It continues to be a blessing to relive these days through the rewriting of them! Below are exact entries from my journal for Days 5-8
So I have fallen a bit behind in my journals~I'll try to catch up! Friday and Saturday were the Sports Bonanza. The Passion Center has a team in the Futbol (Soccer) Division for boys and the Netball (Basketball) Division for girls. The soccer boys didn't fair too well, but gave a great effort two days in a row. It was so fun to watch. They kick the ball so high and don't play with the ball on the ground as we do in the States. I was amazed that several of them played with one or no shoes. The Passion Netball team won the Championship!! It was pretty cool. I watched a little bit of it and realized I had no idea what they were doing and moved back over to the soccer field. It held more of my interest for two reasons. 1) My sweet Parker enjoys playing soccer at home so much and it made me feel a bit more connected with him despite the distance. 2) My sweet Kalipo enjoys playing soccer in Malawi so much and it made me feel a bit more connected with him despite the distance. I am telling you being with Kalipo was like being with Parker + 6 years! God is incredible!
Kalipo and Phalles show up everywhere I am and I love it! Kalipo is so well mannered and has immediately taken on the role of my protector. If any other kids begin to overtake me he is quick to have them move back. While sitting at the soccer game he would clear out anyone who sat in my line of sight. He really enjoys playing Frisbee and is already trying to make it arch way out and come directly to me. He can sing and loves to dance. I truly believe My Parker and My Kalipo are different flowers from the same garden.
Phalles was so quiet and shy when I met her. She wouldn't reciprocate any emotions to me (not at all surprising or even expected) and now she is a big ball of excitement when she sees me. Holding my hands and wanting to wear my sunglasses all the time. I had a rip in my skirt and in her resourcefulness she noticed it and tied it together to "repair" the tear and it was really quite cute! Her smile is so welcoming and her eyes tell such a story. What a precious child.
The sun was hot these two days, the days were long, and the kids were many. Last night my body shut down and I felt drained of life~like never before. I've been worn out and even exhausted, but not like this. This was complete fatigue. Sweet Nurse Brenda made me go to bed @7 p.m. and I rested very well. So thankful for the prayers from my team and family back home. I woke up on Sunday feeling 90% better!
Wow one week today! Pastor Eric put it this way: We have packed 25lbs into a 5lb bag so far on this trip. It's been an amazing first week. I am excited for the second, but also bummed that it will be over at the end of it.
Today we split into groups and went to several of the village churches. I attended Pastor Lawrence Mandwalla's Church and Chris Weaver gave the message. Chris was fantastic We all got to share our testimonies along with members of the congregations and a youth group came a long way to sing! I was amazed, they were wonderful. One moment that was so sweet for me was seeing the Pastors 3 year old daughter approach him at the pulpit with her little hand extended wanting daddy to give her money to put in the offering plate. It just reminded me of my children of course, but it was another board in the bridge from Ohio to Malawi. Little girls need their daddy's and that outstretched hand starts early and continues late, doesn't it? Praise the Lord that our Heavenly Father can give beyond what we can even imagine. There was nothing but praise and celebration for our Savior in that one room church.
Two other things happened today. A girl from the Passion Center was buried today. We had heard that she may have had Malaria, but someone else said she may have had a brain tumor. Either way it's a harsh reminder of how much death is a part of this culture. There's a purpose in the way God's plan is orchestrated here in Malawi, but it seems so hard to understand.
Also, precious Linda, a little 4 year old girl who lives at the Passion Center was taken to Blantyre Hospital for another operation to regain use of two more fingers on one of her hands. A little background: Linda had taken a radish when she lived with her grandmother a year or so ago because she was hungry. Her grandmother practiced witchcraft and punished Linda by holding her little hands over an open fire. When she was brought to the Passion Center (as you could imagine) she was broken and bruised, very distrusting, and filled with sadness. Through the love of the staff at the Passion Center, serious prayers from those in Malawi and America, and doctors in Blantyre she is smiling, loving Jesus and regaining use of her hands. We lifted her up at team time tonight for peace, and comfort and quick healing.
Well, that's catches us up to tonight (Sunday evening). Tomorrow is Vacation Bible School. There should be between 150-700 kids. The real number is a surprise! I also have a chance to attend a Youth Rally where Pastor Mark will be giving a message on Purity. I pray that God gives me boldness and confidence in the Word. I was so glad to talk to my sweets tonight! I miss those sweet voices~And I so miss my Lovie....I can't wait to tell you guys everything!
|Phalles in my glasses|
|Church on Sunday|
|Outside of Church|
|Abusa Lawrence Mandwalla and our Team (that's his sweet little girl)|
This is a video of Kalipo dancing with his friends at the Sports Bonanza, he's in the khaki shorts and t shirt. I think this is so fun~I wish I could share it with him he would think it was so cool to see himself!