Does the thought of going on a short term trip make you nauseous? Make you break out in a sweat and hives? Maybe you want to avoid “those” people or situations because you are scared they will guilt you into a trip. Do not fear. (freebie from the Bible) I want to show you what a short term trip here COULD look like. Now, I’m no miracle worker and you can’t rub me to get three wishes, so of course it’s always a little different. That could be because of the “type” of trip you are coming on or it could be because you are lame and prideful like me on my first…or several…trips. Just calling it for what it is peeps. We won’t get into all that on here though
I asked several different team members over the last little bit about their experiences and here’s what I got as a whole. No name calling and no singling out. It was from the group collectively. Young, old(er), single, married, divorced, college, and all the others in between.
This is what to expect when you decide you are going!
First off there will be meetings to prepare you for upcoming trip to include: of course…rules, financial/support questions, an outline of your day (medical, evangelism, construction, etc), flights, baggage, food, praying and devotionals, and anything else that will make you feel ready!
Now, here’s a snipit of Q&A time:
What were you expecting when you arrived?
-Esther’s House (EH) would be smaller.
-Didn’t expect it to be as beautiful as it is!!! Now grant it we have a growing (spring) season here where everything is lush and green and we have a brown dry season, too. Beautiful each in it’s own category!
-Expected it to be hotter. Hello…it’s Africa. Well, don’t let it fool you, bring a jacket, coat, wool lined snuggie?? whatever floats your boat.
-Huts are more developed than they thought. Was expecting sticks and leaves. Not “bricks.”
-Set up of the villages. This one you will have to see for yourself unless I get an arial view from a chopper that doesn’t exist here to take a good pic!
-The two big cities are quite developed compared to what they were expecting.
-Expected to feel more isolated. But didn’t at all. Very welcoming for the most part and humbling to see the smiles and joy from people.
-the laid back and relaxed feeling, flexibility
-Poverty wasn’t like in America where it’s sad, ugly, hopeless feeling. Poverty here the people are still welcoming, happy (considering), and loving.
-More than once I heard “I was expecting to come here and help them and instead THEY helped me” and even one who said, “I am expecting a change in myself!”
-Wasn’t expecting to see how true and limitless their worship is. “They show you how to worship with your whole heart.”
-drink lots of water coming! Your feet will swell tremendously. Promise. Once arriving keep drinking and eating!! Was told but didn’t expect to be so dehydrated (and that came from a nurse!!)
-And appropriately there were the responses on food! Expecting scary, not expecting to be “full”, not expecting to eat some familiar food, too! Will talk more on this a little later!
How are you sleeping besides the jet lag the first day or so? Nets bother you or no?
-Too tall for the “tent” nets (we are making a mental note not to put the tall people in them lol)
-Peaceful and quiet at night going to sleep
-Some dog barking in the middle of the night
-roosters and chickens in the mornings (ear plugs??)
-Kids singing in the showers or out on the lawn was the best noise to wake up too!
-some were waking up at odd hours but went back to sleep and if not spent some time with Jesus and the stars!!
-hanging nets are like princess canopies
-beds are definitely comfortable for a mission trip
-”THIS ISN’T THE HOLIDAY INN” was one of my favorite quotes
-very thankful there was a “couple” room to sleep with their spouse
Do you think the food is scary? 2 good? 6 scary good? 4
And I will just leave it at that. You can expect to have U.S. oatmeal and breakfast bars, or toast, eggs, and SA bacon for breakfast. Lunch is with our Malawian family and could consist of any of the following: rice, nsima (corn flour mixed with water basically) beans, boiled eggs, relish is what they call it here which is tomatoes and onions, greens and/or cabbage, and goat meat which we encourage you to try but you are welcome to say no thank you!! simple.
Dinner is mostly “American” style. We feed you good. I can also say we have accommodated peanut, fruit, gluten and dairy allergies!!!! You won’t go hungry! Look around here and you will see what hungry means. Bonus…we always sit around the campfire on Sunday nights and sing, and share, and eat S’mores!
The last question for part one was this:
Do you think evangelism is impactful? Now trust me I knew this could be a loaded question. What with all the Southern Baptist in our midst, but I am soooooo grateful I asked!!! Here’s the responses and something to ponder on.
-More than not the first thing people responded with was “ABSOLUTELY”
-most homes were open to sharing
-a few got “no’s” They actually have Jehovah’s witness here, and they were the refusal this time. Sometimes you will have one or two that will not want to hear! It’s okay you are never alone and you always have an interpreter. You can simply ask if you can pray for them and if they still refuse, hold out a finger and act like you are slitting their throat and walk off. Just kidding. Smile and say thank you and move on! No harm done. Refusal is good. You know a face to pray for at night while you are possibly awake.
-begin with trying to get them to open up! Ask a question. Sit where they are, not in the “chair” they bring for you. Show them you want to be on their level. Be yourself. Smile.
-some felt they could actually see the person’s cadence change after praying to accept Christ
-maybe some didn’t know for sure if they truly meant what they were praying, but felt nonetheless it was seeds planted!!!
-most were truly blessed by being prayed for right then and there
-whether they have heard before or not, people are always at different stages of life than the last time, so possibly this time they truly are “hearing” for the first time
-people want to hear YOUR story no matter what that looks like
-even the children are so attentive
-the ones who have heard and accepted, it helps keep them close to Jesus, a reminder and also if they do “know” Jesus share a Bible story. They LOVE to hear Bible stories
-maybe it helps them to be able to turn around and share the gospel, gives them a boost or some self confidence
-some enjoy the personal one on one talks/relations rather than a church or film scenario
-don’t be naïve in thinking that every single one is a new christian and that they just asked Jesus in their hearts because some are just following your lead, but know that it’s still making an impact
-there are always some that truly have accepted and one man in particular from the group who has been here before shared about a man by the name of Yotam Banda, who was part of a cult Gulewan Kulu, who now is a believer and leading others to Christ. From a home visit he asked Jesus in his heart the very first time someone came.
-This was inspiring to me! One person responded that when you ask “Do you know Jesus?” And they respond “Yes” You should ask “Do you have a personal relationship with Him?” Because the Bible says that many know Him. Even the demons “know” Him.
I hope this has helped some of you, any of you, okay maybe one?
Stayed tuned for part 2!! I have a few more questions, but felt like the answers would be more accurate if I waited til the last part of the trip
Enjoy the pics! For more pics of the team/intern apartment, evangelism, and everyday activities follow puremission.org on Facebook
You may or may not loose a bet and have to paint your nails ;)
Ms Cindy was the previous director here at EH and it was so good to see her back
Haley and our summer intern Azlee with the girls
You could get to be a part of our monthly birthday celebration
You will get to bless the widows and community kids with goodies
THIS is always one of my fav pics with teams. Prayer circle before lunch!
Typical Saturday lunch. Rice and cabbage with(out) goat
Agogo’s waiting at the medical clinic
Alicia and Kathy manning the pharmacy
Brax teaching the girls how to make loom bands for rewards day w/EH kids
Cannon and Chrissy hanging out