Scotland and Malawi have shared a long friendship, famously dating back to David Linvingstone, one of Scotland’s best-known explorers and Christian missionaries. Last year, we commenced a multi-year partnership to support the Bible Society of Malawi. Clapperton Mayuni, the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Malawi, recently visited Bible House in Edinburgh and shared with us some stories of what God has been doing in Malawi.
Thank you to the people of Scotland for helping us at the Bible Society of Malawi. We are distributing more and more Bibles every day to the people of Malawi, thanks to your support and faithful prayers. Clapperton Mayuni, General Secretary of Bible Society of Malawi
Throughout Clapperton’s recent visit, during numerous speaking engagements, his message remained the same – that God is at work in Malawi and, in the face of challenges such as poverty, God continues to speak through His Word to Malawians.
Over half of Malawians live below the poverty line, with the majority of the population living in rural areas. Nearly half of the population is under 15 years old and there are many orphans due to HIV/AIDS. Almost three-quarters of secondary school-age children are either working or staying at home to care for their families instead of receiving an education, which means that large amounts of young people are illiterate and cannot read the Bible for themselves, let alone own their own copy.
Supporting Malawian Children and Families
The desire for God’s Word is great, though many cannot afford it. To meet those needs, the Bible Society in Malawi initiated the project, ‘Let the Children Encounter Christ’. This involves reaching over 25,000 children with colourful Chichewa Children’s Bibles, as well as providing vital funding to train Sunday School teachers.
Additionally, we have also been supporting the ‘Family Scripture Engagement Programme’ which involves providing Chichewa Bibles and Bible study guidance notes to families living in rural communities in Malawi. This project aims to reach over 5,500 people from more than 1,000 families and encourages them to engage daily with God’s Word together as a family.
Despite ongoing success of some of the projects we have been supporting, there are still many challenges facing the Bible Society of Malawi. We asked Clapperton about some of those present and future challenges, and more importantly; how people in Scotland can help them further their cause in spreading the Word of God.
The biggest challenge we have is the biggest opportunity we have. The majority of our people, about 80%, are Christians and we have distributed about 100,000 Bibles so far but we believe there is potential to distribute 250,000 Bibles.
One of the major problems facing Malawians is illiteracy. Whilst literacy levels are increasing, there are still high illiteracy rates amongst women. Compared to 7% of men who cannot read, the illiteracy rate among women is even higher with between 17-22% of women unable to read or write.
Literacy rates are improving but the rates are still not acceptable, as there are still many women who cannot read. We know that mothers are invaluable to the education of their children, so if mothers cannot read the Bible, then we fear that many of the children will not be able to read the Bible either.
Despite these challenges, Clapperton remains positive, setting the goal for distributing up-to 250,000 Bibles across the country in the coming year, specifically in rural areas of the country.
Scotland’s role in Malawi’s future
When asked what people living in Scotland can do to help the Bible Society of Malawi, Clapperton commented:
We want to encourage the team at the Scottish Bible Society to continue the good work you are doing for the Bible Society of Malawi. But the good work needs to grow, so if the Scottish people can continue supporting these projects you are supporting such as ‘Let the Children Encounter Christ’ and the ‘family Scripture Engagement Programme’, that would be great.
It is our hope and prayer at the Scottish Bible Society that we will be able to continue to support the Bible Society of Malawi with the funding required for these projects and future programmes.
The excitement is great, the resources are limited, we are doing our best to resource churches we have already been to before we go to other areas. But we want to make sure that our own children as well will be able to access the Bible.
- Please pray for the on-going development of resources across Malawi. Pray that these will encourage many children and entire families to engage with the Word of God.
- Pray for the staff of the Bible Society of Malawi, church workers and volunteers who run the Family Scripture Engagement programme. Pray that this programme will be a real blessing to many families who are given the opportunity to encounter Jesus thorough the Bible.
- Pray for the Bible Society of Malawi that they will be blessed with an abundance of resources and that they will be able to reach many more people throughout Malawi.
- Give thanks for the support we have received so far as it means that the Bible Society of Malawi has been able to reach more people with the life-changing Word of God. Pray for a continuation of financial support and prayers for the work we’re supporting in Malawi.