Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Peace and Passion

I wanted to badly to get these journal entries blogged immediately after returning from Africa, but guess what??  Life moved back in and robbed my time.  I am bitter about that because I have allowed it.  I am frustrated by that because it makes me want to retreat from all things, but how can God use me if I'm a home-bound hermit??  It is what it is and here is the "rest of the story" 

Day 12~It's starting to wind down.

Today was so peaceful.  This morning I was able to just stand out back of our cabin and look over the city of Zomba down below.  What a breath taking view and that's what I did~ I just breathed.  I prayed that god would not allow me to return home unchanged and for the amazing opportunities to see his hand.  I was invited to attend a teen girls seminar this morning about Etiquette at the Ku Chawe Hotel (Sunbird).  The hotel was beautiful, it's just a little farther up the mountain than our cabins.  I would definitely stay there for vacation, the food smelled delicious, the rooms seems so nice, and the views were unbelievable.  

Omega and Misse (from the Passion Center staff) gave a talk to the girls about Etiquette, not just how we outwardly present and handle ourselves, but also about how we inwardly reveal our beauty.  The one thing that just sizzled on my heart was when Omega told the girls they were "expensive" and not to cheapen themselves for anything or anyone.  After all, they are daughters of THE KING.  I can't wait to start teaching that to Hallie!  In the afternoon I went down to the Passion Center hoping to play with Kalipo and Phalles, but they weren't around.  However, God never disappoints because as soon as we showed up other children quickly joined us in playing with the was such fun!  

Team Time was amazing tonight.  First of all it was Joni's birthday (Chris' was the day before and since they are THE LOVIES we celebrated together!) so we got to have brownies...HOORAY!!  But we also sang Sweetly Broken one last time and it was such a precious moment for me.  "For on it my Savior, both bruised and crushed showed that God is love and God is just"  This is my favorite line because no matter what I have seen or experienced here in Malawi or what I want to change about the trials in the lives of the people here, I can have faith that God is LOVE and God is JUST even here in Zomba, Malawi.


It's bittersweet and I can honestly say THE most amazing experience of my life. This morning I went down to the Passion Center in the earliest leaving Pajero I could squeeze into.  When we arrived we took our last walk down to the Multipurpose Room and I silently prayed that God would allow me to love on Phalles and Kalipo one last time.  Oh boy did He provide!  As my head popped over the hedges I heard, "SUMMA, SUMMA!"  and there stood my Phalles arms open wide ready to run toward me for her hug!  Remember this is the same child who would barely make eye contact with me on Day 1.  What a precious child.  We played most of the morning and then I wanted to take her aside to explain that I had to go back to America tomorrow.  I couldn't even get a word out before she became so excited talking to me in Chechewan, pointing to herself and to the villages in the distance.  I, of course, couldn't understand her, so thankfully Fatsani, one of the interns from the Passion Center was close by and was able to translate for me.  Here's what she said, "I am so happy that you are here and I want you to come to my house."  I was thrilled and overwhelmed.  Fatsani walked with us (as navigation/direction is not my strong suit).  I held Phalles' hand as she practically pulled me through the village paths to her village.  I was able to meet her mother, who is so beautiful, and as soon as I arrived they hurried to get me a mat to sit on so I wouldn't get dirty by sitting on the ground.  Fatsani translated and this American mother, who loves her own children deperately, talked to this Malawian mother who is desperately trying to provide for her own child.  It was AWESOME!  I was so humbled to be accepted so willingly.  I mean a stranger shows up unexpected and instead of thinking 'oh my hair is a mess, or I haven't cleaned the house' Elina rushes to bring me a mat to sit on!  I could learn so much for this gorgeous lady.  Through Fatsani, I was able to ask Elina about specific prayer request, her health, Phalles, and her salvation.  I promised her that I would pray for her as requested and I learned that she had been saved in Dec. 2008~what a Blessing!  We took some pictures, we prayed and I encouraged her Mom 2 Mom.  I can't tell you how sweet this was, I am still so overwhelmed.

On our walk back, Fatsani also pointed out that Kalipo lived in the same village and we called his name to see if he was home.  After calling a few times, Fatsani asked if I would recognize him and I said on yes~I can't forget that smile!  Before long here comes my Kalipo beaming from ear to ear down his village road.  The funny thing was that after chatting both Phalles and Kalipo wanted to clean up before coming to play with me.  Fatsani and I headed back to the Passion soccer field and before long my sweets joined me.  Kalipo, his friends, and I played a little extreme Frisbee and Phalles had fun taking pictures.  After a bit I took Kalipo aside because I wanted to share a few things with him.  I told him I was leaving and I encouraged him to choose good friends and to live for God.  He said he understood but he never spoke English to me during my visit, so I trust that he heard me.  I told him that he would always be a piece of my heart and that I would pray daily for him.  I also let him know I would write and send pictures.  It was tough leaving them but I didn't want to cry in front of them.  I wanted them to remember smiles!  

Later on we gathered at The Rock for a group picture and before we parted for good I hugged them and blew them a kiss (which was precious~all Kalipos friends erupted in adolescent laughter punching him on the arm)  I redeemed him and went back for a much cooler love filled knuckle bump :~).  Phalles was just adorable and hugged and blew kisses over and over.  

I've said it before but a portion of my heart is shaped a little like Malawi now.  As we walked down the hill I kept looking back to that rock where the kids remained and I couldn't believe God chose me to be on this trip.  And to experience his Love and his Glory through a place called the Passion Center in Zomba, Malawi.

Tionana Zomba!!  (see you later, Zomba)

One Last Squeeze!


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