In Our Own Backyard
His right eye was swollen, almost closed. His small bag was thrown over one shoulder and his voice was quiet as he walked up to us outside the just-closed neighborhood Walgreen's. It was late. We were caught up with plans about our future, plans about getting back to Malawi. And when he asked for help and started to tell us his story, we shook our heads, said we had nothing to give, cut him off and started walking away. It took us half a block to realize what we had done. Here we were, trying to devote ourselves to extending hope and healing to hurting people on the other side of the world, and we weren't even able to be a light in our own neighborhood. We didn’t stop to learn the name, listen to the story, or acknowledge the humanity of this beloved-by-God individual. But that night, convicted by the Spirit and perhaps a recent reading of Mother Teresa, we repented and turned around. We found him on the other side of the darkened street and jogged over to him. We apologized for interrupting him earlier, introduced ourselves, and listened to all that he had been through that day, from losing his car to getting that swollen eye. We found we did have money to give and walked back on either side of him on the way to share some food as well. It was a good reminder about what this walk is all about, about living out our mission wherever we are, about seeing the eternal glory in everyone and the divine appointments in interruptions.
This month, we are thrilled to report that our partners have pledged and given enough to keep us in Malawi for our first 14 months back, as well as 46% of what we need month to month after that. This enabled us to book tickets to return to Malawi in mid-August, just in time for Greg to start teaching at NTCCA. We are also excited to share that we have been recommended as volunteer missionaries with the Nazarene church, which will open some doors and opportunities for us in the future.
Please join us in praying for: -The country of Malawi as it processes the end of its election period - Safe travels as we attend conferences, weddings, and visit with friends over the next 10 weeks - Logistics of our return to ministry in Malawi – (housing, work permits, funding) Thank you for your prayers, support, and communication,
Finally here is a picture of the Goshen Children Development Center enjoying some backpacks sent from friends in the US.