Mtuva, Mtuva, Mtuva, Ciuta mwa mpavu. Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty. We had the opportunity to sing in Timbuka the last two mornings and what better words to explain how our trip is going. We have only been here for a week, but the strongest connections have already been formed—within our group, with other missionaries and staff, with the children, and with the country of Malawi. There have been so many moments where I simply stop and think to myself “that was God” and there is absolutely no other explanation. There are three things that have entirely captivated me in their ability to fully illustrate the majesty and sovereignty of the Lord-
1. The kids
These children are incredibly unlike any other children I have ever had the opportunity to spend time with. Their intelligence never fails to amaze me and they have such desire to know so many things. Their knowledge on practically any subject far surpasses other children of their age and I have learned so much just from spending time with them. They ask the most insightful questions and they want to know everything single thing about you—and trust me, they won’t ever forget. There have been times when a child will tell me something about myself that I don’t even remember telling them but they remember from several days before. They all speak multiple languages and they have such ambition for the future. Each mealtime, we sit at a different table with a different family and every time I am with a new table, I ask the kids what they want to be when they grow up. There are going to be some successful doctors, teachers, and even a future president of Malawi coming out of this village. Their dreams inspire me and their ability to overcome their circumstance with the help of Rafiki is something that never ceases to humble me. Their knowledge of the Bible is amazing-kids under the age of five know more memory verses than I do and their ability to pray on demand is beautiful. They all volunteer to pray at the beginning and end of every activity and their genuine words come so freely. I will never get tired of listening to them pray. These kids have sung for us a few times since we have been here and each time I feel God’s presence so strongly that I get chills. Every time I hear their laughter, which is pretty much all the time, I am reminded how merciful and loving our Father is. These children inspire me, they challenge me, and they have completely captivated my heart. I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching these kids how to play sports and at times, I was worried that they were not completely interested; however, I had a little girl tell me at lunch that she used to dislike basketball but now that she understands how to play, she thinks it is fun and enjoys playing. That right there is why we are here to do what we are doing.
2. The beauty of His creation
Malawi is the fourth poorest country in the entire world, and with that being said, I came into this trip expecting something entirely different. I did not expect overwhelming beauty everywhere I look. The village is situated on a mountain outside the city of Mzuzu and the views that surround it are almost surreal. Each morning when I wake up and walk outside, I remember how mighty our Lord is because He is present in the beauty of His creation. The mountains on the horizon are simply breathtaking and there is absolutely nothing like the sun setting over them. Even in town, where there is poverty around every corner, the brilliant colors of the traditional dresses and happiness of the people of this country are beautiful. The Lord is one hundred percent present in Malawi, that I am sure of. I have never felt His presence so strongly as I have every minute I spend here. I am so thankful that He has allowed my eyes to be opened to the beauty of His creation and to be reminded of His majesty each day. As I was walking back to my cottage tonight, I stopped and just looked at the stars. I have never in my life been able to see so many stars and to actually be able to see them twinkling. It’s just one more reminder that our Father holds the entire world in the palm of His mighty hand. We are just one small part of His vast creation and feeling so small reminds me of how big my God is.
3. The locals
The people of Malawi are the most genuine individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. No matter where we go, everyone always wants to know your name and how you are doing. In the village, the local staff are so friendly and willing to help make us comfortable. Everyone is always smiling and are truly concerned for each other. I sat down on a bench one day and completely flipped over backwards, bench and all. Instead of laughing, the kids had true concern until they realized I was not hurt. This is so different from the reaction that would have occurred at home. I was laughing but they were still concerned for my well being. Everyone here is so faithful and attending church was such a refreshing experience. The service was long but not a single member of the congregation was restless or ready to leave. They were all completely lost in the word and worshiping their Savior. I am humbled, inspired, and challenged every day to see the world through the eyes of these people and I pray that once I leave, I will continue to have their eyes.
The Lord is working in incredible ways in Malawi and I thank Him daily for this opportunity and His provision to get me here. I will never forget the blessings I have received and I will never tireof being “Auntie Meredith.” I pray continued blessing over this village and this country and for God’s hand to be on each one of these wonderful people. Their blessings have been abundant and I will carry them with me always.
by Meredith Holder, 2014 MOAM Student Manager Missionary