Presbyterian Moderator embarks for Malawi

28.7.2015 | Mission News, Global Mission, Moderator, Overseas Tour

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Rt. Rev. Dr. Ian McNie, is embarking on an official overseas visit to Malawi today (29th July).

The 18-day visit to the south-east African nation, known as the ‘warm heart of Africa’, is to support the work of PCI’s missionaries in the country and to see first hand the work of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), one of PCI’s partner churches.

Speaking before he left for Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, Dr. McNie said, “The primary purpose of the visit is to encourage and support the amazing work that our PCI missionary personnel are doing in so many areas of Malawian life. This includes Diane Cusick from Bushvale Presbyterian Church, Ballymoney, our longest serving missionary in the country, who has been there for 20 years now.

“It will also be an opportunity to meet the Rev. Levi Nyondo, General Secretary of CCAP’s Livingstonia Synod, who I welcomed to Belfast for our General Assembly in June. We will visit the Church’s three Synods, meet with other CCAP leaders and visit some of their projects. In these visits we will be able to see first hand the work that our brothers and sisters in Christ are involved in and pray with them and for their work,” he said.

Engaged in youth and children’s ministry, education, healthcare and theological education, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland supports 11 missionaries in Malawi. The Moderator, who is accompanied by his wife Anne and the Church’s Global Mission Secretary, Rev. Uel Marrs, will travel across the country visiting each missionary, exept two who are currently on leave.

Around 70 per cent of the country’s 15 million people claim membership of a Christian church. PCI’s relationship with Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Malawi’s largest reformed denomination began in the mid-1950s. In 1958 Rev. Bill Jackson became the first missionary from PCI to go to Malawi and in the intervening 57 years, over 100 missionaries from PCI have followed in his footsteps.

“In recent years many individuals and teams from PCI congregations have also made short mission trips to Malawi, spreading the Gospel by both word and action. While many are able to go, even more people at home in congregations across Ireland, support the work of our missionaries around the world, and I would like to acknowledge their faithfulness and immense generosity,” Dr. McNie said.

While he is in the country, the Moderator said that he was also looking forward to seeing Msongwe CCAP church in Mzuzu that his own congregation helped to build. Currently a team from his congregation, Trinity Presbyterian Ballymoney, is working in the Msongwe area running various children’s clubs and youth outreaches, alongside distributing large quantities of maize to needy groups, as well as Ekwendeni Theological College and School for the Blind, Mzuzu Crisis Centre for abandoned children, and some remote villages on the lakeshore. This maize is grown on a farm run by Trinity Church, where they employ local people.

You can find out more about PCI's work in Malawi and our global mission workers in the country here.

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