Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Some of Our Friends in Zingwangwa--George's Post

Often we share photos of our friends in Zingwangwa--some of whom you may now recognize.  Here are some more photos, together with a few short comments.

Khama Gangire was one of the first members we met, the very first Sunday we were in Blantyre.  Much to our and to his disappointment, he has been waiting for five months to get a visa to start as a missionary in the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.  Two days a week he works as a security guard at the Zingwangwa meetinghouse.  Often we find him working with the local missionaries, while waiting for his own call to start.

Esther, the little girl holding the baby, with her 12 year old sister Violet peering over her shoulder.  Elliot, the middle child, is only partially shown to the right.  The Mkwandawires also have "Wisdom," Brother Mkwandawire's 10 year old nephew living with them in their home in Manase.   At the end of this month (August 29th), the Mkwandawires will celebrate their marriage by "getting married" in the Blantyre Chapel.  As Carole has written, "marriages" can be confusing because here there are unofficial, official and church weddings, each with its pecular customs, some depending upon tribal affiliations.  For church purposes, the Mkandawires have been "married" for years, but they are very "excited", planning for a big affair in the chapel, later this month.

Amulek Tella and parents, on the front porch of their home on Mt Soche.  They live at the "top" of the road, just below the Bandas and Phiris, and close to the Malungas.  While we see the Tellas frequently, we don't visit with them as much because Sister Tella speaks very little English.  Amulek frequently cries when seeing us.  Some babies are terrified by "azungus."  Brother Tella looks like Doug Baldwin, one of the Seahawks' receivers--when I mentioned that to him, he understandably gave me a very puzzled look.

The Mhangos returned to Malawi this past year, after living in South Africa for years, where Brother Mhango worked as an accountant.  Their first home was in the Zingwangwa branch, but now they have moved into Naperi, a community which finds itself with the Blantyre Second area.  Carole and I have not yet visited their new home, which we need to do.  The older daughter, Beverly, still comes to the Zingwangwa Branch, where she has friends and feels most comfortable.

Brother and Sister Mahsumbuka.  We rarely see him at church because he works most Sundays.  He is a brother to Brother Malunga and they live close to the Malungas on Mt. Soche.  Sister Mahsumbuka is fast friends with her sister in law and they often come to Church together.

President Chikapa baptizing Ethel.  Ethel is the only member in her family.  She lives close to the Zingwangwa meetinghouse and has a little baby boy "Praise."  Last Saturday Ethel participated in the District's Helping Hands project, sweeping streets in downtown Blantyre with straw brooms, with Praise securely strapped on her back.

Stella Kandulu, daughter Brenda, and Stella's mother.  Stella's life has changed dramatically since we arrived 9 months ago.  In the interim, she moved to South Africa, his husband died there, she returned to Malawi, and now lives with her mother close to the quarry, about an hour walk from Zingwangwa.  This week she is interviewing for a job in Lilongwe.  Her older brother is now taking the missionary discussions.

Looking down the infamous staircase to the Zingwangwa meetinghouse.  Not the easiest access to a building. 

This angle shows the problem,  The steps are not of equal height.

Thoko, the Primary president, working with the kids.  Carole and Thoko have become fast friends, working together in Primary.

If you couldn't guess, this is a nativity tableau, assembled for the branch's Christmas program.  It was a great success.

The James family in front of their home in Manja.  Two weeks ago Brother James had a nasty accident, leaving him with several wood shivers in his left eye.  Fortunately, the hospital's surgeon was able to extract them all and his sight should return to normal.  The James' closest church neighbors are the Tsegulas, so we often visit both families on the same day.


Assembling the photos for Zingwangwa's pin board.

On the way to Church.

Sisters Browning and Griffus in front of the pin boards in the Zingwangwa foyer.  Sister Griffus is now back in the States, but Sister Browning is still in Blantyre, now into the ninth month of her mission.  She is currently working in a threesome with Sisters Solomone and Thueson.

Three of the older primary boys--Brain Phiri, Brighton Mkhoma and Prince Tsoka (left to right).  Brighton has now graduated from primary and has been ordained as a deacon.