Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

09/23/2019 10:50 PM

10 Years of Being There

09/23/2019 10:50 PM
09/23/2019 10:50 PM

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:4)

This past weekend, a group of us from CCPC flew to Allentown, New Jersey to be part of the 10th Anniversary of Villages in Partnership, a Malawi mission that we have been a partner with for a number of years now. It was an incredible celebration that included a fundraiser banquet on Saturday night, followed by a vibrant service of worship Sunday morning at Allentown Presbyterian Church. The weekend raised $414,000 for VIP, all of which will go to help the most vulnerable in southern Malawi, a country that constantly ranks in the top five of the poorest countries on the planet.

Here are a few statistics of Malawi:

  • A population of 18.5 million people
  • 1 million orphans
  • Annual gross national income of $650 per person
  • Almost 50% of the population moderately or severely underweight
  • Mother’s mean age at first birth: 18
  • 85% live as subsistence farmers
  • Average life expectancy is 61
  • 10% of the adult population living with HIV/AIDS

As Liz Heinzel-Nelson, director of VIP, is quick to remind you, there are real people behind these numbers. So, 10 years ago, Villages in Partnership started the mission of “being there” for the Sakata Villages in southern Malawi. They have been there through famine, flood, and disease. They have been there through hunger and heartache. And because they have been there, things have drastically improved. In short, our partnership with VIP has made a huge difference in the lives of people. One thing the people of Malawi continue to say when we go is this, “Don’t ever leave us.” And we won’t. We will continue being there.

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