The Presbytery of Hamilton is currently hosting five visitors from Blantyre City Presbytery in Malawi who arrived on Friday 29 August and are staying until the middle of September. Last Saturday night a welcome dinner was held in Rubislaw Church Centre to properly welcome Rev Baxton Maulidi, Fanuel Blessings Mota, Christina Chirwa, Rev James Sande Makuleya and Wilson Chipumphula, pictured above with the Moderator of Aberdeen Presbytery, Rev Hugh Wallace, Councillor Martin Greig, and Convenor of the Blantyre Partnership Committee, Rev Dr Robert Smith.
It was a lovely night in which to meet our visitors and get to know them. I sat with James over dinner and he told those of us at our table that he had done some research into the history of the Blantyre Mission Station and had written a paper about it. I was delighted on Tuesday night at our presbytery meeting when James passed me a copy of his paper titled: "Blantyre Mission Station: A Wonderful Place To Reckon With". Needless to say, we had a great conversation about the two different Blantyres we each know so well. The strong connections between Malawi and Scotland are very evident in the paper.
I scanned the document in and you can read it here. James concludes:
"In view of what has been noted so far, I am of the perusal, therefore, that the current leadership will see to it that the developments inherited from our fore-fathers are taken care of. The projects in vision and pipeline are realized, such as Radio Station, Bottled Water, Return of Printing Press, The Welfare of the Church Ministers and Lay Workers, and taking care of God's Flock wholistically. Challenges will always be there but with God, nothing is hard or impossible. (Genesis 18: 14 and Luke 1 : 37). In a nut-shell, the role played hy Blantyre Mission at HHI is greatly appreciated. Therefore, it deserves to be a place to recogn with. Glory be to God and Blessings to all of Us. Praise the Lord! Psalm 150 : 6."
At the same meeting on Tuesday the covenant between our two presbyteries was extended for a futher three years with a commitment to work together where we can, and to support one another: to be our brother's or sister's keeper.
At Ferryhill Parish Church we are delighted that Fanuel Blessings Mota, known as Blessings, will be worshipping with us on Sunday 7 September, and indeed will participate in the leadership of that service. Blessings is an elder in the Mpachika congregation. Blessings will be with us all day, including the first of our Café Connect gatherings in the foyer on Sunday evening. In that more relaxed setting we can hear more from Blessings.