“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’” Revelation 21:3-5
While we were in Malawi, we witnessed significant injustice and suffering. I found myself often wrestling with the question of “Why God did you allow this?” The kids would ask about my parents and I would be reminded that they no longer had theirs. One week into our trip, the oldest boy in the village was hit by a car and seriously injured his leg. We saw little kids on the streets starving and without clean water. During devotions with one of the cottages, the momma and the girls shared about how they had recently lost their dear sister to cancer. Ironically, our devotion that night was about how God is incomprehensible. We talked about how we cannot understand why terrible things happen, but we can trust that God is sovereign and His plan is perfect. It was remarkable to hear these young girls share about how they continued to praise God each day, while grieving their sister’s death. Even in the pain I saw, I could catch glimpses of God’s beauty shining through. God has been teaching me that I can rest in knowing that He is always faithful, even in suffering. He is with us and enters into our pain. He gives us hope that one day He will restore all things. While these things still break my heart, I can find comfort and peace in knowing they are just temporary. I praise Him because He is making everything new.
During my one-on-one meeting with one of the older girls, I listened to her share about many hardships she has faced in her life. At the end, she said, “I think God is teaching me that I should only trust in Him alone. No one or nothing else.” While this is a simple truth we hear all the time, in that moment she spoke so powerfully to me. After spending several weeks in Africa, I have realized how often I put my trust in other things or people. In America, it is so easy to rely on food, clean water, security, access to good medical care, electricity, etc. I can place my identity in my schoolwork or job and can depend on my family and friends. While these are all good things, my trust should first and foremost be in the Lord. He is my life. Everything I have comes from Him. I can trust in Him alone. Eventually, everything else will fail me. He is so much greater and more fulfilling than anything of this world.
It was a privilege to serve the Lord in Malawi and meet so many incredible people. I pray that I would grow to have faith as deep as them. I am so grateful to Managers On A Mission for giving me this opportunity. It was extremely difficult to leave the village and I do not know whether I will get to see my dear Malawian friends again on this earth. While I long to be reunited with them, I am reminded that Jesus never stayed in one place too long during His ministry. I am finding peace knowing that God often calls us to new places to serve Him. I know that the Lord will continue to be at work in Malawi and I pray He will use my new brothers and sisters in mighty ways for His kingdom.
Eagerly awaiting the day when He makes all things new.
Kelly Norfleet, University of Virginia
To God Be the Glory!
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