COTN Malawi Interns 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Few more pic's

Hello Sweet Friends -
It is our final week of ministry here in Malawi as interns.
In a desperate attempt to multiply and make the most of every last remaining second we share here, a group of us have woken up every morning this week to watch the sunrise. Each morning it is breathtaking: we are blessed with an amazing view here and the ability to see God's quiet bigness and artistry just overcome us each morning.
We sit. Watch. Breath in. Breath out. And sigh at the wonder of the beginning of a new day to be here in Africa with one another and in the sadness of its inevitable end drawing in too close for comfort.

On behalf of all the interns, we thank each one of your who has prayed for us and with us through this experience we have had the privilege of being a part of here.
I am desperately attempting to grasp at the remaining moments here, but time is relentless and my efforts are like trying to grab sand: panic sets is as we watch time slip through our fingers so quickly.

One thing I think I am anxious about is just my ability to capture these moments and memories here and forever engrave them in my mind, both to replicate for myself and to share with others when I get home. The joy of getting to teach students who are dying for an education - to see them run up the dirt path and grab our hands in order to walk US to school and sing US songs. The way my heart melts every time I see Gordo's chubby little cheeks rise in a huge smile just because I've picked him up and spun him around.
It is difficult to put words to what moves me each day. No picture can capture it. No words are sufficient. And no video is enough.

All we have are these remaining moments, to make the most of, to get to be a part of God's movement here and just pray that we don't get in the way.

While working in the midst of the underprivileged of Malawi, I have learned that it is an utmost privilege to have been chosen by God to be here and be in their presence.

Thank you again for the prayers - we will be home soon!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A few more Chiwengo pics

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tutoring in Chiwengo Village

One of the most significant aspects of the ministry that our interns do each day is tutor our children in Math, English, and Writing. The interns are divided into teams of two or three at the most with one national intern and one global intern spread out between standards 1 through 8 (1st through 8th grade in the US). The tutoring has been both challenging and quite rewarding.
Since our children come from village backgrounds, where education is generally not seen as all that important, many of our children find it difficult to study hard each day…Of course they are children. Who wants to study anyways when you have fifty other children to play with, plenty of things to do (coloring, playing with toys, running around, and various sports like soccer and net ball), and a group of 8 global and 7 national interns who want to play as well? With all this being said our tutoring has been extremely successful.
Each day at 2:00PM we gather the children into their groups and teach them until 4:00PM. Sometimes it is quite frustrating because they aren’t ready to settle down, but we have seen great strides in only a few weeks. Even after a week or so, the children began to show up at the right location and at the right time, which is quite a big deal…quite often 2:00 means 2:30 so those are great signs that something is going well.
Most importantly, tutoring has provided us an opportunity to get to know our children and has been an opening for deeper relationships. We do our best to teach them, but we know that learning is slow process that has to be continually cultivated. Our love however can take deep roots and tutoring has been one of the best places for our interns to express love and care for our children.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our group...

Our group in Mtsilizia the first week. We just got back from a welcome program there today welcoming COTN's co-founders Chris and Debbie Clark. The energy and excitement among the villagers was pretty amazing to witness and be a part of.
Ben Meki is one of our fabulous returning national interns. He is an ABC (African Bible College) student with one year left. We had just come back from Mgwayi Village with kids and he was hungry so he yanked a carrot out of our garden and started eating it. He called himself Bugs Bunny. Ben keeps us all laughing and we are thankful to have him as part of our team!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

His love is new every morning

Each day in Malawi brings something new; both exciting and heartbreaking. We were reflecting the other day on how tired we were and couldn't figure out why...and then we realized we love spending time with the kids and holding hands and singing songs and jumping rope and playing soccer and learning to read and...then it hit us! We are very energetic and emotionally involved when we are "on" and while it is so good, it is exhausting! Thankfully we are well fed and have a little down time scheduled between every activity.
At Mgywai we just started our second week of school. It is such a blessing to be met each day by eager students ready to learn and so happy to see us. We are seeing progress little by little and it makes the strife (of 50 1st graders in one class!) worth while.
We are waiting on specifics from the group at Chewengo, but rumor has it the girls are loving the kids and their jobs- Amen!
We are leaning on God daily and learning that though each day brings something new, His mercies never fail us.
Thank you for your prayers and kind words.