Faces of Dryden: From Malawi to Freeville


Reach Out for Christ Church in Freeville will be honoring two world changers on Friday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 21 as Brighton and Dorothy Wanyemba pay a visit to the congregation.

Pastor Tom Miller is eager for the opportunity to visit again with the two who “do so much with so little.” He explained, “Reach Out began supporting orphans in Malawi in 2008, after being introduced to Pastor Brighton Wanyemba by visiting Evangelist Elizabeth Austin. We were seeking a mission to support, and Elizabeth had connections with over 250 pastors in Africa. She recommended Brighton to us. He’s the real deal. We resonated with his vision. They have a creative, hopeful vision, focusing on grassroots growth rather than top-down grants, which in a country like Malawi, are rife with corruption. This way, people can operate without donations from rich nations.”

Reach Out has supported Brighton’s work in a variety of ways over the past 10 years. Nancy Shaw of Freeville held weekly rummage sales to raise funds, which provided the foundation for the school for the orphans. Church members have knit baby blankets and purchased food and clothing for distribution from the Wanyemba’s home base. They helped purchase goats for a number of families, who can use them for milk, meat, and breeding. For a season, the church held a monthly cake raffle at its fish fry dinners. Brighton used that money to purchase a grain mill, as well as to complete construction of a roof on God’s Hope Church. He also purchased a field, dug a well and began growing corn, which now feeds many of the orphans who attend the new school.
It’s hard to think of rummage sales and cake raffles having a significant impact, but in this nation that is among the poorest in the world, the average worker makes as much in a week as an American might spend on Starbucks. And these funds in the hands of generous, other-focused people like the Wanyemba’s are changing the world, one orphan at a time.

Pastor Brighton shared via text “For years we have been looking after orphans and widows and helping the aged by repairing their grass thatched roofs, giving them food and clothing... the list is endless. To continue with this work we need to continue income-generating activities to raise funds and train our people how to locally support the work.

God blessed us with a farm and there is a well of sweet water that we can bottle and sell to raise funds. We need people, churches, and organizations to partner with us financially to buy water purification equipment that will help us become self -sufficient to further develop the vision ahead of us.”

Come celebrate with the church at a dish to pass dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. Dinner will be followed by the regular weekly worship service, which Brighton and Dorothy watch often via live stream video. The church’s regular service time, 10:15 a.m. on Sundays, will provide an opportunity to hear from the Wanyembas as well.

Running all over town
The Dryden Rotary Club is running to raise funds for the food pantries and community youth programs, including international youth exchange. The holder of the winning ticket for the annual Food Run gets to run, too. Clark’s Food Mart will close its aisles to all but the winner who will have three minutes to fill their carts with as much they can before the buzzer rings. Be there at 6:15 pm on Wednesday, Oct. 24 to watch the excitement. The proceeds from this event are distributed among the food pantries in Dryden, Freeville, and McLean. Tickets are $5 each and are available through a local Rotarian, or at Clark’s.

The Rotary Fall Dash, a 5 & 10 K road race begins at Dryden Lake Park at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. The fifth annual race route follows the Jim Schug Trail and Lake Road. Race registration is available through webscorer, which can be accessed at rotaryclubofdryden .ny. Click on the Fall Dash post for the registration link. Registration is $20 for adults, $15 for ages 19 and under. Running families of three or more can register for $40.

Senior Citizens Bazaar
After getting your morning run in, stop by the Dryden Senior Citizens Fall Bazaar and get a jump on your holiday shopping. This annual event with crafts, vendors, baked goods and more will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Dryden Fire Hall, 26 North St.

Back for homecoming
The stage was set for Dryden High School’s homecoming week as students returning from the long weekend found a life-size DeLorean and a time portal awaiting them at the High School entrance, highlighting this year’s theme “Back to the Future.” Alongside was a sign with Doc Brown’s last words to a 1950s Marty McFly, “Your future hasn’t been written yet. Your future is whatever you make of it, so make it a good one.”

Set Master Matt Dobush built the movie-look-a-like set pieces at home and brought them in on a trailer. Homecoming committee members Kathleen Murphy, Tim Arnold, and Jody and Mike Soroka helped install the scene Monday night, Oct. 8.

Spanning the generations of DHS grads, Mom and son combo Kim and Elim Schenck, who graduated in 1977 and 2017 respectively, were on hand to see the creations. Kim has attended years of homecoming games and events, saying she really enjoys catching up with friends and old classmates, some she may not have seen in years. Elim was slightly disappointed that the festivities didn’t coincide with his school break from Clarkson, but enjoyed the break week, informally catching up with old friends.


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