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.

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Mtendere T-Shirts For Sale!

We are excited to announce that we are now taking orders for our brand new Mtendere t-shirts!!!

The proceeds raised from these t-shirts will go directly into an education fund for our college students, and will help enable them to pursue their educational goals! This is a growing need that we have as many of our Mtendere students continue to graduate from secondary school and the village and look to their future educational goals.

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Because we want to give everyone the change to get in on our early bird deadline, we are extending it until March 23rd!!! All t-shirts ordered before this time will be $15 each, or 2 for $20! After March 23rd, the price will go up to our normal price of $20 each, or 2 for $30.

We’re hoping you’ll be able to take advantage of this amazing deal and get your order placed as soon as possible!

If you’re interested in placing an order, please email us at: Info@100XDevelopment.com. In the email, please include your name, phone number, address, and the quantity and size of the t-shirts you would like to order.

If you are living outside of the Montgomery area, we will need to charge a small shipping fee as well, to cover the mailing costs.

We are so thankful to have you as a partner in this ministry and we hope that these t-shirts will be a special blessing to you and your family just as they will be a blessing to our college students. God bless you!

International Women’s Day

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March 8th was International Women’s Day – a beautiful day that recognizes women and their role in their communities and in the world. According to the United Nations, International Women’s Day is “a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities”. This week, we’d like to look at what life is like for women in Malawi and to shed light on the hope that they can have for the future.

In Malawi, women are usually kept within the traditional roles seen in most patriarchal societies and most often are found working within the home, while men are the ones found working outside the home.  An example of what life looks like for Malawian women can be found in this excerpt from everyculture.com:

“When a family returns from the market or from gathering firewood or drawing water, women and children carry the burdens. The man leads the way, smoking if he can afford tobacco, with the rest of the family trailing behind. In a culture that separates the sexes in most aspects of life, three-quarters of literate persons are men. Usually, men eat separately from women, using the only table in the house. The woman serves the meal to the man, often on her knees. At weddings, it is customary for the bride to serve food to the husband’s parents in that position.”

In the UNICEF profile written on the social and economic state of Malawi, it says that “only 26 percent of children complete the entire primary school cycle. Of these, a meager 16 percent are girls.” This means that, due to many different cultural, economic, and social pressures, girls in Malawi rarely graduate from primary school, let alone from any form of higher education.

But, although Malawian women and girls are faced with a multitude of barriers to success and change, each one is brimming with creativity and value and the potential to improve their communities and the world around them. Just a few of these bright and beautiful girls are currently living at Mtendere Village and are pursuing their hopes and dreams for the future with determination and perseverance. These young women have made the most of the opportunities they’ve been given and are pouring their time, talents, and focus into earning their education in order to become movers and shakers in their families and communities in the future.

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“And though she be but little, she is fierce”  -Shakespeare

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As the world celebrates the role of women this week, and every wonderful and beautiful thing they bring to our lives, we celebrate the women of Malawi who continue to press on, no matter the odds stacked against them. We know that God has placed each and every women on this planet to bring beauty and life to their families and communities and we pray that He continues to show Malawian women just how much they have to offer to the world. May women in Malawi continue to gain more and more hope and purpose in their lives in the coming years and may every girl who goes through Mtendere Village become a women who is a blessing to everyone they come in contact with. Ladies, we believe in you and so does the God who made you perfectly for such a time as this. By Him power and strength, we know that there is nothing you cannot do. It’s time for  you to change the world!

 

World Day for Social Justice

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February 20 is recognized as World Day for Social Justice. The fundamental goal of this day is to advance social development and human dignity. This day helps raise awareness for social protection, human rights,  poverty reduction, and equal rights for women, children and other minorities.

The mission statement of 100X Development stands in line with this day that is to empower underprivileged children through the provision of food, clothing, education, as well as job training for a better and promising future.Our goal is to change the lives of orphaned children, help vulnerable youth escape trafficking, and to give mothers healthy nutrition and medical care so they can live to love their children.

On this day, 100X Development welcomes you to hold hands in our strife to advance social development and human dignity to all individuals that are casualties of social injustice, human trafficking and every other form of abuse. Let us demonstrate the love that Christ gave to us to those in need. May the Lord bless you as you take the time to pray for those in need.

“Chikondi” Means Love

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Regardless of how you feel about the fact that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it is no secret that this is the biggest  American celebration of love in the entire year. As a day that focuses so much attention on the greatest desire of the human heart, this can be a day of both joy and sadness for many. For those who feel they’ve found the love they’re looking for, it is a day that is greatly anticipated and enjoyed. But for others, it can be a day of heartache and disappointment as they are reminded again of broken relationships they’ve had and the feeling of being unloved that they can’t seem to shake.

I’m sure Chikondi can relate to these feelings of being forgotten and unloved. As a young boy who was orphaned with his sister at the young age of 7, Chikondi has known the pain of having love snatched from his life. It is heartbreaking that a boy whose name actually means “Love” could have gone through a time in him life of feeling just the opposite.  

Thankfully, Chikondi, the boy named “Love”, has come to know the unconditional love of God through his new mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters who he has come to know and love  Mtendere. Emily Johnston, a volunteer who recently visited Mtendere, has written a beautiful blog post about her time in Mtendere and her interactions with Chikondi. She was able to capture a glimpse of his transformation during her time in Malawi and you can click here to read her story for yourself.

Chikondi after 3 months living at Mtendere. He’s with Emily Johnston, who wrote a blog post about Chikondi that you can read
This is Chikondi when he first arrived at Mtendere. He was afraid, lonely, and uncertain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through coming to Mtendere Village, Chikondi has transformed from a sad and fearful boy into one who is filled with confidence, joy, and peace. He has found safety in the love of God that has been shown to him through his new family and friends at Mtendere, and he will never be the same again.

We pray that, just as Chikondi has come to know the unconditional love of God, so too will those who do not know the unconditional love of their Heavenly Father come to know Him this Valentine’s Day. It is God’s love that never leaves us and never forsakes us – it always protects us, always hopes the best for us, and always perseveres with us (1 Corinthians 13). In 1 John, God tells us that, not only does he LOVE us, but that He is LOVE. And I’m sure Chikondi will tell you – that’s a Love worth celebrating.

 

World Orphan Day

World Orphan Day

Today is World Orphan Day. This is an international day dedicated to recognizing and rescuing the orphans around the world. According to UNICEF, at least 153 million children worldwide have lost one or both of their parents. Once left without parents or other relatives who are able to adequately care for them, these children become incredibly vulnerable to hunger, sickness abuse, and even death.

Andiseni, a boy who now lives at Mtendere Children’s Village, is just one of these 153 million children around the world who became an orphan early on in life. His mother died while giving birth to him and his father, who was too sick to take care of him, would often forget to feed him. When Andiseni was brought to Mtendere, he was so thin and sick that his new family in the Village was afraid he might not live. By the grace of God, Andiseni was able to recover and is now a healthy and thriving young boy who is attending the fourth grade.

Andiseni when he first arrived at Mtendere 2005Andiseni when he first came to Mtendere Village as an infant

 

DSC07321Andisen now, as a healthy, happy boy living at Mtendere Village

God is so in love with the orphans of the world. Every single one of them, like Andiseni, is handcrafted by him to love him and be loved by him in a unique and personal way. This is why God’s children, who love Jesus and follow Him, are commanded to care for orphans and make it a priority to rescue them in any way possible. James 1:27 tells us, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” God is looking for people who will see the orphaned children of the world the way He sees them and who will love them like He loves them. This touches His heart more than all the church services and religious gatherings in the world.

As the world begins to recognize orphans through days like World Orphan Day, the Church that Jesus created to fill the world with His light and love, is rising up even more to love and rescue these desperate and hurting children. We pray that God will fill your heart with His love for the orphans of the world and that He will guide you in how to join Him in rescuing and redeeming them and to bringing them to Himself. We know that, ultimately, God is the father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5) and will rescue and defend these precious children. We only want to join Him where He is and do the things that He is doing. God bless you as you love Him and follow Him into the lives of the orphans in your corner of the world.

Fall Donation Drive!

Can you feel it?

The air is getting colder, the leaves are beginning to fall, and stores are starting to decorate for the holidays! Winter is coming! If you’re like us, you might be thinking it’s time to do some “fall cleaning” to get ready for the changing seasons. What better time to clean out some of those unworn clothes and other odds and ends that might be cluttering up your home?

If you come across anything in your closets that you don’t need anymore, we’d love for you to check and see if it’s one of the items we are currently collecting for our Fall Donation Drive! Right now, we are getting ready to send a new shipment of items to Mtendere Village and we’d love to have your help stocking the boxes full of goodies to send to our friends in Malawi.

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Here’s an idea of some “most wanted” items we are looking for:

Boys and girl’s dress clothing, athletic clothing, everyday clothing, underwear, jackets, soccer/basetballs, outdoor toys, and backpacks

Towels, blankets, pillows, sheets, rugs, and curtains

Pots, pans, cooking utensils, furniture, bookshelves, desks, filing cabinets, flower pots, buckets, suitcases, and storage bins

Clocks, educational posters, all types of school supplies, chapter books, scientific calculators, and colored printer paper

 

If you have any of these items, we would love for you to bring them to the 100X office located at 7020 Fain Park Drive, Suite 5, Montgomery, AL 36117.

Feel free to call us at (334) 387-1178 if you have any questions!

Thank you for your help!

Guest Post: Malawi, Summer 2015

After the amazing summer we had in Malawi with the many volunteer teams that visited Mtendere Village, we have loved hearing about how the Lord has impacted the lives of those who served with our children. One of the groups that visited sent us some testimonies from their group about what it was like to serve and love our children through tutoring and facilitating Vacation Bible School. We’d like to share with you what these wonderful volunteers wrote about their experiences:

“Our team leader gave a speech to the children of Mtendere on our first day in Malawi. He said, ‘the people on this team loved you before they even met you.’ I remember thinking how true that statement was. When we finally saw these children for the first time, I was overwhelmed with love that I had felt for these children for months leading up to the trip. I traveled around the world to see them and to show them that love and give these children as much as my heart as possible in two weeks.

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My favorite place to be was in the middle of a group of kids. I loved being surrounded by so many precious hearts. It’s amazing to watch them reflect what God wants us to be like in our faith. They have joy – a joy that can’t be taken from them. Someone from the village said one day, “if you can’t be happy here, where else can you be happy?” They believe in limitless possibilities and they have the most fun learning about new things. Interacting with the children at Mtendere taught me so many things, but above all, they taught me how to love everyone.

One night our team leader led a devotional in the village on being a light for the rest of the world. He used glow sticks to illustrate this, and every child got one. We continued to worship in the dark after his words because it all took place during a power outage. As I looked around at all the glow sticks and listened to the children YELL their praises to God I found myself in tears. I was experiencing worship with abandon. I was in the middle of a group of people who didn’t care how they looked or sounded. Their focus was on praising their Lord and Savior. I feel like the people of Mtendere gave me so much more than I gave them. But I know that’s how the family of God works, we come together and we are encouraged by one another. I know I have done that for Mtendere, and Mtendere has definitely done that for me.”

– Maggie (first time in Malawi)

 

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“Tutoring the children at Mtendere village was the most extraordinary and special experience I have ever had. This summer was my first time in Malawi and I am incredibly honored to have Although it was not always easy teaching them about negative numbers, sentence structure, about the Bible lessons, it was a truly amazing experience to connect and work with them. I’ll never forget when we were about to leave Malawi and the three girls I had taught hugged me and said, “I will miss you AK.” It meant so much more than they could ever imagine. I know the numerous hours of tutoring each day was not easy for them, but I could tell that they really appreciated us being there and that is an indescribable feeling. It’s been two months since I’ve been back in America, but not a day goes by where I don’t think about the many life and God lessons that I learned from the children at Mtendere village.”

– Alysa (first time in Malawi)

 

“Growing up I would have never thought that I would travel even down my own street to tutor young children, let alone to the opposite side of the world. So, when I was called to go on my first trip a year ago I felt inadequate and unsure even about teaching English and math. But there’s something different about Malawi and the children in Mtendere village which make it easy somehow. The young children I worked with have hearts like no other and a longing to learn more each day. While it is cliche to say ‘you will learn more from them then they will from you,’ I don’t believe that statement could be anymore true. While we can teach them simple addition or how to write an outline for an English paper; they teach us about true joy and how to love with your whole heart. As time passes there, it’s easy to grow tired from waking up early and staying up late every day working on academics. But when you see the joy in a child’s eye who finally understands something he or she’s been struggling with it makes it all worth while. That’s a feeling that you simply can’t compare to any other. This alone is reason enough to draw me to a place so far from where I’ve always called home. I’ve made that long journey two years in a row now, and I can honestly say that I pray every day for my family in Malawi and for God to reunite me with the children I love teaching so much.”

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– Nicole (second time in Malawi)

Summer of Blessings: Mtendere Children’s Village Update

This summer has been one of continued growth and development for Mtendere Children’s Village in Malawi. Between March and August of this year, 100X was able to coordinate and send 6 teams to Malawi in order to meet specific needs of the Village. We would like to especially thank our teams that joined us from Auburn Church of Christ, Faulkner Christian University, Kusewera, Lipscomb University and the Sara Walker Foundation. We are so thankful to you for blessing us with your presence, hard work, and financial support this summer and for your partnership with us! Along with these teams, five members of the Mtendere Care Committee were able to travel to Malawi to oversee the summer projects and to evaluate how the programs of the village were running.

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A major focus of the summer was on education. Most notably, we were able to complete our first group of ninth graders as well as completing the construction of a second school block! The new school block that cost $22,672 was completed in only 2 months. This beautiful new building is now being used for 9th and 10th grade at Mtendere Christian Academy, which is officially recognized as a private secondary school under the Ministry of Education in Malawi. We also celebrated the graduation of our 12th graders, and we are extremely excited to see what the journey holds for them as they prepare for colleges in 2016.

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We are very thankful to have had the help of Lipscomb University School of Education, organize a teacher training seminar for our primary and secondary teachers. The Care Committee was able to develop and implement many new education policies in order to help our academic programs run smoothly.

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Besides developments in education, we also received help in the areas of spiritual development, campus development, house mom training, sex education, and extracurricular programs. The children were able to participate in Vacation Bible School (VBS) and studied the Miracles of Jesus.   It is our greatest desire to see each child grow in faith as they discover the love of Christ and understand that they are adopted into a family that deeply cares for them.

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As we come to the close of 2015, Malawi has projected a food shortage that will affect over half of the country. Our Major goal this year in the area of campus development is to increase our food produce. This summer, we were able to improve our gardens with the goal to harvest more vegetables and corn to allow Mtendere Village become more self-sustaining by the end of this year.

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As we watch our children growing at Mtendere, we understand the great importance of sex education in a society where HIV/AIDS prevalence and teenage pregnancies are high. Teenage pregnancy, one of the top reasons for high school dropouts in Malawi, can hinder our youth’s education and future. We hope to break this cycle and ensure that our children understand the importance of abstinence. Through providing a safe learning environment, the care committee and house mothers took initiative to talk to the older boys and girls about sex education and dating relationships.

To close the summer off, the children participated in extracurricular programs that involved sports, physical education, singing and dancing, cooking, photography, and fashion.We have definitely seen  the village growing in numerous ways,and We are so thankful for what the Lord continues to do in Malawi. We grateful beyond measure to those who gave their time, money, and talents to our Mtendere family this summer. Thank you again to all who participated in a trip and we bless you and your families for what you have given to your Malawian brothers and sisters in Christ.

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