Omar Yenda Yenda! I want a last name like that!!! Born June 19, 1980, to Billy and Elizabeth Yenda Yenda. His father passed away in 1996, but his mother, Elizabeth, is still living in Omar’s home village of Mastimale. It is not far from here. Omar is married to Milka. They were married in November 1999. He didn’t remember the date! Typical man…lol :) I am positive Milka could tell us! They have 3 children, Charity 14 years old, Blessings 10, and Joacra 3.

Milka has a small business where she sells oil, tomatoes, and onions. She was born in 1983. They harvest maize, beans, and squash at their home.

Omar has 2 sisters and 3 brothers. One sister lives in Blantyre with her husband, 1 brother in Lilongwe, and the others live around Mastimale with his mother.

He attends Zambezi Evangelical Church where he is a part of their praise team. He went Monday to get fitted for a new uniform. They perform for church functions. I am sure that is a sight to see and something beautiful to hear!!

Omar loves the futbol, and he mentioned videos. I am thinking in American terms this means TV or movies. He also loves to listen to the radio. He also told me he like cycling and taking photos as a photographer.

He attended primary school and went on to secondary school to finish form 4, but never got to take his exams for a certificate because of financial reasons. Remember I told you, you have to pay for school and then a separate fee for the actual exam to go on to the next level or a certificate of completion at the end.

Before coming to work here in March, Omar worked as a security guard for a guest house here in the Boma. He has also worked for G4S security in Lilongwe. In 2008, he held a position at a church in Lilongwe where many were jealous. He ended up mentally sick and had to go for medicine in Zomba at the psychiatric hospital. They gave him meds to help him sleep at night. To relate it could have been stressful or something along those lines, or (this will sound strange to some) he could have been harmed by the witch doctors. Witch doctors are very real and active in this part of the world. Someone who was jealous could have sought them out for something they slipped him or other methods. This could explain the sudden onset of a mental problem for him. He isn’t sure what happened.

He loves tea and the rice :) He laughed when I asked him if he enjoyed the “American” food I randomly feed him…I am not sure if this was a good laugh or not… When he read this before I posted it he wanted me to add “It is a good laugh, like mainly the baked cake ;)

On a side note, laughter is a whole language in itself here. Maybe I will write a post on that in the future. It could save a lot of hurt feelings if you were to come here and trip and fall, or simply ride your bike, or ask a person a question and you only receive laughter! LOL…?

Thankfully Omar has only had malaria once this season. He does sleep with a net!

He has chickens at his house and soon rabbits! He reminded me :) I am thinking they are all a little excited about the rabbits and that makes me so happy. I think if we are still here in 5 or 10 years a main staple could be the hare!!!

We have one person left to introduce to you from our personal staff here in the Boma. So be looking for that in the next few days Lord willing. Thank you so much for investing in this ministry and what we do here it effects many lives here in Malawi not just our “little” family :)

Lace

Omar Yenda Yenda

Omar Yenda Yenda

Charity, Milka and Omar

Charity, Milka and Omar

DSC_0720

Impossible… Doesn’t make sense and so it is, IMPOSSIBLE. How can time stand still and yet be over before you know it. It’s my same philosophy in RSVPing, sending cards, and inviting someone(s) over for dessert or dinner. I have the best intentions, yet one day turns into a week, that turns into a month, and so on.

Some of the lessons I learned over the last year can’t be put into words. Others so wordy I will try to shrink it all down.

Realizing your wants vs needs is probably the only thing that could fit into both categories. The parts I can’t put into words is more like I “shan’t” for the sake of keeping friends and also not making you vomit. Let your mind think water and all that’s involved with that and then add 10 or a 100. My wants took over my needs many days. I wanted to have a Wal-Mart or Target around the corner to get my “needs” like- we are out of sour cream for our baked potatoes, or powdered sugar for the icing, or yogurt for lunch, rabbit food for the rabbits, all “needs” in my mind. That’s when you realize the difference between your needs and your wants. Not even to mention more meaningful “needs” like gas for the propane stove, so you go outside and buy some firewood in the market and move your lunch 45 minutes later, that was half way through already. (And ruin your pan all while trying to make it happen bc you don’t want to waste food here)

I have also learned more about myself. Some good and some really ugly stuff. The good is that I can put one foot in front of the other and make it. The ugly that I was so angry at God and my husband for calling me to a place that would strip away the ugly. I would be brought to my knees before the Holy Father who loves me more than anyone or anything and shown us what it means to follow Jesus. It’s sad that it took coming to Africa to do this, but man it is SO WORTH IT. I now know that my life is COMPLETELY in Jesus’s hands. He is not only my Savior and Redeemer, but he is my families healer, provider, comforter, helper, peace keeper, lover of life, and our ALL. When you are taken to a world where you can’t call 9-1-1, drive to a world renown hospital, call friends to come and give you a hand, be involved in “social” activities, cry on your momma’s shoulder, or send your kids to the neighbors for a moment of peace, you only turn to Him. I PRAY that I will never turn back. I PRAY that my kids will learn to fall at Jesus’s feet first, not when it’s your ONLY option.

I have learned how to make a meal from scratch that’s edible :) I have perfected my “bargaining” skills. Kinda… I am saying my garage sale Saturdays could’ve been preparing me for these days. See, honey, God was in my treasure hunting! LOL I have learned that sometimes the less you know about your food the better. Bugs and ants could be part of the flavor. I have learned that simply smiling or waving could break down a thousand walls. I have seen how giving can change a person’s life. Read that again. I mean it in a LITERAL sense. It could change their life! I have seen how giving can sadly hurt a person’s life, too. Wisdom and discernment are a must. I pray for it and hope that’s what you pray for us, too.

One more thing I want to share since I can’t just go on and on, is that I have learned that no matter where you are or what you are doing…it means nothing without Jesus. You can focus on yourself and your own problems whether you are in want/need or in abundance. It’s all the same when you can’t keep your eyes on Him. I know why Paul wrote about this in Phillipians 4:11. He said he has learned to be content. I am not sure I could honestly say that wholeheartedly, but I get it. I get that when you keep your eyes on Him you can and will succeed and overcome. I know I fail all the time, but thank goodness for His grace and mercy to start fresh every single day!

Here is an online album to relive this past year with us :) I get it’s long and you probably won’t make it to the end, but revisit it when you are bored. (It’s more for me haha)
www.carneysfirstyear.shutterfly.com

Let’s see where the next year leads together!!!

Hugs,
Lace

Ms. Jane Chidiwa! Jane has been my saving grace from day 1! I know without a shadow of a doubt without her my OCD-ness (that I somehow cultivated the last 6 or so years) would have done me in. I grew up in a place where roaches and ants and other creatures was just part of life. Hence, we cleaned ALL the time, but when it surrounds you, you can only do so much. Another time in my life that prepared me for these moments is when we lived on the farm for a few years in Goshen. Looking back at these times, I know they were necessary seeds. The dust and creatures you can’t escape so you deal with it…and you let Ms. Jane help you cope :) She keeps the house for me during the week. I am forever grateful to her. She is one of the rare jewels here in Ntcheu that gets us Mericans’. She has been working for this home here in the Boma for over 4 years, so she may have actually helped take care of some of you! She is wonderful and a joy to be around. You will never see her without a smile unless she isn’t feeling well. With a family of 8, you can imagine the work cut out for her-dishes, laundry (try not to think too American here, we still have waaay more than we “need” but waaaaay less than American “standards”) sweeping, mopping, dusting, and more. She helps me keep up with washing and cutting veggies and fruits. Ms. Jane takes the girls around with her on Fridays if I happen to be schooling or busy. She offers to do and help in areas just because she sees the need. For instance, when Jason’s parents were here she offered to come on Saturday to help me keep up with dishes!! She has also taught us most if not all of the little Chichewa we know. Just this week she has actually given me a couple names of secondary teachers to check into for some hard core Chichewa before we start up with school again! That’s Ms. Jane to us!!

Now to the community, Ms. Jane is much more! She is part of CCAP and the women’s ministry. She has participated in prayer walks, visiting the sick, (which she came and/or called several times with Mia) and paying her respects to families who have lost a loved one. She is loyal and kind hearted when it comes to the traditions of her land and her community. Ms. Jane got to be a part of the election process that took place in May. She was what they call a “monitor,” helping oversee the voters as they voted. Her decorating services are available for weddings, parties, political ceremonies, etc. She recently got to decorate for Sr Chief’s wedding renewal! If you find a muffin in the filling stations, either Puma or Total, you can bet it came from her, too! She is a woman of many talents.

Ms. Jane’s mother, Maines, is still living in Lilongwe where 2 of her grandsons live with her to help her out. Her father, Macford is deceased along with 2 brothers, Benjamin and Christopher, and 1 sister, Dora, with a total of 7 children left behind. She has taken on the responsibility of her late sister Dora’s 3 children, Gift, Chisomo, and Jucky. All of which are in their studies and taking exams to further their education. Education here is not free. You pay for attendance, you pay for them to take exams, and other random fees. You can see why it is hard for families to school their children to the highest level. It is sad that people have to choose between eating and giving their children a chance for a different life. I have the utmost respect for Ms. Jane taking on her two nephews and her niece. I am thankful she is trusting God to provide for them!

Ms. Jane’s was born Dec 20, 1973 in her home village of Chipusile. She came to live here in the Boma in 2006. Before working for EH she worked with Action Ministries for about 2 years. Other hobbies and interest include singing and chatting with her friends.

Ms. Jane was married in 1998 to Mr. Alfred Kamsinde. In June of 2000, her husband left her. He didn’t give a reason just said he didn’t want her anymore. THIS breaks my heart. She doesn’t know why still and hasn’t heard from him since. I told her when she was sharing that I am going to be praying for a husband for her! A man of God and someone to lead her the rest of her days, and someone she can be a helper to. Gen 2:18

She has no animals at her house yet, but will have 2 rabbits soon!!! LOL

Pray for Jane! She is a godly woman, with a big heart, who has seen a lot of death, heartache, and sickness, but still has JOY in her heart!!! I pray that I exude some of that Joy!

Be joyful in all you do! 1 Thes.5:16-18
Lace

****I failed to mention the first time that Ms. Jane lives with her brother James, and also has two other sisters Aliana and Naomi. Naomi lives close and has a son named Sam. She has been instrumental in helping us with Vitameal (porridge with vitamins) for EH and the surrounding villages we were helping feed! So very thankful for that connection!!!

Ms Jane!!

Ms Jane!!

Ms Jane trying to teach Krey Chichewa!

Ms Jane trying to teach Krey Chichewa!

The girls helping her with the vacuum!

The girls helping her with the vacuum!

Aka Ms Judah. The girls have called her that from day 1. I think it’s the cutest thing and so it’s just stuck :) Mrs. Judah is the girls nanny. She keeps the girls Monday-Thursday during our homeschool hours. And you thought I was superwoman…no way could I concentrate on homeschooling the younger boys and have two toddlers under my feet. Well, I guess I could’ve, but it wouldn’t have been “graceful.” I might have had to up the crazy pills from zero to four and a quarter. They laugh and sing, play, read books, eat snacks, (which I think she thought the girls were saying “snake” in the beginning LOL) and run and jump around outside! The girls LOVE her, and me, too :) She is my friend, she is my girls’ bestest friend, she is my sanity, she is beautiful inside and out, she is…well you get the picture!

Judith is married to Pastor Stanley Moffat. He is our campus pastor for EH and also does follow-up care and discipleship to the surrounding pastors in this area. Pastor Stanley now is the Pastor for the start up church from our last teams at Chimwaye Baptist near Chiole.

Chiole is slang for the area they live in. It’s the name of the river, but people just say they live in Chiole. The actual village name is Kamwendo village. This is her home village. Her parents are still living there and she has 4 sisters and 1 brother. Poor guy…lol! I can only imagine the grief those girls gave the poor guy. Her birthday is September 1, 1989. Pastor Stanley and Mrs. Judith were married July 2, 2011 and have no children yet. The girls and I are praying for a little baby Moffat we can love on and spoil very soon!! :)

Jason and I had the privilege of getting to watch both Pastor Stanley and Mrs. Judith graduate from Baptist Theological Seminary, in Lilongwe, this past Saturday. When a pastor goes to seminary here, if they are married their spouses go to. It’s brilliant. They learn how to be a supportive pastor’s wife! Maybe this happens in the States, too, and I am unaware.

Mrs. Judith loves to read books, sing, and crochet. She has been patiently…trying to teach me how to do this…I would say it’s coming along beaut lets just say it’s coming along…

They also have rabbits at their home, three to be exact, and 13 chickens! They will soon have 5 rabbits because Jason and I are giving each of our staff a male and female rabbit from the litters we just had so they can raise their own for food or sell to help support themselves. We are excited we (and you) get to help bless them in this way!! The Moffat’s harvest maize, beans, cassava (like a sweet potato) and pumpkins.

I can truly say I am so blessed to be apart of their lives and share in this journey with the both of them! You will find no one better than the two of them.

Hugs
Lace

Mrs Judith getting her certificate!

Mrs Judith getting her certificate!

The distinguished Abusa Stanley

The distinguished Abusa Stanley

Stanley's Mom and Aunt and family

Stanley’s Mom and Aunt and family

The four of us!

The four of us!

Mrs Judah and the girls!!

Mrs Judah and the girls!!

Mrs Judith and I at EH

Mrs Judith and I at EH

Why can’t there be a button for married AND it’s complicated…u know so the whole world can see the drama inside your home. Wait is that TMI? We always want to share when there’s a break up or a friendship gone wrong or anything else we deem necessary for the world to hear. What about the real relationships inside of a God ordained marriage? What about the man and wife who balance each other out to the millionth degree or who are so in tune sometimes you start a sentence about what the other was only thinking. That’s the kind of complicated I’m talking about.

See here’s the thing…I pray that God keeps me so humble before Him that I never gloat or feel so self assured about my writing that I never question anything I’m sharing. I honestly go over and over and over it in my mind and analyze every single crumb of info I share for fear of offending, sounding like a moron who just fell off the turnip truck (exactly what does that mean…) or for the sake of hurting my testimony, but bumps in the road are for real peeps. Sometimes they are more like tiny Mt Everest bumps, but nonetheless make you slow down, slam on the breaks, or come to a complete stop before you can move on.

That’s kind of where Jason and I are at right now. Who would’ve thought coming to a third world country would do that to you. Lol! I mean not only starting over, (which we have been there and done that) but I mean STARTING OVER! I can’t think of anything that has remained the same from the States. Our home is different, our family is different; we are dealing with a lot of loneliness and withdrawal, our friends are different and take a lot more effort (in a good way); we don’t relate to each other’s worlds as much, our food is different and a whole lot healthier; we basically cook most things from scratch and straight from a garden, the animals we deal with are on a level all its own, and the time we had for each other (date nights and kids spending the night with Mema) just simply does not exist. (I get there were probably waaaay too many ,’s and ;’s and in the wrong places. ,,Ignore;;)

I know what your response will be and yes it sounds so incredibly simple…make time! I get it, but when you are drained emotionally and sometimes physically it’s easier to just crawl into a hole and forget everything around you.

This is basically it in a nutshell. We are on a whole new ball team here, new players, new fields, and new plays. We WILL “get it” eventually…but in the mean time…lift us up! I am not above asking for prayer for our marriage. The Bible says to fight for it, and that’s what we will do. Neh. 4:14 I can’t think of a better way than to just lay it out there and ask you to bathe us in prayers. We have been through thick and thin before and neither of us are willing to throw in the towel no matter what. Therefore the only choice is to persevere over the “bump”. Not to just keep cruising, but actually gain some momentum and maybe the next “bump” we won’t have to come to a complete stop for fear of completely loosing a “bump”-er or worse yet the whole engine falling out.

Is your marriage struggling? Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help and prayers! That’s what the body of Christ is for!!! Don’t give up, that’s what the devil is for. Turn to Jesus when you want to run to a friend who will take your side. Sometimes you just need Jesus to shoot you straight. I read something the other day and I believe, please don’t quote me, it was from FamilyLife that said when you get divorced and remarried you aren’t starting over you are only bringing with you the baggage from the previous marriage.

Now, I will say this…I KNOW divorce. I grew up around it and my parents were divorced and have been divorced more than once. So, I’m not saying there is no grace, and God doesn’t make good out of bad sometimes. So my divorced fam/friends I am by no means judging you and your choices. You answer only to Jesus Christ. I am just clearly relating to my own marriage here.

This is what I want! I want to clean my whole heart Ps 51:10 and start afresh with my one and only husband. Won’t you please join with me/us!!

Lace

This is how it should be

This is how it should be

Not this...

Not this…

Mofolo Mitunda has been with us for almost three years! He started November 15, 2011. He is a New Year’s babe, his birthday is January 1, 1969. His home village is Msaka. His grandmother still lives there and he is hoping to send his Ruth to Secondary, Form 1 there. She can possibly be selected after she completes her exams for Primary 8.

When I asked him what he liked to do he responded singing!! He actually mentioned it several times :) Lol! Mofolo would love to get some more books on music. He helps lead the worship at CCAP here in the Boma and sings in the choir.

Besides working as one of our night watchmen here at our home, he runs a small shop that offers chairs, beds, and coffins. So, he can help you wether you are living or deceased! He previously worked with a coffin shop in Blantyre before coming here.

Mofolo and Mercy have 5 children, Joyce, Ruth, Flores, Miriam, Wongani. They range in age from 26 years old to 5 years old. Joyce is now married and has two children of her own, but the rest of the children are living at home. Mercy sells Samoosa’s and other items on the side to help purchase food or other things their family needs. When I asked if his wife enjoyed Tea as much as Mary, Steven’s wife, he said, “No she loves nsima and rice. :)

He told me he has a brother that lives next to him also.

Now you know a little about Mofolo and his family!

Blessings!
Lace

Mofolo!!!

Mofolo!!!

Sitting by the guard shack!

Sitting by the guard shack!

Over the next week or so I will introduce you all to the people we are surrounded by daily. These are our Malawian family staff here in the Boma that keep our grounds, the house, and my kids; kept, swept and busy :) I hope when you come to visit you will feel you already know them, and learn a little more about life here in Ntcheu also.

Stephen is our head watchman! He is 56 years young and works harder than men half his age. We LOVE Steven! He is always looking out for the best interest of this home and keeps my kids in check, too when they are wandering around the animal pens. A few weeks ago he took holiday for harvesting and when he returned the kids all ran outside and he swooped Mia up and gave her a hug. It was like our long lost grandpa returning home. In all seriousness though we are truly thankful for him and his guidance and hard work with the yard and animals.

Here’s a little tidbit of info about his personal life:

He was born and raised here in Ntcheu, Malawi on July 10, 1958. I need to get him a Born & Raised shirt. LOL! His wife’s name is Mary and she has a bean business. She buys bulk during the rainy season and turns around and sells them during the dry season this helps his family buy things like fertilizer. According to Stephen, she is a tea lover!! Give her a cup of tea and some bread she’s a happy lady :) I can totally relate!!

Stephen and Mary have 5 children. Edwin, Chikondi, Noel, Pilirani and Sangalatso. They range in age from 23 years old to 15 years. They either have their own businesses or are completing school. He also has another “adopted” son named Ganizani who lives in their home. He is handicapped and a beautifully, happy child. Ethan got the privilege of going to meet him a few weeks ago and brought home pics. Talk about a sweet boy!

Besides animals here at our house, Stephen has his own animals at his house like chickens, goats, dogs, one cat, and doves. The doves in Stephen’s words are “like flowers.” Meaning they don’t eat them, they are more decoration or they occasionally sell them to others for food.

Being our head watchmen or Mulonda, isn’t Stephen’s only job. He has many hats he juggles. He is the Headman of his village Gwaza, meaning he looks after his subjects, he’s the middleman to relate info from the Sr Chief Kwataine to everyone, he encourages them to work on certain projects, he also works with the government educational officer to better his village. His late mother was the village head person, and then he assumed the position. If something were to happen to Stephen the position would go to one of his siblings. It would not necessarily go to his children even if all of the siblings had passed. Then…on top of all of that he is a deputy session clerk, advisor of Sr. Chief Kwataine, and a chairman for an organization for parents of disabled children, that Ganizani is part of. He attends CCAP church at Bangala school on Sundays, loves to listen to music and read his Bible, and spends his extra time hanging out with his family.

Previously, Steven worked as a police officer, security for G4S, Mota Engine (contruction of roads) and has been with EH for over 2 years now.

Our family LOVES Steven!!! Kreyton advises him of political issues and always wants to buy him corn. I am not sure if this is from the goodness of his heart or if it just secures an escort to retrieve the corn…
Ethan and him have shared many Bawo games, which Steven usually, as in 99% of the time, beats him. I love that he doesn’t let him win. Ethan needs that in his life. LOL! The girls love just hanging out with him wherever he is. It’s truly so sweet.

Now you have a face to a name! When we say, “by supporting us you help support a village”…we mean it! The effects of people having a job trickles down to all of those in and around them.
Lace

Meet Steven

Meet Steven

Krey and Steven eating their corn :)

Krey and Steven eating their corn :)

Steven hanging out with the girls!

Steven hanging out with the girls!

Ganizani.  Told u he was a sweety :)

Ganizani. Told u he was a sweety :)

Ethan and Steven playing a round of Bawo

Ethan and Steven playing a round of Bawo

Towards the end of the trip as they were wrapping up I asked this question and here’s what I got:

“What do you want to do with what you have seen or done?” “What have you “gain” or “learned” from your time here?

-Come back as often as possible
-People need to COME and serve
-Opportunity to see what real needs are
-Chance to meet your sponsored child
-Be prepared to come and experience utter dependency on the Lord
-going to be fixing greens with tomatoes and onions and eggs!!!
-gave me perspective
-ministry time gave me goose bumps and crying and people experiencing Christ
-haven’t quite processed all of it
-It’s given me more confidence in my testimony and sharing!
-Taking home joy :)
-possibly coming back for an internship
-feeds my passion for missions
-sparked a passion for international work
-it grows you as a person, gets you unstuck and out of your comfort zone for Jesus
-DON’T PUT THE BUTTER IN THE FRIDGE… hahaha
-extremely humbling
-priorities
-you go in thinking the people here are poor and you come out knowing they are rich
-no distractions allowed some growth
-Do stuff at home! (not just here and there on a short term trip) Which I LOVE! I love when people realize missions is wherever you are
-”Send Me I’ll Go” song; more relatable now
and last but not least…I needed Malawi more than Malawi needed me!

The group also had a list of “possible” memories you might accumulate. Hilarious.
Sleeping Selfies on unsuspecting peeps (beware)
Going to the “grounds”
Jamming on the bus
Roller coaster roads
Flat tires
Getting to know your team and the missionaries here. ME!!!
Dancing with the kids
Pounding spices
Cooking
Volleyball

You might have to come and make a whole new list of memories to add to the bucket :)

Jesus and I would love to meet you here. Come. Come now.
Lace

For more pics from this team and more like the Puremission.org FB page and visit the site to see how to get involved!!

a little volleyball

a little volleyball

you most definitely will get some braiding in if you want it

you most definitely will get some braiding in if you want it

the team with their interpreters for the week

the team with their interpreters for the week

Kathy and her sponsored child Alick

Kathy and her sponsored child Alick

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
Lacey

You may or may not loose a bet and have to paint your nails ;)

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

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

Haley and our summer intern Azlee with the girls

You could get to be a part of our monthly birthday celebration

You could get to be a part of our monthly birthday celebration

You will get to bless the widows and community kids with goodies

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!

THIS is always one of my fav pics with teams. Prayer circle before lunch!

Typical Saturday lunch.  Rice and cabbage with(out) goat

Typical Saturday lunch. Rice and cabbage with(out) goat

Agogo's waiting at the medical clinic

Agogo’s waiting at the medical clinic

Alicia and Kathy manning the pharmacy

Alicia and Kathy manning the pharmacy

Brax teaching the girls how to make loom bands for rewards day w/EH kids

Brax teaching the girls how to make loom bands for rewards day w/EH kids

Cannon and Chrissy hanging out

Cannon and Chrissy hanging out

I can honestly say that this past school year has grown me in ways I didn’t know I needed it. God has taught me a little more patience, although my children may not have experienced it…so they think. Grace, grace, marvellous grace…I am pretty sure that’s an old hymn I used to sing. If they only knew how many times I wanted to get up and walk away, but chose to bow my head, count to 10 (or a 1000) and keep plunging forward. Trust me, I wanted to throw down and tell them they were about to taste the rainbow in true Madea fashion, but instead ate a bag of skittles in the quiet recesses of my bed at night just to survive sometimes. (for my Madea fans you will get that. Your welcome!) Teaching is not my gift…if you didn’t guess that. Neither are a lot of other things God asked us to do, right? BUT, He never gives it to us without Him right beside us. Southern comfort ain’t got nothing on some Jesus Comfort.

It has also taught me how much I absolutely, whole-heartedly LOVE TEACHERS!!!

God may have shown me a glimpse of how He has made me a little stronger and a little stronger! Stronger only because of Jesus, not because of me. It’s funny to see what you run to the cross with sometimes. “Lord, give me the strength to run the course set before me and not KILL someone in the process.”

Praying whether you homeschool, private, public, charter…or whatever the case it’s been a year of reflection and growth. Possibly a year you have been at the cross more than you realised, but hindsight saw the need and strength it’s given you for the next chapter in your life.

I am excited to be able to have some more time on my hands to get back on track for updating you all on here and updates on our Purecharity pages for our supporters where you can follow us down this beautifully, messy road we are on together! I promise I/We our children included couldn’t do this without you!

Make the most of your summer, it could be your last!
Lacey