BUT, despite the grinding poverty, the spiritual warfare, the injustice, the feeling of being overwhelmed by all the challenges, I always meet God in Malawi. In fact, I often see Jesus more clearly than I see Him in my comfortable home and pleasant surroundings.
There are 3 people in particular in whom I saw Jesus this time around. Let me tell you a bit about them.
Harriet the GoGo
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
She told us that when she saw us, she saw the goodness of God -- and she worshiped Him. The reality is that when we saw her, and her response to God working in our life -- we saw Jesus in the land of the living.
I intend to visit Harriet every time I am in Malawi.
Two other people made an impression on me this time. Lucious is a "Zone Leader" with Somebody Cares Malawi. As a Zone Leader and a pastor Lucious works with volunteers who visit widows, orphans and vulnerable children and those suffering from HIV/AIDS in their communities. Lucious oversees 15 volunteers who together have 75 patients in their community. In addition Lucious also organizes and supervises a feeding program in his community for over 250 orphans and vulnerable children. He does all of this as a volunteer -- and while he farms his two acres of land and takes care of his wife and 8 children.
Lucious and his Wife in their Cornfield
Lucious is a fortunate man in rural Malawi -- he can read and write, he speaks some English and he owns something very precious -- a Bible. I have seen him carefully unwrap his Bible, read it during church, and the gently and lovingly wrap it back up to keep it safe. He is a precious man, filled with Jesus.
Finally, I want to tell you about another man -- similar to Lucious. I don't remember his name, but I first heard about him about a year ago. This man lives in a rural community called Chikudzulire. A year ago he rode his bicycle more than 4 hours into town so he could ask Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares if they could help their community develop. They knew they needed help, they just didn't know what to do. So after 4 hours on his bike, and then a brief conversation with Theresa, he rode another 4 hours home -- with the hope that someday help would come.
The Man from Chikudzulire
I see Jesus in these 3 people -- Harriet the GoGo, Lucious the Pastor and the Man from Chikudzulire. Each of them is living under what we would consider difficult or impossible circumstances. We would look at their lives as hopeless -- yet God has given them hope, has answered their prayer, and they are seeing Jesus alive in their communities.
God is at work in Malawi. I look forward to going back and seeing Jesus there.