April 29, 2023
I will admit it was hard to wake up this morning. Three days of camp wore this old woman out! Leah wasn’t feeling very well this morning, but had mostly recovered by the time we left and made it through the day. She feels much better now. Ed spoke to us from Joshua 4 this morning. After crossing the Jordan River, Joshua had a representative from each tribe pick a large stone from where the priests stood with the ark of the covenant to place in the place where they camped as a memorial to themselves and future generations. He then made a pile right where the priests stood as another memorial. He challenged us to make memorials for ourselves and our future generations. Whether it be through pictures, journaling, or other physical ways to remind ourselves of what God has done in our lives and to spur others to ask about them so we can tell them what God is capable of. It is horrible how much can be lost in just one generation if we don’t make God important and explain how great He is and allow others to see Him at work in our lives!
This morning we did three Bible clubs. Two of them were combined because the roads to one of the villages were so rough. It was easier for the children to walk down to the next village than for us to drive to it! At this combined club meeting of Ntiya 1 and 2, we had over 200 children! Misozi led them in singing then we ladies took over. Janine taught them about Gideon, then Leah talked them through the plan of salvation using the Evangicube, then, because many of them had professed salvation just yesterday at camp, I spoke to them out of 1 John 5:1-3 about how they should try to live out their faith now. A few more songs and prayer then we gave each child a lollipop and they returned home while we went to do it again in another village. There were close to 200 in that village as well. We didn’t expect that many, and noticed that some of the kids had run from the first meeting to the second one in order to get more candy. We chose not to give out candy because we didn’t have enough for everyone. I know some were disappointed because those who had come from the first meeting told them to expect candy, but what can ya do?
After Bible Clubs we all went to lunch at a restaurant run by a Malawian, serving authentic Malawian food. It was good! Ovi said we were the first team he’s taken there, but he and the group from here often stop in for lunch after visiting villages. Ovi & Ed talked me into trying a bird’s eye pepper saying it wasn’t too hot…I couldn’t taste anything on that half of my mouth for 20 minutes and my eyes were watering and nose running. It WAS HOT! I won’t say they’ve broken my trust in all areas, but with food it might take a bit to earn it back…😉
We went to the stands of a few local artisan who do a lot of wood carving and paintings and such to sell. We shopped and each got some nifty souvenirs. At dinner, Ovi told us that one of them called to thank him and to tell him that everyone was happy. They hadn’t sold anything at all until we came today. He said that many of them will be able to eat and feed their families because we chose to help them by buying their products. They were very friendly and fun to bargain with. A couple even remembered several of us from the last time we were here. One remembered what I’d bought from him a year ago!
When we came back to the house we were all beat so I’m pretty sure we all took at least a little bit of a nap. Then up and to work. It was our night to cook so Lita could have a break. Janine & Leah were already getting started when I woke up and came in. Janine knows me well and asked if I wanted to set the table. (My culinary skills are most definitely lacking—I mean I can keep my family alive and haven’t poisoned anyone yet, but that’s about as good as it gets.) So I set the table and put food out while they made the most scrumptious meal. It is always fun to sit and have dinner together with the team, Ovi, Lita and the kids. The conversation is just as good as the food and there is often much laughter and joy. After dinner and dessert (chocolate cake that Ed made last night—torture to smell chocolate cake and know you can’t eat it until the next day…) we had our debrief. Everyone had many more good parts to the day than negatives. While out in one village we stopped at a shop to buy candy and a woman who was obviously mentally ill kept dancing around the bus and gesturing. People were laughing at her, making her angry. We finally drove down the road a little way to try to get away from her but she followed us. It was sad to watch. Sin is so pervasive.
This morning my reading took me to 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as the love chapter. I was challenged today to display love before any other works I may do. No matter what I do, if there isn’t obvious love in it, it is worthless. I need to be better at showing love.