April 17th, Todays notes
Today was a beautiful day. Most of us slept well last night, but a few of us are still acclimating to the time change. As we were preparing for dinner, HP was just getting started with the sermon.
We always start our days with quite time and then daily devotionals. I would urge all of us to start our days that way, if at all possible, get alone with the LORD, and grow your knowledge of His character, and listen to His plans for you.
Our plans today focused on celebrating Resurrection Day with Nasedegu! I have to be honest and tell you all, as I was reviewing my sermon notes, and understand the impact of where I was once again blessed to share the word of God, I was humbled.
Humbled that He would let me return, Humbled that I would again see the faces of the brothers and sisters that I have grown to love, and humbled that I was able to celebrate this important day with a church we have been so involved with from the start.
The first part of the drive was as I recall, but the later part was worse than anything I have seen before. The tropical storm left valleys in the road that are impassable in areas, destroyed houses, destroyed crops and many other things.
I was already aware of this, but to see it firsthand brought it to a new level of understanding.
When I saw the church at Nasedegu my emotions almost spilled out. It had been almost three years since we were last here! In typical fashion we were greeted by songs, then one by one the entire congregation came out to meet us with Pastor Jonah leading the way.
After many thanks, and smiles to numerous to count we went inside for service. Malawian worship is best understood through personal experience. The singing and harmony are amazing.
No instruments in Nasedegu, just the feet shuffling or stomping out the beat. No cushioned seats, just wooden benches. No A/C just block windows, no one drove to church except us, everyone else walked or rode their bikes.
Then there was song after song, after song. But as they sang, they smiled, the congregation smiled, clapped, and yelled. In an environment with none of the niceties that we are accustomed to they had joy, they had Jesus.
We sang songs, we dance [you have to ask someone to explain this that has been] and we went to the word. Ironically, the same text that Highland Park was looking at also.
Separated by almost 8000 miles and hearing God speak from the same text! I our LORD not glorious!
But the end of the service is what got us. Jonah got up to speak and touched on Pastor Ed digging when the foundation was being laid, he spoke of John [Johannie] digging the foundation, of Janine and the ladies carrying sand to make the concrete for the foundation.
It is crazy that things we think have little to no value for anyone other than e ourselves and our memories would be that vivid in someone else’s memory. We did nothing special, we served, we desired to be obedient to God and it impacted the people of Nasedegu in a way that we could have never imagined. God is so, so Glorious!
I will post some of the pictures that I took today [few from me] as I am sure that Janine and Karey will as well.
What a great start to our trip today. We will go back to Nasedegu, we will pour into the men and women more while we are here, they are family, as are all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Tomorrow, we go to Kachere, to the feeding center and the school. We will also have an opportunity to distribute some corn to another church and help those that lost everything when the tropical storm came through.
And if your curious about the luggage….
It’s still not here, but do you know what, we each have the clothes we wore here and have picked up another T-Shirt and shorts for the evening time. A minor inconvenience to be able to share the love of Christ with the people here.
When God says its time, our luggage will arrive.
Thank you for the prayers, we love you all and miss our church family.
Blessings in Christ,