Spotlight on the Yawo People of Mozambique and Malawi – Tim & Mel Downes (Malawi)

FLOOD UPDATE (05/04/19)

Image by United Nations Development Program, downloaded from Flikr. Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Heavy rains and flooding across Malawi and Mozambique in the first weeks of March affected more than a million people across those countries

On 14 March, Mozambique was devastated by Cyclone Idai, killing hundreds and with thousands still missing. They now also face a food shortage crisis, with their “food basket” region under water.  

GIVE NOW: Global Interaction are on the ground in Mozambique and are appealing for donations for urgent relief.

PRAY: for the people in Mozambique, as well as those affected by the early flooding in Malawi.


Malawi is a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, with a population of about 3 million, and an agricultural economy. The main religion is Islam, influenced by traditional African and animistic beliefs. Global Interaction has teams living and working among the Yawo people in both Malawi and Mozambique.

“The cross-cultural teams live among the Yawo villages; shopping at the local market, sitting and chatting in Ciyawo, praying for the sick, attending funerals and initiation celebrations, tending the maize fields and sharing their lives with the people they meet. Individual relationship nurturing is the teams’ highest priority. They are dedicated to learning the local culture and Ciyawo language as well as Portuguese (in Mozambique) in order to build relationships with the people they meet.

The teams work with the local Yawo to improve their quality of life through health and adult education. Working with a group of Yawo men and women, the teams also help facilitate translation of the Bible into Ciyawo so that the Yawo have the opportunity to read God’s story in their own language. They encourage the growing groups of believers through prayer, teaching and leadership training. Our cross-cultural workers continue to see these groups grow into relevant and active communities within their culture.” (Global Interaction, retrieved 2 March 2018.)

Tim and Mel, and their sons Jarred and Clayton, are supported by KawanaLife. They’ve been living and serving in Malawi for several years. At the moment they are all that is left of the team, as others have returned to their sending countries, or been called to other areas to work.

God is at work amongst the Yawo people, and some have become followers of Jesus; they are themselves reaching out within their own community! Tim and Mel are involved in sharing the Gospel, discipleship, children’s work, and a literacy project (to compliment the Bible translation currently in progress).

Pray that the Lord will raise up more team members to continue an agricultural project and a community health project which are not currently running due to the Downes’ not having the expertise to continue with (or the time!)