We had two speakers from England come to speak to us this week – a married couple in their 60s. Their topic for this week was the character and nature of God, but this was so broad that they spoke to us about a lot of things! Mostly what I got out of it was how much God loves us and wants to heal us from our wounds – wounds of grief, rejection, abandonment, fear, etc. I spoke and prayed with them on Friday about my wound of rejection, and I’m working with God now as He begins to heal. It will be a long process, because it’s not a simple thing!
On Thursday I went to the large market in the nearby town of Limbe with one of the staff members and another student to buy food for the base. It was quite an experience! The market is huge, a warren of alleys and warehouses and streets and buildings that all make up various stalls, many of which were made with any available material – wood, tyres, sacks of sand, etc. I didn’t want to take my camera with me as it would just scream money and I didn’t want it stolen! We bought vegetables and bananas from inside a large warehouse which had brick shops around the inside edge and rectangular stone counters in the middle. One of the shops was named after a Psalm, but I can’t remember which one. There was also a “God is Good Butchery” – a common name for butchers here! The smell of fish inside the warehouse was incredibly strong as along half of one of the walls were stone counters with sinks built into them that had dead fish in them for sale.
As we walked around the market, a lot of Malawian men called out to the other student, a tall Englishman called Lawrence (he’s around 6ft – and Malawians are on average around 5’6” or so). They called things after him like boss, good height! and are you a basketball player? Apparently, they also said that I would be a good woman to marry but as they said it in Chichewa I didn’t find out until we got back to the base! We bought a lot of food – 8 bags between the 3 of us (and one of them stuffed full of sweet potatoes so it was heavy too!). We then had to pile unto a minibus crammed full of other people, their babies and their shopping in order to get home. The minibus transport here is an experience in itself. Every bump makes the buses rattle and shake, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it might suddenly just fall apart!
Today we had church ministry. All the students have been split into 4 outreach groups and each group went to a different church. In each group, one student would preach, one would teach, a few would give testimonies, and others might have other ‘jobs’ depending on what the church needs. I’m not sure exactly what the difference is between teaching and preaching except what I’ve been told – that teaching is about 15-30 minutes long, whereas preaching is generally an hour or more. Teaching is also supposed to be more interactive. My group didn’t preach as the church we went to was going to have a women’s conference and so a bishop came to preach. I gave a testimony on how I studied Galatians with a friend and really came to realise that God loves us no matter what – whether we read our Bibles everyday or once a year, or if we go to church 3 times a week or once a month; of how I really came to know the truth that God is pleased with me and loves me just as I am. Churches are very different here! We arrived an hour late due to transport issues and they were still in the middle of worship! They sing and dance a lot in Malawian churches, with members also leading songs.
This week the weather has been cold, with rain the past two days. It’s been like England! I’ve been told to enjoy it though as the temperature will soar in the next few weeks.
Yesterday we had problems with the electricity in the morning, which was assumed to have been solved by early afternoon. However, later in the afternoon, several people were claiming to be unable to touch the water taps in the bathroom and kitchen without receiving shocks, but not everyone could feel them. Turned out they were receiving electric shocks! The reason some of us couldn’t feel them was because we were wearing shoes. So from about 5 in the evening we had electricity coming and going as the electrician worked on fixing the problem. Thankfully the main hall (where we eat and relax) and kitchen have lights that are powered by solar panels so we weren’t eating in the dark! (Though last time we lost electricity, the solar panels weren’t working so we were eating in the dark!)
Prayer points for this week are:
- that I would get closer to God
- that I would learn to love vulnerably
- that the students would continue to grow closer
- thank God for the work He is already doing!