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Mission to Malawi 2022-Pastor Ed-April 21st

April 21st

Hello there!  Another beautiful day in Malawi Africa. Today our devotional was Ephesians 1:11-14.

We noticed three aspects of God’s plan working in perfect harmony. His purpose, the counsel of His will and it results in His work.

We as sinful people make plans that typically go south, but God’s plan was carefully crafted with an eternal purpose, through counsel [the Trinity] and then worked out through His wisdom.

Good way to start the day, knowing that God has plans for us, we need to seek to be obedient and follow those plans.  Sometimes in the midst of the plans we don’t like them, but we can always look back and see God’s hand of providence and we are thankful for where we have been and how we have grown.

Today we spent in Kachere again.  This time the school was in full session, the feeding center was operating, and we got to go to some houses to see the damage and speak with the chief again.

We started off with the drive to Kachere, Samuel and Misozi joined us as well.  When we arrived, I went into the 8th grade classroom where Stanley was teaching.  You might be surprised to know that Stanley was teaching about sexual harassment and abuse.

But with some of the cultural history and practices that have went on in Malawi [and still do in some remote village’s] this kind of education can increase a young woman or man’s self-esteem, and they might see themselves as valuable, as opposed to what the prevailing cultural trends say.

 After being in Stanley’s class for awhile I went and joined the group in another class, and lucky me I happened to walk in right as they were talking about me, to much laughter I might add. 

But the best came as we switched classes yet again and Karey got to teach a math lesson to the young men and women.  Maybe I should have set in on the class and paid more attention, it had something to do with interest, principle and some other stuff.

Then we decided to go to see some brothers and sisters that attend the church in Kachere who were struggling greatly due to the tropical storm.  I only took two houses for us to get the idea, as it is a theme we have repeatedly seen.

Houses were knocked down, roofs blown off, crops with little to no yield.  Foundations of other houses have enough room around the base to stick your foot under due to all the erosion from running water. 

We had an option to go to another house that would have been about an hour walk there and another hour back.  But after much discussion we came to the conclusion that the long walk would net us no new information, so we decided against it and heading back to the feeding center to assist. 

Janine decided to jump into the mix with the ladies, but Ovi, Stanley, Samuel and I decided to go and drop off a picture we promised to the chief of Kachere. 

Good thing we did, because we got there right as she was leaving for another hut.  We presented her the picture [Ovi had printed it and had it framed] to her and she was very grateful, but she also told us she was in much pain.

Since she has gotten older no one comes around to help her much anymore, and the medicine she takes for the pain has run out and she has no way to get it.  Samuel knows the medication, it cannot be purchased at a pharmacy, but it can be purchased at a hospital.

It is not addictive either, so it is safe.  We plan on picking her up some tomorrow, but in the meantime, we prayed for her and told her we had some ibuprofen we could give her until tomorrow. After praying for her we talked some more, and she said she could already feel relief from her pain.

While some might balk at that, we do serve a God that can still do miracles if He chooses to do so.  I am just happy she was feeling better and that we can at least get her some meds.

What happens in the long run you ask, I don’t really have an answer, but we are not called to worry about the future, we are just called to be serve in the here and now, so that is what we will do.

By the time we made it back to the feeding center, the meal was moving along, and the orphans were gathering for the meal.  When they started to make the nsima, which is the main staple for Malawians.

Nsima is made from corn that is ground into flour, then added to boiling water to make something akin to our grits.  Janine was asked to if she wanted to stir it [this is at a much later point in the cooking now where it is closer to cement] and if you know my wife she gladly jumped at the chance.

It is hard, she did well, then Karey was asked but she declined.  After it kept cooking, they asked me if I wanted to try.  Well OF COURSE I wanted to try.  I took the stance of one of the Malawian women and got down on one knee and started mixing lunch.

Apparently seeing a “azungu” [white people] mixing nsima was too much for the children.  I was told there was much laughing and a cheering section as I stirred it. 

I have been asked before, why?  Why do you try all that crazy food, eat with your hands, and cook like them.  Paul said it best, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.”

The more I become someone they are familiar with, the more I become someone not scared of their way  and the of life and the more I become willing to do life with them, on their terms, the greater the door opens for sharing the gospel.

This trip has been as much about taking care of the physical hunger as it has planting and watering spiritually. 

No one will listen to you share the gospel if they are hungry or worried about where they can eat today.  Assisting with a physical need shows someone you care, and they are more open to you later. 

After the meal was over, Karey led a bible study.  She taught them about Daneil and the Lions den, great lesson.  Just a side note, Janine and I are always amazed that here in Malawi we can gather 100 children from ages 3-13 for a bible lesson and they are attentive and focused.

How many times does that happen at home?

Tomorrow, we go back to Kachere, hopefully to give the medicine to the chief, and to distribute food again.  To see some of the same people we saw today and share the gospel with them, maybe worship and pray to God and give thanks for His provision.

And tomorrow will include other things as well, I am just either not aware of them right now or I have forgotten, most likely the latter.

As always, thank you for your prayers, we can feel them.  Thank you for sending us—I don’t think I could say that enough. 

Everyone is well, and everyone is tired, but that is a good thing, we came to serve.

Tionana—[see you later]