I began this post on Thursday by trying to recap in words how incredible my visit to Kondanani Orphanage was….and then, as my week went on, I decided to help you picture yourself here with me in the midst of all good things happening here. Please comment!!
1. Kondanani Orphanage visit: Met amazing children, staff and got to explore a safe place where orphans can experience life. Got to talk to the founders about my experiences with adoption and stories about adoption.
2. Spontaneous invitation to homecell prayer group with neighbors: Literally some girls said, “Come pray with us!” It was a great evening to enter into someone’s home and pray for the community, and our families.
3. Anges: She is a 13 year old, in 11th grade, writing her graduation exams this june. Her birthday was today! Last night, I joined her 2 brothers, (both rays of hope students) and her at her house for dinner. In the power out, we sang songs of praise to God, with light just from one flame. After 30 minutes or so, the lights lit up the house, and we broke bread together. Friday, the following day, I took Agnes out for bday cake! Now, 14, she inspires me, and I am so thankful that she has “befriended” me.
4. Making connections at a new church: A pentacostal church in town is where many expat and malawians and foriegners meet to worship together in English. Might be a glimpse of Heaven. People from Canada, Pittsburg/Messiah College (she knows some of my best friends) Asia, Congo, Sweeden, Malawi and beyond.
5. Students are impacted by my English classes: I’ve taken over teaching English for one of our camp leaders. Whenever I get the chance, I try to create creative ways of learning English. Also, I’ve hosted 2 English lessons for those who were interested in learning more! Both sessions, 10-12 kids came out and got special attention for 2+ hours! This has been encouraging to me, insightful and allowed me to become more creative! God is truly molding me. (I am interested in Teaching English…professionally! Comment if you know how its possible)
6. One of the guys from Rays of Hope Futbol team, accepted Christ! 😀 He is considered a youth, but possibly in his 20’s or late 20’s. He told Willie that he has accepted Christ into his life and even wants to share this amoung the team. This is actually the mission of the team.
7. Being Active: I’ve been a part of a ZUMBA class! My sister is always encouraging my family to be active; and my dad is always saying, “Take care of your body now, so your not aching later…” Through Zumba, walking around town, and even a bit of hiking I am learning to enjoy a healthy body. Not to mention, I attended a Salsa dance night here in Malawi taught by a scottish girl. Yes, she really knew what she was doing!
8. Finding love: God is Love, and I am learning He is my provider, and my shield. Reading the Bible is a bit easier these days, and living out the life Christ has laid before us, helps me stay focused on what life is really about. (Not to mention Iv had some really powerful conversations with friends this week about how God is moving in their life! Please tell me your stories, too!)
9. Art: Throughout the past few weeks, I can only attribute it to God that I’ve enjoyed painting with watercolors, drawing with pencil, and allowed my attraction to abstract art, to allow me to try my own. I’ve painted graffiti and during a prayer time — God gave me this beautiful picture. 😀
10. Lengwe National Park trip: Yay!! 120+ students, staff and the Rays of Hope futbol team, all packed lunches and boarded a charter bus. Singing songs, and chants, happy children they were, we were off! The futbol team had a game, and we took the youth to see this National Park! I got to play with monkeys! The kids seem to have a good time, but more trips would be way useful for them. 🙂 It was a beautiful place & forever these memories will be with us!
So many amazing things in this post!! I love that it is obvious that you are not only helping others grow, but growing so much yourself.
Can’t wait to see the visual art you’ve created during this time because your poetry has been awesome–let that creative spirit keep moving in you! And I like this teaching English idea, you would do a great job using it to build cross-cultural bridges. I have the names of a few refugee resettlement organizations in the Philly area–they might be places where those skills could really be used!
A lot to say to you love but just wanted to touch on the English part. I think that is a great job for you, you love cultures and helping people with social skills. I’ve looked into it for myself, for about $1500 you can take TESL classes at a local university in the states. It usually would be Saturdays and Sunday all days classes for a month and a half. Some programs also provide placement opportunities for you.