Enjoy the new background while under construction. It reminded me of the bathroom I used for four weeks in the bush....(see previous blog post if you forgot) I apologize ahead of time for my sloppy blogging. For how much I like 'simplified' things- this stuff is sooo not simple.
|yah, making it bigger just cut half of it all off...poo.|
So here is my third attempt- (I'm only leaving/showing one for evidence :( ) at a collage of pictures so that your finger doesn't get a cramp from scrolling through picture after picture!!! These pictures are from the first week while staying at Booker's. I said screw it- and posted individuals anyway so that you can actually SEE the pictures.
* We went to a boarding school with about 400 students, and we were invited into the Head School Master's office where he basically questioned us all about America and then asked if we would mind (all 7 of us) sharing our testimonies...UM can you say SLIGHTLY intimidating? They lined us all up on a little porch/ledge in front of the students, and one by one we stood up and shared what God has done in our lives to lead us to Him.....I literally sat praying as the first four or five us gave their testimonies...telling God- if You don't show up and speak through me, I'm going to throw up or pee my pants standing in front of these high schoolers, I had no idea how to put my God story into words, ugh. Well, God showed up. He showed up in all seven of us- and two brave students stood up at the end in front of ALLLLLL of their peers and said they wanted to follow Christ from that day forward!!
|all 400 wouldn't fit- shoot! But can you get the idea of the intimidation?|
* Me & Damyano. I caught this little guy out of the corner of my eye as we were circled up with some villagers on top of a mountain- praying for their church/building that will be built there. He just looks absolutely defeated, not to mention in a whole lot of pain from this infection(?) on his eye. I looked at him and motioned for him to "come here", he looked to his brother sitting next to him, and his brother yanked his arm and shoved him towards me. I picked him up and asked if our group could lay our hands on him and just pray for him. :( Man, what a bummer. After, we walked back up the mountain and Melanie whipped out her first-aid kit. We didn't have much, some alcohol swabs, gauze, bandages...she did what she could. He had absolutely no emotion the entire time. I think his face and his heart were just numb. Say a prayer for this little guy- whatever he might be doing in his village on that mountain in Malawi, Africa right this moment.
|I'm not sure if I'm squinting? BUT this is Damyano! :(|
* Just playing with a couple little girls as their church congregation was performing some of their songs and dance moves for us "azungus" (foreigners/white)...
* Pigtail girl: well she's adorable. I basically played "nursery staff" for her personally during the three hour church service. WHICH she so graciously peed on my leg through her skirt and mine amidst playing! Eh, oh well.
|kinda blurry- but this is where the wet spot was ;)|
* Big sis/little sis: This picture doesn't really capture how small that 'big sister' is while carrying her little sister around after church. This scene NEVER ceased to amaze me. They're Wayyyyy more hardcore than I am at 22 years of age.
* Elisha & I (see below)
* Third over: Baby Momma let me hold hers :) Tiny little thing!
* Last: Just all the colors of the world (well, at least two) holding hands during frisbee
One of my favorite people I met in Malawi was this 18 year old Elisha. I'm just going to insert my journal entry about him, thank goodness I wrote things down- phew!
June 11, 2011
From the moment we pulled into Booker's home- we've felt like and been treated as family. We have been served so graciously and they have set the bar so high when it comes to hospitality, humility, and what a servants heart looks like. WOAH BABY!
There is one boy who stands apart from the rest of the residents that stay at Booker's. When I think of it, it wasn't until Thursday that I really took notice. That's the day when I could begin to put names to faces, recognize that someone different comes in and out each day for various things at Booker's. But I could pick out the regulars now! :)
Elisha is one of them. Elisa is 18 years old. He's always doing something around the house or yard. Always. Sweeping, fetching water from the well, filling the toilets, boiling shower water, cooking, going to the market to get groceries, clearing the table, mopping, doing dishes, etc. The other three girls on our team and I have felt absolutely terrible when we realized how much he does for US?!! We've come to find out that it's more of an honor than any sort of burden because we're guests....but he does this all with such JOY!
We got up the nerve tonight to ask Booker about his story, why in the world is he joyful while doing all of these things? He told us that at one point he and his wife were part of another church, and they knew Elisha's parents and him. But it was one day after church, that they came home to find Elisha at their home waiting for them. Lesta recognized him- and he told her his situation- he's oldest of three kids and he's recently lost both parents to the HIV/AIDS virus. Leaving him the "bread winner" of the family, and that he was looking for help. His siblings now stay with their grandpa and he needed a way to provide for them. They offered him a home and a job helping with chores around their home.
It's here at Booker and Lesta's that he spends time with other orphans, and working alongside Lesta that he's been under her provision/teaching/wisdom, and love from the Lord that he has helped turn sorrow and pain- into hope and healing. It's in their home that he has unknowingly blessed me with his joyful attitude, smile, servant's heart, gentleness, and love for Jesus.
And we don't even speak the same language. Tears flood my eyes hearing him next to me at our "family devos", in Chichewa (for Booker to translate for us) that HE is so thankful for us and for this week we've spent here, and that the March for Malawi 5K Race t-shirt we had left over and gave him before dinner tonight....(as he ate ouside)- made him SO HAPPY, and he appreciated it, and thanked us again and again and again.
God? My heart cries out to you in praise for who You are ARE to HIM and that he seemingly shows that he embraces it. God, you are good. All the time. I pray for my dear brother Elisha. I ask that the love and peace you offer would mend the pain from his loss. God, I thank you for putting him in Booker's care, a house that loves the Lord, that are helping him heal and grow in you. I praise you that after his suffereings- he is able to serve joyfully and know that his road, hasn't ended. God continue to pour out your blessings on him and his family. May he always know YOU GOD- know that you are his provider, and you love him unfathomly much. --Amen