The CCAP Synod of Livingstonia is broadening its borders to reunite with the migrant faithful both within and outside the country.
For the past decade, the synod has hit headlines due to a heated debate over its inroads to Lilongwe at the heart of the Central Region—the stronghold of its sister synod of Nkhoma.
However, the brains at the headquarters of the Livingstonia Synod are talking about an international expansion drive to bolstering the Presbyterian church’s ties with Malawians living and working abroad, especially in unreached parts of the sub-region.
For the past two weeks, the synod’s general secretary, the Reverend Levi Nyondo, and moderator Reverend Douglas Chipofya have been in South Africa mending its ties with the presbytery of Johannesburg.
This is one of the five congregations that have mushroomed in legendary anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela’s Rainbow Nation, said deputy general secretary, the Reverend Joseph Vaseline Mwale.
“The congregations are going on well, the church is growing and that is why the general secretary and the moderator travelled to Johannesburg to strengthen the flock,” said Mwale.
“It is not a secret that many Malawians are trekking to South Africa for economic reasons and some of them do not want to forget where they are coming from and the church to which they belong. They regrouped and the congregations were born after that,” he said.
The synod’s struggle to reach out to its flock scattered in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region have also birthed a congregation in Mbeya on the southern tip of Tanzania, which borders with Karonga.
The five-year-old congregation also meets the spiritual needs of Malawian traders who usually travel to the neighbouring country to order merchandise.
The expansion to South Africa and Tanzania represents a breakaway of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) from its inceptive bases in Malawi and Zimbabwe. n