Upon arrival to Malawi we were faced with the news that 5 of our luggage bags did not make it with us. My first instinct was to say "oh my what are we going to do?" But the Lord calmed me and He told me "you have everything you need." During our 5 hour drive from the airport to the village, I pondered on what the Lord had told me. Joshua 1:9 says: Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee wherever thou goest. He was right. Even though we were missing 5 of our large bags we still had God!
I was determined to not let our missing bags decide the mood for this trip. Thankfully we were able to go ahead with our planned schedule and start with teaching basketball. They had enough basketballs to use for the stations. I thought to myself, "God always provides!" And sure enough in God's timing the bags arrived on the first Wednesday we were here. All of the glory goes to God for the bags being unharmed and everything arriving safely!
As soon as we arrived to the village we were welcomed by Cindy and Larry Renner. I couldn't be more thankful for them. After our first nights rest we were awakened by the sound of probably 30 kids laughing and riding their bikes. Soon enough multiple knocks came at our door. They were so excited to see us for the first time. Now that we have been here for a week and a half we are starting to see them open up to us more. Something I noticed right away was their laughter. All of the kids have the most unique and genuine laugh. When I hear them laugh I just think of how their lives are so different compared to the kids in the U.S. The kids here have way less physically, but spiritually they have all they could ever need. True happiness lies in God and I know that is why the kids are so happy here. God is truly working in their lives and they ask some really good questions about salvation and their faith. It's amazing to see how God is allowing them to utilize what we are teaching them through devotions and sports and applying it to their every day lives. They are so eager to pray and learn more Bible verses.
I'm just sitting here typing this and all I can think is how great our God is. I'm so thankful for Him and for Him allowing me to have another great opportunity like this to serve in Africa with MOAM. He has blessed me with a great group while we are here. We really work well together and I will be sad when we have to depart on our way home. The relationships that I have made with my group and all 98 kids here at the Rafiki village will forever stick with me for the rest of my life.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers!
- Mariah Jackson, Marshall University Women's Basketball Manager
To God be the Glory!
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