PHPC provides support for Young Adult Volunteers, international missionaries, and missions in Malawi and Nicaragua.
In Malawi, PHPC partners with Synod of Livingstonia of the Central African Presbyterian Church. Through that partnership, PHPC can provide support for mission trips, water projects, health care, scholarships, and orphan care.
In Nicaragua, PHPC has a partnership with CEPAD, the Protestant Council of Churches. Mission trips, community development, sustainable agriculture projects, and radio ministry are supported by this partnership.
Malawi Matters by Helen Zimba
Editor’s note: PHPC member Helen Zimba journeyed back to her birthplace in Malawi to participate in training for Malawian
community leaders in HIV/AIDS education. She agreed to share her thoughts and photographs with us.
Early this year I had an opportunity to be part of the training team with an organization called Malawi Matters that focuses on developing and facilitating HIV/AIDS education with the people of Malawi, Africa where I am originally from.The organization
connects agencies and organizations using hands-on techniques grounded in Malawian culture. Many individuals are HIV
positive. Women are at disadvantage due to lack of support.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and in need of education and empowerment. There are a huge number of girls who drop out of school due to forced early marriages and poverty and girls stay home while they are in their period for weeks because of shame and lack of proper clothing. Many women are also reluctant to do things to empower themselves due to lack of support and fear. Most girls drop out of school.
The Equipping Women Empowering Girls Training program brought together leaders from congregations that included church ministers wives, counselors, Sunday School leaders, Synod leaders, Women’s Guild leaders and youth leaders to be trained so that they can go back to their own communities and train others. The lessons included Adolescence/Menstrual Cycle, Cultural Practices/ HIV AIDS, Human Rights, Childhood Marriages as well as learning to make pads using local materials found in the country.
Trainers used their talents and shared ideas through drama, music, or simple presentations after small breakouts. We were able to train over 600 individuals in three weeks and this is just one part of the country. By the end of the training they were more outspoken and came up with plans on how they are going to reach out to girls and the community in their own congregations. They were empowered on how to say NO to early marriages and the way to speak up and what their rights are as citizens.
It was a pleasure to work with the group and be able to contribute as a Malawian and helping other trainers to understand Malawi culture. I truly hope that other parts to the country benefit from the same training in future.
I also visited School for the Blind in Ekwendeni. This school has children in grades 1-8 who are blind or almost blind. This school has 50% students who are alibinos and unfortunately they are being targeted by intruders and in need of security. These children are in boarding school and away from home in order to get specialized education which is not available to all with disabilities. I also visited Crisis Nursery through Ministry of Hope where they take care of orphans and other disadvantaged children as well as mobile clinics and feeding centers and education. Once again Malawi is going through shortage of food due to poor climate and all around the county the crops were very dry. I saw thousands of people waiting to buy maize so that the families can have something to eat. People cannot afford to eat three meals anymore.
It made me think of choices of food I have in US. It made me think of a simple hat I can give up to help blind children who can’t stand the sun. It made me think what 15 minutes of empowering a girl to stay in school and say NO can mean to that girl.
The Malawi Mission Committee is proud to provide Helen through the congregations donations the opportunity to travel to Malawi and be a train the trainer with Malawi Matters. It is through our partnerships and the church's generosity that we are able to touch so many people's lives through the grace of God. Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church was one of the first to recognize the long term positive impacts of this program. PHPC supported a full session in the programs 2015 inaugural year. In 2016 we were proud to have Helen represent our congregation and the Malawi Mission Committee. Helen traveled to a few of our church partnerships to validate the church's funds are being used appropriately.
We are so thankful to accept the calling of being the congregations good stewards of your donations.
- Sean A Smith
Malawi Mission Committee Chairman
A Letter of Thanks from MBF
PHPC recently revieved a letter from E. Andrew Mayo, CEO of the Medical Benevolence Foundation, thanking us for our gift. PHPC proudly gave a gift of $4,000 for the Malawi Embangweni Hospital and for the Malawi-Embangweni Schools. "God has graciously allowed MBF to maintain our strength in this very area. Your gift will be used to continue our work with international church partners to build strong and lasting healthcare ministries that proclaim God's love for the needy." We are greatful for our partnership with MBF and look forward to what our joint ministry will accomplish in Malawi.