When WordPress Asked Me How I was Feeling…

Whats on my mind are words like…
stuck, overcommitted, anxious, “why?,” confusion, and stress, that I made you think/feel that..

A Loss for Words, So I Will Post Pictures

Someone once said, “A picture is worth a thousand words…” so here is my lengthy blog in pictures.

Please feel free to comment in the words that I could not come up with…





My Bike Taxi Man

My Bike Taxi Man

Pamela and her Sisters

Sofie Shows us Village Life

Have some thoughts, share away!
What do the pictures evoke inside you? How do you connect or not?
Does it intrigue you?

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Sharing Resources

So, I really just am so amazed how resourceful Malawians are. I am guessing it is how resourceful most Africans are, but … my experience was in Malawi.


This picture depicts water being transported through a homemade tube made from two soda bottles. RiseMalawi staff were planning for the youth activities for the day ahead, and thus, the contraption to complete the work of collecting water from the tap.

“Africans bend what little they have to their will everyday. Using creativity, they overcome Africa’s challenges. Where the world sees trash, Africa recycles. where the world seeks junk, Africa sees rebirth.” –William Kamkwamba (Malawian, and coauthor, The Boy who Harnessed the Wind)

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A Letter from Doreen

Doreen is a young girl. A sweet, kind, and inquisitive girl. She is Malawian, and she is from the southern city called Blantyre. Blantyre in my opinion is beautiful, and hilly, and full of color, vibrancy and a business city, too.

Doreen and I first met, back in April 2012, when I spent some time working at Rays of Hope. I was in BT just under two months, and did not know Doreen had grown so close to me. The day I declared it was my last day, she drew pictures for me, and joined some of the others when writing me notes. She wrote me a note, that I still have today, that says “I love you more than a cup of tea!” When I read this, I sighed, because I know Malawians LOOOOVE their tea, but then I learned that is a well known phrase in Malawi, for expressing love, I knew how sincere her note truly was. I melted knowing this, and her tears, made me cry… we hugged once more, and I drove off..

She has since been in my memories and prayers, and in my stories, for when I talk about the kids who do not have, but use all resources to set goals and hope to accomplish them too.
She wants to be a nurse. She wants to heal the sick. She comes from a poor family, and luckily has the opportunity to attend Rays of Hope Ministries.
Willie Mpasuka & John Zekeyo, loyal leaders in the community, both here and there. Mpasuka working on a Masters, at Eastern University, with the hope of bringing back more knowledge to further the work that Zekeyo is working on the ground in BT, now. They are literally providing hope and opportunity to the youth, young adults and the community at large. They are making academics a priority and leading like Christ, through their Christian leadership.
Since being back in Malawi, this past July, Holly and Ally were able to meet Doreen. We sang songs in the pitch dark night, as the power had gone out. She was in John’s house, able to see what education can do for ones life. Dinner was being prepared, as we hugged and share quality time, catching up.  Praise God, she was doing well, but studying A LOT! She was to sit for the 8th grade exam, which is a cumulative exam covering not just many subjects but many years of learning…
Pass this exam with high marks, get selected to secondary school.
Fail this exam, repeat 8th grade and try again next year.
The youth all across Malawi are under immense pressure, and to fail, its un-motivating, and trying.

Shown below is a letter from Doreen, as she shares an update about having to sit for the upcoming exam…
Doreen Gausi for Molly

….Today I received this email from my friend John, telling me 20 students out of 22 passed the national exam, and got selected into secondary schools!!

Thank you God for this amazing news! Thank you John and Willie for living and breathing for this city, and its children, its future.
Doreen is one of the 20 who made it!! 🙂


To You, Our Dear and Loved Family

This was the address on the letter I received from my favorite family in Madisi.
Carrot, his Mother and his brother Stephen, and their younger siblings have played a significant role in my experiences and life in Madisi.

The are my neighbors, they live on less than $1.25/day. They are practically raised by a single mother, since daddy is practicing polygamy and is usually out of the house.
Mom is a provider, trying as she sells groundnuts, and offers herself to do piece work within the community, resiliently, she smiles.
The Ibrahim family, and their smiles, oh my goodness, they are contagious. Carrot and I initially met back in 2010, when his smile captured me from across the room, and commanded my smile back. Now, I have memories of sitting inside on the simple bamboo mat in one of the two rooms of their mud/brick house, by candle light — telling stories. My Malawian momma, as I call Carrots’ mom, illuminates this small room, and humbles me with her words, as she calls me family, banja (in chichewa), O’hana (in Hawaiian, one of my favorite ways to say it). We sat, and she shared how she was scared to see me leave June 2012, and how she was worried, she would never see me again.. She faithfully prayed and thanked God for bringing me into her and her families’ life. She told us this, and I felt her love. My heart felt.
She then let me introduce Ally and Holly, and with Stephen and Carrot helpfully able to translate, they were interpreting the girls’ stories into Chichewa. I was sharing how Holly re inspired the faith I had, in order to trust God, that coming back was in His plan. I shared how Holly had never been on a plane, yet had met friends in the U.S. that were from Malawi, and how she wanted to see the impact they are making in their own communities around Malawi. As for Ally, she has always dreamed of coming to Malawi; she has been praying for this country since she was a child. Her family was connected to a couple who served as missionaries in Malawi, hence, all the prayers. All this was shared, and translated and love was lit up in the eyes of mom, Carrot, Stephen, Ally, Holly and I. Pure joy was abound, and I am constantly thanking God for that night, and the unplanned moments in our trip, that made it more worthwhile.

Leaving Madisi, after 8 days was particularly difficult for my team, since they were absolutely in love, and impressed by the RiseMalawi Ministry and the impacts they are making on the young people. We said goodbye at camp, but could not leave without visiting our family, one last time.

Me and my Brothers..



Carrot in Red, Stephen next,  Holly, Ally and Shebo the younger brother.

Carrot in Red, Stephen next, Holly, Ally and Shebo the younger brother.


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From Dirt to a Desk, LIft a Child Up.

The title says it all,

Please visit this link, its an amazing post, that is worth sharing and getting involved. 


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Kids at Play

Kids at Play

This just reminds me of the joy of play. These are some of the kids at RiseMalawi, and they are awesome! We had so much fun running, dancing and celebrating wins!

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One of the girls I tutored last year, as we sat under a tree for 4 months and taught each other languages.

This time around she when I asked her “what’s new?” She replied, “I am speaking more English!” And she was, it was incredible to witness. Maggie, inspires me.

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Some say life is a Beautiful Struggle, and sometimes,  for me and my journey to and from the motherland, and Malawi, I’d agree.

The time back was beyond great, and especially amazing to see two friends fall absolutely in love with Malawi, RiseMalawi, and the culture that captivated me — I could not have asked for a better trip back. (lets do it again, anyone, want to come, email me, Mollymccormick.mem@gmail.com)

The beautiful struggle still sits in my head, as to how I can get back there, stay there, get paid to travel, get paid to work with children, get paid to actually make a difference in someone’s life and live a life that brings joy and purpose into practice.

Thoughts swirl round and round in my head, as I process the interactions we encountered, the people I missed, the impact I hope I had, the kids I got to see again, and the new opportunities that came with leading this trip.

What’s next?

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Places & Names

So, Malawi part 3, hmm, how to talk about it, how to sum it up? 

Considering, I am still thinking about it, and the lessons I learned, I think ill start off by talking about Madisi, RiseMalawi, and some updates of the kids I mentored last year, as well as the role my group played there. 

Madisi, the trading center in between the Capital, Lilongwe and the next dot on most maps, Kusungu. I have only ever seen Madisi on one map. (I think God made that map, just for my heart) So, Madisi has changed quite a bit in the course of a year; some people have left, businesses gone and some changes I was not ready for. I must define a trading center. In my words, I’d say it is  like a rest stop. In my context, if you were driving on a highway for hours, and hours, and all you see is scenery, then the upcoming sign notifies you can pull over and take a rest in 4 miles… you are greeted with vending machines, restrooms, and sometimes even a restaurant or two. As for Madisi, in the context of Malawi, a mostly rural country, Madisi is off the M1, THE main road there, and the trading center is the shops, the market, the place to meet a cabanza (bike taxi), or catch a minibus to the next stop on the map. You can walk right through the trading center, its where you would do your grocery shopping, or even for some buy meat. (yes, this is where you might see the whole dead cow hanging… for sale)

Most of that stayed the same, the set up of the actual trading center was the same, but upon first glance, I could not find my favorite cabanza bike guy…and a friend had found me walking though the area, and told me his mom has passed away…some businesses had gone, after the devaluing of the kwacha, businesses could not gain.

Although, meaningless to most map makers, Madisi will always be valuable in my memories.

RiseMalawi Ministries, ugh, they impress me still! With Tinashe in the states, getting her Masters degree, RM has hired a female staff, Kattie. From when I was at RM last year, one of the best updates I had heard was, all 5 of the camp leaders that I helped interview and pick for the camp leader position, had ALL been selected for UNIVERSITY! This was amazing, so, to see RiseMalawi this time around, and see all new camp leaders, wow! Not even to see them, but to see them in action, that is what is beyond impressive. Everyone put on your “thinking cap,” and visualize that trading center I created for you earlier. Add houses made of bricks and various roofs made of sticks or metal, and spread things out. There is a lot of land, and people come from far and wide. Our camp leaders, they come from villages in and around Madisi, some of our kids, walk 1 hour to program. So again, you must picture this scene, and when we were there, brown and green dried land, as it was the season where what was left of the crops were being burned down and ready for the next growing season. Now, see one 20 something year old camp leader girl or guy leaving their house to arrive at the office by 10am. One guy, Isaac, he comes from 7kms away. (I will let you do the math on that one) These young people have so much responsibility from waking up, and doing chores at thier homes, drawing water, taking care of family members and then off to work. Upon arrival, we as a complete team, us visitors and all, jumped right into a Bible study, worship session or time of prayer. RiseMalawi is intentional from start to finish. After a time of worship, we talk about the days’ schedule and assign what camp leader is in charge of what topic. Another great technique that RM uses, is critical thinking and teamwork. Before we head to program, we share what topic we are teaching, how the lesson plan looks and open the room for questions, critiques, and concerns. This is a bit intimidating for me, but when my team shared what they liked about RM, this was one of the standout praises! Really thinking critically for the planning allows for the program, and teaching to be successful!

I could go on and on about RiseMalawi… the camp leaders are just amazing, so I am happy to share about them, and their talents! The Staff, Kattie, Za and Mavuto, they are really doing a great job of leading by example, opening their homes, and schedules for the community as well as expanding RiseMalawi, by dreaming big! (If you want to see if for yourself, Id love to guide another trip)

Lastly, you can see, and read that we had a fun time introducing ourselves, Molly, Holly and Ally(pronounced OLLY) and we were there to do service with RiseMalawi, incorporating ART and MUSIC! Holly and I had been planning this trip, since she has wanted to go for awhile, but never been on a plane. We had planned for so long to have more than just the two of us, however, when buying tickets came up, we lost interested folks because of the cost of the flight. Totally understandable, just sad, Holly and I were aiming to have a group..

In God’s timing, and humor I’d like to add, He introduced us to Nina who knows Tinashe from Philadelphia, as well as her church having some connections to another UrbanPromise International ministry who was interested in traveling with a group, and Ally who has always prayed for Malawi and dreamt of a day she would actually go! I am blessed to have worked, and interacted with each young woman. Holly, Ally and Nina have all taught me things, I will cherish, motivated me, and became really unique friends of mine. 

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