Everything is Awesome (16b of 52)

Trip Start Dec 22, 2016
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Trip End Dec 21, 2017


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Flag of Zambia  , Northern Region,
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Guys! We have water! No really, this is huge. They fixed our water so that it actually comes out of the faucet all the time! And! They fixed our hot water tank, so not only do we have water, and water pressure, but we have hot water. I enjoyed my first hot shower in weeks on Wednesday. It was glorious! Seriously, everything is awesome. Sometimes you don't realize how something is weighing on you until it's fixed.

We spent a pretty lazy Sunday getting some things around the house done, including some deleavening. I've felt on the verge of a cold for the last week, so it was nice to take it a little easier than normal.

On Monday Beverly and Victor Kubik arrived around noon. We took them to their hotel; and then brought them to our house to have dinner. We made garlic Nali beef ribs; Nali sauce is a delicious hot sauce made locally here in Malawi. The ribs were fantastic, if I don't say so myself.

On Tuesday we remembered that we had to extend our visitor's permit and rushed to the immigration department at 7:30am. It is a simple procedure: we pay our money, they stamp our passports and send us on our way. Thankfully it's only 10,000 MK (Malawian Kwatcha) for both of us; it may sound like a lot, but that's approximately $15. It's a little annoying that we have to get the extension since we were leaving the country the next day (going to Zambia to visit the Chipata congregation). But immigration laws are immigration laws no matter where you go, and it's important to obey them regardless of the inconvenience/cost.

We then picked the Kubiks up and headed to the church hall so the Kubiks could inspect the progress and meet with the building committee to discuss the plans to complete the building. We also got to see the completed water tower that was constructed this last week.

The Kubiks were kind enough to treat us to a dinner out, and we found a fun new (to us) area: the Old Town Mall, and an excellent restaurant, Mamma Mia. We ended the day early to prepare for our journey to Chipata on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday we traveled to Chipata, Zambia. This is our second trip here, and you can't visit these wonderful people without your heart being touched. We were introduced to a beautiful woman; a widow in her sixties who cares for HIV orphans (children whose parents died of HIV). Her name is Alyda. To care for these children she would grind stones to make gravel and sell. It was hard and laborious work. LifeNets and Good Works provided grain and food to sustain the people of Malawi and Zambia through this most recent drought. However, Filius Jere (the deacon of United Church of God in Chipata), asked to use some of the funds to teach the recipients how to farm sustainably. Alyda was one of those recipients. She was able to grow enough food to sustain her and her wards for a full year. I'm crying as I write this because these beautiful people endure so much, but they are so humble and loving.

Then four drunk guys crashed our middle-of-the-afternoon Bible study in Chipata. Sometimes there are just no words. Lewis ushered them out of the hall and counseled them on the error of their ways. One guy asked how we would help his life... Lewis told him to not get drunk and to read his Bible. That's my wonderful Lewis: so optimistic, and yet so pragmatic. Brennan followed the group outside as "muscle" in case they gave Lewis any problems. They left peacefully.

The border crossing is always a hassle, coming and going. Wednesday was no exception. We thought we had the process down pat, but they always seem to find fun new ways to get more money from you. Oh well.

The rest of the week was spent working and deleavening.

But the Sabbath was lovely. We had a nice service and then a congregational meeting to discuss the Feast of Tabernacles and work parties for the almost completed church hall. The Lilongwe congregation is filled with passionate and dedicated folks. It's wonderful to see them come together and work toward a common goal.

There's a deacon here named Alfred Mitomoni; he's married to Esther, and they have two beautiful young children named Ethel and Ryan. Late last year/early this year Alfred was diagnosed with throat cancer. I write about him today because, despite intense treatments, and a diet limited to rice porridge he spends much time serving others, in our church and in his community. He particularly enjoys working with the youth, encouraging them to also serve their congregation and to find ways to serve their communities. The world would be a much better place if we had a lot more Alfred Mitomonis.
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Comments

Denise on

Oh wow, this entry made me all teary, which doesn't often happen. What an eventful blog, with the Kubiks' arrival, hot water, border crossing again, Bible study with drunk visitors, and the stories of Alyda and Alfred and his family. How amazing. Thank you, Lena. You and Lewis and the brethren are in our prayers. Have a wonderful Passover and feast. Much love!

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