Seeds of Change in the Dry Season
It’s dry, cold season in Malawi. Most families have harvested, dried, and stored their maize so it can sustain them in the months ahead. But for us, this has been a time of preparing soil, both literally in our efforts to revitalize the bone-dry areas around our home, and figuratively through work in the villages. Since this is a rare month of plentiful food and rest for most of the country, it is the ideal time to bring communities together for trainings and planning for the future.
Not long after the agricultural training in Mngwangwa assisted by Namikango Mission, I returned to Goshen amidst a thousand-women gathering and spoke about how mothers and churches could keep children healthy with preventive medicine and utilization of the healthcare resources available in their communities. We tried to find times of rest for ourselves and our lead-pastor friends in the following week amidst plans for a week-long training in the Mphewa area. This training with TWT focused on Transformational Development and introduced church leaders to ideas of restoring broken relationships and reminding communities of their God-given dignity, existing resources, and ability to bring healing to their families and neighbors.
It was a busy, exhausting time with long hours driving and managing logistics. I joked about building up my arm muscles pumping water and stirring nsima alongside Thokozani as she arranged lunch and refreshments for the gathering. We watched as pastors and women of the church embraced mindset change from needs-focused poverty paradigms to ideas of stewardship and innovation. By the end of the week, we listened to groups from each zone discussed how to implement small development projects using local resources and community buy-in. We know this is just the beginning, the first seeds of change planted as we watch these churches seek ways to bring hope and healing to their communities.
It was a whirlwind time with Greg finishing his teaching and attending graduation festivities at NTCCA. I built up resources to care for children in the clinic, in preparation to take over a practice of well-child visits from a long-termer practitioner leaving next month. During this time we housed our pre-medical student Tony in the guest room, pastors Thoko and Nixon in the guest house, and even fit our friend Isabelle on a mattress in the office. Life was a fury of activity for several weeks. And then our guests went home, and newly enforced border restrictions prevented the visit from my sister we had looked forward to for so long. It was a shock compared to the preceding hectic pace, and an empty disappointment where travel and family time had been.
We still have a few things planned: a village outreach for young women in two weeks, a grant for new part-time work teaching doctors in America, some gardening projects to undertake around the house. But in many ways we don’t know exactly what our schedule or ministry will look like in this new season. We know we want to follow-up with the communities trained and encourage implementation of transformational projects. But we can’t say if this will take the majority of our time, or occupy a small piece of our upcoming schedule.
As the dry season progresses, in terms of our work here this seems to be a time for waiting for seeds to germinate. Please join us in praying for patience during this time and for wisdom to know our roles – what we should do and where we should wait and allow others to do for themselves.
Please also pray for:
- Tony as he flies back home today for a family emergency, that there will be safe travels for him and miraculous healing and peace in his family.
- The churches, pastors, and communities in the Goshen and Mphewa areas as they begin to implement community projects
Thank you for your prayers and support,
Greg and Christina