Reaching the Indian diaspora in Malawi
By AfriGO Team
“It’s all about relationships,” says Veronica, who heads up SIM’s Malawi work with the Indian diaspora in Blantyre. Malawi’s second city and commercial capital has a significant Indian population. Many businesses are owned and operated by Indians, whose families have been in the country for two or three generations. It’s a diverse group, and that can throw up problems.
“India is a country of countries,” says Veronica. “There is no single unifying language.” Eight families and a few individuals regularly attend the Sunday afternoon fellowship group she and her husband host in their home. All are from different parts of India, and they speak six different languages. “The only way we can run the group is to have everything in English,” she explains.
The group members visit each other’s homes for meals or family celebrations. “We want to show God in our lives and, through that, inspire them to ask questions and open the door for us to speak about the Lord,” says Veronica.
“We want to show God in our lives and,
through that, inspire them to ask questions”
She has also started a ladies’ group, which offers counselling and parenting courses. Parenting advice is very attractive to the Muslim and Hindu women. Many of them have young families, and some are struggling. “I share my values with them, and they ask where they come from,” says Veronica. “So I tell them about the Bible, and God’s plans for families.”
It’s a slow process, but it is starting to bear fruit. Veronica has linked up with a small group of Indian Christians who were meeting occasionally. The Sunday fellowship was established through these contacts.
“Many of the Indian Christians were surprised when they found me, a missionary to Malawi, working with them,” says Veronica. “They thought I would be working only with Malawians! They were equally surprised when I started talking to them about the need to reach out to the Indian community here, and to share the word of God with them.”