Sunday, March 28, 2010

IT GETS MORE INTERESTING...Day 12 and 13

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO CLAIRE and MR. ED and good morning from ROME! I SO wish I could get out an look around. We had a refuel for about an hour where we just stayed on the plane. Well...my no sleeping plan didn't work out. I pretty much slept the whole way to Rome after I quit journaling. We just took off again headed for London and I'm starving. All I've had to eat in the last day is peanut M&M's, peanut butter crackers and oreos this morning. Real healthy huh? ha! This Ethiopian Air food makes me SICK. YUCK! I am SO pumped for a good meal and a hot shower in Chicago. We're getting closer and closer to America! I've loved every minute of this trip...minus the 2-3 days travel time each way. I could've done without that. A few of us are already talking about wanting to go back next year...i'd LOVE THAT! A piece of my heart is definitely in Ntcheu! I am SO thankful to everyone who donated to make this trip possible for me! It means the world to me! I am 100% sure that God hand picked me for this trip and I am so glad that I was able to be obedient in what I was being called to do. God provided in a MIGHTY way!

***(CONTINUED)***

Well...you'll NEVER guess what happened to us in London. I DESPISE LONDON! SURPRISE...we missed our flight. Actually...NO...that's an incorrect statement...our plane was still there BUT they had closed the gate 5 mins before we got there. The reason we were late is because of that electrical problems on the Ethiopia flight. When we talked to the customer service desk for United (WHAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!?!?) they said it had nothing to do with them...although we booked through them. They had the money for the ticket but wouldn't let us on the plane...we were all SO UPSET. If you remember...we ALSO got stuck in London on the way TO Africa! I do NOT like London. Everyone we dealt with today at customer service was rude. The lady at customer service argued with us for 30 minutes as the plane STILL SAT THERE. Gina and Joley cried! Gina asked if we enjoyed her Academy Award performance...it was really good! It was pretty convincing to me but the lady wasn't having it. So...she tells us that the rest of the United flights to Chicago were full the rest of the day. She told us that we needed to walk all the way back to terminal 3 to talk to Ethiopian Air (who's desk didn't open for another 7 hours.) AWESOME. Our only option was to split up the group. Gina, Mere, Beth, Josh and Joely were booked on a 3:00 AA flight and Clint, Chan, Rodney, Abbie, Tyler, Travis, and I were sitting standby for all of the remaining chicago or DC flights. Travis somehow got separated from our group which was scary because on standby you have to be ready whenever. We finally found him...he wasn't very happy with us but got over it pretty fast. I forgot to mention us running through the airport like on Home Alone. Abbie tripped and slid a good ways and while clint was running, his backpack unzipped all the way and everything fell out! So...back to our soap opera...Gina's group's flight got canceled so they were put on AA Standby and we were on United standby. We sat through 2 boardings and couldn't get on either so we decided to eat lunch. We were all craving GREASY fried food...preferably some kind of meat since we all skipped out on meat this week. We ate at this place called "Giraffes"..it was pretty good. A cheeseburger and fries "chips" was EXACTLY what I needed. After lunch our next option was another Chicago standby...it was full too. Our options were getting fewer and fewer considering most international-US flights leave out before noon. ALSO...there was a STRIKE in London with the British Airlines so that made other flights more full. The next option was flying to DC then to Chicago. There ended up being 4 seats open on the whole HUGE B777 plane so Clint sent Tyler, Travis, Abbie, and me. We are on the flight now and have NO IDEA our plans once we get to DC. There's supposedly a flight from DC to Chicago tonight but i'm not sure if we'll make it or have to spend the night in DC. I'm SO ready to get home but the overnight in DC might not be too bad...at least maybe i'd get to see Shep...and have the opportunity to take a hot shower...AND MOST IMPORTANTLY...BE OUT OF LONDON! I have developed an EXTREME DISLIKE FOR THAT PLACE! I actually like this plane...i'm at the VERY back but it's HUGE and I have a window seat. I'm sitting by a REALLY sweet lady. Clint Chan and Rodney are STILL stuck in London...poor guys...hopefully they'll get out soon! I'm about to try to get some sleep. My sleep schedule is all off. I woke up right before we landed in DC to a meal...a YUMMY turkey sandwich, some chips and a TWIX BAR! I was in HEAVEN! I haven't had chocolate in FOREVER! :)

*CONTINUED*

WE MADE IT TO DC! Thank you JESUS we're back in the US! I can't say i've EVER been more proud to be an AMERICAN! I missed this country SO much. So...we get to DC and go straight to get our luggage and go through customs. OF COURSE...there was a hold up here too. Nothing has been easy when it comes to travel. We were missing a bag and mine and Abbie's bags were still in London...Chandler's showed up in DC though. HA! Travis had to wait about 30 mins for them to bring his bag. He got us put on the standby list...we were the top 4! PRAISE JESUS! Finally we got all our luggage that was coming and got through customs easily. We RAN to our standby gate to Chicago. Luckily the gate was REALLY close to where we were. We sat through all of the boarding and they announced that there were 4 spots on the plane! WE WERE SOOO EXCITED. We all boarded and when we got on...Travis realized that there wasn't an empty seat for him...they made him get off the plane. We felt horrible because we didn't want to split up. But Travis assured us that this was the best thing...that he'd get a hotel in DC for the night and leave EARLY in the morning to meet us in Chicago. We agreed. We were SO happy to get to go to Chicago tonight. During all of this...Gina's group got a flight from London straight to Chicago. They were going to be in Chicago a few hours before we were scheduled to get there. I was SOOOO TIRED on this flight that I fell asleep even before we took off. BUT...of course...there was a SCREAMING kid on the plane...no...she wasn't a baby...she was probably 3 or 4. I didn't have the best attitude about it! haha! The flight seemed to go REALLY quick. WE FINALLY get to Chicago and get a shuttle to our hotel for the night. The plan before all the travel mess ups was to get to Chicago AS A TEAM around 3:00 in the afternoon and spend the day in Chicago...eat nice...and stay at the ALOFT hotel. Well...since we got there so late (midnight) we just went to the hotel to shower and CRASH! We lucked out because we each got our own rooms. They were SO NICE!!! I took an HOUR LONG SHOWER! It felt AMAZING!!! The only problem was that I didn't have my suitcase...so the only clothes I had were those in my carry on. I used shampoo and soap from the hotel. It wasn't too bad. I slept like a baby!!! Those beds were SO COMFY! GOOD NEWS...Rodney is on a flight now to Chicago and Clint and Chan are about to leave for DC...then Chicago. I think we will ALL make it on our original Chicago to Fayetteville flight...TOGETHER! HALLELUJAH! We all got to sleep in on Sunday morning. This was NICE!!! I was still so confused on the time so it was nice to be able to rest. Travis made it to the hotel EARLY this morning...we were glad that he got out on the early flight. I woke up around 9:30 and went downstairs to get the hotel breakfast! I was SO hungry that I ate SOOOO much. A sausage biscuit, cereal, and a bagel with strawberry cream cheese! YUMMM!!! It was DELICIOUS! I was STUFFED though. We left the hotel around noon and made it to the airport and through security. We all ate at Chilis. I was SO excited about this...but was disappointed because it wasn't great!!! I DID DRINK LIKE 6 DIET COKES THOUGH. I was sooo happy to have a fountain drink...that was COLD! haha! We all made our way to the gate where we met RODNEY!!! HE MADE IT!!! The only 2 we were missing were Clint and Chan! They were on the flight to DC...and would immediately board the plane for Chicago. We were nervous about them not making it...but guess what...THEY DID! YAY! I don't think I had ever been so excited to see them! :) I know they were EXHAUSTED! We all boarded our FINAL PLANE TOGETHER!!! I couldn't believe it!!! I sat by Chandler on the flight. We were ALMOST HOME...WOO HOO!!! I miss Africa SO MUCH...but one thing i won't miss is the TRAVEL!!! I definitely want to go back next year...but i'm hoping they'll have that direct flight from Atlanta to Addis worked out by then. That would save A LOT of headache! Well...guess what....WE JUST LANDED AT XNA! PRAISE THE LORD! We were greeted by everyone's family and friends. It was SO GOOD to see everyone!!! All of our luggage arrived...i was SHOCKED! And GUESS WHO I SAW AT THE AIRPORT...Frank Broyles!!! It's GREAT to be back in HOG COUNTRY!!! haha! (o yeah..the baseball HOGS swept Alabama this weekend...WOO PIG!) Well...I guess this ends the blog...thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip as much as we enjoyed the actual thing!!! If you have never gone on an international mission trip before I REALLY REALLY encourage you to do so. It is LIFE CHANGING!!! God changed my heart this week...I'll never be the same!!! THANK YOU LORD FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY!!! I can't wait for the next one! :)

Friday, March 26, 2010

BYE BYE MALAWI- Day 11

IT'S OVER! :( I can't believe we're leaving today!!! I am NOT ready to leave but I am excited about seeing everyone back home...AND PORKIE! (My translator thought it was SO funny that we had dogs for inside pets). We woke up at 5:45 this morning for the long bus ride to Lilongwe. It wasn't near as crowded this trip as the first trip. Chan and I sat up front and listened to music the whole way. We like a lot of the same music but the 10 year age gap is definitely apparent in some of the songs! HA! Kuzaloh, Bruce, Joseph and Banda all went with us to the airport to send us off. Is it custom for them to "see their guests off". I thought that was so sweet...especially considering that it was a 3 1/2 hour trip. Pastor Charles met us on the side of the road to say goodbye too. These people are SO kind. O yeah...I forgot to tell you...our running water worked this morning at the house. How convenient huh? HA! O well. I will miss this place SO much. The gorgeous mountains and yellow flower trees. It was SAD leaving everyone. Joseph said that this was his first time in an airport. Banda asked Chan and I for our phone numbers because he said he liked to text. I hope he knows international rates are high. haha! Here's a pic of Chan and Banda.

Before we got on the plane, Clint bought us all cokes. We have had a major obsession with them this week. I definitely miss my diet dr pepper...sonic happy hour!!! AGH! On the first from Lilongwe to Addis Ababa I got to sit by Clint and Chandler. That was fun. When they came by to ask us what we wanted for dinner..."Chicken or Beef"...Clint had his headphones on and answered "COKE". It was pretty comical. The flight attendant even thought so. This flight had a quick refueling/some passenger change in the Congo. We made it to Addis and found our coke fix in the airport then boarded for London. Little did we know that this flight has a refueling stop in ROME! Only if we had time to look around. I feel like i've been all over the world in just a few short days. It is pretty tiring. I got lucky on this flight...it's a much nicer plane with more room and although i'm not sitting by anyone I know..I have the SWEETEST lady from London on the same row and we have an empty seat between us. I haven't eaten ANY of the food today on the flights (other than bread). I'm so ready for Chicago and AMERICAN FOOD. O yeah...before we left Addis we were stuck on the runway for 1 hour because of electrical failure. SCARY! Flexibility has been our motto these 2 weeks...I don't think ANYTHING has gone exactly as planned but it sure has been fun/interesting. I'm trying to stay awake on this flight so that I can sleep on the London-Chicago flight to get my time clock right. We'll see how that goes. I'm done writing tonight..it's 3:50 am Addis time. NIGHT! All this time change is about to really confuse me!

UGH...ETHIOPIAN AIR...NOT MY FAV!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

"I WANT TO SEE A GIRAFFE!"-DAY 10



GOODMORNING! :) I can't believe that today is our last full day in Malawi. I honestly didn't think that i'd fall in love with this place and these people as much as I have. When I leave tomorrow I'll definitely be leaving a part of my heart here! This lifestyle is completely different from anything i've ever experienced. God has taught me SO much through this. One of the BIG things is that material possessions mean nothing! I have had such a great joy in my heart this week. I only brought necessities (although my necessities were nicer than their best)...I didn't think about work or bills or stress...it was a big awakening for me and a very humbling experience. We woke up at 5 am to head to the Hippo View Lodge. I have been so excited about this. Our original plan (another park) didn't work out because of all the rain/flooding but this one was comparable and a lot less expensive. We rode over on our bus...me and Chan were bus buddies/as we've been all week. I LOVE that guy! His heart for the Lord is incredible. He's only 13 but is way more spiritually mature than I am. It is SO encouraging to see teenagers with their priorities in line. I have been so proud of Chandler and Meredith this week! They both (along with me) shared the gospel for the first time this week. Anyway...back to the hippo park...this was one of the neatest things I've ever gotten to do. I was worried that I was going to go all the way to Africa and not get to see a wild animal (the cows, chickens, pigs don't count).
We took a 2 hour boat ride around the Lake. It was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. Here's a pic of our boat. We got there early so we'd have the best chance of seeing the elephants. I was AMAZED at how big some of them were. I also took tons of pics...of course.


I even got to drive the boat! :) Scary huh? haaha!






After the boat ride we still had a few hours until lunch so we decided to do the land safari as well. I wanted to see a HOG :) and a sebra...and GIRAFFE SO BAD! I forgot to mention that Bruce and Joseph got to come with us. They seemed to really enjoy it. Joseph said he had never done anything like it. During the drive through land part we saw more elephants, wart hogs (we called the HOGS...i'll post a video...they didn't come)...baboons, gazelles, and push backs. It was SO NEAT. We were burning up on the bus though. NO AC! It was HOT! WE didn't end up seeing giraffes or zebras! :( I was kinda sad...but later we found out from the chief that if we wanted to see those we'd have to go in the evening.

We ate lunch at the hippo park. They had a buffet. I was a little nervous about the food...it is SO different from our food back home. All I ate was the mashed potatoes (which were amazing...i've loved the potatoes all week) and some stir fry noodle looking things. I haven't had much protein all week...it's hard to get your appetite up for the goat or chicken you saw running around 2 hours before. Kind of different. We've been lucky to have great meals at dinner cooked by Beth and Joley. But i'm ready for American food! I've been CRAVING Chick-fil-A and a Sonic DDP since we left the U.S. After lunch we were all exhausted. That sun zaps me everyday. A few people wanted to go to the market so I decided to tag along. I wasn't expecting what we saw. My thought was that it would be like a "straw market" but this was a basic necessities market. We walked through a whole aisle of DRIED FISH...it smelled HORRIBLE!!! Thinking about it still makes me nauseous. Something I forgot to write about was on the way to hippo park this morning a chicken ran in the middle of the road and Banda-the bus driver-didn't see it. Gina yelled at the TOP OF HER LUNGS..."CHICKEN CHICKEN CHICKEN." It was so early and everyone was halfway asleep...it startled everyone. Sadly I think we still hit it. Which reminds me...while we're on the subject...the first day we were in Madsanje village we were driving to Esther's House and apparently hit a pig. I had no clue of this and later that day when we were out evangelizing a group of kids brought us a pig in a bucket. We had no idea what was going on so our translators told us that they wanted us to buy them a new pig since we hit theirs. At the time we didn't know we had hit one so we just blew it off. It wasn't until today that Banda told us that he really did hit the pig. POOR PIG! I sure am going to miss the beauty of this place. I can't tell you enough how beautiful it is. Green grass, beautiful flowers...gorgeous mountains. WE had to go see the chief 1 more time before we left. We had a parting gift for him. He remembered me from my embarrassing introduction the first day. He laughed when I shook his hand. We sat and talked with him for a while. He's definitely my favorite chief. He is a very Godly man and rallies behind Esther's House. He was so appreciative of the gift and the work we had done. I was once again reminded of our different cultures because Malawi tribal/political leaders OPENLY talk about their Christian faith and what God has done in their lives. The schools willingly let us in to spread the gospel...it's just SO DIFFERENT! Our last stop was at Esther's House to shower one last time and say bye to everyone...again! haha! The shower was COLD...but wonderful. I was so thankful that we had Esther's House to shower everyday. Saying bye to everyone again was tough. Precious and Isaac sang and talked for us on video. They are SO CUTE! I don't know if I told you about Asan but he is a little boy our team fell in love with early in the week. We met him that first day at the chiefs house and he kept coming back everyday. He was SO full of job. We think he had parents because he wore a school uniform everyday but we're not 100% sure. Anyway...he was waiting at the gate at Esther's House for us to come talk to him. He doesn't speak English so we got Bruce to translate for us. WE told him that we were going back to America on a BIG airplane and that we'd miss him SO much. He broke my heart because he put his head down and started crying. I HATE that part. You really do make special connections with people in such a short amount of time. Saying bye is NEVER FUN! Especially when you know you may never see them again. Bruce gave him "sweeties" and he smiled again. This made it a little easier to leave. We got to play soccer with Isaac and Precious one more time too.
As we drove off away from the village, all I could think about was how much work God had done there this week. I honestly didn't expect the incredible response we got...although I knew God was capable. We all joked that we felt like celebrities driving down the roads because kids/adults would stare, point, wave and cheer. They definitely aren't used to seeing white people. haha! Dinner tonight was leftovers. Chandler was sweet and made me a PB&J w/ crunchy peanut butter that I brought. YUM! It was great. Peanut butter and peanut butter crackers saved me this week. Instead of bringing back an open PB jar I gave the rest to Banda (our bus driver) because he loves crunchy PB and you can't find it anywhere over there. Tonight was our last night to get drinks from Petroda I think i've had more real coke this week than i've had in my whole life.
Before everyone went to sleep, we all packed up all of our stuff. I consolidated everything into 1 suitcase. I donated my extra food/clothes/shoes to Joshua and his family. Before we went to sleep we all sat in a circle and shared our trip highlights. There were a few for me (i'm sure i'll still forget some)...

  1. Just being a part of this incredible experience...I hope I was used by God as much as I was taught by God this week. My life will NEVER be the same...EVER!
  2. The hygiene day sticks out as one of my favorite days because I was able to use my education to help educate the people of Malawi on proper hygiene and hopefully prevent future problems. Also...God used that session to draw people would would normally not come if it were just a "church function." Tyler shared his testimony and the gospel and 94 accepted Jesus for the first time! AMAZING. 2b. Also on the hygiene day we had pre-counted all the bags/toothbrushes/toothpaste/fluoride to make sure we had enough. When we got there we realized that we were 2 short for orphans toothbrushes and fluoride because we didn't know about Isaac and Precious beforehand. We know for a FACT that we only had 50 orphan bags. But God miraculously provided 52. This happened a lot this week...we always had JUST ENOUGH. EXACTLY ENOUGH! God was watching out for us for sure.
  3. God used ME! I have been afraid my whole life of sharing the gospel...God really worked in me this week and taught me that it's not me...it's HIM AND HE HAS CHOSEN TO USE ME! I am so thankful for that.
  4. I love our team...all 12 of us worked incredibly well together. Clint was an amazing leader. This trip made me miss our old youth group days! Beth and Rodney "ROTNEI" did SO good with Logistics...we couldn't have gotten though it without them. I made some GREAT new friends who I hope i'll stay close with forever. I'm SO excited about my new friendship with Abbie! I don't think i've ever formed such a strong bond with someone so fast. I feel like we've known each other forever. We had lots of "moments" on this trip and I know that God put us together on this trip for a reason. She is such a Godly woman with a sweet/kind spirit. She is so encouraging and uplifting. I'm excited about our new friendship!!! :)
  5. THERE WERE 832 TOTAL SALVATIONS THIS WEEK...HOW INCREDIBLE! Not that I didn't expect God to do BIG things...but WOW...this is REALLY BIG! :) We have NAMES of all 832 of these people. There probably were lots more but these are the definite ones we have names for.
Well...tonight is it...last night in Malawi and last night in our mosquito nets. I might actually miss those...doubt it though. Although...they DID keep the mosquitos and LIZARDS out of my bed! :) Goodnight! GOD IS SO GOOD! :)



video
View from Hippo Park


video
On the boat


video
Hippos


video
Elephant


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WOO PIG SOOIE...we just HAD to! The statement "call them and they will come" didn't work out too well...


video
Isaac and Precious singing God Is So Good

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Sweet boys singing a song in Chichewa

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

MAKWANGWALA- DAY 9

I woke up in the middle of the night to a HUGE rain/thunderstorm. I honestly was scared. I couldn't go back to sleep for a while. My bed is right by the window and our window is open with a screen on it...it was SO LOUD. We left the house at 8 this morning headed to the new village Makwangwala. It turned into a BEAUTIFUL DAY!

This is the sweetest thing EVER! To the people of Ntcheu holding hands is the ultimate sign of friendship. Tyler and Stanley are big buddies! SO SWEET!
SWEET BOYS!
Our team with the Chief of Makwangwala

It is custom to greet the chief when you go to a new village/district. The chief this morning seemed very nervous when we greeted him. He gave a speech about how their community was in great need and they knew that American's had great wealth. He quoted Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it shall be given..." so he said..."I ask." He talked about how they were in desperate need of a medical clinic because the ambulance won't pick up in the village unless there is a clinic there. He said that a lot of pregnant women suffer because they don't have cars to get to the hospital. Another need they have is tin for their roofs and concrete for floors. They already have an abundance of clay and brick. This was humbling for me because we as Americans are too prideful to ask for anything. I wish I had all the resources to help. Today was our last day of evangelism in the villages. It took all I had to make it through this morning. I was physically exhausted and I didn't feel well at all. I had the worst headache.
My attitude changed for the better when we came upon the primary school. This was a HUGE opportunity for us to invite to our discipleship and to share with the evangecube. Before we were able to meet with the kids we had to get permission from the principal. He was very sweet to welcome us like he did. He gathered all 800 kids in one place and we got to share the gospel with all of them.


It was so funny to see how the primary school kids reacted to us. I dont think they had ever seen white people before. They would yell "azungu"...which means white people. We heard that a lot the whole week. haha! They were all very intrigued by my camera too. While some of our team were standing around under a shade tree today, a snake fell out of it and onto the ground. I didn't see it, but the people from the village said it was very poisonous. I would've freaked out for sure. Today was a special day for Chandler. He shared the gospel for the first time and 2 accepted Christ. It was our last day to eat the traditional Malawi meal. I got my regular- nsema, rice, and the wonderful potatoes. yummy! Isaac and Precious got to come with us to eat today. They did a good job using spoons. Normally they eat with their hands. Below is a picture of a sweet girl Abbie and I got to pray for today. She ran to us to ask for our prayers for an illness. SO SWEET!
Next on the schedule was the discipleship. We did it different today because we didn't have near as many people there. I helped out with the kids story time. Gina told the story of The Red Sea and Travis gave his testimony...they both did a great job with the kids. At the end we handed out candy like normal...their little faces lit up. Their word for candy (that we understand) is "sweeties". When we drove down the road in our van all the kids would yell SWEETIES SWEETIES. I wish I could feed them all...it kills me. After the story time we were standing around and the kids were eating their candy. A herd of cows/bulls came stampeding through our group. All the kids scattered but one little boy who was barely older than 1. He was standing there clueless...enjoying his candy. Travis saw this and swooped in and saved him...it didn't even phase the boy...he just kept eating his candy. Before discipleship was over, Clint spoke a message to the group of men, women, and children. Proverbs 3:5-6. It was a great message but it was hard for me to keep focused because of the gnats EVERYWHERE. They got up next to your face and wouldn't go away. Our last thing on the schedule for the night was saying goodbye to everyone at Esther's House. I wasn't prepared for this to be as emotional as it was. We all sat in a circle, by our translators, and told stories about what this week has meant to us. We brought them all a gift (food/clothes/money). They were all very appreciative. The amount of money we gave them was about 7 USD but they said that this was about 1/3 of the yearly salary of the normal Ntcheu worker. CRAZY HUH?! They all had the sweetest spirit...always wanting to pray for US and wondering what they can do for US. Pastor Saquea remembered my name the whole week. I got teary eyed telling him bye. Stanley (Tyler's translator-pictured above) was a sweetheart too. He is about to start seminary. Duncan gave me his e-mail address so we can keep in touch. At the end of all the goodbyes we all took the Lord's Supper together. This was so amazing! I love these people...I don't want to leave AT ALL. The hardest part was saying bye to Isaac and Precious...these kids are they sweetest kids ever. My heart breaks that they only have 3 outfits and their shoes aren't great...I know Bruce and Joseph take great care of them but I wish there was more I could do. Their "I LOVE YOU MORGAN" melted my heart. Or they'll say "Ndimakukonda Morgan." It gets me EVERYTIME! If you didn't see the video...look at it from yesterday's post. 1 more shower at Esther's house. THANK YOU JESUS for Esther's House showers! :) see the pictures of the showers below! We still have no water in the house! I'm pretty much used to it. The simple life is nice. Goodnight from Malawi!








Abbie and me with our translators..Duncan and Akuna


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CHODZDZA VILLAGE-Day 8

I'm feeling better this morning! Somewhat of a sore throat but not as bad as last night. Gina and Meredith cooked yummy pancakes. This was the first morning I ate the cooked breakfast...I had just been eating poptarts. We left at 7:45 this morning to go to a new village, called Chodzdza Village, because there was a death in Madzanje village. In their culture they do NOTHING if someone passes away in their village. They stay at home as a time of mourning. It has been SO funny this week because some of these people have NEVER seen a camera before. Today Meredith pulled out her camera and pointed it out the window of the bus as we were driving...this one lady covered up her face quickly like she thought she was about to get shot or something?! On the way to evangelize...we saw the BIGGEST caterpillar looking thing i've EVER seen! O MY! It was HUGE! Look at the picture below. Today during our evangelism I was really touched by a group we met. They were SO happy to meet us (as most of the people were)...they were SO joyous too. It made me really put things into perspective in my own life. They have NOTHING but are SO SO HAPPY. I think about this everytime I walk up to a new hut. I honestly haven't thought much about life back home since i've been here. Sure I miss everyone, but it has been nice not to have to think about bills and stress and such. Abbie and I were fortunate to lead 13 to Christ today! AMEN! I can't believe I've gone 23 years without sharing the gospel with the intent to save someone and so far i've been a part of 31 salvations. GOD IS GOOD! At lunch today they had a souvenir vender bring items for us to buy to Esther's House. These were all hand carved/painted/made by a man from Lilongwe. I spent ALL my remaining kwacha which was about $80-90. I got A LOT! This stuff is BEAUTIFUL! Who knows what I'll do with all of it! We played with Isaac and Precious again today. They are the cutest/sweetest/most well behaved kids ever. They don't speak any English except for when you say..."How are you?" and they say "I am fine...thank you." It's SO CUTE! Abbie and Tyler also taught them how to say "I love you." They learned all of our names as well. They are SMART KIDDOS! There's a video post at the end of it. Now it was time for decipleship. Abbie and I led songs again.

























During the 2nd group of kids a little girl wandered up to where we were. This happens a lot...kids come out of no where by themselves. She wasn't any older than 2. She looked afraid so I went up and said "Wa Wa" (hi). She smiled. She let me hold her and I immediately fell in love. This is her in the pictures. She was BEAUTIFUL! Abbie's translator asked her her name and said said Clara. She broke my heart because when the kids switched groups, she wanted to stay. We also met a little girl that was TINY...probably younger than 2...she sang and danced the whole time. SO CUTE! When it was time to leave I waved to Clara and she thought that meant that I wanted her to come with me. This made me SO SAD. All I could think about was "Does she have parents?" "Where does she sleep?" "Is she hungry?" There are SO many orphans here. Around 1 million total in Malawi alone. This DEFINITELY changes my opinion on adoption in my future plans. I don't see

how I couldn't now. Have I mentioned that there are ANTS EVERYWHERE?! They don't seem to phase the people here...but mannn...they drive me crazy. I forgot to mention that on the way to the new village we passed the kids in Madzanje...Joshua the translator yelled for them to follow us to the new village. There were around 150 kids chasing our bus. We tried to get a picture but I don't think any of them turned out. We got to talk with a man today who was a preacher. He told us his testimony and then said that he didn't even have a Bible. I wished that I could've given him mine but he wouldn't have been able to read it. This made me sad!!! A funny story from today before I go...before I tell it...I need to set it up. Okay...apparently here it's perfectly fine and normal to breast feed in public. The first few days of evangelism...I would somewhat get distracted when telling the story of Jesus when a woman was openly breast feeding in front of me. I got used to it as the week went on though. haha! Okay...back to the story...Clint was asked to pray over a woman who's breast milk had dried up in one of her breasts. Of course he did it because that's an important thing for the baby to be able to eat...but the running joke in the house was "I sure hope you didn't lay hands on her." ha! GOODNIGHT EVERYONE! :)



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Video of Isaac and Precious...I just can't get enough of these boys!

Monday, March 22, 2010

MADZANJE VILLAGE-DAY 7



Today started out AMAZING! :) We began by evangelizing in Madzanje village. I was VERY nervous because this was the first time I use the Evangecube by myself and truthfully...the first time I let someone to Christ alone. As we walked through from hut to hut I began to think about how much God has changed my heart this week. I didn't have the best attitude going into the trip, especially because of all of our travel problems, but seeing the joy of these people changed my perspective. Their culture is so extremely different from ours...when we walk up....they drop everything they're doing and bring their best seat whether it be a chair or straw mat. If we were evangelizing in America we would get laughed at/doors slammed in our face. We walked up to our first group of people of the day. They brought out a straw mat for us to sit on and we invited them to the discipleship that afternoon. Then we asked them if they knew the story of Jesus. They said no...so I asked if I could tell them the story. They agreed. I got out the evangecube and went through the story of Jesus dying for us. They listened SO intently and you could tell they genuinely wanted to hear what we had to say. AT the end I asked if they had ever made the decision to follow Christ before. It has been a confusing thing here because of the language barrier-we have to really emphasize that this is a one time decision. These specific people said that they had never made the decision before but they wanted to. I was SO excited about this but I was SO nervous at the same time because this was my first time to pray the prayer of salvation with someone. I knew they would be God's words and not mine but I was still nervous. God definitely spoke through me and these people are all new additions to God's kingdom. YAY! Abbie and I had 18 professions of faith. :) Another woman we talked to had a baby that was sick. The mother asked Abbie and I to pray for her for healing. Coincidentally her name was Esther. :) We met another lady with Malaria that we got to pray for as well. After evangelism we went back to Esther's House for lunch. Same lunch as every other day...nsema, rice, potatoes and some meat. I gave up eating the meat the first day...I just can't do it. Duncan's dad asks me EVERYDAY if I will learn to cook him nsema. If he only knew my cooking skills. haha! I got to pump water today from the boar hole...the ladies laughed when I asked if I could. One of the community boar holes had been broken so our team helped fix it. They were very thankful for that. Next was discipleship time. We met by the chief's office because there was a lot of open land. Abbie and I were put in charge of music- along with our translators and Joshua-another translator who is AMAZING WITH CHILDREN! :) There were 2 other kids stations-kinda like VBS...bible story station and the game playing station. There were also 2 adult sessions...1 with men and 1 with women. They were taught bible stories mostly. We taught the kids "Deep and Wide," "God is so Good," "Yes, Jesus Loves Me," and we had 2 that were failures..."This Little Light of Mine," and "Father Abraham"...because there were WAY TOO MANY WORDS. haha!!! Joshua led the kids in the Malawian songs..they were so sweet. At the end of our 3rd group of kids, we handed out 2 pieces of candy to each child. You would've thought we gave them GOLD! You have to be careful how you give out anything around here. You have to distribute everything evenly or you'll get swarmed by children coming out of the woodworks. I don't know if I wrote about the random animals we see day to day, but we saw a goat today and out of no where I decided to talk to the goat in an Australian/British mix accent..."ello goat." HA! Weird I know! At the end of the day we went back to Esther's house and Bruce informed us that the orphans had a performance for us. It was SO CUTE! They said bible verses-one girl memorized all of Psalm 23 in ENGLISH. AMAZING! They sang songs in English and Chichewa. Isaac and Precious sang together...it was the cutest thing ever. 540 total people have accepted Christ up to this point. So encouraging.

Our sweet friend Asan...he was with us ALL WEEK. No matter what village we were in
hahahahaha!
This picture breaks my heart

Me with baby Zach
Precious, Me, Isaac and Abbie


I got to pump water from the community boar hole...they ladies thought it was funny that I wanted to!
The Lord is really working through our team. We got back to the house and STILL NO WATER. I'm used to this now...we have just been taking showers at Esther's house every night. I'm going to bed early tonight. I think i'm getting sick! Sore throat and swollen lymph nodes. I don't get it because i've been on antibiotics and Zyrtec since before I got here. UGH! Praying I feel better tomorrow! LOVE YOU ALL! GOODNIGHT!]
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Sweet lady that washed our clothes for us!

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I loved this little girl....SO CUTE!