A group of seven people visited the village of Mutambara in Manicaland for a week last September, where they checked in on the Hope Center that Acworth United Methodist Church helped build.
Along with Rev. James Gwin, senior pastor of the US state of Georgia-based church, the group included Shirley Rose, who has represented Acworth UMC on mission trips since 1990; Ben Green, the church’s director of missions; Acworth UMC members Steve and Sandy Augsburger along with Judith Strickland of Coal Mountain Baptist Church in Cumming, GA.
Rose had long worked to help build the Nyika Mutambara Hope Center, named for an African native and graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. The center is now run by his widow, Dorothy Mutambara, which provides food, clothing and school supplies and keeps 100 orphans in school — including six college students.
Rose was pleased that she was able to bring Acworth UMC’s pastor on a mission to Africa for the first time. “As soon as he got here, he wanted to go,” she said of Gwin, who came to Acworth UMC in early 2011.
The US missionaries also visited Malawi, where they saw the site of a planned health clinic.