A letter from Kay Day in Malawi
Dear Family and Friends,
Water is life. That is a theme echoed in all of Malawi. The strains of the theme have resounded at Chigodi Women’s Center since I arrived. There has been no consistent water there for several years. In the most recent year programming at the Center was difficult to impossible since we had to carry water from a hand-dipped well for all the needs of the Center, from bathing and cooking to washing and cleaning, for guests and for staff. This was one of the first problems identified when I arrived last August. I have been working to address the issue since then. That’s 10 months of meetings and planning and prayer. Rejoice with me. God in his faithfulness and in his perfect timing has answered our need.
After assessing all the options, when we learned that they were installing a line above the Center and the water could flow downhill to the Center, we determined that to connect with the local water board would be the best long-term solution to steady water. Prior to this water had been pumped uphill by various methods. I went with the moderator of the synod, who is a member of the Blantyre Water Board, to present our case. After several meetings we reached an agreement. We waited patiently for the water folks to run their new line. That began to happen in November but was stopped due to the rainy season. We waited for the rains to clear and the earth to dry. Work resumed in April. Thanks to the generosity of two churches in Western Pennsylvania, we have been able to meet all the responsibilities we have at the Center to be able to connect to this new line. These gifts came at the perfect time, just as the Water Board was ready to connect the lines. Friday the finishing touches were put on all the lines within the Center and Monday water is to flow for the first time in several years. Life will return to the Center because programming can resume at full scale. Water is available. For us, water is life for our programs.
In July we will begin a six-month life skills training program to equip women with the skills to make a living to support their families. These women will reside at the Center during the week to receive this training. In August the Women’s Department of the synod will begin refresher courses for the presbytery and congregational women leaders, using the Center as the location for that training. In July also several groups are coming from overseas partners to work with us in some of these programs. Combined with the tailoring and knitting projects that are under way, these programs are infusing life into the Center. The water has made all of this possible. We can only praise God for his provision.
Please join us in our praise to our answering God. Please pray with us for God’s continued direction in meeting the needs for skills development and for leadership training for women here in southern Malawi. God has given us life, through the water and through his relationship with us in Jesus Christ. Please pray that we may we be faithful stewards of the life he has given us, physically and spiritually.
Yours in Christ,
Kay (Cathie to the family)
The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 59