In addition to its traditional strong support for all types of missionary causes over the years, Hazelbank has established a direct programme of support for the poor and vulnerable people in Zomba since 2005.
Arising from the service of local people, Dr Dick Gordon and his wife Maureen, as PCI missionaries in Malawi, Rev Johnston visited Zomba in 2005 and the congregation subsequently warmly adopted this link as a long-term opportunity to offer service in the spirit of Mathew Chapter 25. Since 2005, the congregation has contributed almost £65,000, sometimes through ad hoc fundraising efforts but mainly through an annual Harvest Appeal Offering which usually raises some £5,000. In 2007, a group of church members visited Zomba to help identify potential future projects.
Over the period since 2005, Coleraine has partnered mainly with Emmanuel International, a highly-respected international Baptist charity which designs, manages and delivers projects in Malawi with the participation of local communities. In partnership with Emmanuel International, the people of Hazelbank have funded a wide range of life-changing projects in the Zomba area, samples of which include:
- Feeding programmes during times of crop failure and extreme hunger, many of which were aimed at widows and orphans
- Supply of mosquito nets to communities to avert the risk of malaria
- Provision of shallow wells in villages to supply clean water
- Provision of bicycle ambulances to improve transport of the sick in rural areas
- Refurbishment of a local orphanage
- Education scholarships to provide disadvantaged pupils with secondary school education for 5 years
- Supply of goats to villages to encourage small scale farming and food production
The congregation of Hazelbank has committed itself to supporting the poor people of Zomba over the long term and in so doing believes that it is the best way to demonstrate God’s love in action by helping them to meet the basic challenges of daily life.