Mission Crossroads

SUM 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

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6 Summer 2017 tatsala pango'no kufika — it is 'just there.'" Yeah, sure, I thought. After more than two and a half hours of climbing, we came to the Prayer House. By that time, I was not feeling particularly holy. Before worship, I learned the congregation had not seen a pastor for nearly three years. During our daylong I wish my eyes were bigger!" at's what I prayed when the British Airways jet touched down in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe in 1995. So many sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures — I simply didn't have enough nerve endings to process it all. e Lord heard my prayer, at least in regard to partnership with our African sisters and brothers. In 1998 we participated in the first pastoral exchange between the Synod of Blantyre and Pittsburgh Presbytery. For six weeks, Abusa Ralph M'nensa and his wife, Sophie, shadowed us as they enjoyed the life of our community. Later, my family and I lived with them and saw a very different side of the pastorate. One morning we traveled to a Prayer House of the Chinkwezule Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, on top of the Chaone plateau. Because I'm organized and a planner, I asked M'nensa, "How will we get there?" He explained we'd drive to the bottom of the hill and walk to the top, as there are no roads. Just after daybreak, we arrived at the bottom, where elders and deacons from the Prayer House greeted us. We started off, climbing upward, with a tin of biscuits and some water. "How long will this take?" I asked. "Not long. About 20 minutes" was the answer. After an hour, we paused and drank water. "Are we close?" "Ah, yes, Abusa. It is tatsala pango'no kufika — it is 'just there.'" An hour later, we arrived on the hilltop. ere was no Prayer House in sight. I said, "ere don't seem to be any buildings around here. Is it close?" An elder pointed: "Do you see that baobab tree? It is tatsala pang'no kufika — it is 'just there.'" We came to the baobab tree. It was hot. e biscuits and water were gone. ere was no Prayer House. As I started to ask my question, my escort interrupted. "Do you see those goats playing? It is Three-country partnership creates new model for mission Pittsburgh-Malawi bilateral relationship celebrates 25 years, expands to welcome South Sudan Dave Carver The Rev. Ralph M'nensa (right) presented a chicken to Sharon Carver and the Rev. Dave Carver during their visit to a Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Prayer House in Malawi in July 1998. Live chickens are thoughtful and generous gifts often shared with visiting clergy in the rural areas of Malawi. Ariel Carver

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