Willow Creek has been working in Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, for the last seven years. Malawi faces challenges in building, expanding the economy, improving education, and health related issues. As with all of Willow’s global partnerships, all community development and ministry in Malawi is accomplished through local churches. Willow does, however, have a Country Manager (CM) who works in person to facilitate all church, government, community and technical partnerships in country.
This August, Derek Luhanga, accepted the position as Willow’s CM for Malawi. “We are thrilled with the unique and comprehensive gifts and experiences Derek brings to this position,” said Mark.
Derek holds both a Certificate and a Diploma in Project Management from Cambridge International College, United Kingdom. He understands the people, customs, and needs of those living in Chitipa (the community where Willow primarily works), due to the fact that it’s his hometown. Having moved away previously, Derek relocated back to Chitapa after accepting the CM position.
His excellent credentials make for a strong fit in his new assignment. In addition to speaking all of the six local languages, Derek has 21 years of experience working with vulnerable women and children in Malawi. Over the span of his career, he has worked for various international organizations such as Evangelical Lutheran World Service, Habitat for Humanity and Every Child. He also served as the Regional Superintendent over Central Malawi for a church denomination. In spite of all his experience with community development organizations, Derek is ultimately a pastor at heart, possessing great compassion for his people.
“Derek Luhanga is an answer to our prayers and our search for a Country Manager for Chitapa, Malawi. In such a short time, we are already seeing great things happening.” –Mark Haugen (Global Field Director)
To learn more about Willow’s work in Malawi and how you might contribute, attend the new Global Ministries gathering on January 21, 6-8 p.m.