There is a reason that Jesus talks about going to his hometown in the Bible. It is hard to take the message of the Gospel to our hometown. So often the people who were with us as we grew up fail to realize that we have changed and that we not that person anymore.
Saturday morning we woke up early to head out to our third village. This was not just any village though, this was Lucy’s home village. Her mother and father still live there, along with a brother and two sisters. Lucy is one of six children. She has gone back and helped her family by helping to build a house for her mother, and it is a quite a house!
I could tell that this was not just any village, nerves were a little higher than the other two villages and I can relate to the anxiety of going home sometimes especially when you want to share when God is doing in your heart and life.
This was not just a quick trek either – we were told it was a 5 hour drive, in actuality it took about 10 hours with stops for food, snacks, gas, music equipment, a drummer and a variety of roadside fruits and vegetables. We finally arrived about 8pm, and worked to set up the music equipment so the band could play while we set up for the film.
We finally started the film about 10pm, at that time Chifundo took the four of us to a hotel in town (45 min drive) for the the night. The Malawi team led by Lucy then took care of the film and the invitation while we settled in for the night at the hotel. Everyone else slept at Lucy’s village.
After some sleep we headed back in to the village for church. When we arrived, the band led the church in praise music and songs before separating for Sunday school lessons. Jacob led the lesson with the children, and Elizabeth led a lesson for the adults. More music followed before I gave a message about how we as believers should speak the universal language of love. I talked about how the children had charmed my heart and how I love their smiles. We talked about John 13 when Jesus tells us that we will be known as believers by how we love others. After the church service, we headed to the river.
So, in April this church was started by Lucy and Chifundo. They both were not sure if they were supposed to go to this village and start a church, but after much prayer they both believed God was calling them there. The group does not have a building, but they are working on that. However, they meet in an open area every Sunday.
After this service 19 people wanted to be baptized, so Chifundo rolled up his pants and we all watched as he baptized his mother-in-law as well as nieces and nephews. It was really a great time!
Immediately following the baptisms we did our presentations about bees and soap making. (The day kept going and going…) Once those were finished, we were thrilled that Lucy told us lunch/dinner was ready!! So we ate a meal of spaghetti, beef with tomato sauce, papaya, cut cucumbers, greens, and cooked cabbage – it was a feast!
It was time for leadership training and talking with the ladies. Lucy and I spoke with the ladies and explained how they can make feminine hygiene products for their menstrual cycle. They were very interested and were excited to have a better option that just putting a folded up piece of fabric in their panties. So often the girls have to skip school during their cycles too. So these products that they can make will be great for them.
Then Lucy spent some time speaking with the ladies about general hygiene. She encouraged them to be good wives and to serve their husbands. They were captivated by her!
Finally we loaded up the van for our drive home at 6pm – about 7 hours! It was a long night!!
But what an amazing time we had at the village. To see God working in this young church and to see them listen to Lucy and Chifundo was a blessing to my heart!