The last few weeks have gone by rather quickly and have been some of the busiest weeks for me in a lot of ways.
The Kubiks were with us not long ago
The third day we would have loved to have worked hard another time so we could continue to take ownership of the blessing we have been given, but we were advised to wait to complete any major jobs until the previous work was evaluated and ties with the previous contractor were dissolved. That day began with a meeting, some letter writing, and a bunch of running around and sitting around getting the Bongo ready for yet another road trip
Another Sabbath, the fourth so far this month, came. We enjoyed more fellowship and learning about what forgiveness means. And yet another day was passing by us. All too quickly our time here seems to be moving along. Just when progress in so many directions seems to be happening we are beginning to think about what's next for us and what's next for our brethren here in Malawi. Just as we are getting to know everyone a little more closely and individually, it will be time for us to head back to the US for a visit. I can't exactly say it's a vacation. More like trading one busy place for another. But the incoming month of May and a very hectic schedule means we have been here for four months
Any way, back to the events of this week. Sunday morning arrived very early, as most days seem to lately. I've been waking up earlier all the time. Sometimes I get more done that way. I got ready early and left Lena with the Hilgens so they could finish packing everything for a trip up north. We were about to head out to Mzuzu. I had been in contact with Julius Kachali and together we were praying that the heavy rains would stop long enough for us to be able to drive to their home in the hills of Mzuzu
The weather was pleasant and we made excellent time, arriving to our destination with plenty of time before sunset. The dirt and dust road to the Kachalis was dry except for a few puddles, one of which is actually quite deep. This can cause problems when the only way to the other side is straight through with a van full of people. We arrived safely, had some tea and coffee, and then were escorted to the guesthouse we had booked for our stay. If we would have stayed with the family, I'm certain they would have given up their beds for us. We checked in to the empty Anglican Guest House. Only two employees were there and only because they knew we were coming. They were supposed to be on vacation that day, but had kindly shown up to prepare our rooms
We were promised breakfast the next morning by the staff at the guest house. But first we headed down the street to a little coffee shop, The Mzuzu Coffee Den, for some delicious coffee drinks. Our breakfast took its sweet time being made and we were left with negative ten minutes to eat it. All morning it had rained in town off and on, sometimes heavy and sometimes just a cool mist. Everything reminded me of the Skagit Valley except for the red dirt and the occasional banana tree. The decision was made to park the van at the top of the hill before going down into the valley just in case the rains had made the mossy hills a little too muddy for Bongos to drive on. Thankfully the rain had stopped and the ground wasn't too muddy. The four of us walked down the hill, past the neighbor's attempt at a guest house, and were met by Juliana and Abel. The rest of the family was cozy and warm inside their house preparing for our arrival and for the Holy Day services we would soon be taking part in
It seems that when traveling there is the most chance for things to go wrong. The Sabbath before we left, Brennan and Michala weren't feeling well and stayed home. We haven't really had a chance to rest for a while and I think their bodies needed some time off. While we were on the trip, Lena's stomach gave her some trouble, but she gracefully weathered through and spent some quality time with our brethren. Just as we were nearly home the following day Brennan had some sort of allergic reaction to something and ended up spending the past few days in his room resting up and staying hidden from the world. Today he is finally better and will hopefully stay that way so he and Michala can travel safely home at the beginning of next month.
The Holy Day was a delight from beginning to end. We ate together, we sang together, we worshipped our God together in a small classroom positioned in a village in a mountain ridge. I even anointed a few weary heads with oil and we prayed together
The coffee drinks were again very tasty, but by the time they arrived at our table, we were already late picking up Juliana for the drive home
The drive home was terribly foggy until we got down out of the mountains and the sun began to shine more brightly. Other than that, the day was uneventful until we reached Lilongwe and Brennan started to realize his predicament. We rushed around, stopping for fuel and food, and scrambling through midday traffic. Eventually everyone was home safe and sound, and at least we had food in our belies even if we were tired and not entirely feeling all that well. It's always nice to visit people and places, but it's always nice to have a home to come back to and a familiar bed to sleep in.
Don't worry. There's more. The week was half over, but there was still plenty that needed to happen
And last but not least we find ourselves at the very end of a very busy week. Today was definitely no exception, at least for me. I had planned to meet with Wiza, the young adult who volunteered to give the sermonette tomorrow for the youth Sabbath. We talked for a while and I gave him some pointers and some encouragement. I did have some quiet time to work on my own message today between meetings and helping Wiza and Juliana apply for Youth Corps projects
Hurry up and wait. That seems to happen a lot. But waiting can be just as good for us as moving. Waiting helps us build patience and gives us time to think. If all we did was hurry around everywhere, there would be no time to sit and talk, or to meditate on the words of God. I'm thankful that we do have some time to slow down here and there even though our time here is moving by so quickly.
Fast and Faster
Friday, April 21, 2017
Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Malawi