A letter from Catherine Day in Malawi
January 28, 2010
Praise God with me, please. There is something positive happening at Chigodi Women’s Center. One of my struggles since coming to Malawi has been working plans for the Chigodi Women’s Center. There were no programs running when I arrived because of lack of water and lack of money. We are still working on the water issue and so still have no programs running. Just getting to Chigodi is a challenge because of the condition of the road. The new dorm that was to be built sits unfinished because of lack of money. I know all of this sounds bleak. It is, but there is hope.
In September I got an email from a church in Scotland that had a small amount of money for Chigodi. It wasn’t enough to tackle any of the large projects, but it was enough to do something new to generate more money. We decided that we would produce a calendar, featuring the mvano, the women’s guild of the churches, whose leaders are trained at Chigodi. From the proceeds of the sale of these calendars, we would have money to get supplies to repair the road. We proposed a plan to work with the Youth Department and hold youth work camps to help us with the labor costs for the road. The mvano, the youth director of the synod and the synod leadership all liked the idea and so we set to work.
I went out to various mvano groups and took pictures of them engaged in their work. We selected the best of the photos and sent them off to the printer. Two days before Christmas, the calendars arrived. They are six-page, full-color wall calendars. We have been busy distributing them to the mvano and to the presbyteries for sale in the churches. The response has been wonderful. People are buying them. But the real delight has been the reaction of many to this project. People are very surprised and excited about the initiative that this represents. They are helping us to sell the calendars. They are seeing something positive coming from Chigodi and are telling others. Praise God with us for the wonderful response. This is an encouragement for all to see that Chigodi has good things to offer in the future, and at present, we are taking the initiative to make positive things happen with the little that we have. For the first time since I arrived, I am encouraged about Chigodi.
Please pray for the sale of the calendars. We need to sell all 1,000 to make the money needed for the road. Please pray for the water connection, that we might be able to finalize that in the next month and begin programming again. Once the programs begin, there is a revenue base. The revenue from those programs will help with the financial crisis. There are plans for more income generating projects in the near future. One is producing tailored clerical stoles for the pastors of the synod to purchase. It is very difficult for pastors to get stoles here in Malawi, so this will meet a real need and be income for the Center at the same time. There is hope here for the future! Praise God!
The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 59