Our group interfaces with the villages of Kamanzi largely through the Nkhoma Synod of the Presbyterian Church of Malawi / Zambia / Mozambique (CCAP). One of the great initiatives that is taking root is a program called the Church and Community Mobilization Process (CCMP). This program helps communities identify areas where transformation needs to happen and then walks them through a very clear process with measurable goals and plans. What is beautiful about this process is how it focuses the church on its purpose as being the Body of Christ within the community through clear biblical study.
As a part of our trip, we facilitated and provided food for a 2 day Bible study in Kamanzi with about 250 participants in all. Remarkably, all of the village chiefs attended and stayed for the 4 hour workshop/studies (even on Thursday when we got started 2 hours late). Two church elders, Lucas and Charles, from another community came to lead the studies. Our small team heard the remarkable testimonies of how these Bible studies have already begun to mobilize their local church and community.
The study on Thursday came from Genesis 2-3 where the participants broke off into groups of about 10 and answered questions about how the Fall is expressed in their community and how their churches and community are responding towards making right what is wrong.
On Friday the scripture they studied was Isaiah 65:17-25 where they learned of the vision of the new earth and discussed what their community and churches could do to move in that direction. The priority they set was to care for their orphans (many of whom are the results of parents dying of AIDS).
This process will likely continue over many months and should help the church realize its purpose within the community, that is a source of renewal and resurrection.