MISSION, EVANGELISM AND DISCIPLESHIP
The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) is committed to mobilizing, uniting and equipping the whole evangelical church in Malawi for effective proclamation of the Gospel through word and deeds in both urban and rural areas of the country. We believe that the Gospel of Christ has the power to transform lives. This is the very reason that Jesus Christ came for: that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). As a faith based organization we strive to be ambassadors of God’s love for all mankind.
Mission And Evangelism
EAM provides a number of services to its members in the areas of mission and evangelism: We facilitate evangelistic and sound bible teaching programmes in churches utilising spiritual gifts and resources available within the evangelical fraternity.
EAM promotes joint interdenominational gospel outreaches in various parts of the country and beyond, especially focusing on unreached people groups.
EAM promotes effective church engagement in church planting. Recently EAM has partnered with Dynamic Church Planting International to provide training to church leaders and christian workers across the country. The response has been overwhelming.
EAM is promoting church involvement in intercultural missions. A mission agency, called Malawi Missions International (MMI) has been established with the assistance of EAM to facilitate mission. MMI supports churches identifying, equipping and deploying mission workers in unreached people groups within the country and beyond.
EAM is actively engaged in mobilizing intercessory prayers for the national concerns in Malawi and beyond. We coordinate the Intercessors for Malawi, an intercessory network ministry committed to mobilising, uniting and equipping prayer warriors for spiritual warfare for the spiritual and social transformation of our nation and beyond.
Beside that a prayer bulletin is released periodically by EAM to guide intercessors effectively in prayer.
EAM also organizes regular interdenominational prayers at national, regional, district and zonal level to address issues of common concern. These prayers have proved to be very useful during times of political transitions, natural disasters, droughts and other concerns. Additionally we organize the annual Global Day of Prayers on Pentecostal Sunday across the country, during which we join christians worldwide in prayer for revival and renewal.
EAM facilitates the women’s ministry which brings together women leaders from different churches. It’s a platform for these women to share the joys and challenges of their ministry. Recently a Women and Gender Commission has been established to facilitate the growth of women ministries and greater women participation in churches and national development.
Pastor’s Fraternal Network
Over the years we have established pastor’s fraternal networks across the country, bringing together church leaders from diverse evangelical and non-evangelical church backgrounds for fellowship, to unite the church on many issues, and to corporate mission initiatives.
EAM is partnering with a number ministries focusing on children to assist churches discipling children holistically, for example Awana, Compassion International and the Child Evangelisation Fellowship. Besides that we are now in the process of developing a child protection policy to be adapted by our member churches and organizations.
Bible Training For Church Pastors And Lay Leaders
70 percent of the church leaders in Malawi have never had a formal bible or theological training. EAM is offering a programme called Bible Training for Church Pastors and Lay Leaders (BTCP) to equip them with a basic theological framework and sound doctrine. The interdenominational training is a course with ten manuals which are not doctrinal biased and provide general truths concerning the faith, church administration, the word of God and so on. It is a great learning opportunity for church leaders.
DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE
The issues of democracy, human rights and good governance affect each and every person in Malawi. The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) runs a number of programmes to advocate for democracy, human rights and good governance in pursuit of its prophetic role. These programmes are managed directly by the Ethics, Peace and Justice Commission (EPJC) which is an arm of the EAM on social engagement and national concerns. Through EPJC we have managed to respond to a number of national social issues clearly spelling out our position as evangelicals on such topics.
Participation In Advocacy Groups
EAM participates in a number of ecumenical and interfaith advocacy groups and forums such as Public Affairs Committee (an interfaith group for religious entities), Act Alliance and other advocacy platforms established by key stakeholders tackling various areas of concern.
EAM is working with and through its member churches to facilitate the implementation of advocacy projects in some districts in the country. One of these projects is Citizen Participation and Engagement on Policy and Good Governance which has been running since 2011. The project has been implemented in selected parts of four districts: Lilongwe, Mchinji, Ntcheu and Nkhotakota. One of its objectives is to increase the capacity of the citizens to participate fully in local and national decisions that affect their lives and to hold government and other duty bearers accountable. This will enhance greater transparency, accountability and responsiveness of parliamentarians and District Assembly officials in respect to the needs of the citizens in relation to the national budget.
EDUCATION AND LIFE SKILLS
Education has a very important impact on the social and economic development of a country. The Malawian education system operates on a so called 8-4-4 system: Primary education (8 years), Secondary education (4 years), TEVET, Higher education (4 years). Each of these sectors faces serious challenges due to inadequate resources. The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) has committed itself to the following:
Commission On Education
Establishing a Commission on Education to promote greater evangelical involvement in the development of positive education policies in the country.
Development Of Primary Education
EAM has established and built a state of the art Emmanuel Teacher Training College (ETTC) to train primary school teachers for both public and mission schools in public areas. ETTC’s mission is to prepare excellent teachers for service to God’s people committed to teaching as a calling (Ephesians 4:11).
EAM Education Platform
The forum for EAM member churches engaged in education is a platform where they share experiences and best practices, and maximize their synergy to plan and implement education interventions and promote standards in Malawi to improve education.
Plans are underway for EAM to establish its own university. The university will be offering diplomas and degrees for various courses besides the teacher training programme. Currently a task force of reputable academics is working on developing a curriculum and documentation for accreditation through the Malawian Government.
Teacher Support Unit
Through its Teacher Support Unit EAM provides a close follow-up of all the teachers graduating from ETTC to provide them with the much needed spiritual and moral support whilst serving in Malawi’s rural areas. On regular basis alumni retreats and conferences are organized to motivate and equip the teachers to effectively serve the children in their various communities.
GENDER EQUALITY AND CHILD RIGHTS
It is the mission of the Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) to build a Malawian society and church in which the principles of equality, dignity and distinction are reality. Since the churches of Malawi have the potential to reach millions of Malawians with the message of gender equality, EAM and the Malawi Council of Churches have developed a gender policy manual to promote effective church engagement in gender issues. The policy seeks to address the following topics:
Defining the role of the family in promoting gender equality: The integrity and stability of the state, society and church depends largely on the family. EAM strives to ensure a sound biblical teaching on the role of husband, wife and the family and to implement interventions that promote mutual respect and equal partnership, that promote skills for effective parenting, that promote effective ways of conflict solution and that advocate zero tolerance to all forms of domestic violence.
Training of the clergy/pastors and laity on gender from church perspective: A well trained and skilled clergy is vital for the success of their pastoral activities. EAM supports the development of a theology of gender, promotes theological training for lay men and women, organizes workshops and seminars on gender for the clergy etc. Theological institutes should review their curricula and integrate gender courses.
Promoting socio-economic empowerment: Compared to men Malawian women are less empowered. They have limited access to vocational and entrepreneurial training, to micro-credits and so on. EAM is planning various interventions to empower women, like lobbying the government, supporting women groups, promoting just pay andadvocating women’s rights.
Fighting human trafficking and sexual abuse: Human trafficking is modern-day slavery that spreads over the whole world. Malawi is increasingly affected by this scourge both as a source and as a transit country. Another big problem is sexual abuse of women, boys and girls. It is time to fight this inhumanity through prevention, protection, rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation. The churches must condemn sexual abuse and illegal cheap labour publicly. EAM helps to initiate pastoral ministries for the victims of sexual abuse and human trafficking, to establish help-lines and safe-houses etc. To enlarge the impact EAM partners with the government, NGO’s and civil society organizations.
Promoting the rights of the children and the youth: More than half of the Malawian population are children and teenager. And most of them are heavily affected by exploitation, chronic malnutrition, abuse, limited access to quality education and health, neglect and abandonment by their parents. Among this vulnerable group girls are the most vulnerable. Since the young generation is the future of our nation EAM supports efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violation of the rights of children and youth.
CRISIS AND DISASTER RESPONSE
Natural and men-made disasters recurrently strike Malawi and expose a lot of Malawians in rural areas to vulnerability. The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) has established strong structures to effectively respond to these disasters. Our CDR-teams work together with the governmental Department of Disaster Management Affairs district assemblies, traditional leaders and key government departments at district level, such as the Department of Social Welfare, the police or the Ministry of Agriculture and Health.
EAM is actively involved in all stages of disaster responses (short-term emergency programmes and long-term recovery and rebuilding programmes). Besides that, we are helping the Malawians to build a resilience through prevention and preparedness for response when disaster strikes. There are different approaches to achieve these objectives, such as promoting irrigation techniques, teaching how to build houses that withstand natural disasters, or training small-scale farmers how to use crop diversity and how to build storage systems.
FOOD SECURITY AND LIVELIHOOD
The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) helps Malawians to improve their ability to produce and buy their own food and to increase their income. EAM mainly targets small subsistence producers such as women to empower them to be resilient to climate threats and market shocks. To achieve these objectives EAM uses different strategies, such as:
Teaching how to establish small-scale irrigation systems.
Promoting small-scale livestock breeds of pigs and guineafowl to generate income.
Promoting and establishing village savings and lending groups to develop a saving culture and to create a source of capital at reasonable interest rates and flexible lending conditions.
Promoting fruit production to generate income.
Training how to increase agricultural productivity through a diversification of high value crop varieties. Sometimes we also provide the seeds.
Teaching new farming technologies (for example conservation agriculture or seed storage) to improve productivity.
Promoting energy saving stoves to protect natural resources.
Promoting collective marketing initiatives so that farmers sell their products in groups. By doing so, they can dictate the price of their products and vendors are by-passed on the value chain.
Implementing agricultural demonstration plots in villages as training centres.
The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) is in the process of developing a Health Commission that will be the technical arm of EAM in matters related to the health policy and practices in Malawi. However, EAM is focussing on the following health interventions, working with and through local churches:
HIV And AIDS Intervention
HIV/AIDS is one of major problems in Malawi. In 2013 estimated 10.3% of the adults had HIV/AIDS. Approximately 6% of the young people (15-24 years of age) are infected. Nearly 66,000 young people are infected annually with HIV. Estimated 790,000 children were orphaned by AIDS in 2013. The two major modes of transmission are heterosexual intercourse and mother-to-child-transmission. EAM is involved in projects and programmes that promote HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal and new-born survival, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT).
Malaria is endemic in 95% of Malawi. About 98% of the infections are due to Plasmodium falciparum, which is the most severe form of the human malarial species. There are at least 5 million malaria episodes per year and 4 out of 10 hospital deaths are due to malaria. It is the leading cause of morbitity and death in children under 5 in Malawi. EAM conducts onsite trainings to promote the prevention of malaria.
Approximately 4% of all children in Malawi suffer from acute malnutrition. More than 50% of Malawian children are affected by chronic malnutrition, leading to anaemia, stunting et cetera. High food prices, food insecurity and the lack of knowledge of balanced nutrition are main causes for the malnutrition. EAM partners with various organizations to manage acute malnutrition. But the main object is to prevent malnutrition by training farming and irrigation methods and teaching a balanced diet.
Sexual And Reproductive Health
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) are interlinked and are both fundamental to the physical and emotional well-being and influence the economic and social development of Malawi. Therefore sexual and reproductive health are much more than merely the absence of infirmity, dysfunction and disease. SRH is heavily influenced by laws, politics, human rights, society, culture, economics, education and health systems and EAM intervenes on all levels to improve SRH.
Maternal And Neonatal Health
Maternal mortality (deaths during pregnancy or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy) in Malawi is among the highest in the world, due to delayed or no access to quality health services. The main causes of maternal death are severe bleeding, infections, eclampsia and obstructed labour and so on. The major causes of neonatal death (deaths in the first 28 days of life) are pre-term birth, infections, asphyxia, tetanus and low birthweight. In 2013 estimated 3,400 women died during pregnancy or childbirth and 14,000 newborn babies died in their first month of life. EAM’s approach to promote maternal and neonatal health is to mobilize the communities and healthcare facility interventions.
Hygiene And Sanitation
Although hand washing is very effective for disease prevention only 4% of Malawians wash their hands with soap before preparing food, after using the toilet and so on. Approximately 10.2 million Malawians have no access to handwashing after latrine use and 47% of all schools have only inadequate toilet facilities. It is therefore tragic but not surprising that one of the main causes of death for children are diarrhoeal diseases. EAM strives to make improvements in the area of hygiene and sanitation by promoting church and community-led initiatives.
Uncontrolled, rapid population growth as it can be observed in Malawi is a huge problem. It will result in more poverty, in an even more crippled education system etc. It is expected that the current population of approximately 17 million will increase to about 40 million in the next 20 years.
One step to slow down population growth is to end child marriages. There is a deep rooted acceptance of child marriages in Malawi, resulting in one of the highest rates in the world. 50% of the girls are married off before 18. Early in 2015 the Malawian legislation raised the minimum age of marriage to 18. But according to Section 22 of the Constitution it is still allowed that young people between the ages of 15 and 18 may marry with parental consent. Another challenge is that enforcement measures and civic education are needed for the law to have impact. The Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) works closely with churches, communities and traditional leaders to inform them about the law and the consequences of child marriages and to change the attitude towards child marriage.
EAM also promotes family planning using contraceptive methods. But we are against ending the life of the unborn. EAM motivates churches to include the topic of family planning in their activities. We target the persons who directly influence family planning decisions to inform them about contraceptive methods and to correct fears and misconceptions related to family planning. It is EAM’s objective to change the attitude and behaviour. Although EAM cannot tackle every challenge we try our best to ensure that family planning is affordable, acceptable, feasible, sustainable and safe to everyone.