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Day 7, July 15: Livingstone’s Malawi or Madona’s?

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Day 7, July 15: Livingstone’s Malawi or Madona’s?

Livingstone’s Malawi or Madona’s?

Dr. Livingstone changed its destiny. Can Christians do a repeat? 13-20% Muslim

In southern Africa, east of Zambia, one of the poorest countries in the world swings between an almost endless cycle of hunger and disease. The country is Malawi, which caught the worlds attention when pop star Madonna began the “Raising Malawi” orphan programme. Malawi also came into the limelight as video and reports flashed horrific scenes from overcrowded hospitals ill equipped to handle the overwhelming HIV / AIDS crisis.

Malawi’s fame

Malawi is actually a very pretty land and tourists enjoy the friendliness of its people. Nature lovers adore the parks and game reserves, mountain hiking and plateau trekking. Others are fascinated by the various people groups and their colorful history; the Jumbes, local rulers who represented the Sultan of Zanzibar and the famous Yao who were displaced from their original homeland in Mozambique causing many to migrate to Malawi.

The great toll

Still, life in Malawi is hard. The average life expectancy is around 40 years and there is little hope for most Malawians for a better future. The people are very family oriented and there are various customs for how a person treats members of his own family. Many families are farmers who eke out a meager existence from growing food or tobacco, tea or sugar. Even the children will be involved heavily in this work.

Dr. Livingstone I presume...

The first Muslim to set foot in Malawi probably did so some five hundred years ago. By the time Christian missionaries arrived, not the least of which was Dr. David Livingstone, Islam had already gained a head start. Despite the influence of both Christianity and Islam, spiritism, worship of ancestors, belief in “black magic” and secret societies are a major part of any Malawian’s daily life.

Muslim Missions

Muslim organisations, with oil money to spend, have found it easy to buy land and win converts in Malawi. Mosques and Islamic centres are being erected all over the country. Malawi is a strategic target for Muslim missionaries who see it as a base from which they can bring Islam to the whole of southern Africa.

Let’s pray for Malawi:

* Radio is the chief source of information for many Malawians. State-run MBC is the main national broadcaster. Television was introduced in 1999. Pray for Christian programming.

* Many public schools offer a course entitled “Bible Knowledge,” which is Christian oriented, and another entitled “Moral and Religious Education,” which is more Muslim oriented. Pray for Christian-based education.

* Pray for practical projects to open doors. Some medical missions work to bring clean, piped water to people who normally could not afford it. These projects speak volumes.

* “If anyone doubts the presence of demons and their power let that person live in Africa.” Pray for those in Malawi so bound by black magic.

* Pray for the predominately Muslim Yao people – that Yao churches of faith and love will open.

Further Reading