Christmas in the Pandemic!

It is said that hindsight is always 20/20, and looking back, what a year 2020 has been! Let’s review this crazy year, there is much to celebrate.

This year we had to make changes to our annual fundraiser due to the pandemic. Thanks to Andrew Mellenger and his team at Mellenger Interactive Ltd., we launched “Move4Malawi”. There were over 175 athletes participating, on 16 teams, in 5 countries. Think about joining us in the future, as we are making this an annual event.

Thanks to all our athletes! Thanks to all our donors! Thanks to all who spread the word of Stand As One Ministry and who furthered the programs and work in Malawi.

We raised $39,955.00!!

We had a myriad of Gift Giving options available, perfect for those hard to buy for friends and family. Truly a gift that keeps on giving! The impact of these gifts is demonstrated in the following stories…

This is Hilda, she now cooks using 1 stick of wood instead of 3 or more on her new fuel-efficient stove. She is thrilled! We have trained hundreds of families at Mitongwe. We plan to continue in 2021 by building thousands of stoves in the surrounding villages.

Dan met with over 65 elderly in one village. They shared how poor crops, erosion of seed and soil, and no fertilizers were the issues affecting them and their lack of food. He shared how Foundations for Farming can help and then extended the invitation for training and support.

On December 12, the Senior Feeding Program began, with 150 “agogo” households receiving their first 1/2 bag of maize. This elderly man didn’t have even a grain of food left in his house.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.” Matthew 25:35

Zipendo is an example of a farmer who has fully embraced the Foundations for Farming program in Kalulu Village.  Last year he had a huge harvest of 45 bags of maize!  He is so encouraged by this increase that he has expanded the amount of land he is farming and promises to use only the FfF practices. What a wonderful example he is to all our farmers.  We congratulate Zipendo on his faithful hard work and commitment to our program.

Farmers in the program have testified they have never seen this kind of abundance in their crop yield. We take the risk away from the farmer and let them practice on our land. We buy their maize for a fair price and use it in our Senior Care Program. In 2021, we will continue to train hundreds of farmers at the Chisomo Center.

Having “community” is so important to all, and what brings communities together in Malawi is soccer.  For a brief moment whole villages forget about the extreme challenges they face when a goal is scored and they can race out onto the field to celebrate. We sponsored a youth league tournament held at the Mitongwe Farm field, which was truly unbelievable. Read on for more Soccer fun!

Christmas came early for a large group of 8 to 12 year old boys at Mitongwe at the end of November. They got to take part in our first annual Soccer Camp! With real soccer balls and uniforms donated and delivered on the container. You can see the joy on their faces, we’re amazed they agreed to stop playing at all!
In 2021 we have plans to build a multipurpose building that will be used to host kids in our life skills, after school and weekend programs. The building will also serve as a library and a sports academy. 

Soup weather, for us that usually means fall and winter and comfort in the cold. What about in Malawi in December, where it’s averaging 38 C? That is soup weather too, because the soup being made for the local gatherings and kids club is from Fraser Valley Gleaners, is super nutritious and necessary, so yes! it’s soup time here too.

“Jesus said, “let the little children come to me” Matt 19:14. When Stand As One started the Young Warriors Club we were immediately hosting hundreds of youth from the area. They craved the love, attention, fun, the chance to explore who they are, who God is, and what he wanted for them, that we offered. Dan was thrilled to watch a drama play they put on about youth drinking and standing together to resist the pressure to join in. This is a new outlook for them in their difficult lives, but that is exactly what we are planning to change.