September 2012 Southern Malawi Ministry Centre Update
As I write, 10 girls are busy building houses in our back yard. I am in awe of their creativity and their communication. When survival is in question, there is no time for such pursuits. What joy to hear them create stories and relate to one another! Of course the boys are on hand to attack and destroy, but even that is part of the story. With 66 children life is never dull. Our three youngest have just past the one year mark, and provide endless opportunities to learn about love. I simply love watching our oldest children caring for the littlest ones. They are fathers and mothers in training.
Our Iris Primary School finished last year with an Olympics of their own, complete with judges, ribbons, and armbands. Our graduating class ran the show, and took their responsibility very seriously. The entire Standard 8 class passed their national exams. Ten out of twelve students were selected to government secondary schools; an excellent achievement all round. As they start up again this month, there are three new teachers and several new students. We are so thankful for Alison Walker’s fine work at the school, strategically working to establish a school of excellence together with our teachers.
Bible school students arrived last week for a 3 month semester. We have a 3rd year class and a 1st year class. The classes are small this term, as we have encouraged those who want to come to prepare in advance so that their families have food to eat in their absence. It has been a hard year, with little to no harvest for many. It is a good sign that many pastors decided to stay to help their families through this season. As I visited churches last month I was touched by the love I see in the families of our pastors. There is transformation and it begins in the homes. I especially enjoyed seeing the women who have attended the Bible school. They shine brightly in their churches and communities, and I could see it.
Right now the dust and smoke are thick in the air. Everything is drying up. We had a spattering of rain this morning, just enough to settle the dust. The children’s fields are almost ready to harvest. Each house has a field to plant and tend. It is good for us all to eat the fruits of their labour. We continue to work, to help in a way that is sustainable. We recently provided seed for a local farmer. In return he brought 2 bags of maize to contribute to our feeding program. Two months ago I dressed a nasty growth on a man’s foot. I told him to find his way to a hospital. He did, and came yesterday so that I could dress the healing wound. He asked for money, but needed encouragement. It is a constant process of discernment to know what is pleasing to the Father in each situation.
[Our boys on dry land]
Secondary school in Malawi is almost exclusively boarding. We now have 11 young men and women away at boarding school. These students are supported by sponsorship. Next year we have a large number joining those already there. If you would like to sponsor a secondary school student, please email us.
Thank you for your partnership with us in the gospel. I am overwhelmed at the generous hearts who join with us each day. I am in awe of God’s purposes, played out before our eyes here in southern Malawi.