Little Learners Under The Tree

It may seem like a peculiar thing
Children huddled around to have class under a tree
But this is common in many areas you see
A teacher gathers her pupils to learn their ABCs under the tall shaded tree.
In Malawi, class does not always take place in an enclosed room
But sometimes it’s under the shade of the mahogany bean tree in its radiant summer bloom.
In what seems like a desperate lack of resources
Teachers stand their ground and become forces
They fight against the challenges
so that our children are not averages.
These students are like their own children and not just a number or national statistic
Because our teachers stand resilient and optimistic.
It may seem like a peculiar and unfortunate thing
Children huddled around to have class under a tree
But this is how they still have a chance to an education
Besides, I know of person who led a nation
But started his education under the Kachere tree.




One of the fun things I enjoy is asking children what they want to be when they grow up. A couple of the children at Mtendere want to grow up to be a doctor, a president, a police officer, or a teacher. However, their ambition does not end in the career title alone, but in the fact that they want to be a force for justice and vessels to help bring hope in the lives of others. Fast forward a few years later, I see the joy in other children like Rosemary, who have grown up at Mtendere but are now graduating and impacting the lives of other young girls.

I remember at a young age when I wanted to become a ‘World Changer.’ I wanted to be a mover and shaker and help bring positive impact to my community. However, as I grew, I realized that the fuel to my actions was the lifeline that would determine how far I go. Sometimes we are driven by our passion and good intentions, and other times we can be driven by our frustrations and anger. The world is broken, and creation is groaning under the curse of sin. We come from broken places, and sometimes the million shattered pieces of glass cannot be put back together with the single tube of glue we have.

When we allow God to come in and fuel our actions, we give Him permission to find and pick up all the broken pieces; we allow Him to heal and create something new and beautiful for us. We cannot leave GOD out of this equation. Sometimes change is a hard and painful process. Similar to a wound, it first bleeds, then the inflammation starts, and slowly the formation of new tissue and binding of new cells brings complete healing. Although we wear the visible scars, we live out the beautiful story of healing and love. As we seek for a change in our communities and the world, and as we work with lives that are broken and oppressed; my prayer is that GOD fuels your drive and passion so that you never run on empty.

“All change comes from deepening your understanding of the salvation of Christ and living out the changes that understanding creates in your heart.”

― Timothy J. Keller

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Family!

We love you! The gifts you have given, the time you’ve spent in prayer and service, and the commitments you’ve followed through with this past year have brought so much of God’s love and freedom to our children. We are in awe as we look back and see what the Lord has done in 2017 and we look forward, with even greater expectation, to seeing what He has in mind for 2018. We know that the seeds you have sown in this past year will reap an even greater harvest and that God will be glorified through your love and obedience!

As we look forward to 2018, we ask you to pray for clear direction from the Lord about what he has for us in this upcoming year and that he would enable and empower us by his Spirit to continue to care for the lost and the broken children of the world. As we rest in his power and in his will, we trust that he will continue to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine, all for the glory of his Son, Jesus.

in His service

Christina Kadzamira Govati





A Day of Giving Back

Join us this Giving Tuesday to help the Education Initiatives in Malawi.
Your partnership is vital to the success of everything we do.  By donating,  you will make it possible for us to enroll more of our youth in Post-secondary Education and Vocational Training.  It is our prayer that the youth of Mtendere are able to attain their goals to become leaders and productive members of their society.

We hope that you will join us in this ministry to change the lives of these children, and plant seed for our Father’s work.



Chisomo Means Grace

Being fully present, undivided by my racing thoughts and plans does not come quite easily for me. I usually end up tangled in my ‘SELF’ needs, worries, and endless agenda. I sometimes wish there was a reset button for my mind, but we are not quite wired like that. A reset button does not guarantee that all the mess goes away; in fact, it probably allows everything to resurface with twice the intensity.

During the winter season at Mtendere Village, you typically won’t find me up at 5 am walking to the gazebo on top of the hill to watch the amazing sunrise. I am not a morning person like that. However, I do love the sunrise; so occasionally when I force myself to get up early and sit at the gazebo in the stillness and beauty of the dawning day, I am reminded of GRACE (Chisomo).

Unlike a reset button, God’s GRACE never ceases, it is sufficient and fills up every space in our hearts and mind. It’s only then when I wake up to the beauty of being present even when it’s messy. In its time, the sun rises in the distant valley, the fog clears, and the powerful light overcomes the darkness. Down in the Village of peace, the breakfast bell rings and I hear little people hurry to the hall to get a warm bowl of porridge. I see pure joy beyond the surface of the daily mundane as mothers get their children ready for school. I feel the presence of LOVE untangling the clutter and calling us to be present in each other’s lives.


What We Want for EVERY Girl.

Data shows that Adolescent girls ages 15 to 19 are 10 times more likely to be married than adolescent boys. (Population Reference Bureau). Early marriage puts young girls at risk of early childbearing and birth complications, prevents them from completing school, and limits their economic opportunities.

What we want for EVERY girl:

We want them to be EMPOWERED.

We want them to be EDUCATED.

We want them to be ENGAGED in their decisions.

We want them to EMBRACE their dreams and full potential.

We want them to be EQUIPPED spiritually.

We want them to ENDURE the process.

We want them to EXCEL.

And we want them to know that they were made for EXCELLENCE

5 Ways You Can Help

  1. Your voice. Talk about it—in conversations and social media.  Stories are powerful and passion is inspiring!
  2.  Your talents. The possibilities are endless. In your own special way, you can use your talents and what is already in your hands to influence great change.
  3. Your time. Take a trip or host an event or fundraiser. Gather some friends and be creative!
  4. Your finances. Your financial support directly impacts our ability to reach more children. Donate Today.
  5. Your prayers. Your prayers are critical to pushing back against the darkness.



Teachers train Teachers

Along with the importance of enhancing the professional and teaching skills for our educators, the Teacher’s Training Program at Mtendere Christian Academy was developed to promote and support our teachers to become strong leaders in their classrooms and in their communities. Our teachers are not only educators, but are mentors, spiritual leaders and role models to the children. In 2013, 100X had the exciting opportunity to collaborate with Lipscomb Missions to enhance the education programs for Mtendere Village. Each summer since then, we have been able to host the Lipscomb Education Missions Team.  The beautiful cultural exchange between the American and Malawian teachers has been inspiring and has not only opened minds to the challenges, but to the amazing possibilities that lay ahead.

That is what we needed! We needed to see beyond the challenges that glare at us and see the glimmer of hope in the near distance. In 2015, UNESCO reported that over 3 million people in Malawi were illiterate. We know that literacy increases child survival, economic opportunity, and hope for future generations; therefore, we believe that we can change these statistics one student at a time by supporting and uplifting their teachers along the way.





Guest Blog: A Birthday

We are throwing it back this Thursday with a story from one of  our volunteer teachers who worked at Mtendere last summer. Our Guest blogger is McCarley Jane Thomas from Nashville Tennessee. McCarley works at Nolensville High School

Day 3: Our first day to work with the teachers. We had visited most of the classrooms and met the teachers briefly on the first day, but we had not had the chance to sit down and get to know them yet.

3 o’clock came around, and one by one the teachers made their way into the classroom. We spread ourselves amongst the teachers, and began a short icebreaker.

The premise of the icebreaker was simple. A list of questions were hung on the bored. Each person answered the questions about him or herself to their partner. The partner would then have the responsibility of presenting their new friend to the rest of the group.

I wound up sitting by a high school Math teacher named Douglas. Let me tell you some things I learned about Douglas. I learned he has been teaching for 15 years, his favorite food is chicken with rice, and he has two daughters. Douglas also told me that he teaches because of the connections the profession allows him to make with his students.

After a good amount of time, we started to come back together to share with the rest of the teachers in the room. Before we left, Douglas grabbed my hand and asked me when my birthday is. I smiled and said, “July, 9th. When is yours?” His is May 5th. I made a silly comment about Cinco De Mayo before realizing the people of Malawi have no idea what that means.

We came back together and shared about our partners before continuing with our first day of training.

Fast forward with me to our second to last day of training with the teachers. I found myself sitting at a table with Douglas. It was the first time we had been at a table together since that first day of training.

We were doing an exercise that required a leader for the table. We determined who the leader was by everyone sharing their birthdays, and whoever’s was closest got to be the leader. One by one we went around the table sharing our birthdays. I was last.

I opened my mouth, but before I could say anything I heard Douglas. “Mac. July 9th!” I looked at him with a similar look to the one I gave the boy with the corn cobs earlier in the trip. I smiled and said, “Douglas, you remembered.” He smiled back, “Of course I did, Mac! You are my friend.”

I was floored. It had been nearly ten days since we had talked about the small details of our lives, and he had specifically asked me about my birthday. But he remembered, and that meant more to me than he will ever know.

I learned two very important lessons from Douglas that day: the importance of being thoughtful and intentional and the incredible impact those two things can have on the people around you.

I miss my friend Douglas along with so many others from Malawi, and I think about them often. This week I celebrated my 22nd birthday. I can’t help but think that as Saturday, July 9th rolled around, somewhere in a home in Malawi a high school Math teacher smiled to himself as he remembered his new, tall, English teaching, American friend. I know one thing for sure: when May 5th comes back around, I will be doing the same thing.

God Bless,


Mtendere Stories: Tea Time

Some of my favorite memories involve gathering at the table for 4’oclock Tea Time.There is something special about the soothing taste of honey lemon Chombe tea and the delicious fresh baked bread bought from the local bakery; but mostly, the best part of Tea Time is the company that joins at the table, or on the porch, or under a tree to share stories and laughter.
At Mtendere, there are 16 house mothers, and I am almost always tempted to plan my visits to each house mid afternoon so I can slip in just in time for Tea Time. Mama Ruth usually has a bowl of popcorn kept away to treat the kids as they trickle in from afternoon classes. Occasionally, Mama Kita has her little mbaula-stove smoking away as she boils some milk to make some creamy sweet tea. As you approach Mama Alice’s house, you could smell the savory aroma of roasted sweet potatoes and right next-door Mama Loveness will be tenderly fixing some slices of bread for her little ones. Across the campus, you could hear Mama Naomi ardently calling in her older boys as she fixes them a treat she had hidden away all day. You can find Mama Eunice showing off her amazing baking skills as she bakes her yeast scones outside in the sun while little gleaming eyes and watery mouths eagerly linger around her. Bless Mama Loyce; her Tea Time is very unpredictable. Mama Loyce has a handful of little energetic boys, and almost without fail, she will be trying to straighten them out while hollering at them to wash their grubby little hands and feet before they enter the house.
During this whole time, as school breaks off and the children walk back home or play on the grounds, laughter and joy fills the air. There is an open invitation in each house to sit down together, to discuss and digest the day while we commune together and happily fill our bellies.
Tea Time fills my soul; it slows me down, reconnects me to the heart matters, and reminds me how special and unique each person at Mtendere is.
By Christina Govati

Celebrating Our House Mamas!

This weekend, all around the world, we celebrated mothers. Moments and memories were shared. We spent time telling stories of moments of comfort or provision. Pictures were posted of women who have sacrificed so much for their children. But for so many the stories look different.

For many of our kids at Mtendere, their memories are drastically different. Their thoughts of mothers are wrecked with disaster or abandonment. But they have had an experience that should be equally celebrated this mother’s day. A new mother has loved them! What the enemy meant for disaster the Lord is working for good. An orphan no longer alone found in the presence of a loving Father and an incredible mother.

Our housemothers at Mtendere are women who have experienced great tragedy. Many of them are orphans themselves and more are widows or single mothers. But instead of focusing on their own pain, they have decided to give of themselves to ease the pain of their newfound children. These women give of themselves daily to love on one of the most marginalized group of children in the world, the orphan. But they don’t see orphans; they see children in need of love and a safe home. These incredible women walk with our children as the mourn, grow, rebel, cry, eat, sleep, and mature. They are the front line workers who spend their lives helping these kids process and overcome impossible circumstances. And let me tell you, they pray the walls down for these kids and cover them in the truth of the Lord’s Word. They love deeply and without expectation, in fact they often get rejection. They have to deal with the hard stuff of loving kids from hard places, but they choose to do it daily. If you asked any of them why, they would likely tell you it is because God loved them first and they feel called to love for His sake.

We celebrate today the work our housemothers have put in to make Mtendere much more than an orphanage; they have created a home for 130+ children. So today we celebrate the 14 Mtendere housemothers and 4 aunties and we celebrate all of the mothers out their that love children not born of their own womb, for it is pure and undefiled religion.


IMG_0109 IMG_0101   house moms IMG_0055