Thursday, May 15, 2008

Been a While

Sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. Since getting back to Malawi, I have been so busy with trying to get back in the swing of things. It was good to see my students again.

Here is a picture of what they drew on the board for me. It says, “Welcome back Mrs. McDonald!” It brought tears to my eyes. They really are a good group of kids. They had also written me cards welcoming me back.

Amber Elizabeth and Molly Grace fell right back into school with no problems. Sarah Rose was excited to see Joyce (our nanny). What a blessing. I was worried that she would have withdrawal issues once again after being with me everyday for 6 ½ weeks.

Shortly after we arrived, Sarah Rose had an assessment for Reception (it’s like 4 year old kindergarten). She “passed” so she will be going to school next year. She is excited. She keeps saying, “I will get to wear a uniform and a tie, have a backpack, and have homework.” I hope she stays this excited about school.

Molly Grace has just been enjoying life. She’s doing well in school and really enjoys it. Her birthday is coming up real soon and she is so excited. It’s so hard to believe that she will be turning eight years old. She has grown up so much this year. She no longer has the “little girl” look.

Amber Elizabeth has enjoyed being back. She really missed her friends. She was involved in Academy Idols. The ninth grade class put on a fund raiser for their safari trip and had Academy Idols modeled after American Idols. They had auditions (some made it and others did not) and then we had a Family Fun Night where the winners performed. Amber Elizabeth and two of her friends, Janelle Dehnert (our next door neighbor) and Kelley Grace Boersma (she lives at the other end of campus) sang a song by Hilary Duff. They did a real good job. I was so proud that she was willing to get on stage in front of so many people.

Here is a picture of the girls before the show.

This is just a little bit of what we have been up to. I will try and do a better job of blogging more often.

Love in Him,
LeAnne

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Green Energy Enthusiast in Malawi

I thought I would share this video of a student at ABC Christian Academy. He is a remarkable person.

Enjoy,
LeAnne

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Preaching

What a privilege it has been preaching every week in the village churches at Njewa, Mwenela, Msiliza, and Chimbalame. I like Chimbalame because it literally means “Big Bird.” I can remember that one. So far, I have been laying out the basics of the gospel, impressing upon the people that the “gospel” is more than a decision response, it’s the whole of Christianity. When I preach, the challenge is finding culturally (and locally) relevant illustrations to convey points. For instance, when I talk about the reality of being created in God’s image, I use the illustration of goats (mbuzi) tied to the backs of bicycles that we see every day in Malawi. I ask the people, “Does the goat know where he is going?” They all respond, “No.” “But do you know where he is going?” They all say, “Yes.” “WHY?” “Because you think about tomorrow and yesterday, life and death, and eternity. The goat has no idea he is going to be butchered, but you do. It is because ‘God put eternity on your hearts.’ And therefore, you must consider the truth of what Jesus says because you were created by him.” As you can see, it can be fun! Please pray for these churches, that the Lord would raise up for them a pastor. Also pray they would be blessed with elders who truly believe. Sometimes, sadly, the only requirement for becoming an elder in the church is that you are an elder in chronology!

A couple of days ago, I was asked to be part of a panel at a conference hosted by the Nkhoma Synod Missions Department. This would be the equivalent of MTW. Currently, they have two missionaries to Mozambique and are struggling at best. The main concern of the conference was to discuss ways to interest and mobilize congregations to support and pray for missions. I was asked to share how our churches approach it. I shared with them how I grew up seeing and hearing from missionaries, ate with them, went to conferences with them, heard sermons about missions, etc. In other words, I impressed upon them that “the mission of the church was the mission of Christ.” It is who we are and what we do (Thanks Dr. Medeiros!). I also provided them with a document from MTW about getting your church involved in missions. What a great document and I encourage everyone to print a copy for your own church! I am looking for further opportunities to encourage them where possible. Please pray for this meeting. Ask that the Lord would really work in the hearts of the leadership of this denomination (and sadly, in some cases, convert the leadership), and that the Holy Spirit would inspire men, women, and children throughout this massive church to see their potential. Unfortunately, they think often as we do that money will solve everything. Poor people are not immune to that unfortunate misunderstanding. But that’s always easy for a Westerner to say who has a full stomach, nice house, car, and education. So pray also the Lord would provide for this mission financially. If you would like to help, contact me and I would be thrilled to connect you.

Sam
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