The Matumula Village Project — From Noblesville to Malawi by Anne Kenley
In the fall of October 2016, I had the joy and privilege of interviewing Josie and Norman Chinkono and hearing their incredible journey from Malawi, Africa to Noblesville, Indiana. Malawi is a country with a 98% poverty rate. We learned of the great needs of the people of Malawi and connected with Norman’s home village of Matumula and their extreme poverty and lack of even the most basic food and cooking supplies. Our congregation has a heart for mission and the Chinkono’s story touched us. We wondered what we could do to help. In the spring of 2017, we found out that a container ship was leaving for Malawi and we sprang into action — collecting 9 large containers of food and clothing in less than two weeks. We thought the containers would arrive in July but because of various delays and a prolonged stay in customs, the goods didn’t reach Malawi until the last week of September. Today (October 8th), we got to experience the joy of watching our gifts being received by the people of Matumula. I’m not sure who is more blessed — the FPC congregation or the people of Matumula. We connect with our African brothers and sisters by sharing a small part of our bounty — things we don’t need anymore and food that we would never celebrate eating. So as I look at the pictures and listen to the people of Matumula, I get a taste of what the psalmist meant in Psalm 100:
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Video 1: Josie’s mother introducing Norman’s sisters
Video 2: The chief thanking our congregation
Video 3: The chief distributing the packages to the villagers
Video 4: Singing the praises of God and thanking us for our gifts