Update 11 - Understanding God's Missions 2018: 3.0
We were able to go to the orphanage with the electrician. Now, we will be collecting all the supplies that we need to get the wiring in order. So far, it has been a few days since we mentioned that they would need to move the cars out. This needed to happen to build the cement wall and have access to repair the roof. So far, we have not had much success. Things are much different here in Malawi. Timetables and standards of work are much different than that of the US. You would never fully understand this unless you immerse yourself into the culture. This knowledge would not come in a week or two, but now that I am approaching thirteen weeks of time spent in Africa, my awareness of cultural norms is becoming clearer. It is not uncommon to buy a can of paint that is half used, or a tube of glue that has carefully had a third or more removed without collapsing the tube. Using a level to mount objects is practically foreign. During painting, it is completely acceptable to leave the drips on the floor. We have already worn out several razor blades trying to clean up the windows and floors at the new mission house.
Fortunately, God is training us to accept a different standard. The small servant quarters are simply cleaned and painted. Besides two-bedrooms and bathrooms, there is only one small room. We are fitting it with a sink and tiny kitchen. It will be our kitchen, office, living room, and dining area all-in-one. We are delighted to have this space and believe it will suit us fine. The main house will be used for the pastors training, food preparation and a place for Tony and Kelvin to stay. Those are two very impressive young men, and I am thankful for all the time we been able to spend with them.The time that we are spending together in the mornings has blessed everyone.
Each morning, someone different leads the session. It does not take long for the Holy Spirit to take over and direct us through the Word. A few days after the orphanage came into our path, another opportunity appeared. Rhoda, Tony’s mother, saw an elderly man on the street that could not walk. She brought it up in the group, and said that we should do something. We decided that if we could find him, it would be God’s will to help him. The following day, Rhoda, Marvelous and Boneface were able to miraculously locate him after a couple of hours. They then brought him back to the mission house where the pastors cleaned him up and gave him a shave. Not only was it a great experience and opportunity for Echo, but it served as an important opportunity for the pastors to assist. The following day, we took him to the hospital for some wounds that he had. He is a 73 year-old from Mozambique.
In just a few days time, God has given us an opportunity to help the least of these. We were grateful to be able to take 18 mattresses to the orphanage. They had been sleeping on cement floors with no blankets, in temperatures sometimes below 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night. We had extra blankets at the mission house, however, Tony lost the key to the room where they were stored. This morning, he prayed that God would reveal where it was. Within one minute, he walked into the kitchen, looked in one cabinet, and it was there behind the breadbox. From God’s guidance, we will be able to take blankets and shoes today.
This past weekend, we went to a little church on the side of a mountain. The roof was made of grass, and the side walls were reed mats. The view outside of the church was stunning. Pastor Albert was a church planter. I believe this was the fifteenth time he had started a new church. During prayer time, he kneeled down on the rocky floor of the church. It was very humbling to see that it did not matter to him where he was kneeling. There were only ten or twelve people in the church, but it did not matter because the Holy Spirit was present. After the service, we were invited to his house for lunch, and heard quite an incredible story about how he came to know Jesus.
Pastor Albert had gone off to another village to see a woman that was not his wife. The brothers of this woman pursued him to cause harm. He promised God that if he saved him, he would be a servant to The Lord for life. That is exactly what happened. He had never shared this story with anyone before. Heidi had asked him about how he came to God, and I believe she was prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. My sense is that this man is supposed to start another Echo Africa training facility someday. He speaks four different languages, and had no problem being transparent and honest with us. There was something about Pastor Albert that was genuine and sincere. Now it is up to God to allow the situation to unfold. The amazing thing is when you are in submission to God’s Hand, incredible things will happen. We just have to pay attention and be ready, and I love to hear His voice.