We have a somewhat regular schedule of language lessons, shopping, ministry, and church events. Due to Malaria, other sicknesses, unexpected guests, events scheduled on short notice, and funerals, things get cancelled or changed very often. Funerals pop up out of nowhere and they happen the day of the death or the next day.
Malawians, on a normal day, are late. Not American late, 5-10 minutes. I mean like 30 minutes, an hour, or two hours late for pretty much everything.
When you ask a Malawian when they might do something, their response is normally, “We will do that tomorrow.” But tomorrow does not mean the next day. It means sometime in the future. It could mean tomorrow, it could mean in a month or a year.
These are not necessarily bad things, but because they are a change for us, we need extra doses of patience every single day. When Jesus left to go to be with his Father he gave his followers the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide and lead them where they were going. I am so grateful for our loving Father and the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide our paths. Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior, and my hope is in you all day long”. Here are some amazing stories of God leading us to where he wants us to go and also give you a feel for life here in Malawi.
One of the things that we do here often is to visit different churches around Lilongwe to observe or teach Sunday School for them. When we teach, we are helping give ideas to the teachers who serve on a weekly basis. One Saturday night at 9:30 p.m. we were informed we were teaching at a Sunday School the next day. We were only given the time, the area of town and a number to call for directions. We headed there in the morning and when we got close to the location, we called the number. There was no answer. After several more attempts Luke decides to just head off in a direction. I kept my mouth very quiet, which is hard for me but I didn’t say a word. After a few minutes of making different turns Luke says, “Is that the Anglican Chitenji?” (African wrap they wear all the time). I said yes, so he rolls down the window and says, “Are you going to the Anglican Church?” They said yes, so they hop in the car and take us to the church. We had headed in the right direction but there were a lot more turns in order for us to get there. Road GPSs are no help here, but God is a big help!!!
We have been praying for a cheap way to get Bibles and audio Bibles in Chichewa. One of the ministries we visited are needing these for their outreach. You need audio versions due to the fact that many of the people in the villages are unable to read. Luke had been out running an errand and was headed home for his language lesson. On the way he spots someone that he knows so he stops and asks “Where are you going?” She said, “Right here to a Bible store.” Luke gets out and goes in and meets someone that has connections with getting audio Bibles and a personal connection to the Gideon’s who have lots of print Bibles in Chichewa. Both of these can be used for Bible studies etc. When we prayed for something, God just led us straight there, we can’t wait to share a post with you about handing out all these Bibles. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” They even have Bibles in Yao which is the people group we hope to serve in the future. God is so good. And Luke made it home by the time his lesson started.
I travel by transportation here several times a week. I have so many stories I could tell from this but God always keeps me safe and I don’t ever feel nervous. One day I was almost to the place I walk to get a taxi. There were 2 women waiting where I needed to cross. I felt the Holy Spirit say wait here and I looked across the way and he said stay away from the man in the yellow shirt. I just stand there and just wait to see what to do. When the women cross, I cross with them and stand by them, far away from the man in the yellow shirt. At this point he looks just like any person, he hasn’t been talking or anything. So a taxi pulls up right in front of me, and the man runs up and right away you can tell he is very drunk. So we all just back away, the taxi driver doesn’t let him get in the taxi, tells me and the other ladies to get right in and off we go. The Lord is always there guiding and leading our paths and keeping us safe, we just need to have ears to hear him. Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you”.
We rarely go out to eat here because it is very expensive. But one night I told Luke I think we should go out, I said let’s try something new. So we pulled out a magazine we have with different places and pick a place to go. We were waiting for our food and there was another white couple and their 3 children at a table across from us. The kids were out running around playing tag and I said,” Mark, you can go if you want.” So off he heads. He comes back full of laughs and talking to the parents. We go over and introduce ourselves. They were Americans that have been here for 2 years and the wife runs a playgroup. So we exchanged numbers and we have met several American families that have become dear friends to us. It has been such a blessing to have others to talk to that really understand what you are going through. A dear friend has faithfully been praying for several months for a friend for me, knowing how lonely I was. God cares about us deeply and when the timing is right he will meet all our needs. Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”. Mark has bloomed with meeting other Americans and this has been helping in his transition also.
One day we were at church shortly after arriving in Malawi and someone walks up to us and starts talking to us. And she informs us that she works for people with disabilities so I ask her if she knows of any occupational therapists. She gives me someone’s number and from this connection we found a great place for Mimi to get therapy on a weekly basis. She has been growing leaps and bounds from this place and it is near our home.
Lately it has been neat some of the things that the children have experienced.
One day Mimi and Daddy went to pick something up from the store and there happened to be Minnie and Mickey standing there. It certainly made her day. She was able to take a cute picture with them also.
A few weeks ago Andrew Palou, the evangelist, was at our church. We went to the event that he was putting on a week later and Mark got to see motorcycles, he was so excited.
This week Luke and the children went shopping and as they were coming out of the store a helicopter landed one parking row over from the car. They then went back a little bit so they could get a video of the helicopter taking off without getting dust in their eyes. Mark and Miriam were both so excited. I love how these simple things are such a blessing to our children and it was so amazing that God cares about even some of the little things in life.
One of the verses that I hold near and dear to my heart is 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” We know God is with us and he will carry us and lead us where he wants us to go.