It’s been a month now that our family has been back on the mission field after a wonderful summer in Baltimore. A big Thank you to Baltimore Church and all the churches in the US and Canada that we visited and were welcomed like royalty; we were so encouraged. We would also like to say thank you to all the team at R & B, without you, it wouldn’t be possible to come back every summer.
It is the beginning of hot season again. We have not seen a drop of rain since last March. The past rainy season was a very good one after two years of drought, so we were praying on our way back to Malawi, that we would find our house with running water without interruption during the week. Thankfully in the past month, we have had only 2 days without water. Praise God!
It is always an adjustment to be back here. We are all getting ready for dinner, we eat early here around 6 or 6:30 and the sun is already down at around 5:30/6pm even in the summer season. So we are setting the table and Julie is just about done with the food and then POOF! No power! No warning and no idea how long it will last! oh Africa! T.I.A. we call it! Thankfully in the last year we had a friend hook up 2 batteries to the main line so when this happens we can at least have some light! Thank you Jesus for the small things!
It’s been a great privilege to have Matt Gehret here with us doing his practicum for Bible College. He arrived shortly after we got back and has jumped right into our schedule and Team life. One of the many blessings that come with people visiting is the opportunity to re-live some of the 1st time experiences again. Even gain some first time experiences of our own.
We were on the way to visit one of the young men in the church, Andrew. To get to his house, we have to take public transportation – a minibus. A minibus is the main form of transportation all over Africa. It is an 8 passenger van that has been modified to take 15 to 18 people all crammed in like sardines. We got on a minibus. We were pulled over for a random check by the police. Usually these checks are for any excuse to fine drivers in an attempt to make money. Unfortunately, in our bus we had the maximum amount of people but we were arranged with one too many people in one row with another row with one less passenger in another. The officer demanded for the driver’s license so the man gave it to him but would not give it back and was demanding the driver to pay a fine. We were all in the bus waiting, praying, for patience and wondering if we would be there all night. After a few minutes, I got out of the bus to see what was happening. The officer was trying to get money for overloading, I smiled, apologized, told him I was a pastor and that he could attend our Bible College for free . His attitude totally changed after that and he finally let us go. I got back inside with the whole minibus cheering “Aboosa” which means pastor. The driver got his license back and we were on our way.
The visit went great. We saw Andrew and played basketball with him and some other children on a basketball court near his house. We played and prayed. Did a short Bible study and were ready to head back. We boarded another minibus and saw the money collector drinking something. At first it looked suspicious, I asked him if it was water and he said it was Petrol. He was drinking on the job. After driving a bit further, it was evident that he wasn’t the only one; the driver was also sharing. We noticed that we were going a bit fast for a minibus. Amazingly enough there happened to be another random police traffic stop (which are really not that random), but that didn’t stop the driver. He calmly drove right around the officer even after being commanded to stop. At this the people in the bus began shouting. We all demanded for him to pull the bus over for all of us to get out. The speed continued to increase and our anger level did also. Finally by God’s grace he pulled over and all of us got out. Thankfully we hadn’t paid yet so we got half of the journey for free. The group of all the passengers walked to the main road to find another bus. It was a great opportunity to tell people the Gospel of how the whole human race is in a minibus headed to destruction, but Christ saved us. It really struck a chord. Matt asked me if this sort of thing happens often. I told him it was a 1st time experience for me too, and visitation is always an adventure. God wanted to make sure we had some good stories for newsletters. LOL
Please pray for us as we are getting ready to go to Livingstone, in Zambia, by bus, to the Leadership conference, with some of our leaders. we will be going in about 2 weeks.
Next will be the Mzazi Conference in South Africa with Pastor Jabu. Please pray for our orphans in our church family: Innocent, Chisomo, Matthews and Blessings (the one with the jacket in the middle is their school teacher)
Blessings from Malawi
Our Sunday School with the new markers/colored pencil Box : Gift from the GG Church of Malta, NY