Joseph Project 1 Meets with Success

A man blowing bubbles outside of the St. Joseph grain warehouse

What can bring a large number of government officials, church and community leaders, and tribal authority together for a single event? What is so exciting it has preachers blowing soap bubbles, and inflating balloons?

It was all part of the experience for members of the Malawi Project’s Board of Directors, and management from the Mobility Worldwide plant in Demotte, Indiana during their first full day in Malawi.

Wilson Tembo, Executive Director, of the newly formed, Action for Progress, translated the speeches, as speaker after speaker, from the ministry of agriculture, to the Tribal Chief, to village headmen and church elders, spoke of the benefits this new community warehouse would bring to the people and villages in the area.

Mr. Mabvuto Chiwaya, representing the Ministry of Agriculture was the first to speak. He noted that the government would use this program as a model for other parts of Malawi, showing how to preserve their food supply and guard against famine. He noted, “30% of your food is destroyed by insects and disease. This warehouse can end this loss, and we stand ready to help you keep it secure from insects.”

Mr. Mgemezulu, a Senior Village Headman, speaking on behalf of Tribal Authority in the area observed, “When we heard you were building a community warehouse we knew the whole area was developing. It will be a model project in this area.”

Next, Inkosi Chiwere, the Tribal Chief, senior authority in the traditional system in this area, began to speak, “Honor to our invited guests, and appreciation to all who have worked on this project,” he began. He then listed a roll of all of the groups represented, and then he continued, “I am very thankful for your support,” he turned toward the guests from America, then back to the much larger Malawi audience. “We don’t take this for granted. This is a model for the entire area. I urge you to work together to care for this warehouse. It will play an important role; families can use their harvest to help others. We now must seek markets for some of our grain that we can sell.” He concluded, “I will ask God to bless you for your labor.”

Bob Gabrielse, from Mobility Worldwide, and traveled with his wife Arla, for their first trip to Africa with the Project team, reminded the audience of the responsibility that goes with a project like this, First the fact they are being seen, not just in this area, but worldwide through social media, but more importantly they have a great responsibility to God to carry this work forward successfully.

Jim Messenger, a board member for the Malawi Project, and on his first trip to Malawi, expressed appreciation on behalf of the Project’s Board of Directors for the commitment made by the large number of villages to work together to make this project a reality. He applauded their success and wished them all the best in this venture.

Then the celebration began. Thanks to Suzi Stephens, Sheila McDonald, Rea Ann Messenger, and Arla Gobrielse, there were streamers, kazoos, and other celebration items, seldom, if ever, seen in remote villages of Africa. They were draped over and around the doors, with children running from here to there making strange sounds with the kazoos. Large numbers of people toured the warehouse, and the women exited from their first view of the completed facility singing songs of appreciation to God for what He had done for them here. After a celebration meal of nsima, beans, rice, greens, and beef, the American team moved out in two vehicles to continue their travel agenda. Most of the team had been in the country less than 24 hours, on this, their first trip to the country. This was their first stop.

Already, with their first experience in Malawi, it was something none would soon forget.