And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God!
Eph 3:18

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Phil 2:5-8

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Whole Different Story...

how to even begin?...

Clearly, I am the world's WORST blogger... EVER!

To all of my family and friends who followed and supported me, I APOLOGIZE!!! 

When I arrived in Malawi, I thought starting a blog would be a fun, easy way to keep in touch. Obviously, I overestimated myself.  

The last time I posted was over two and a half years ago!!! Since then, there have been SO many times I've wanted to post about where I was / what was happening. ButI was SO embarrassed by how long it  had been, that I didn't know how to even start.

And the most humiliating thing is... it's not just on my blog that I dropped the ball. My "Quarterly" News/Prayer Letter, is always done alongside the blog posts. In other words, (you guessed it,) it's been two and a half years since I've sent out a newsletter! (If you are un-friending me at this moment, I don't blame you! If you're hanging in there with me, God Bless YOU!!!)

I've considered starting a whole new blog and pretending this one didn't even exist. I've actually designed a new blog more than once. But that just seemed like a dishonest way out. I could never quite bring myself to click the "Save and Publish" button. Those of you who have shown your support and encouragement deserve better!

So... the longer it became, the more embarrassed I became... the more embarrassed I felt, the longer I waited... the longer I waited... the more embarrassed I felt...

Where does it end? 

How can I get out of this gracefully?    


I can't! 

There is no UN-humiliating way return to blogging. So... here goes... I am SO sorry! I am completely humiliated by my previous blogging failure! I am begging your forgiveness. And I would love the chance to try to do better.

Unfortunately, it's not just my blogging/newslettering that has been neglected of late. (I know, that's not a real word. But for today, it SHOULD be!) As I consider "What will I write?" I am forced to admit that my passion for Jesus and His work in my own life and the lives of those around me has slowly gone cold. I have filled my life with business and "noise".

I try to DO all I'm supposed to do. I TRY to BE who I'm supposed to be. I try to WALK the talk... But I've lost my fire. I've drowned it out with Facebook, movies and TV shows, Words With Friends, Solitaire, MineSweeper, and all manner of business and white noise. (Please do not misunderstand me here. I thank God for all of these things. They are awesome tools that can be used to enrich our own lives and the lives of those around us, when used responsibly. But I have NOT been using them responsibly! I have been worshipping them instead of God.)

Today I have begun a 40 day media fast. I will be avoiding all media that is not either required by my work / life, or directing me towards Jesus. 

With all this "empty" time, I have returned to reading a book that I had begun over a month ago, and had not read in the last two weeks. The book is called Significant,Why you Matter in the Surprising Way God is Changing the World, By Chris Travis. The last sentence of Chapter 3 says, "Receiving God's love costs me nothing. Loving God back is a different story."

That just about sums up my current struggle. 

Loving God back is a different story.

And starting now, I want to make that my story again. I want to live a whole different story!

Thank you for taking the time to listen to me ramble. I hope you will join me in inviting Jesus to be my center, my focus, and my direction. 

And if you have found yourself too busy DOING good to seek the only one who can clean us up, I hope you'll join me in seeking Him to make your life "a whole different story" too.

God bless you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Road Trip
A Genuine African Adventure
We had 2 weeks of for Easter. For the second time this year, we planned to spend a long weekend in Blantyre. For the second time this year, there was no fuel in the country for the 3 weeks preceding our vacation. So, my housemate, Tracy, and I decided to take the bus to Cape Maclear. We had no idea just what an African Adventure our little road trip would turn out to be…
We got up early order to catch the “coach bus” to Monkey Bay. The Axa bus is the height of luxury in Malawi. 

We arrived at the bus depot in time to get a seat on the 7:00am bus. We had no idea how fortunate this was; as once the seats were full, they continued to sell tickets and load passengers who would stand for the “4 hour” trip.

Along the way we stopped at the roadside markets and people did their shopping for vegetables and all manner of goods. We sampled the street vendors’ “donuts”, samoosas, and french fries.  All handed up hurriedly through the windows as we paused on the side of the road…
We arrived at Monkey Bay around 2:30, and had to take a mini-bus-taxi up the mountain to Cape Maclear. We, the the 3 “azungu” (white people) from the bus, were the first to be approached by the taxi driver. We “bargained” him down from 3000 kwacha each, to k1500 (about $9). Once we paid and boarded, he drove up to a fuel station to buy black market fuel, then drove in circles around town, until we were full, before heading up the hill. Turns out, the going price for the taxi from Monkey Bay to Cape Maclear is k500 ($3). We drove up the hill and let people off at the various lodges and other spots in the surrounding village. Finally, last lodge on the circuit, after an 8 1/2 hour trip..,. 14:30pm Fat Monkey's
We walked about 1/4 mile from the drop-off to the lodge. We went to Reception to check in, and, surprise, they wanted to charge us k9000, ($47) for the room instead of the k8000, ($42) they had quoted on the phone.We made a fuss, and he did us a “big favor” and let us have the room for k8000. The room was beautiful.

We showered, and went out to watch the beautiful sunset.

The vendors all rushed us trying to get us to buy their curios. We explained about 160 times, that we did not have any money for buying the trinkets, as we planned to go scuba diving on the island. One of the vendors, taught me how to play Bawo, the African game tha involves moving seeds around all the holes, in an attempt to take all your opponents seeds. I can’t really claim to actually understand the rules, but it was fun trying…

The next day we went scuba diving on the island,
had lunch,

and a chance to feed the King Fiser Eagle,

and went down the beach to have dinner at the Gecko Lounge.  It was a very fun day                       
We had to go to bed early, because we had to catch the 5am taxi back to Monkey Bay, in order to catch the 7am bus to Lilongwe. I woke up at 4 to get ready for the day. By 4:55 we were back at the “corner” where they had dropped us off. We ended up on a “motola”. A flatbed truck that takes on passengers/cargo as it goes along.

We wound our way through the village, picking up passengers as we went. By the time we reached the road down the hill, we were only ½ full. So, we circled back. We continued circling the village, until we were packed. Then, down the hill we finally went. We struck up a conversation with the 2 other azungu on the ride. She’s a teacher at another Lilongwe school. Her boyfriend is visiting her for a couple of weeks. They’re from Germany. She’s travelled by public transportation several times before and knows the ropes. As we approached the bus-stop, Nina said, “There goes our bus”. Sure enough, we had missed it. A motola pulled up as we disembarked and said, they’d take us to Lilongwe for k1800. As soon as we had packed in, he said, k2800 to Lilongwe. We refused and got out. Another motola pulled up and said, k1000 to Salima, (about ½ way to Lilongwe).  So in we climbed.

He drove about 10 miles, then pulled over and said they needed to buy fuel and we must pay now. We said, ½ now the rest when we get there. He disappeared around the corner, and it was over an hour before he returned, climbed in, and started the drive, (with no fuel to add). Then he proceeded to pick up people on the side of the road as we drove. After about 2 hours, we stopped in this little town. He climbed out, and disappeared for at least another hour, stating as his reason, we need fuel. Eventually, a little fuel arrived and he disappeared for another 15 minutes. The passengers up in the cab were honking and threatening his assistant who stayed with us in the truck. Once we got moving again, he continued stopping for passengers. Eventually we picked up a guy and a bushel of his sweet potatoes. Then it started to rain.

Then we picked up a guy with this huge crate. As they got close to the truck, you could smell the fish inside the crate. Of course, the crate was pushed right up against me.

Eventually, we reached Salima. We paid the rest of our fair and disembarked. We stopped at an ATM as we had all run out of cash. We went to the main bus depot and found a minibus taxi with 6 open seats. We paid for our 4 and waited only 5 minutes while he filled up the last 2. And we were on our way to Lilongwe in “the lap of luxury”,  (luxury as compared to our previous transportation).

It was a lovely, uneventful ride. With the usual stops for passengers and markets, and finally we arrived in Lilongwe. The taxi was going to the center of town, which would require us to get another taxi from there to ABC.  Nina lives about 3 or 4 miles from us, so we got off close to her house and walked to her house with them. Then we continued down the road, hoping to catch a taxi or a ride for the remaining few miles. Of course, just as we parted ways, it began to rain again. Tracy and I walked along in the rain, waving our hands in the Malawian sign for hitch-hiking, until a gentleman driving by was kind enough to stop and ask where we were going. When we said ABC, he said he was going close to there and would give us a ride. We stopped at the next taxi stop to pick up his wife. Turns out, he is the manager of the school our new friend Nina teaches at. He was kind enough to give us a ride almost to the ABC gate.

So, finally we arrived home, safe and sound, at 4:30. A mere 12 hours after our “4 hour” journey began. Sounds about right for Malawian time! Being too exhausted to cook, we ordered a pizza. Of course, we have no internet service in our house at the moment, so I won’t actually get to post this until tomorrow or, (who knows when I’ll have access again…)  Now, I’m going to bed, I don’t care if it is only 6:30…

Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear family and friends,

 For those of youd who are not signed up for my newsleetter, here is a copy of my newest newsletter.  If you would like to be added to my mailing list, please add your email address to the form on the right side. I'll add you next time. For now, I hope you enjoy reading this post. By the way, I love to recieve comments...

I hope that you are all well back home. I do miss each and every one of you and thank God for blessing me through you. All your prayers and support, along with the Lord’s mighty hand is what sustains me here in Malawi. The lap-top I bought in August, crashed and completely lost its hard drive. This has made my lesson planning, as well as communication difficult. Many thanks to my housemate Tracy for letting me use hers to do this newsletter. Many exciting things have been happening over the past months and it is with great joy that I write to share these special experiences with you.

Teaching is going really well. I am really enjoying my students, and it gives me such joy to see them learn and grow. They have crept into my heart and are such a great encouragement to me on a daily basis. It is such a privilege having the opportunity of sharing the gospel with them each day. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to God for allowing me the privilege of teaching here, and to each of you for your support which allows me to stay. I look at the calendar and find it nearly impossible to believe that the school year will be over in 3 months! Where has the time gone? I truly feel as if this school year started a month or two ago, yet, now we are wrapping up!

One event at school this month was “Swim for Malaria”. Children needed to get sponsored to swim laps with all proceeds going to buying mosquito nets for people who cannot afford them. The goal was to raise money to buy 1000 nets. We are hoping to take some nets to the widows and orphans in the community where we are involved. One of my 5 year olds, Elouise, swam 20 laps of 50 meters, with a kickboard. She swam 1 whole kilometer! I was SO proud! !

This is Elouise, who swam a
whole Kilometre to raise money for mosquito nets.

We had a long weekend recently and I was fortunate to be able to go to Lake Malawi with 3 of my dear friends: Tracy, Roberta, and Sofiya. We stayed at a backpackers’ lodge right on the lake, next door to a fishing village. The picture on the left was our view from the porch. I was intrigued by the village lifestyle. As you can see, there was a lot of activity on the beach as fisherman prepared for a night of fishing. The following morning crowds gathered around the returning boats to get some fresh fish. Thank God for a little rest and refreshing.

There are only 2 more weeks of school before our 2 week Easter break. The week before break is Gospel Emphasis Week. All of our lessons will include a focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins to allow us to have a relationship with Him. Please be praying for us teachers to communicate His unfathomable love. And pray for our kids’ hearts to hear His love and respond with gratitude and love. Please also be praying for the ongoing petrol crisis in Malawi. Some friends and I would like to travel to Blantyre, a 5 hour drive, for a weekend. However, if we cannot find petrol we will not be able to go.

In January, I was fortunate to join some people who are involved in a local village outreach, “Women and The Church Ministries ” The aim of this ministry is to equip and empower women to learn income-generating skills, giving them the opportunity to start their own business, thereby allowing them to feed their children, giving them hope for the future. God has done mighty works and has blessed this ministry incredibly. We sent a proposal to a U.S. organization requesting funds for start-up and operating costs for the widows/orphans program. Our prayers were answered – we will not only receive the full amount of funding requested, but they offered to give an additional $2500 if we raise another $2500! This scripture jumps to mind "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" Ephesians 3:20. We were overwhelmed with thankfulness and gratitude for this amazing answer to prayer.

Two weekends ago we started soap making training with the WTCM women. We would like to run a number of training days, focusing on the following three skills: soap-making, mat/basket- making and tailoring/sewing. Through these trainings, and with small start-up loans, we hope to see them succeed in their own businesses. We will use the “matching grant” money to buy the sewing machines as this is the biggest expense in our budget. Please pray that God will provide us with the necessary funds to get this exciting program started .

I am praying about whether it would be a wise use of my very limited resources to come home for the summer. I am currently receiving less than half of my required support. Thankfully, the school is temporarily making up this deficit. This means that I need to return to the States to raise additional support. However, I need to have speaking opportunities at many churches/organizations in order to justify spending the $2,500 on a plane ticket. I would also need living accommodations while there. If you know of a church/organization that would allow me to visit, or people who would allow me to stay with them, please email me at

Each year, ABC ships a container by slow boat in April, arriving in August. I have a wish- list of things I would love to have added to the container. They would need to be shipped to the stateside office in Mississippi, and arrive there by April 1st. Most of the stuff could be ordered at for delivery to the ABC office. If you would like to help me out with this, email me and I’ll send you a list and shipping details.

Please continue to pray for the current political/economic situation in Malawi. There is a severe shortage, (a “non-existence” would almost be more accurate,) of foreign currency. Since the Malawi Kwacha is considered worthless outside our borders, this means that it is nearly impossible for the government to buy fuel to import. This not only means extreme inconvenience for us, who must wait in lines for days to get any fuel, but it also means that farmers cannot get their goods to market, and the products which Malawi imports cannot be delivered. Bear in mind the only products manufactured here are peanut butter and honey. We have seen a rotating “schedule” of items unavailable in the stores. There has been a big sugar shortage for weeks.

2 Corinthians 6: 3-10 has been a passage of great encouragement to me over the past few weeks. It talks about the hardships that Paul endured during his ministry:
“Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (vs 10)

Much Love,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

4 Weeks of School Finished...



Time really DOES fly when you're having fun!!!

I can't believe the first month is finished.
Here's a quick overview...

Ready for school to begin

First day consists of an assembly, then they go home...

The rest of the first week is all about learning to be in school...

"Carpet Time" is a daily gathering...
School is tiring when it's new...

The second week of school the actual curriculum begins: 
We learned that "I says i-i-i-Indian"...

Making "I / i" with play-dough...

Painting develops motor skills...

Of course, Fun Friday is an Indian Pow-Wow!

I thought you might like to meet my kids! You can remember their beautiful faces as you pray for God to help me be the teacher who can give them the best they all deserve...


Lucy C











Lucy A
We've already had a couple of birthdays...

This past week we learned that "E says e-e-e-Elephant."



Four down...
32 to go!