place in certain parts, and these have been regularly shared through the Christadelphian Magazine. However, other regional preaching campaigns, and some of the Areas Elders Meetings were postponed to avoid unnecessary risks associated with wider travel. Work on translating CBM materials into Chichewa is ongoing, and we are hoping to explore the option of the Malawians becoming more involved in correspondence teaching.
A programme of mosquito net provision has begun to be rolled-out in the latter half of the year to support those members who have not been able to purchase their own nets.