Flourishing where God has called and placed you – SLC2018


SLC 2018 23-28 July 2018  Kara O’Mula Conference Centre near Mount Mulanje

The SIM Malawi Spiritual Life Conference (SLC) 2018 was held in July at the Kara O’Mula Conference Centre on the fringes of Mount Mulanje. SIM International Director, Dr Joshua Bogunjoko, led us through the idea of ‘Flourishing’, using Psalm 1 as his take-off point.

The annual SIM Malawi Spiritual Life Conference is an opportunity for team members who are in country to get away together for a week of Bible teaching, relaxation and a chance to reconnect with friends and colleagues from across Malawi. SLC 2018 was no exception to this.

SIM Malaw team: The SLC2018 ‘official’ SIM Malawi team photograph!

For the first time in many years, SLC2018 was held in the south of the country, at the Kara O’Mula Conference Centre nestling on the slopes of the impressive Mount Mulanje. It gave the team a place to unwind in spectacular scenery and an opportunity to marvel in a wonderful part of God’s Creation.

The Bible teaching was led by Dr Joshua Bogunjoko, SIM International Director. He looked at ‘Flourishing where God has called and placed you’, and his main Bible passage throughout the week was Psalm 1. Starting with an overview on Monday evening, Dr Bogunjoko then got the team to look at four main areas for ‘Flourishing’, each with an additional Bible passage:

Keynote speaker: Dr Joshua Bogunjoko, SIM International Director

The Environment for Flourishing – Psalm 1:1 and Acts 13:20-22

The Nourishment of Flourishing – Psalm 1:2 and Psalm 119:1-40

The Characteristics of Flourishing – Psalm 1:3 and Psalm 92

The Blessings of Flourishing – Psalm 1:4-8 and Psalm 16

“The starting point for flourishing is having a heart after God’s heart,” said Dr Bogunjoko.

“The Psalms focus on God and were the people of Israel’s book for worship. The themes of the Psalms include worship, prayer and lamentation.”

Quoting St Jerome, Dr Bogunjoko said: “Psalm 1 is a preface to the Book of Psalms. It is ‘The Preface of the Holy Spirit’ as St Jerome once said.”

While the adults were working through their sessions, the children and young people had their own teaching on the subject of Flourishing. The Children’s work was led by Becky and Jonathan Owen, and the Youth work by Dandy Godwin; these three are friends of SIM Malawi based in Blantyre. There was a good deal of creativity involved in these sessions including dance, artwork of various types and the use of hammers and nails!

In addition, there was a time for people to share what had happened over the last year and to ask for prayer for the coming year, field administration, a bonfire and a ‘talent’ night.

Our prayer for the year ahead, then, is that we, as individuals, as families, our ministries, and the mission as a whole may ‘Flourish for and with God in the work He has in store for us’ until we can meet together again for SLC2019 and see what comes out of that!

Majestic scenery: The magnificent Mulanje Massif rises above the Kara O’Mula Conference Centre setting for SLC 2018