Formed by the Word…
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Mission to Malawi 2022–Thoughts from Janine-April 17th

April 17 back at the mission house……

Lita made us pancakes this morning before heading out……as always delicious. We piled into the van…us 3, the Corneas, Samuel, Stanley and Doreen and their kiddos and Misozi. Ovi as the driver and Ed (Dad) as the copilot was like old times. I did not look out the windshield often as the crazy Romanian was driving…….instead Lita and I talked about cooking and recipes. The dirt roads back toward Nasedegu have deteriorated tremendously. The valleys and trenches make travel quite challenging.

As we arrived in Nasedegu, the woman’s home by the mango tree is gone now….it is a cornfield, a dieing cornfield. It brought back memories of praying under the tree with Leah, of high emotions as the church foundation was started, the memory of Ed (Dad) making the first pic into the corner of the dirt where the foundation would be poured and the sight of our HP men praying together in the field under some hard circumstances. 

And then the church that God built in this village- women started singing, clapping and coming towards us. Little ones in tow- I couldn’t help but start hugging each woman as I saw them. Some familiar, a lot unfamiliar.

We have been gone too long……I was searching for one small face……I did not see her, but I spotted her little sister that was placed in Gabby’s arms when she was just a few days old. She is 4 now, and has her sassy side just like her sister. She told me to tell gabby “hi”. Her mom asked, “where is gabby?” That about undid me, knowing the child that I was honored to mother has left an impact on a family halfway around the world can just bring crocodile tears to ya! Praising the Lord that our daughter, His daughter, was called and redeemed by Jesus Christ for His glory! 

We went in for the church service- men sang, women sang, children sang. Each group more beautiful than the next. Then the whole church sang together. I had told Karey about the one song “we are going to the house of the Lord” and what would happen. When the music began and women were reaching out for other women…..someone came to Karey and I reached out to Doreen and we went dancing to the house of the lord! Oh to have that freedom, joy and rejoicing… was soul soothing! We couldn’t understand what they were singing but Misozi would explain to Karey and I so we understood. They first read Psalm 27 and then Ed (Dad) preached from 1Cor 15. Stanley translated. It was a peace that surpasses understanding, a joy that can only be filled by Him and a humbling of how small we are and how Big our God is to watch my husband be obedient to the call. To see and hear his heart for these people. I am thankful the Lord chose me to be his helper. 

Afterward, Jonah, the Pastor stood up to speak. I was so surprised by his words. I was so humbled by his words. In the past when I have come, I have treasured up moments in my heart. Moments I didn’t think would matter to anyone else, perhaps forgotten. Moments that transformed me….often times broke me, but I knew it was to become more like who He wanted me to be. Jonah started recalling different moments I thought only I had treasured……he spoke of women talking and praying under trees, he talked of women going down to dry riverbeds to get dirt, he talked of Pastors wives being taught the Word and many more moments of God bringing women together that I had treasured……I didn’t know anyone else had.

I looked at Ed (Dad) with tears in my eyes…….. a humbling reminder…..there is purpose in everything. There is kingdom purpose, it is important……it is consuming, it is worth all the hard!!! 

Jonah spoke of Ed (Dad) and his labor in the village, his preaching, his teaching, he working the field alongside them, helping start the church foundation and other moments that have impacted the village and pointed them all to Christ. Ed’s (Dads) head down, I could see his emotions….  is worth all the hard!

Afterwards, we went outside and there I saw HER….Nelicia. Praise God she is alive. And oh how she has grown!!! Beautiful and singing and laughing. She is taller and thinner now. She has light in her eyes…..this child will never know how I have prayed for her…..for her to make it through starvation seasons, to know the love of Christ as her Savior!  I am not sure of her faith, but I know that her Mom and Dad (the Pastor and his wife) are pouring into her. 

We went out to a late lunch afterwards (church was from 9-12) at Songbird and it was yummy! Back at the mission house we sat in the courtyard sharing about life (us 5 adults) while children played, roosters crowed, and baboons eyed our bananas. TIA!!!

We shared about triumphs, joys and the hard and challenging. We talked about their life as a mission family, how we can pray and how we can aid them. The ministry in Romania and the challenges. This life the Lord has called them too is not always easy, not always pretty but always filled with Gods presence, His grace and His mercy. We talked about the life of an American Pastor- the joys, the challenges and the hard. May God be glorified in all we do for His kingdom, not ours. 

Wrapping up today-still no luggage. We are washing our clothes every night and look like misfits wearing odds and ends we found or, like right now I am wrapped somewhat with a sheet as the clothes dry. Always an adventure, always learning and always (or trying really hard) to remember our Father is in complete control- even when it comes to clothes!

One Comment

  1. Guy Christopher Harbin

    Yours and Ed’s letters took me back. I’ll never I’ll never forget the 1st trip with brother Kieth. I had never seen so much need in my life. Now I praise God for what he has accomplish through Hope Fore the Future. Through Ovi, Lita, Jesica, Amie and Ethan they are an amazing family the hands and feet of the Lord. I thank God for them. May God bless your time there my heart is with you guys. I can here the voices singing. Thank you all for for your service.

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