Silver Spring, Maryland, USA ... [ANN] Visiting the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters on November 24, the Ambassador of Malawi, Willie Chokani, spoke to church leaders and called for increased Church involvement in his country.
"I invite the Adventist Church to intensify its activities in Malawieven if it means bringing back retirees," said Chokani. "Malawi cannot hope to develop without solid foundations, and Adventists are providing this. You teach honesty, hard work and self-reliance. You brought good news and good practice to our country, and your work under difficult circumstances is very much appreciated."
The Ambassador made his comments during a visit, together with his wife Grace Chokani, to the Churchs Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.
"The visit, hosted by the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty (PARL) department, provided an opportunity for dialogue, and for Church representatives to respond to enquiries," said John Graz, director for PARL.
Ambassador Chokani asked for direct action from the Church to increase its activities, and promised to facilitate arrangements for those wishing to visit.
"We came today to see what the Adventist Headquarters were like, and so we can encourage Adventists in Malawi to ask for more manpower and services," he commented.
Responding, Dr. Calvin Rock, general vice-president at the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, promised to add Malawi to the current "Reachback" program. "Reachback" is a church-sponsored program that invites particularly African-Americans to donate their time and skills in assisting communities in Africa.
"In 1997, 14 teams comprising 62 people served in 10 African countries," said Rock. "In 1998, this will increase to 15 countries and at least 25 teams. These people are paying in order to serve, sacrificing funds in order to help. We would like to be able to help Malawi too."
Volunteers on this program are asked to provide their ticket, their time and their talent for short-term, church-related programs that include medical assistance, education and construction.
Seventh-day Adventists in Malawi number nearly 200,000 baptized believers in a population of 12 million. [Jonathan Gallagher]
Mrs Grace Chokani, His Excellency Willie Chokani, Dr. John Graz, Dr. Bert Beach