TRUSTEES’ REPORT – Year Ended 30 September 2021

The activities of the Trust continued to be seriously affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic for a significant portion of the year. Nevertheless, we are grateful that as travel restrictions began to ease, it was possible for Stephen to visit Malawi twice to review operations there, first in May and again in August.

Stephen’s visit in May was timed to coincide with the arrival in Malawi of Anna Vallance, who has been commended to the work by her assembly in Livonia, MI, USA. It has been a pleasure to welcome her. Her dedication to the work and devotion to the Lord will undoubtedly strengthen the team, particularly as she has joined the Board of the Malawi operation.

Anna has been gaining familiarity with the various aspects of the Trust’s activities. She has accompanied Harold on school visits and literature supply trips, and is regularly involved with Goodson in the work around Saidi, setting up a Child Headed Households group with which she meets on a regular basis.

The visit in May also coincided with the appointment of Watipaso Kaliwo as Executive Assistant, SALT’s first salaried employee. Wati brings several years of experience in Communications with a major international NGO, which combined with her excellent education, pleasant disposition, and devoted Christian character, should make her a real asset as she supports the administrative and related work of the Trust.

Wati & Anna have worked well together as a team, making monthly visits to Dzaleka Refugee Camp to oversee the orphan feeding and other programs there. Particularly noteworthy is the implementation of the Swahili BES/Bible Time ministry, which is being run as a pilot for the Chichewa work which we hope to roll out in the near future. Wati & Anna have worked together with Chichewa translation and revision teams on this major project, and we are looking forward to seeing the fruit of their labours.

At Dzaleka, we have been helping to provide additional school classrooms and desks, as well as installing a borehole for the use of the school and surrounding neighbours. At Saidi, we were involved in rehabilitating a dilapidated building used by a local Under-5’s health clinic. By all accounts, these projects have been a great help to their respective communities.

Brother Goodson supervises work on site

It has been very encouraging to see real progress with our building project at Saidi. The priorities during this period have been (1) construction of a dwelling for the site supervisor (Goodson), (2) continuation of the perimeter wall / fence, (3) construction of a concrete base for shipping containers, and (4) earthworks to level the site, particularly removing several very large anthills. Goodson has grown into the supervisory role and proved to be faithful and diligent in this responsibility.

We take this opportunity to record our profound thanks to every brother and sister in Christ who has supported us – financially and in prayer. It goes without saying that the purchase and development of the land involves considerable expenditure. As a board, we are enormously encouraged by the Lord’s provision for the financial needs of the development project. Donations more than doubled during the period, meaning that we were able to press ahead without compromising our conviction that this development should not adversely affect the ongoing activities of the Trust.  At the same time, we are humbled, not just by the responsibility entrusted to us, but by the sad reality that a significant portion of this increase came from donations arising from the disposal of buildings by assemblies which have ceased to exist or become too small to need them. The responsibility to use such funds wisely for the perpetuation of Christian testimony in another part of harvest field weighs heavily.

Special mention is due to our friends at Revival Movement / Every Home Crusade, who blessed us again with a substantial donation of printed material. We estimate the commercial value of this donation to be a six-figure sum, and although we made several contributions toward their costs, their generosity enabled us to free up funds for outreach operations and building work in Malawi. We are conscious that RM / EHC support many ministries across the globe, and therefore we cannot rely upon them to meet all (or, even most) of our printing needs going forward.

Brother Harold oversees Literature Distribution

Brother Harold has proved to be very useful in coordinating the growing literature ministry. He has developed relationships at various points of the supply chain: printers, clearing agents, couriers, and of course, our large network of volunteer literature distributors. We are grateful to him and the entire network of distributors for their diligent service, ultimately rendered to the Lord, of course.

We have continued to be troubled with costly vehicle reliability problems in Malawi. Our vehicles have an average age of almost 20 years, mostly driven on dusty, bumpy roads. The Trustees recently priced a replacement utility-type Land Cruiser, but the duty-free cost was in excess of £55,000 (US$70,000), so for the meantime we have little option but to “struggle on”. However, we have agreed to start a vehicle replacement fund to enable us to purchase such a vehicle at the earliest opportunity.

The Trust funded the purchase of a used 2 Ton truck, to be imported from Japan, although we did not take delivery of this until after the year-end. We are pleased that, after some initial mechanical issues were ironed out, the vehicle is giving very useful service, both in the building project and the literature work.    

The Board takes seriously its financial and other responsibilities. During the early part of the period we met for a week-long workshop to educate and evaluate ourselves. We unanimously agreed that the time was well spent, and highlighted various areas where we need to develop our competencies and policies. This is a work in progress and we have established an ongoing program of development and review.

Plans for future periods

In the near and medium term, the Trust aims to maintain our focus on Gospel Outreach activities, particularly through Gospel Literature. A strong theme has emerged from our workshop sessions, and the Board’s vision is to enlighten, encourage, and empower local believers to fulfil their part in the Great Commission.

We intend to focus particularly on establishing the Bible Time ministry in Chichewa and developing our Gospel Literature supply capabilities, including discipleship and training of our volunteer network. This will require considerable resources, but as the Lord enables, we intend to continue our site development plans, prioritising structures that will enable us to host residential Bible teaching conferences and children’s camps, as well as visiting outreach teams.  Covid-permitting, we aim to reintroduce MGO in 2022, and residential conferences as soon as possible thereafter.  


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