We had a Northern Hemisphere Christmas celebration with our homeschooling friends here in Lilongwe and had a ball. We had to dress up in winter woollies and take a treat that we usually enjoy over Christmas. I made shortbread. I grew up in South Africa and so our Christmases were always in the middle of our summer holidays. I am used to it being sunny, with braais (barbeques) and swimming being much of what happens on the day. It was fun though to 'experience' what many of the other missionary families and Brian are so accustomed to.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Ami and Bradley called me the other day to show me the house they had made and were playing in. It was so fun to see the kids use their imagination and find old things to build their play house with. We still have quite a bit of trash from the building of our own house lying around and so there was a 'great' selection for them to choose from.
Brian called me on my phone the other day to tell me to send the kids over to his office - he wanted to show them something. He is still using the office which is behind our old house, until the office which is attached to our new house is done. I gladly sent them running over, because that meant I could have a few extra minutes, maybe even half an hour, to get some packing done for our holiday.
The pictures are unbelievable, but I assure you they have not been edited in anyway. You could eat these guys for a main course, for those of you who ever order escargot! They are called African Giant Snails and we have seen a few since the rainy season started.
We've had to say farewell to many friends during this month and it hasn't been fun. Ami, Bradley and Benjamin were especially sad to see their neighbour and good friend Caroline leave. She is a Malawian girl who has been adopted by a lady who taught for four years at the Christian Academy here.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Just 6 sleeps and then we'll be on our way to visit my folks down in South Africa. We shall be there for almost a month and look so forward to the time of rest. Ami and Bradley want to go to the zoo with aunty Judy (a dear friend who attends our church down there) and they also want to go to a dairy farm. Ami wants to see how bumper cars work and go on a ferris wheel. We are so thankful to be able to just have a break from life and work here in Malawi. There is not much to do here for the kids and so to be able to go to the zoo and to a mall and have ice cream will be a real treat! Over Christmas time many folks go away, we have already seen a drop in church attendance. It'll pick up again when the holiday makers return around mid January.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Today we had a huge storm at our house. There are some leaky spots, a couple in the roof and one or two windows that still need to be sealed properly.
About two weeks ago we had an even bigger storm and Richard's (our builder) roof was ripped right off his new house that he is building in a nearby village.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In order to stay in Malawi, we need to have a Temporary Employment Permit (TEP). It is typical to apply for this soon after arrival and it usually arrives about four months later (approved or not approved). We arrived here in August of 2007 and we are still waiting to find out if we are approved or not. Brian has been down to several immigration offices to try and sort this out, and so far the only answer we have gotten is that our application has been lost - twice. Above, you will see a photo of a senior immigration officer looking for our application. Below is a photo of his personal filing system. This week we applied for a third time. Please pray that this gets resolved quickly. It matters a great deal whenever we try to leave the country and return and it also affects our long term status in this country.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
For those of you who have been to Malawi you know how terrible the roads are here. There are pedestrians everywhere and there is very little in the form of medical response in the case of an accident. This week, one of the families who attend our church, lost their dad and husband in a head on collision on the Blantyre road. This gentleman was such a dedicated and godly man. He worked with pastors in the rural villages helping to train them in the truth. He was even supposed to preach for Brian this coming January while we are in South Africa. He leaves behind a wife and three young girls ages 8, 6 and 3. Our hearts were heavy this week. We have continued to bear them up in prayer and praise God that they know Him and know where their dad is.
It was a huge reminder to us to live each day to the fullest, gloryfying Christ and being thankful for every breath.
Also, we have had to say goodbye to many families who are returning to their homes in the countries they come from. Our church is an International Church and so we have people from all over the globe attending. In just these next two weeks we are saying goodbye to 6 families. It's hard for us to see them go, some under difficult circumstances, but thankful that we have been able to share God's comforting words with them, knowing that He is in complete control!