SIM – Malawi

Steven & Jo Wheatley in Malawi with SIM

Steven and Jo have been in Malawi this time since 2021, having previously served separately in Nigeria (Jo) and Zambia (Steven, and together in Mozambique & Blantyre, Malawi.)

Their current assignment is a small village called Nanjoka in the central region of Malawi, not far from Lake Malawi. Although there have been Churches in this area for quite a few years, traditional beliefs and practices still have a very strong hold on people.

Steven & Jo are involved in a variety of ministries, seeking to encourage people to acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Building the church
(through evangelism and teaching)

SIM Malawi’s main partner Church is the Africa Evangelical Church. The small Nanjoka congregation has been without a Pastor since the beginning of the year, so Steven has been trying to build up the leadership team through Bible studies and other discussions. He is also on the monthly preaching rota.

Jo teaches the Sunday School children with two other Church members, and meets with the Tuesday women’s weekly Bible study group.

Steven meets once a month with a group of AEC Pastors from the Lakeshore Area. This is usually a good time of learning from God’s word, as well as fellowship – some of these Pastors serve in quite isolated places.

Together with the AEC Pastor from Salima, Steven & Jo have been encouraging a new Church plant to the south of Salima. 

Serving society
(through compassion and justice)

Jo, a physiotherapist, uses her skills, experience and compassion, both at the local community clinic, and through home visits, to encourage disabled children to develop. Once a month, both Jo and Steven travel south to a community health ministry, where Jo runs a clinic for local disabled children. Steven helps with practical and administrative concerns.

A local carpenter who was trained on a vocational programme has been shown how to make various disability aids – standing frames, chairs, walkers – for the children that Jo helps.

Steven & Jo live on a small farm at Nanjoka. The week starts (for Steven) with a 6am Bible Study for the farm staff. Since the Farm Manager was dismissed for stealing, Steven & Jo have been involved in encouraging better farming techniques, overseeing the general running of the farm, and making sure that the staff are paid on time. Apart from a forested area, the Farm has 54 cows, 10 goats, a good veggie plot, and a troop of baboons!

Caring for creation.
(through godly use of the resources of creation along with ecological concern and action)

The Farm’s forest is the only remaining wooded area in Nanjoka, so some of the Farm staff are responsible for keeping an eye on this. The need for firewood for cooking and building materials far outstrips the planting and growth of new trees. Steven & Jo would love to see more people planting trees, and fewer people dropping their litter everywhere!

‘Foundations for Farming’ is a way of producing better crops while using fewer bought inputs. This, together with the benefit of there being plenty of manure available, has meant that the Farm has produced some good vegetables, which are sold to the local community. Here the Farm workers are making compost.

Praise God for the arrival of Saraiah Wheatley Tello in Canada – our first Grandchild.
Please pray that we can hand over all our duties well before we fly on Nov 16th and that we will use our home assignment time well.
Particularly pray for 2 long term patients – Josephy and Siyala  – that they will not get worse but that God will continue to heal them.