Sunday, December 22, 2013

Today is the Day of Salvation!

What an amazing day of worship!  We were invited to go to church in a village today about 45 minutes outside of Lilongwe.  A friend I met back in April when I visited here came by this past week, and he is the pastor of 6 churches in this village.  Today all 6 churches met together for a combined service.  We left our house at 9 this morning and didn't get back until 3 this afternoon!

 Our truck, provided by the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, has 5 seats in it.  Our friend and his family, 5 more people, show up and say we are all going to fit into our truck.  The saying here holds true that there is always room for 1 more!  We are really glad they rode with us because they shared lots of information along the way about culture and places that we would drive past.

 We arrived at the church around 10 and there was already a large crowd there.  The deacons in the church met us at the truck and greeted us and carried our Bibles, diaper bag, chairs, etc.  We got seated and the pastor began to introduce us.  Some of this was in Chewa and some in English.  I am picking up bits and pieces and then realized that he said I would be bringing the message today!  He had mentioned this on the phone earlier in the week, but then I thought he was just joking or would have me stand and say something short.  I'm glad that I came prepared!

 The singing and music in the village was incredible.  Several choirs sang and they made some of the most unique instruments.  One guy made a guitar out of an old metal gas can that he shoved a piece of wood into and tied strings on.  Another guy made a steel guitar out of wood and used a glass medicine bottle to slide on the strings to make sound.  The sound from both of these instruments was unlike anything I have heard before. 

 During the singing I went over and asked the pastor how long I should preach for and he said 1 hour max.  I also asked if he would be translating and he said he would be.  I preached from Numbers 21:4-9.  The Holy Spirit was really moving and 5 people accepted Jesus Christ today!  Praise the Lord for new brothers and sisters!  One of those 5 people was the senior chief from the village.  This is really a big deal for the chief to make a decision like this.  He has requested a meeting with the pastor now to learn more about Jesus!  Please pray for this village and the churches to have a desire to reach others in the village.

 One of the church members prepared a meal for us at their home after the service.  It was very nice to spend more time with them and share a meal.  He made a comment that I will never forget.  He said they were so encouraged by us coming today and sharing because a lot of the times people forget about the villages and they need to hear about Jesus too. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Praise Him, Praise Him We Have Power!

So thankful that we have power right now!  The electricity at our house since moving in has been unreliable at best.  This last stretch we were out for 20+ hours.  We were so excited when it came back on!  It stayed on for about 2 hours and then went off again.  Thankfully it was only for about an hour.  Hopefully it stays on long enough to post this and fall asleep with a fan blowing on us!

Since the power has been off so much we bought a small 2 burner gas stove.  For some reason it seems the power is always off at meal time.  I got the stove top all put together and the gas hooked up this afternoon so dinner could be prepared.  I turned on the gas and found out the brand new gas bottle I just bought was empty!  So back to town I went and got it filled up and we enjoyed a nice dinner.

We began our language study today and it went really well.  We are using a new method of language learning and are excited to keep building on it.  Our language helper is really top notch and has taught language for the Peace Corps for many years.  Pray that our ears will hear and our tongues will be able to speak.  We can't wait to be able to communicate with the people here in their heart language and share the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ.

The broken windows are all replaced in our house now but the screen saga continues.  Today was the 4th trip I have made to the shop to see if they are ready.  They are fixing 7 screens for us and we have 4 of them back now.  The other 3 were 'ready' according to them and I wish I could show you a picture of them!  One of them had a large hole they made while putting the new screen in and the other 2 were just about as bad.  I let the man know that this was not going to work and they were going to need to try again on those 3.  I am suppose to check back tomorrow to see when they might be ready again!

Monday, December 2, 2013

T.I.A. (This is Africa)!!!

It's hard to believe that we have been here approaching 2 weeks now.  This past Saturday we were able to move into our house!  That was a huge blessing to be able to unpack and get settled.  Thank you so much for giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Cooperative Program.  Due to your faithful giving we have a house, truck, fuel for the truck, insurance, schooling for our kids, and the list goes on and on!

The boys have loved moving into our house.  Our house helper lives on our property and has 2 kids (Gome and Vito).  They are both older than our boys but they love to play with them.  All Sunday afternoon they played basketball and watched a movie.  Kaleb introduced a Nintendo 3Ds to Gome!  He had never seen anything like that and loved it.  Kaleb said, "Dad, he didn't even care what game he played.  He just wanted to play it!"

Money is very interesting here.  The largest bill is equivalent to about $2.50 USD.  You must pay cash everywhere you go so it feels like you are constantly going to the ATM or exchanging money.  Erin made the comment today that it feels like we are playing Monopoly since we have to carry so much cash; unlike the board game this doesn't add up to much!

We had to replace 6 windows in the house today and several screens to keep the mosquitos out.  There is not a company to call and come out.  If you want the process to go somewhat quickly, not sure anything happens very quickly here :-), you must go down to the shop and bring someone back to your house to take dimensions.  Then, you take him back to the shop for them to draw up a quote.  After you go to the ATM and draw out enough money you then go back to the shop and pay.  Once you pay they will cut the glass.  After the glass is cut you bring the man back to your house to replace the windows.  He isn't finished as I'm writing this, but I'm sure I will take him either back to the shop or his house when he is finished.  Needless to say, this has been an all day project!  The cost to replace 6 windows here is about..............$60!