Working in Partnership with the Church in Africa
The Journey so far
Faith in Action was started by two members of Crawley Baptist Church, Martin and Sally Jeffree. It was registered as a charity in 1986 after Martin, who was an airline pilot at the time, took two months unpaid leave and went to work with Mission Aviation Fellowship in Dodoma, Tanzania. While Martin was in Tanzania, he was very challenged by the poverty all around him and especially the need for clothing. When he came home, he left all his clothing behind and came home with an empty suitcase.
After his return to the UK, Martin and Sally felt that God was leading them to continue sending relief consignments to the contacts that Martin had made in Tanzania. God also spoke clearly to say that they should not seek to multiply this work or ask for any financial support, but should instead trust Him to both promote and to provide for this work. Within about five years sixty packing groups had been set up in the UK, two in the US and one in Denmark and relief consignments were being sent to seven different countries in East Africa.
More recently the focus has been on working with the Faith in Action Church in Malawi, an unrelated organisation, and in providing funds for a variety of both spiritual and also development projects predominantly in an area in the very south of Malawi called the Lower Shire.
Faith in Action has now sent 133 x 20ft container consignments to East Africa and God has provided over £2,250,000 for this work without any fundraising or requests for financial support.
Currently sending consignments of relief aid to Malawi. Each item of clothing is washed and packed to look like new.
Providing Bibles, Study Bibles, Proclaimers (an audio machine containing the whole Bible in Chichewa) and Bible Study booklets. There is a great need for these Christian resources. During one distribution of Bibles, eight churches were sharing just two Bibles.
Women may have to walk for six hours to find water and many water-sources are contaminated. Water is carried in large buckets on their heads which can cause neck and spine injuries.
Wind-pump irrigation has the potential to reverse the consequences of climate change in Africa. Each system will enable farmers to irrigate 50 acres of land and to grow two crops each year instead of just one which has often failed.
A typical village may have 250 families and 500 orphans. Faith in Action provide one male and two female goats for families who foster orphaned children. The kids are sold to provide income.
Faith in Action invests funds in a high-interest account in Malawi. The interest paid from 2008 to 2014 was used to purchase 7,987 nets which were distributed to 3,315 families in 254 villages.
Bible Study Booklets
In the Autumn of 2010 a set of Bible Studies were written which have now been translated and printed into Chichewa for Malawi, Portuguese for Mozambique and Kirundi for Burundi, They have also been translated into Chibemba for Zambia and Shona for Zimbabwe. These Bible studies were received very well and other churches have also asked if they could receive copies of them.
At the beginning of 2014 the church in Malawi received a request to provide a total of 10,500 copies of these studies for the army. This request came about in a miraculous way after a leader in the army had had the opportunity to read a copy. After reading it, he contacted Lameck Msamange, who is leader of the church, to ask if they would be able to provide 1,500 copies to go into each of the seven army barracks in the country.
This distribution took place in June 2014. On the day that the Bible Studies were being distributed in the army barracks in Zomba, the prison commissioner had come to meet his army counterpart in order to discuss security issues with him. He saw the distribution of the studies and asked for two copies of them. Shortly after this, the church received an email from him saying that two prison wardens had started to read the studies and had asked him to get some more copies to give to their prisoners.
A total of 1,941 Bibles and 31,789 Bible studies have now been distributed in six prisons and many reports have been received of the transformation that these Bibles and studies have brought about within these prisons. Many inmates have become Christians. We also understand that these prisons are now peaceful and far fewer prisoners are trying to escape. Pastors from the Faith in Action Church have also been given an open invitation to go into the prisons and to hold meetings there.