Ok, it wasn’t really a physical prison break of the Alcatraz magnitude. But hang with me for this “Matt in Malawi” story, I know you’ll love it.
Upon watching the hours of video coverage my man brought back from Africa, my heart opened to his journey in an unexpected way. Throughout the viewing, tears flowed freely down my cheeks. The visit to the village widows seemed almost surreal as I watched Matt give his testimony to those gathered. The widows were expecting my husband’s small team of short term missionaries and they eagerly rolled out their best,providing seating on the porch for protection from the elements. Then they sat down on handmade mats on the ground, in the muggy heat, and prepared to listen to everything the missionaries had to say and sing.
The widows have very little to call their own. Material possessions are few and far between as they attempt to live off the land in order to provide for their children. Their husbands are gone…taken mostly by disease. The women look out for each other and make the most of every scrap they have.
Two of the widows told their own God stories of healing and protection, interpreted to English for the mission team. The worship team sang a couple songs in English and lifted the name of Jesus, at which point, the widows started to stand and clap.
Then the widows, who had listened intently to the mission team as they sang and testified, took their turn at praising the Lord. Every inch of their bodies lifted praise to God as they worshiped and adored their Savior, singing with all their hearts.
At this point in the video, the tears are blinding as my mind immediately turns to the story of Paul and Silas, stripped, beaten and bound in prison. Acts 16 provides the detail to this treacherous event. Paul and Silas have been placed with their feet in the stocks because the prison keeper has been charged to keep them safely. At midnight, Paul and Silas decide it is high time for praise and worship. They pray and begin to sing praises to God when suddenly an earthquake shakes the foundation of the prison, opening all the doors and breaking all the prisoners’ bands. The prisoners were set free, but they didn’t leave. Instead, they chose to take the opportunity of freedom to share the Gospel.