Norfolk Christian couple move to Malawi
At the beginning of May, Les and Kathie Craske will be leaving their home near Swaffham for a very different way of life working in schools in Malawi.
by Annabel Valentine
For some years Les and Kathie have had close connections with Samuti Village in the south of this beautiful but impoverished country, through Pastor Peter Chinyama whom they met when he was studying at Kingdom Faith Bible College.
Committing themselves wholeheartedly to what they knew to be a call from God, they have raised funds to enable the setting up of a pre-school nursery for 80 orphans. They also provide educational materials for the local primary school, which is linked with a school in Swaffham, and are supporting five children through secondary school. The needs are great, and it is an ongoing challenge to identify and enable income-generating projects that will enable villagers to improve their quality of life without relying on outside help. Les and Kathie are hoping to be able to monitor the nutrition and development of the children in order to make sure they are getting adequate nourishment.
All this and much more has been happening while both have been in full-time employment, spending their holidays on bi-annual two-week trips to Malawi in order to check up on how things are going and learn more about the country, its people and culture. On their last trip, horizons expanded dramatically when they were invited by Gordon and Lucy Hayes to join them in running a children’s centre in the nearby town, which they saw as a God-given opportunity, not to be missed.
The centre cares for 25 orphans with no identifiable family, and they seek to bring up the children with sound Christian values and love, teaching practical and life skills. A wonderfully productive vegetable garden provides much of their food, and the work is expanding, with plans to introduce a daily feeding programme for a hundred children.
For Les, this will be the first time he has lived outside Norfolk. Asked what his role might be, he replied, “I’m open-minded at the moment, mainly looking to support Gordon and Lucy who will be able to have a much needed holiday and ongoing help. We will continue the work in Samuti Village, and hope to set up small Bible study groups.”
Both are feeling excited by the challenges they face, but having put their trust in God for the way ahead and having experienced his faithfulness in getting them thus far, with house let, car sold, and everything falling into place, they know he will enable and sustain them. As Kathie says, “We are open to God’s leading, and are committed to staying two years initially. We need to learn to understand the Malawi culture better, and to learn their language (Chichewa).”
Kathie added that she doesn’t relish the ever-present creepy crawlies, especially in the pitch black nights with no electric light!
They will miss family, home and of course their church family in Breckland Christian Fellowship
who have been and continue to be wonderfully supportive.
As Les and Kathie embark on this adventure, I join with many other friends to wish them well and every blessing in whatever lies ahead. If any reader would like to be kept in touch, to support in prayer or financially, they can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org