The Bishop of Northern Malawi gives thanks
The Bishops of Northern Malawi and Lake Malawi visited Birmingham during January. Rt Revd Fanuel Magangani, Bishop of Northern Malawi, expressed warm thanks for all that Birmingham has done. Extracts from his sermon in the Cathedral on 22 January follow:
"You are here, we are there, but we walk side by side on this journey as we wait for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God every time because of you; you have always been the hand of God for us in many ways." Referring to the wedding at Cana, he said: "Through you we have seen God turning water into wine... we have seen God turning despair into hope…we have seen God turning sorrow into joy. God through you has transformed our lives in many ways."
Bishop Fanuel gave thanks for the teacher skills share trips, the help for HIV/AIDS sufferers and the scholarships for orphan children. He spoke of three instances of transformation:
His first parish had ten outstations, the furthest ones being 60 km in one direction and 40 km in the other. The gift from Birmingham of a motor bike was ‘water into wine’ and had transformed his ministry: he had proper transport at last, and could do three services in one day.
In the first month he became bishop in November 2010, the diocesan treasurer told him there was no money to pay the stipends of the priests. So he sent the message to Paul Wilson in Birmingham: ‘We have no wine!’ Paul found some investment income that could be paid early, and so everyone was paid that month.
The Bishop gave thanks for the gifts sent by container: "You may think you just send ordinary things… When people open the containers we see miracles there, every item is a miracle for us."
He concluded by appealing to Birmingham: "please remain strong in the faith you have received."