Tag Archives: Joy

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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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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Malawi, My Beautiful Land

So, Malawi, I went, and America, I have returned too.
It was a unique trip, not just me by myself, instead me leading two other young women in and around Malawi.
I learned a lot about leading others there, and taking that role, and I really enjoyed watching two first time Malawi visitors breath in Malawi air, and teach Malawian children.
It was a dream.

Here we are leaving Virginia, Me, Ally and Holly.


Here we are FINALLY on Malawian SOIL!

(Ally, Holly and I)


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Unexplained Joy

21 days later
Joy in a box
colorful candy to share
chewing gum for the days my toothpaste runs out
truth. yes… maybe you do that also?
JEANS!! My skinny jeans!!
2 pairs in fact!
An Ipod, with a secret message of love
My twin sister has the best music taste!
Make-Up for the days I want to dress up, or feel extra pretty
oooh, sweedish fish….(wonder if Lake Malawi has those)….
Recycled Crossword Puzzles for my free time
Baby wipes, since Iv run dry
fitness reads, gotta get ready for summer πŸ˜‰
A photo of my other half and me. On our bday trip to Miami a few years back
Watercolors, so I can test my creativity skills
and a toothbrush for those candies ill be chewing.
Seriously …. thanks to my sister, she is the best!
The Birthday box that arrived almost one month late, but with perfect

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Hope for a Generation

Malawi is full of beauty, kind people and inquisitive children. Despite all the good things, our children face many challenges and lack basic needs. Underwear, clean water, clothes without holes, two shoes, shoes that fit, money for a haircut (keeping hair short is urged in school to prevent lice), school uniforms, desks, and the list goes on.
Please pray for justice, pray for equality and pray for our children to succeed despite these setbacks.

Rise Malawi children arrive at our office everyday after school, looking over school notes, or reviewing what we covered in tutoring at the program the previous day. In school they learn English, Science and Technology, Bible(Malawi teaches Bible in schools), Agriculture, LifeSkills, Mathematics and Health. They sit on the floor, next to 150 of their classmates. They are required to be in uniform, or they are kicked out of class. Same with the haircuts. Daily kids walk from distances we would not dare to walk, through terrain and weather we cannot bear. Barefoot. And on empty stomachs.
Consider sponsoring a child through RiseMalawi.

Sponsoring a child guarantees them a chance to eat a meal. We serve every child a heaping plate of rice, greens, and one more side dish.

Often times, this is their only meal, all day.

If you cannot sponsor a child, pray for them. Do a fundraiser for Rise Malawi, ask how can you help make a difference?

All of our kids have a unique stories. They are beautiful children. They are so honest, so loving and noticeably respectful. Β Even with setbacks, they exude laughter and honest smiles. These children are the best teachers of joy.
Please help
Please take action
Help the children get some of the basic needs
Support them for a chance to stay in school

Please consider changing a life

Interested, please Contact
Kelly Malefyt, ChildSponsorship Officer,
Urban Promise International

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Finding Joy in Small Things!

I have come to discover there are many things I may take for granted in America, yet I also have noticed the things that can
easily be underappreciated here in Malawi too. Take a minute, close your eyes and think of the tiny victories in your life, today. Or
think of the small things that made you smile today, and be thankful. Wear this joy on your sleeve, make it contagious!!

Some of the things I am grateful for while being in Madisi, Malawi are:
*Power during my bucket shower: Lights on during my morning or night showers make pouring water on your body so much
better than knowing where to put your flashlight or to just go to be dirty….

*Spices! Tinashe is a wonderful cook! Last night I came home later than dinner, and the smell of curry decorated the house
so nicely. Mmmm Curry beans and Rice! (I loved it so much, I had it for breakfast the following day!)

*Time to say Hello! Now since I have been in town a few weeks, Tinashe often heads to the office prior to me. I do like walking
alone, since I rarely get to. The best part, it is disrespectful walk away while someone greets you. You should stop and have a
conversation, not just talk while walking away. I really like this. SOmetimes I forget how to say it in Chichewa, but there is
always grace! πŸ™‚

*Skirts! Its a cultural norm for women to be wearing a skirt knee-length or longer, and now im grateful for it half the time. (I miss
skinny jeans) However its HOT, so its soo nice to have my legs free!!

*Water! We have water. Sometimes. Yet the way it’s collected here and the hours people spent filling containers with it, prevents sleep,
time in school and perhaps so miss out on work. SInce being in Madisi, We flush my toilet only when needed. When you flush your toilet
at home, do you ever wonder how my gallons or litters of water it takes simply for one use?

For us, when we flush we have to take a pitcher that is hung on the wall, fill it with the water that was hopefully refilled with the
tap water that sometimes comes in the middle of the night and refill the tank up to the top. I NOW know how wasteful that can be even
if you have water coming continuously out of your tap. As for us, it’s the only option. I am grateful every time there is water, and
it seems as though I would only come to this personal conclusion through such experiences.

YOU! Friends and Family: I am also very thankful to you my friends and my family. For financially supporting me. For praying for me.
For attending my events. For emailing me, keeping me updated on facebook and for visiting me in my dreams. πŸ™‚

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