On Sunday morning, August 25, 2002, Davidson Kasambwe and I drove to Sitima Village, located in Thyolo District, Malawi, to participate in the Sitima congregationís meeting. I was honored to be asked to be the speaker for them on this last day of their meeting. Davidson did the translating for me.

The congregation is about 58 km south of Blantyre. We were not able to drive the Nissan Patrol all the way to the church building due to its location. This area is mountainous, and not every area where people live is accessible by motorized vehicles, i.e. other than motorcycles. We had to park the Nissan about a kilometer away and walk the remainder of the distance following a foot path to the building. It definitely was worth the effort because we were rewarded with a very good crowd awaiting our arrival.

The preacher for the Sitima congregation is Bro. R. S. Suluma. He is the man in the front of the picture on the right side. He has on light gray trousers, a dark coat and holding a Bible in his right hand.  --Jim Franklin

This mountainous area photo was taken standing on the foot path about a half kilometer from the church building. The scene is that of the side of the mountains across the way from the ridge on which the church building is located. You will note that houses have been built on the side of the mountains. Also, you can see the terraces on the steep slopes where the people have their gardens. The terraces are made of stones which they have removed from the soil they use for their gardens. It does not take much imagination to visualize how difficult and time consuming it was for these people to develop their gardens, gardens which have meager yields compared to gardens located in more suitable terrain. This is true even when the best of conditions exist. Due to the rapid increase in population, land is becoming scarce. People are forced to take whatever traditional land is available, even rocky mountain slopes. The green trees you see are mango trees. Mango fruit is without doubt the favorite fruit of the Malawians. I have seen times when people have actually survived on mangos. This is because they had nothing else to eat. --Jim Franklin
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