I Can’t Wait Any Longer…MALAWI

Sorry…it just can’t wait. I JUST can’t wait. This post may seem all over the place, but there is so much stirring in my heart as of late…

I have to jump to the tug of my heart for my trip. I know I am supposed have my summit story here in this very blog entry – but really and truly what I have woken up to, practically every day since I’ve been back is just this…

Beautiful Lucy

And this…

Dafter with a sweet headband I got him

And most certainly, this…

Esnat and I, the beautiful young lady I sponsor

It’s the faces of these incredible and beautiful children from Malawi, Africa that I cannot get out of my mind and my heart. I wake up with them running through my head – the songs we’d sing, the dances we’d dance and just remembering how much joy they brought to my heart.

Please permit me to tell you about the growing passion of my heart: the Orphans.

We finally landed in Malawi, Africa, after flying from  Dar Salam to Nairobi, then Nairobi to Lilongwe airport. Even after such an exhausting schedule having come right off the mountain, we were not quite at the orphanage in Malawi. To get to Far and Wide Children’s Home, we still had a 5 hour car ride ahead of us. And of course, when you’re ever overseas, what is supposed to be an hour is more so equivocal to 2, thus our car ride actually ended up being about 11 hours long! And what is driving around overseas without the experience of sheer terror as well? Let’s just say, we PRAYED our way to the orphanage and by God’s grace, made it alive!

But this wasn’t your ordinary trip to the orphanage. We were driving down a paved, although un-lit, road for about 6 hours in a crazy rain storm. Finally, and most abrubtly, we took a sharp left turn onto a dirt road. We all finally sighed sensing some relief, thinking we must be nearing the orphanage. But once the truck gained a bit more speed on the dirt road, we soon began to realize there was still a ways to go. Sure enough, we arrived at Far & Wide around 1am – never having met up again with a paved road until we were to leave for the U.S.

I think that was one of the most astounding things from my time in Malawi — sensing all the more God’s incredible LOVE for the children and orphans of this world. I’m pretty sure we were close to “No-where” Africa, but yet God raised up a man from a local village there (near Magowi), trained him in His Word, put it on Pastor Duncan’s heart to start an orphanage, church plant 4 other churches AND start a women’s shelter. Did I mention, he’s 35 years old? YEP! (And yes ladies, he is married…I totally know what y’all were thinking!). And this village I speak of — ENTRENCHED in witch-craft and dark magics. As if that’s not incredible enough, Pastor Duncan began raising up other young men from his village and discipled them. Now these men are not only pouring into this land and are MIGHTY men of God, but they are evangelizing in that remote area and pouring into the children at Far & Wide. Truly, they are raising up an army of Christ followers!

GOD DOES NOT FORGET THE ORPHANS — this was so very clear to me. He will raise people up locally and from around the world to fulfill His mandate to feed and clothe them.

And I’ll tell you what…I cannot forget them either. It’s like they are stamped on my heart, their faces engraved in my mind and their names just bring me to tears. Their stories will cut you to the heart and make you SO thankful for every meal, every shopping spree, every fight you ever had with your mom or dad, brother or sister. Their smiles are like the sun that cuts through the darkest rain clouds. Their laughter reminds you there is always hope…

There’s a song called, “He Knows My Name”, by Tommy Walker  and he wrote it because of an orphaned boy he met on a missions trip. Tommy met the boy one day and a few days later, he ran into the young boy again. The little boy asked, “Do you remember my name?” and Tommy replied by saying “Yes Jerry, I remember your name”. Tommy said that the little boys face lit-up and was filled with such joy that this man remembered his name , for he had no father or mother who ever called him by it. Tommy was broken by this encounter and from it came not only ministry to orphans, but a song that I believe was being sung over every child while we were in Malawi.

My time with the kids was not enough. Even though we had such a wonderful time singing with them, teaching stories out of the Bible and re-enacting them, but you just want more. The most precious time spent with them was just holding them. Every night, I would hear my name whispered through the door. I would go out and find Esnat with a few other of the older girls sitting and chatting and desiring to spend time with me.  Esnat would sit so close to me, trying to hold my hand, always looking into my eyes because I don’t think she was quite used to seeing blue eyes staring back at her.  She let me love on her as though I were her mom and I could feel such desires in my heart welling up in me. We all laughed into the night as we tried learning the language of the other. I sounded absolutely ridiculous trying to mimic their words! But they didn’t seem to care. We also sang our favorite songs and took photos with my cell phone. I showed them pictures of my family from a photo album I brought with me. They asked, “Where is your mudder” (that’s how they pronounced mother). I shared with them how my mom died when I was 21 because she was sick. All the girls sitting there were shocked and couldn’t believe what I just told them. Then they all began to share, one after the other about how their mothers, fathers and grandparents had all died. It was interesting too, that once I shared my mom’s story and how I don’t live with my family, the girls drew even closer to me. It’s like they trusted me all the more because in some small measure, I knew the pain of losing a parent and not having family nearby. I knew it was very different but I was so thankful that the Lord bridged a gaping hole for us all. Hearing their stories just tore me to pieces! I didn’t want to go to bed that night, but they had school and I had to make sure (how motherly of me!) that they were rested and ready.

There are SO many stories of God’s faithfulness to all these children I had a chance to spend time with. I was so grateful but I’ll be honest, I’m still so very burdened for them. In my heart, I’m encouraged that they do have a Father in heaven who is seeking them and pursuing them, but I know there’s more I can do…and as the Body of Christ, more we can do.

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2 thoughts on “I Can’t Wait Any Longer…MALAWI

  1. Oh Shelly your pictures ans stories brought back so many many precious memories of my time in Kenya!! I know how you feel, believe me. Their voices and faces are still very vivid in my mind (not many things are!!! 🙂 )
    I’m praying for you!! I totally think we should go open an orphange together in Africa!!! 🙂 Love ya friend!

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