Who is MCM?
Malawi Children’s Mission (MCM) is a US based charitable organization formed in 2007 to serve orphaned and vulnerable children in Malawi, Africa. It was founded by Steven Koffman and Sean Robinson (born in Memphis, TN and a former member of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, TN).
What Issues Do Orphans Face?
For the 1,000,000+ orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi, Africa, life consists of surviving each day. There are numerous threats that Malawi’s orphans face: poverty, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, as well as the effects of AIDS. 50% of all orphans & vulnerable children have lost one or both parents due to AIDS.
Few have an opportunity at a full education and must learn to fend for themselves. Females average only 7 years of education. More than 130,000 of Malawi’s children are living with HIV. Only 6% of orphans receive medical support. There is a severe emotional and psychological affect on orphans due to such extreme conditions.
It is easy to understand why Malawi’s orphans fail to see any future – they must survive the day. But…there is hope!
The MCM Model
Good Works builds Good Will which leads to Good News. MCM was created to serve orphans in meaningful and tangible ways and by ultimately meeting them where they are. By doing what is most needed for orphans, trust is built in the children we serve and in their local communities. This opens the door to sharing good news: Orphans have value, a purpose and a brighter future – this leads to greater impact in their villages.
MCM’s aim is to create opportunities for orphan’s to thrive. Led by a dedicated team, MCM serves orphans of all ages in a variety of ways.
MCM currently serves almost 200 children between the ages of four and nineteen. Nutritious meals are served 5 days a week (for many children it is the only meal they will have). An on-site health facility provides access to minor medical aid, detection and administration of basic medicines. Regular health assessments for children and surrounding villagers have detected and aided in the treatment of over 100 children with Malaria. Medicine and nutritional supplements are also provided to children who suffer from HIV AIDS.
In 2013, MCM Academy was established and now educates over 100 students from Pre-K to 7th grade. MCM’s long-term goal is to expand to over 500 students from Pre-K to 12th grade. MCM is devoted to ongoing education and training. After-school tutoring and scholarships are provided for older children to attend off-set secondary school (high school). MCM Academy is supplemented by a library in the main center, as well as a computer lab, so children can learn basic computer skills.
Counseling and mentoring are an important strategy in building character in growing children. MCM started the “Young Women’s Initiative” which has been empowering young women by equipping them with life skills, knowledge, and purpose since 2014. Over $20,000 has been raised to aid young women in their growth and development. The “Young Men’s Project”, created in 2016, aims to provide leadership and character development for young men. It also teaches young men basic commerce skills, and how to be productive in their community.
MCM provides emotional and spiritual support for each and every child because of the extreme emotional and psychological stress that the children have endured. Qualified staff counsel each child to realize they are loved and unique in addition to letting them know MCM cares about each one of their situations. This counseling and support bridges the gap between local villages and MCM through the lives of the children. It opens the door for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing.
How Did The Crooms Get Connected With MCM?
The Crooms had the unique opportunity to visit 3 separate countries in a 6 month period in 2012 specifically for the purpose of the Gospel. Each trip was coordinated through Bellevue Baptist Church and held anywhere from 10-30 people.
In March of 2012, they ministered in Haiti to the local communities and children. They simply were able to show love and affection to a peoples that were still very much devastated by the earthquake that struck a few short years earlier. This trip cemented the Crooms calling to foreign missions. They just didn’t know exactly how that was supposed to look.
In June of 2012, the Crooms ministered in Nicaragua to 2 separate villages by putting on various events with the youth from Bellevue. It was a trip that allowed a perspective into another culture and further experience in showing God’s love through tangible service. It was yet another stepping stone in surrendering to full-time missions.
In July-August 2012, the Crooms went on the trip that the Lord would use to forever change the trajectory of their lives: Malawi, Africa. Haiti and Nicaragua each held special experiences and moments that furthered clarified the Lord’s calling in their lives and are trips that they would not trade for any other experience but God did something very unique on their trip to Malawi. The Lord captured their hearts as they played soccer, taught, acted out skits, and sat and just got to hold the children. The Crooms hiked to local villages and saw the conditions of the shelters and the great need of these people. This was the trip that erased all doubt of any other dreams or aspirations. Foreign missions was their calling.
Over the next 5 years, they continued to pray and seek what that calling looked like. Did this mean they move to another country for 40 years? Did this mean they worked with a missions organization and heavily supported missions through that avenue? Did this mean they continued to work in the U.S. but go multiple times a year to the same or different ministries? The answer came in June of 2017 when the Lord prompted the Crooms to send a single email that would transform their lives. The email was to Avisha, one of the directors of MCM. It simply asked a single question,”is there an opportunity?”. The answer came and was like a lightning bolt of excitement and uncertainty, “We have been praying for a long time that someone would come.”
The calling for the Crooms came full circle after officially being accepted as missionaries to MCM by their board of directors in November of 2017. What does the next 40 years hold? The Crooms do not know. What they do know is that the next 2 years will be spent serving and ministering to the least of these.
If you would like to read a more detailed version of the Crooms story, click here.
A Local House, The MCM Auditorium, and A Local Market