Crossfire is getting involved to connect Kinross Parish Church with a partner church in Malawi.

As some of you might remember, a few years ago Crossfire took part in a “scarecrow fundraiser” for Tearfund. It involved teams of young people strategically placing a large group of friendly sunflower scarecrows in local residents’ gardens. Those who were “scare-crowed” donated money to Tearfund for the scarecrows to be placed in someone else’s garden. Great fun was had by the teens and the recipients who, on opening their doors or curtains, were greeted by these cheerful little scarecrow faces. When Tearfund received our donation, a team member, Tara Devlin, visited Crossfire and suggested that our young folk might, in the future, like to visit an overseas project to find out how the money we donated is used to help improve the lives of vulnerable people.

So in July 2018 some members from our youth groups Crossfire/Jampact - past and present - and family members will be heading off to Malawi to see the work of Tearfund partner Livingstonia Synod AIDS Programme (LISAP) and start to establish connections with a partner church. It’s a very exciting project. We will be based in the north of Malawi near to the Tanzania boarder. It’s a rural and traditional area, agriculturally based, and has been greatly affected by climate change. Youngsters in this area might have to walk 20km to school and have to pay for their secondary education. Their education is often interrupted, and so a 13-yearold might be in the same class as a 7-year-old. The population is young, as many families have lost parents to HIV and AIDS, and young people are having children without having had parental role models themselves. It is also an area where traditional values such as child marriages are being challenged by LISAP.

There will be opportunities for us to see and work with children and young people in schools and centres, visit hospitals and clinics, and see first-hand the devastating effect that global warming has on this agricultural community. But this project will be much more than this. It will be about developing bonds and creating connections and relationships with the people linked with LISAP and our partner church, which we hope to build on as other teams from Kinross Parish Church make future visits. 

I’m sure this trip will challenge our thinking as we learn first-hand how people in Malawi are tackling poverty and injustice at a local level, and how we as global citizens can support our neighbours from these inspirational communities.Your prayers and support will be greatly appreciated as we start to prepare for this expedition. Photos of those going are at left. Each team member is committed to raising £2,000, and your support for our various fundraising events is extremely welcome.

Prayer: Pray for the team as they begin publicising awareness and raising funds for the trip. Pray that they will build strong connections with the partner church.