The group of people Don was able to share church with last year has grown. It was a morning of jubilation with lots of singing and lots of preaching. The congregation is holding up Bibles that were given to them from some special donors from the states. The congregation is now anticipating a new church being built and are worshiping here temporarily. They even had a little keyboard action with their songs.
I was thrilled to visit the project site and be greeted with many of my old friends. We ran into my old friend who made up songs for me, Maxwell walking along a pathway. Doris greeted him with, “HI, Maxwell.” Of course he did not know her bust was polite and shook her hand. Then he saw me and I ran to him clinging to him. He looked tired and worn. He asked me how long I had been here and where was my wife. I pointed to her and he smiled and said, “Doris” We hugged again and he asked me to come and see him at his house later. I said I would but time did not permit this time for I did not know that I was to preach at 2:00 that afternoon and it was already 1:30 I had no Bible, wasn’t wearing dress clothes, and had no sermon. The people were waiting for me…. a big crowd had gathered to hear me preach. It was good to recognize some familiar faces in the crowd. The young woman who I was told was dying of aids when I left was in the crowd. She sat in the very front on the floor and her face was aglow. The transformation was remarkable from when I had last seen her. I was told she did not have aids now. I preached for an hour and had several come to know the Lord. Over all it was a long and tiring day, but a day that the Lord had made and we rejoiced.
A message from Don about the meeting with the chiefs for the land…
As we drove up to the location where the land waited for our approval, I expected to see a couple of old men sitting around waiting for the arrival of the “Mazungu.” What I found was a huge gathering of smiling children eagerly watching and waiting to see what was happening. Just a couple of men stood around the cars. I was introduced to the head man who spoke no English and was informed that the chiefs from all around the surrounding areas were coming as well. This was to be a huge project that would affect villages far and wide. After a brief time around 30 men were standing around, finally Lester said, “Let’s go walk the boundaries of the land.’ After walking a short distance, we were shown two sides of the 3 acres of land. The view was spectacular with mountains in the background. We walked further until we had seen all sides of the boundaries. Lester asked the men to sit. I turned to him and asked if all these men were chiefs. I was informed that each man was indeed a chief of a different village. Some of them had come as far away as the mountains in the background. I was impressed. I asked Lepherson if there were enough orphans to have it built way out there. He just laughed and said. Too many-each village would represent at least 5-10 orphans. I addressed the group and shared the dream and vision that their own two Malawians had. I told them what my place was in all this, and what their place was to be. After some 20 minutes of talking, one chief raised his hand and asked,”What makes you different than those who have come before you?” I later found out that land had been given before only to be left with nothing but shattered dreams. “The difference,” I told them, “This was their dream. If it did not come to pass then it would be on their own heads. “
I left realizing that something good had just happened. I explained that we intended to dig a deep well with good water so even if the building wasn’t complete for whatever the reason, the villages would benefit. The chiefs all started clapping at this point. Then they asked if 3 acres was enough land. There was at least 50 more if we needed that for expansion. We prayed all of us and departed.
Thanks for sending me here,