Namikango Mission

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Maternity Clinic Walk

Apr 24, 2018

During the season of Lent many churches spend time fasting and praying, reflecting on the passion of Jesus, and looking towards their communities with the eyes of Christ. Here in Malawi, the local Catholic church in Thondwe did the same, and this year their Lenten fasting had a direct effect on Namikango Mission.

Their women gathered together to discuss Namikango’s Maternity Clinic which is still closed pending repairs from last month’s fire. Many of these women have used the Clinic in the past to ensure pre-natal care and healthy births. The women were concerned that the Clinic has remained closed for so long, noting that area women must now travel to Zomba in order to receive medical care for themselves and their babies. After much discussion, the women decided to take action.

They organized a Women’s March from the town of Namadzi to Thondwe, a distance of about fifteen miles, to raise awareness for the Clinic and to fundraise support for repairs. On Saturday, March 10th, this women’s group took to the highway and began their fundraiser march, walking through rain and cold weather. Once they arrived at Namikango’s campus, they took turns sharing their experiences at the Maternity Clinic, expressing their gratitude to Namikango for providing such a valuable service, and begging us to reopen as soon as possible.

They talked about the healthy children they now have because of the care they received and mentioned other women in their church who are now pregnant and needing a safe place to deliver. In addition to their financial gift, they also gave mops, buckets, and soap to the Clinic in an effort to show the solidarity of their support for the Mission and their desire for cooperation among churches.

We know that often throughout history there has been a strained relationship between different churches and ways of approaching God. The result of these strained relations is that each church group usually cares for its own people and this division hurts the communities. However, last Saturday, the Catholic women of Thondwe reached out to their Church of Christ neighbors with compassion and grace and showed us the love of God. As the Psalmist says, “How good is it, when brothers and sisters live together in unity?”

Namikango has always respected our neighbors and offered our services to all, regardless of their religious background.

By Eric Gephart