Malawi is a small landlocked Central African state extending along Lake Malawi. The economy is largely based on subsistence agriculture and the country is self-sufficient in food production, but life is hard--many live in overwhelming poverty, and the average life expectancy is only 43 years. All indigenous people groups are of Bantu ethnicity.
Malawi is known to be the "warm heart" of Africa and its people have been some of the most receptive to Christianity on the African continent. Eighty percent of its people are Christian. Church of Scotland missionaries and the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa pioneered mission work in Malawi in the late 1800s, resulting in the establishment of a strong national church, the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), which is the largest Protestant denomination in the country.
The CCAP is the RCA's church partner in Malawi, where we work with Nkhoma Synod. CCAP requested assistance from the RCA in developing their diaconal ministry. In partnership with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, RCA mission personnel assist communities in developing literacy, agriculture, health, and income-generating projects that have evangelism and discipleship components.
In response to the AIDS epidemic, the RCA began partnering with Save Orphans Ministries. In partnership with Christian World Relief Committee, RCA mission personnel serve as consultants to this organization, which helps families and communities care for children orphaned by AIDS.