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One hundred reasons to smile

Nothing unites a sporting team more than a sense of team pride so when the Bribie Island Baptist Church discovered a soccer team in Malawi, Africa, was the only team not to have jerseys they called on local resources to make it happen.

Mongochi, a township of Malawi, is an outreach mission of the church and Bribie Pastor Ray Airosa approached the Bribie Island Tigers Football Club for assistance and he was only too willing to help out.

The result was inspiring with the club donating 100 jerseys to the team, but just as inspiring was the reaction of the team.

“They were just blown away,” Ps Airosa said. “They were jumping up and down and proudly showing off their new jerseys. They were so surprised.

“For us as a church it is all about making an impact and a difference in people’s lives, whether that be through everyday necessities or donations.”

Bribie Island Tigers Football Club president Jacob Hernandez facilitated the jersey donations, which were last year sponsored by Ray White, and ensured they reached Mongochi-based missionaries Tim and Mel Downes.

“They were all so excited. The club did not hesitate when the church approached us and I cannot thank last year’s committee enough for signing off on the donation,” Mr Hernandez said.

Members of the Bribie Baptist church make regular trips to Mongochi to support the vital mission work taking place, including literacy and skills training, kindergarten, youth and children’s programs and self-sustainability.

“Church members have provided financial support to Malawi for the past 10 years to ensure it continues to grow and thrive,” Ps Airosa said.

“It’s amazing that a Baptist church in little Bribie Island can make an impact on a little village in Africa,” Ps Airosa said. “This is about supporting our Malawi family.”

Locals and church members have also donated 150 beanies (a big hit with Malawi teenagers!), hygiene packs, clothing and the Aussie quintessential Tim Tams and Vegemite.

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