Today in my devotions I read more of miracles, but my favorite was Saul’s conversion. It is always incredible to me that God would take a person who was doing horrible things to His people and change his life, so he now serves Him and becomes one of the greatest teacher/preacher/missionaries there was. I think Paul’s life and conversion leaves no excuse for anyone not to follow God. There is nothing we have done that God’s love and Jesus’ blood will not cover. There is no one too bad to give himself up to service of God! (There is no one too good either, but that misses my point.)
We spent most of the day in Kuchere, the village where the school and feeding center is. We went into each classroom (there are 8) and the children greeted us so politely in English. It was adorable! 😉 We introduced ourselves and they did their best to repeat our names. Samuel told several classes that I was a math teacher and asked how many liked math. I was disappointed. In what we would call 6th grade, they must speak English for all of their classes except their own language arts type class. You could see the improvement in their English as we moved up grades. By the 8th grade, their last year before high school and last grade in this school, they did pretty well. I think they were thrown by our accent rather than the words. As we went through the math teacher introduction, Stanley, who is the headmaster of the school, told me to go get a math book and introduced me to the teacher. They asked me to teach a math lesson. So I did. I taught them how to figure simple interest and it was fun. After teaching the lesson they did two problems and I walked around checking their work and giving check marks for correct answers and having them look for their mistakes if they made one. Two cheeky boys asked me to write “Good” on their papers, so I wrote “Great!” on the first and “Excellent” on the other. Then everyone wanted “Excellent” on their papers. I gave one a smiley face and they all laughed so hard I thought they’d fall off their chairs. It was fun and I enjoyed being back in a classroom again. Maybe not enough begin teaching again or anything like that…ha!
After I taught, I went and found Janine doing her thing in the kitchen. She’d been fired from chopping cabbage, though, because she made it too big. Haha! She and Misozi nearly tipped over their bench so they brought out another bench with really long legs. I said they brought out the training bench for us! Then the men came and we all walked through the village a little way to see some of the damage that had been done during the storms. There was one place that had been a house that had been completely demolished. All that was left was a small mound of dirt. So they planted sweet potatoes on it. The lady who lived there was staying with another family now. These houses are barely large enough for one or two people. To take in another must truly be difficult. As we walked along we came to another house that had fallen half way. It happened at night when the family and their chickens were all inside. Thankfully, the wall that fell went toward the room with the chickens and the people were spared. (The chickens were not.) It is difficult to even imagine what these people have been through with this storm that went through. The storm and flooding took so much—sometimes everything a family owned.
Back at the feeding center we chatted a bit while the village ladies fixed lunch. They fix a meal for about 100 children twice a day 6 days a week and once on Sunday! Absolutely amazing women! While we were waiting Samuel taught me a couple of their praise songs that are part in English and part in Chichewa. I told him to make sure they put those songs in the lineup this Sunday so I can sing along! The last thing the ladies prepared was the staple of Malawi, Nsima. It is corn flour mixed in (I’m guessing) oil and water. As it boils over a fire the ladies must stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn and it eventually becomes very thick. They use a spoon about a meter long and take turns because it is difficult. Each woman seems to have her own rhythm and pattern. Janine took a turn and did well then Ed took a turn and actually drew a crowd! It was so funny to watch kids come running from every direction to see the spectacle. He received applause at the end of his turn! Once the nsima was done the children moved to the water pump and washed their hands then moved into the feeding hall. Janine & I sat on a bench and helped fill plates. She had a pumpkin leaf salad or some such and I had pieces of goat meat in a soup. I was a bit sloppy but eventually found some sort of method. It was so sweet watching all those little ones eating a good meal and looking healthy and happy. Their laughter is infectious and their smiles nearly magical!
After lunch many of the children sat down under a tree (some sort of poisonous fig tree, Ovi tells me) and I had the chance to teach them about Daniel and the lion’s den. Misozi translated for me and led them in some worship songs before and after. It was really fun to be teaching again—twice in two days and both of my favorite subjects! God is good!
On the way home we dropped Misozi near her house then as we drove through her village we came across her mother who is the Chief. She came and spoke to us through the car window for a few minutes and I just absolutely fell in love with her. Her manner, tone of voice and the look in her eyes showed love and wisdom and kindness that went beyond being courteous. The love of God bridges so many differences!
Once back at the house I played with the kids for a very few minutes. I was tired but also invigorated. So I cleaned up a little then finally got to talk to my main man and the kiddos. I am so grateful for a husband who not only allowed me to go half-way around the world but encouraged it and is doing fabulous with the gang of weirdos—I mean kids we have. Another yummy meal by Lita and more good fellowship pretty much finished up our night. Now I am tired and about ready to go to bed. It’s 8:15. Hahahahahahahaha!