Monday, July 25, 2011

Booker Banda & his family

It's SO hard to know where to start telling stories and experiences- so I'll just start from the beginning! When we landed Zach (a Malawian) who works for Gospelink (the organization we went through) picked us up from the airport and explained that we were going to a pastor's house that Gospelink supports in Lilongwe. So we hoped in the little van with all our luggage and showed up on Booker Banda's doorstep! (Zach headed back to the Pastor Training Center, built by Gospelink- and we'd meet up with him the following week) The thing that continually surprised me most about Malawi (or Africa in general I'm sure) is the sheer excitement everyone had in having Americans as visitors. That excitement extended to unbelievable amounts of hospitality. They were just so genuinely grateful for visitors and so kind in making sure we had everything we needed, were comfortable, and felt welcome.
The front of Booker's house that was built for him by a man/friend from the UK that supports Booker. This is a "mansion" anywhere you go in Malawi. He has a brick wall/gate around it to protect his property. NOT normal Malawian living quarters.
Where we ate all of our meals!

this is half of the living room, there were 3-4 other couches. Booker uses this room for counseling and gatherings! We were watching a movie on a laptop someone gave him with the electricity that was on at that time.
Booker's church! SO FUN! (and our mode of transportation everywhere we went- and I GOT TO DRIVE one day, on the 'other side' of the road, and in the right passenger seat)

Booker's granddaughter Agatha (most intelligent girl I've ever met in my life), and great-granddaughter Vanessa

Booker and our oh-so-animated team leader Nathan

Lesta, Booker's wife, amazing cook, mother, and women's ministry leader of their church! She was WONDERFUL!

Those are just a few pictures from the week at Booker's. Every night we had 'family devos' in their living room. Everyone that currently lives with him and his wife meet in the living room after dinner by electricity light or candle light if it wasn't "our side" of the city's turn for electricity. Booker would translate everything we said for those who couldn't understand English. He speaks EXCELLENT English- and is such a wise man. I thoroughly enjoyed this week here, and it kind of 'broke us in' to Malawi. With brick walls, beds, toilets that you had to pour water into the bowl after pulling it from the well in order to make it flush, introduced us to showering with a cup and bucket of water, and started our menu of rice, beans, greens (spinich looking stuff), and bread for breakfast.

More to come with our weekly activities at Booker's tomorrow!

PS- if you know how to make a 'collage of pictures' rather than individuals, I'm open for suggestions! ;) These posts could get lengthy with the amount of pictures for storytelling! haha

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