This is a special Sunday that included many stories from the members of the fall 2018 trip to Malawi.  The goal of the trip was three-fold: to discern the future of the FPCP/Mtenthera CCAP partnership; to visit the new girl’s hostel and participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony; and to visit 3 of our 5 mission partners (Veritas College, Malawi Matters, and Marion Medical Mission).  Rev. Campbell presented the morning’s message, “Where You Go, I’ll Go,” which she had also presented to the church in Malawi.  It assured them of our friendship and continued pledge of support, but it also speaks to us here in Plymouth.  The title of the message is based on Ruth’s words to Naomi before they left for Bethlehem.  As a result, these words are often used to cement covenants, in some cases, as part of wedding vows, and in this case, to launch the relationship between Plymouth First Presbyterian and Mtenthera CCAP.  The relationship was to be one of two brothers, all assuming with FPCP as the big brother, and Malawi as the younger brother.  As the years progressed, this was often true.  But sometimes in fact, the reverse was actually true.  Over the past 8 1/2 years, the two churches and the two cultures were united in leadership, in ministry, and in support of one another.  The relationship goes both ways.  And who knows where it will go once we reach the end of our original relationship in 2020 – 10 years from the beginning?  For Ruth, it lead to marriage with Boaz, resulting in their child Jessie, then their grandchild (King) David, which, 14 generations later, led to the birth of Jesus.  What, too, could our future hold?

Based on Philippians 1:3-8 and Ruth 1:6-22.

Trip members and presenters included Jim and Kathy Bernard, Ailsa Blunk, Rev. Emily Campbell, Debbie Johnson (*), Sue Kage, Corinne & Doug Kee, and Meyiya Liyati-Phiri.

*Note: Debbie Johnson did not present, however she wrote ‘The Sights, Sounds and Experiences of a Malawi Mission Trip” on page 5 of today’s bulletin.  Also, included in the bulletin on pages 6 and 7 are the FPCP-Malawi Historical Timeline and additional information about  FPCP’s Malawi Partnerships.  To look at the bulletin, go to 01-13-2019 Bulletin.