Formed by the Word…
Engaging in Worship…
Pursuing the Mission…

April 30, 2023

April 30, 2023

It was a beautiful Sunday here in Malawi! We had to leave a little earlier than the other days and some were running a little behind getting ready so we did not have a morning challenge from Joshua, but we got to hear Ed preach later, so it all turned out well. We visited the church in Nasedegu today. When we arrived, the children were already meeting outside having Sunday School class! This is something Ovi has tried to get all of the churches to do, but so far the only time we’ve seen it. It was so sweet to see those little faces listening attentively to their teacher! Later, in part of the worship, they all came up front and many of them shared Bible verses they had memorized! I Love to see anyone hiding God’s Word in their heart, but there’s something so special to see littles doing so. Then to realize that there are leaders in this church who are taking it on themselves to teach the littles…just makes my heart really happy! The worship time was so engaging and sweet! You could feel the joy of the Lord! The had a bongo drum and their voices, and of course, there was joyful dancing. One dance I simply did not understand until tonight when Ovi told us the song was about Zacchaeus.  They would all dance around and then squat down…It made sense then. Ha! Even the dancing needs translation over here!

Ed preached out of Hebrews 12:1-2 and challenged us to run our race with all we have but setting aside all that the world tries to saddle us with and all the sin that we saddle ourselves with, knowing that Jesus is at the starting line, running along side us, and at the finish line waiting and cheering us the whole way! When we fall, He picks us up and carries us when needed. It was both encouraging and challenging. At the end, four adults accepted Christ as their Savior and one man came with his family and asked to join the church. It was blessed day at Nasedegu.

We had lunch with the whole team and the kiddos at Kip’s again today. It was just fun sitting and talking and laughing. When we got home, many/most of us went straight to bed for naps! I would’ve slept for a couple of hours if one of the team members hadn’t walked into my room shouting my name to ask me a question I’d already answered…anyway…😉 When I came outside to join the others I found I’d missed out on helping Stanley and his wife, Doreen, take corn kernels off the cobs. They have a good-sized garden and this corn will now need to be dried in the sun for several days before they can take it to be ground into meal for their food. Most Malawians do all of this by hand and it often takes weeks just to get the kernels off. But there is a machine that they have now which helped them get it all done in just a few hours. (They were showing the team how hard it is and how long it has taken in the past without the machine.) I was sad to have missed this, but apparently I needed sleep! (I’m already sleepy again!)

We hung around outside and talked until dusk when the bugs come out (not that they aren’t out all the time, but they get worse) then we came inside. The kids were inside so Leah and I whooped them all at pool. Ok, Leah did most of the work. I am not a pool player. She takes it seriously, though! The look of concentration on her face as she lines up a shot…just don’t play her with stakes on the game! Janine cooked a few sausages to supplement the leftovers we were having for dinner and we ate. Dinner time has become a special time for us. We can just talk and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. There’s usually a bit of teashing each other, of course. After dinner is our debrief time. We each share our highs & lows of the day. Everyone loved the service and seeing the growth in the church at Nasedegu. We were all struck with the comparison of the American church which often feels like there needs to be hi-tech sound & lights, etc. as well as all the latest and nicest facilities with Nasedegu where all they had was a bongo and voices. Ovi pointed out that it doesn’t matter what type of church we worship in as long as we worship. The church is the people, worshiping and serving the same Lord and Savior. It may look different to us, but God sees our hearts and because of Christ’s sacrifice, they all look forgiven!

This morning I was struck by this verse in 1 Corinthians 15:34 “Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” I know there are times when I get all wrapped up in my own little world and all the busyness that it takes to keep a house full of people alive and functioning at some level, and I miss those opportunities to witness, or help, or even just to stop and pray as something or someone comes to mind. While on a trip like this it is fairly easy to be looking specifically for those moments because, after all, that’s what I came for. I pray that when I get home I will continue to look specifically for those moments. I hope you will join me in praying this for each other and looking for yourself.

Thank you again for praying for us this past week and please, please keep praying! We have tomorrow off to do some fun Africa things, then we dive right back into work for a few more days before we leave. We will be doing some hut to hut visits, sharing the gospel, and we women are truly hoping and praying for a chance to sit down with the women of one of the villages to do some teaching/study with the them.