The town of Zomba in Malawi may be a continent
away but, according to the Reverend Dick Gordon,
there are many similarities between it and the
town of Coleraine. Both are a similar size, both
have universities, both are situated in a beautiful
A number of links have now been established between
the 2 towns and Coleraine Borough Council has
gone as far as to have a 'Memorandum of Understanding'
with Zomba Council.
The Causeway Trust Hospital is developing links
with one of Zomba's hospitals.
Coleraine schools have made contact with schools
in the town, as well as raising and sending out
money to help buy educational materials.
Not only has the University of Ulster's Coleraine
campus established connections with Zomba's Chancellor
University, but it is offering a one year scholarship
to the head teacher of St Mary's school in Zomba.
The university has also sent out 20 of its honorary
degree boxes to Zomba Theological College for
its first graduation ceremony. The relationship
between the two towns is blossoming.
Reverend Gordon has been involved in producing
a book of psalms, the proceeds from which will
go to Zomba where conditions are very poor and
many people need help. Pearl Hutchinson from Kilrea
approached him wanting to do something and the
result is a lovely book combining photographs
and psalms conveying messages of hope, inspiration
Photographs by Pearl Hutchinson
Text by Richard Gordon
Pearl Hutchinson spent one spring out and about
in the Bann Valley and Co Donegal taking photographs.
She then sifted through the pictures she had taken
to choose the most appropriate one to go with
The photograph on the front cover of the book
was taken in Rathmullan, a place she is particularly
fond of. The chestnut tree leaves were just coming
out and the 3 windy paths joining to become one
caught her eye. It made her think of how everyone
in this life is on a different path and she felt
the scene would be ideal for the front of the
Pearl also enjoys walking along the side of the
River Bann at Portna in Kilrea. Out for a stroll
with her husband one evening the sun suddenly
set and the clouds were perfect for a picture.
The resulting photograph is matched up in the
book with Psalm 13, under the title "Sometimes
it's very dark".
SOMETIMES IT'S VERY DARK
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?
Sunset over River Bann at Portna, Kilrea
Photograph taken by Pearl Hutchinson
How long O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, O Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
for he has been good to me.
It's hard not to admire the beautiful landscapes captured
in Pearl's photographs and she feels that to look at
God's creation is an easy way to see him still at work
DOING IT GOD'S WAY
He is like a tree planted by streams
Agivey River at Cullycapple Bridge, Aghadowey
Photograph taken by Pearl Hutchinson
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
In October 2003 Ronan Lundy, from BBC Radio
Ulster's "Your Place and Mine" programme, spoke
to the Reverend Dick Gordon, Paul Snelling of
Coleraine Borough Council and Pearl Hutchinson
about Coleraine's developing relationship with
Zomba and the book of psalms. Rev Gordon described
for Ronan what Zomba is like...
Here to listen to the discussion.
(To access audio and video on your place and
mine you need RealPlayer
Proceeds from the book go to the Zomba Action
Project, a registered charity.
Malawi isn't the only country that Coleraine has connections
with. Read about the town's present
from America .
A Cookstown lady has been travelling back and forth
to the Congo over the last 35 years. Find out more about
her missionary work and view
pictures from her photo album.
Useful web link:
and figures about Malawi
Toni Bradley - Sep'06
These beautiful photographs with the accompanying verses have
made me see my home town in a new light.
Gloria Rea - June 05
This is the most beautiful little book. The photographs ar