Its been a couple of weeks since my last blog but this is life! I was sick for a few days with a flu type illness which knocked me off my feet. Its the time of year when many people are sick due to the cooler weather!!
It was great a few weeks ago to witness the lunar eclipse – as I was walking home from Bible study the moon was amazing!! I hope people in the northern hemisphere also saw it – maybe it was too cloudy but here it was a beautiful clear night.
I got a call a few days ago from a lady who is running Mphatso children’s foundation on the lake shore, she wanted her caregivers trained in Early Childhood and wondered if we could do it for her, so I went to see the place and find out more. At the main office they have a lovely centre as you can see in the photograph although not a lot was going on except rote learning! I hope that we are going to be able to assist them in August.
On Thursday I headed for Lilongwe as I was picking up a friend on Friday at the airport. On the way, I had to stop at Champhira Presbytery to interview some possible candidate for training in Early Childhood. It was a great visit because the interviews took place at the Presbytery office and I found 4 ministers there – three of whom had been students at Zomba Theological College where I used to work. It was wonderful to catch up with them and hear about life in the congregation – the challenges they face and the joys too!! Unfortunately none of the candidates were suitable so we have to start again!!
Rev Chirwa is Presbytery clerk for Champhira Presbytery and here you can see him with his wife, who was a student of mine at Zomba. Its so rewarding to see the ladies who were once students doing so much in their congregations!
A highlight earlier in the week. My friend Luso who many of you will know, as she is the General Secretary’s secretary and also studied in Belfast, delivered a beautiful baby boy. Perhaps the main highlight for me was that I was the guardian at the hospital and so was with her during delivery – it was amazing to see a new baby being born! His name is Asimenye which is from one of the local languages and means ‘God knows‘. Here you can see the whole family seeing the baby for the first time. As I have said many times, you really need to be flexible and willing to do whatever comes your way!!
Paul Sayers from Ballyweaney arrived safely on Friday for a visit. I arrived on Thursday evening in Lilongwe intending to collect him at the airport on Friday. However, due to the fuel crisis we could not get diesel and I had to get another guy with a car to come and take me to the airport while the driver sat in a queue for diesel. Paul was collected and it came to evening and there still was no diesel.
That was on Friday. Would you believe I am still in Lilongwe with Paul. The driver queued all day yesterday and was 57th in line for the pump at the petrol station. When the tanker came, the queue started moving and around 5pm he was at the pump, only to be told that they were rationing. So we now have almost half a tank of diesel and the driver has gone early this morning to search for more. I hope we will reach Mzuzu today but there is no guarantee. Patience is a virtue that some people have and that I have learnt to have more of during my 16 years here! But after 4 days you begin to lose patience, so I just hope and pray that today we will get enough fuel to leave Lilongwe, otherwise Paul is not going to see much of Malawi!! However, as you can see here, he is quite relaxed!
For me, not having fuel means waiting and changing my schedule but for many Malawians no fuel means no food in their homes, no jobs. We are really facing a crisis here! Please pray for our country at this time.
Hopefully if we reach Mzuzu, this week will be busy – I have arranged more interviews but of course all of the plans depend on fuel!
Maybe God is also telling me to slow down. Since arriving in Lilongwe I was feeling ill and so contacted a doctor friend who tested for malaria which thankfully was negative. However, he says I have a bad flu virus which is going around (probably I didn’t get rid of it last week) – it makes joints swell up and is quite severe – I have a cough like a TB patient! I was given medicine and feel so much better today. The doctor says I have to rest for 5 days so maybe the fuel situation is a blessing in disguise and I would not have rested had we reached Mzuzu on Friday!!
If you lose patience with some small thing this week, just remember us sitting in Lilongwe waiting………… God says we should wait on him and He will direct us in the right way – sometimes our ways are not God’s ways and it even takes patience to realise that!!
May you have a blessed week
Posted By Diane | Life in the north – http://missioninmalawi.blogspot.com