Malawi (MNN) — Political leaders in Malawi are giving new meaning to the term “frenemies” — a term combining “friends” and “enemies” that can refer to either an enemy pretending to be a friend or someone who really is a friend but also a rival.
Malawi’s new President is meeting this week with some of his opponents to steer the country away from economic collapse. One of those opponents is runner-up Lazarus Chakwera, an alumnus of the Haggai Institute.
“One of our alumni, who attended the program of Haggai Institute 28 years ago…decided to increase his influence by moving into politics,” explains Haggai’s John Bachman.
Chakwera is new to politics, but his emphasis on integrity won the hearts of voters. Those voters will also be watching to see if Chakwera’s claim to be a Christ-follower matches his actions. Operation World says a majority of Malawians describe themselves as Christians, but Bachman says most of these are nominal believers.
A biblical worldview and their training played a central role in Chakwera’s campaign, he adds.
“We have in our curriculum a section on the disciplines of a leader, and one of the areas is that our walk must match our talk, and it should be one of integrity,” Bachman notes.
Haggai Institute, whose mission is to ignite global missions, provides culturally-relevant training to Christian leaders around the world.
“The concept is to, in obedience to the Great Commission, seek strategic ways that Christian leaders can use their platform of leadership to evangelize within their spheres of influence,” explains Bachman.
“Over the last 45 years, more than 27,000 have attended our month-long sessions. At the international level, another 66,000 have attended National and Regional Seminars following a closely-managed curriculum.”
While Chakwera didn’t win the presidential bid, he is taking a lead role in Malawi’s Parliament.
The 2014 elections resulted in a “hung Parliament,” which means the President’s party failed to win a two-thirds legislative majority. According to poll results, three of the country’s main opposition parties and 52 independents won a majority of the seats; Chakwera was automatically appointed Leader of Opposition.
Pray for more opportunities to share Christ as Chakwera makes new connections in the political sphere.
“Our emphasis is not lifting Haggai Institute higher, but that Jesus and the name of Jesus will be heard and understood throughout the world,” says Bachman.