In December 2021, GTP and STUM (Sunday School Teachers United Movement) got the vision for “Palmful of Maize” to grow generosity and spread the joy of giving as a reflection of true Christianity by spreading this message to the children in every Sunday School class in Malawi. It started with Gary Hoag, John Msowoya, and Chris Maphosa.
Two things ignited this vision: (1) the Malawian response to a GTP seminar, “Strengthening Churches and Ministries for Sustainability,” which called participants to “Give to God what you have” (Mark 6:30-44), and (2) the story of “Handful of Rice” in Northeast India. This shared vision set into motion the following activities.
In January 2022, GTP and STUM formed the Palmful of Maize (POM) team, enlisted GenerousChurch to aid with curriculum development, and outlined roles and responsibilities. In February 2022, STUM hosted meetings in Mzuzu and Lilongwe to engage workers in 28 districts with the POM vision. Many had questions. Everyone expressed enthusiasm.
In March 2022, Ereny Monir and Ray Zuercher facilitated a Generosity Design Lab with a team of STUM trainers led by John Msowoya: Velegita Chamadenga, Leviton Nyirenda, and Greyson Nkhoma. They created a contextualized generosity curriculum with input from Chris Maphosa and Gary Hoag. Then, the training team translated it into Chichewa for use across Malawi. It was ready to test.
On 17 March 2022, the STUM trainers delivered 3 of the 16 lessons to 118 Sunday School teachers and pastors in Salima, Malawi. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Also, Tionge Chile, STUM POM coordinator, sketched the vision for Palmful of Maize which aims to change the mindset from scarcity to biblical generosity starting with the children. Everyone got excited.
On 19 March 2022, 163 attended the launch event including representatives from 27 of the 28 districts in which STUM works. The event program involved sharing the spiritual and strategic aspects of Palmful of Maize, showing the “Handful of Rice” video, giving a curriculum overview and a sample lesson, and closing remarks from prominent Christian workers. It was a historic moment for Malawi.
Palmful of Maize Objectives
In addition to the primary objective of growing generosity and spreading the joy of giving as a reflection of true Christianity, Palmful of Maize has these objectives:
Pray for the STUM workers as they polish the translation of the curriculum to be rolled out across Malawi starting 24 April 2022, the Sunday after Easter. Pray for GTP as we aid with capacity building and grant-seeking efforts to compensate the workers and cover the expenses related to activating this vision across Malawi.
Pray for the GTP point person, Matthew Gadsden, and other GTP staff who will work to provide feedback and accountability for the STUM team related to POM. And pray for God’s blessing on each member of the STUM POM team: John Msowoya, Tionge Chile, Albright Msowoya, Lovemore Kachingwe, Leviton Nyirenda, Velegita Chamadenga, Bonface Milanzi, and Greyson Nkhoma.
Lastly, pray for God to prepare the hearts of the Sunday School teachers and pastors who will be trained and for the children who will go through the 16-week generosity curriculum. All across Malawi, maize is growing. It’s the staple food of the nation. And soon, it may be the tool God uses to unleash biblical generosity for God’s glory through the sharing of children.