Friends, Readers and anyone mildly interested in Our Journey… the last week has been a blur of conflicting emotions and to do lists. I haven’t been able to get my thoughts in order and then I read this beautiful article by Heather Harriss from her time in Malawi. Please enjoy her clear and articulate reflections, while I try to get mine together…
Mpenya, Galilea, Tiwasunge, Dedza, Blantyre— a few weeks ago these words were completely foreign and strange, now just typing them brings to mind images of singing children, laughing teachers, humble servant leaders, a thriving church, beautiful mountains, a lush green landscape. These images, the people I encountered and the experiences we shared continue to shape me and my ministry.
From my initial and ongoing wonder at being in Malawi, to my joy at the amazing hospitality that is lived out on so many levels, to being inspired by the depth and breadth of the faith I had the privilege to be invited to witness and to participate in through prayer, worship and welcome–I have much to ponder and to pray about.
Again and again, I met people whose lives are shaped by prayer and through a fervent belief that prayers are answered. Everything we did was bracketed and rested between opening song and prayer and closing song and prayer. Shaping the living of the day with prayer, provides an ongoing reminder that God is with us.
And this ongoing reminder of God’s promise to be with us is certainly necessary in a country so wracked by the ills that poverty and little to no healthcare bring. A great joy was to see the hope and resilience that the United Methodist Church of Malawi inspires in so many. From the naming of leaders within the community to the calling of ministers of word and sacrament, the church is doing the work of reminding people that through God they can do more than they ever dreamed, through Christian community we can become more than we ever thought. Seeing people’s faith allow them to love more and to give more reminds me to have the faith to love and to give, trusting that God will provide what is needed.
My learning and growing from this time away continues to unfold. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity to see God at work in Malawi and see anew God at work here at home.