This past weekend I was able to be with a couple of my sporting heroes at a fund-raising dinner in Armagh City Hotel. It was a remarkable event by any standards. Donnelly Brothers, the Dungannon-based motor company, have given fifty (yes, 50) 4×4 vehicles for the use of Irish missionaries serving in Africa.
Our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, is in line to receive ten of these vehicles for the use of our missionary personnel in Africa.
Last Friday’s event was organised by a group of resourceful Armagh businessmen whose common love of motorsport brought them together to form the Armagh Tigers Charitable Trust. They showed wonderful commitment and enterprise in bringing together so many people from all kinds of backgrounds in support of this project, which aims to raise an additional £200,000 so that the vehicles may be delivered to Africa complete with a box of spare parts.
One person who will benefit from this gift is Diane Cusick.
Diane is originally from the Bushvale congregation in North Antrim and is now based in Mzuzu in Northern Malawi, where, at the invitation of the Education Department of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), she’s been able to introduce the Montessori teaching method to an already established pre-school in Mzuzu; and has set up, and runs training programmes for care-givers in Early Childhood Development.
Diane’s service in Malawi began in late 1995, in the South of the country, teaching classes in the Women’s Ministry Department at Zomba Theological College (ZTC). Further responsibilities soon followed when she became Director of ZTC’s Crèche and Playgroup, where she was involved in preparing all the educational material used in the playgroup.
In 2004, Diane undertook a year’s study in Johannesburg (South Africa), completing a pre-school teaching course at the College of Modern Montessori. This laid the foundations for the work she is now doing in Mzuzu, which began in 2007. Her new vehicle will make her job so much easier and will greatly enhance her effectiveness.
Thank you, Terence and Raymond. And special thanks to the Armagh Tigers. You did a great job!