"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn."
While in Malawi and Zambia, Drew and I have had the chance to go to a wedding and 2 funerals, one in Malawi and one in Zambia. The wedding was a great time with the pastor, Aston Makina, of the church Drew and the intern team had planted getting married to his now wife Lezina. The wedding consisted of the bride ushered in by children on both sides of her waving their hands. The groom met her at the door and they were escorted to the front where they sat while the pastor officiated the wedding. They exchanged vows and rings and at the end hugged each other instead of kissing because that is a very private thing in Malawi and not done in public, especially in the village. Afterwards they had a reception at a village a few miles away from the ceremony.
We also attended two funerals. The one in Zambia was for the wife of the General Secretary of the Central Church of Africa Presbytery (C.C.A.P.). The other in Malawi was for the daughter of Roderick (one of our students) who was 4 and died very suddenly. Funerals are the most important events in Malawi and Zambia, more important than Birthdays or Weddings. We could have missed the wedding and it not have been a big deal, but going to the funerals meant so much to the people, more than anything we could have said to them. Everyone goes to funerals here unless they are physically unable to. Both of the families were prominent members in their village and churches so they had about 500-1000 people there. In Zambia we had to change our plans completely so we could attend the funeral. In Malawi, we didn't have school for 3 days, with Roderick not coming back until the next week. Also, in Malawi, we drove about 10 women to Roderick's house the night of the death so that they could be with his wife and sing songs to God all night. Both funerals were sad but something I will never forget.
Prayers and Praises
- Praise God for our students, who are almost done with school and will be commissioned to go minister to churches in Malawi
- Praise God for our garden. The Maize and beans are growing great since we've planted.
- Praise God that Drew and I have not gotten very sick since we have been here
- Pray for Roderick and his family as the death of his daughter Precious happened only a few weeks ago
- Pray for the youth program we are starting in the next few weeks. We are assisting some youth with fees so they can attend schools and help some start small businesses after school. They will be working on the field we bought a few months ago using Foundations for Farming techniques.
- Pray for our students as they have finals next week and then will be moving to begin ministry
- Pray for the Leadership conference that Bob and Peggy Kuest, affiliates of NMSI, will be holding for the women Today and tomorrow and for the men on Nov. 1-5.
- Pray for Drew and I as we have only 5 weeks left in Malawi.
Thank you for the support you all have given me. I know I say this a lot but I could not be here without you! I praise God because of you all. God Bless.
His hands and feet,