These last few months have been a time of many reunions for me as I have had chances to reconnect with good friends from years past in Malawi. A visit to Limbe CCAP this week was a case in point. The minister there, Rev MacDonald Kadawati, inducted me into my first Malawi congregation, Nkanda CCAP, in 1989. How good it was to be together leading worship thirty years later.
The Session Clerk, Stella Ndau, is a former student of mine at Chancellor College who went on to serve as Malawi’s High Commissioner to South Africa. She was an excellent student and it is wonderful to see how her leadership qualities have developed over the years.
However, the main reason for being in Limbe was not reunion but revival! Like many congregations in Malawi, Limbe CCAP holds worship not only on Sundays but also on Wednesday evenings. The difference is that on Wednesdays the members normally gather in smaller groups based on residential areas. This gives an opportunity for neighbours to know one another, provide mutual support and encourage one another in the life of faith.
Now and again, these small Wednesday-night groups come together for a revival meeting – a night of praise and preaching that aims to make a spiritual impact. It provides a special atmosphere with a sense of spiritual appetite and openness. Malawian church life is far from perfect and there are many issues to address but a great inner strength is the spiritual vitality found at the grassroots in congregations like Limbe CCAP. Hunger for revival is a force to be reckoned with.