Mutende mu mtima, mutende muzure mu mtima: It is well with my soul. We have been singing this song in Tumbuka the past few mornings and it pretty well describes our feelings about being here in Malawi. We have been here two weeks now and are growing closer and closer to each and every kid. I so badly want to take a few of these kids back to Mississippi with me. They are just that awesome.
This past Sunday we went to a local church in Mzuzu, and the pastor preached on Christian suffering. The main scriptures were from 1 Peter 4:12-19.
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
While sitting in the pew that morning, the main thing running in my mind is all the sufferings that the people in this church might be going through. Some have to walk hours to get wherever they are are going because they have no way of transportation. Very few drive vehicles and most people ride bikes or walk. Getting a bike though might cost you a months wages. So they have to decide. Do I get a bike or feed my family this month? Much harder than our first world decisions. Having to choose between McDonalds or Wendy's. It makes me realize that all my problems are so small.
Many people in Malawi are poor, but they are rich in their faith in Jesus Christ. Walking around in the city it brings me joy to see the smiles on everyone's faces. Some of the nicest people I have ever met. The kids here at Rafiki are also so knowledgable in the word, it is truly amazing. There is this one little eight year old girl named Siphiwe who no joke can spit out over fifty bible verses no problem. I love to hear these little kids willingly pray on spot regardless of age. It's just so honest and from the heart. I never want to leave this place. (lol)
I have definitely been blessed beyond measure being here in Malawi. It really does give you a new perspective on life and let's you know what truly matters in this world.
by Justin Kelly, 2014 MOAM Student Manager Missionary