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Muli Bwanji? My trip to Malawi ... This journal is about my trip to Malawi. Find out everything about what I did, the people I met and the blessings I received. Share the experience with me!

Day 5: Christmas came early this year

MALAWI | Wednesday, 12 September 2012 | Views [482]

Day 5 (Wednesday September 5th)

Well! This day was UNBELIEVABLE! First of all, when Enoch picked us up, he explained that the pick-up truck (or the bakkie) had broken down. Other than the land-rover that Enoch was driving us around in, the bakkie was the only other vehicle that the AE team could use to go to the projects. So when we got to the office, we had a prayer meeting. There were 9 of us and we all prayed for healing; that God would heal the bakkie! Without the bakkie, we could only take one bag of maize for each of the children with the other bags of groceries and the presents. The other two bags of maize would be delivered to the families at a later date.

So with the car fully loaded, we made our way to Phereni primary school in one of the villages on the outskirts of Lilongwe. We met the headteacher, Mr Mwagaza, who will soon be leaving, the new head teacher who will take his place and four of the orphans. The other orphan had recently finished writing his standard 8 and was working to earn some money. After I gave the headmaster the presents for the school from St Paul's British Primary School, we proceeded to each of the children's homes. The five orphans are as follows: Doreen Howard (7), Edwin Patrick (11) Jennifer Ethel (15), Divalla Marko (19) and Blaziton (20).

We started with the oldest girl, Jennifer. We delivered the bag of maize and the other bags of food that were purchased with the money raised by St Paul's British Primary School, along with a bag of clothes, stationary and toiletries. My parents and I packed a bag like this for each of the orphans. Even though Jennifer couldn't speak English and my Chichewa was incredibly limited, I still felt like there was a connection between us. She showed us her house as well and I was shocked to see what cramped conditions she lived in! The roof above her sleeping area was all but falling apart so that when it rains, she just gets drenched. In the bags that we had packed for the two girls, we had also put in some bracelets and Jennifer seemed really touched and really liked hers. She kept looking at it and feeling it.

After visiting Jennifer, we went to Divalla's house. Divalla, though being 19 years old is still in primary school, as he started late. He was so amazed by all the stuff that we had given him, especially the new clothes. His family were also very grateful for the food. The miracle of the day happened while we were at Divalla's house. We were talking to the family when the foxfire team (the foxfires are a group of young people who are trained by AE to go out to the markets and the youth to bring more souls to Christ through dancing, singing and ministry) turned up with the other bags of maize ... in the now healed bakkie! They delivered the other bags to Jennifer's house and then joined us for the rest of the trip.

After meeting Divalla and his family, we went to see Doreen, a beautiful little 7 year-old girl. She was really over-whelmed by all of the things that she had received, by all the people there and by all the cameras wanting to take photos of her that she got really confused and upset. She was also scared of Lynn and I because she wasn't used to seeing white people. She felt better when I gave her a cute necklace and bracelet set and one of my teddies. It was really amazing to see her and to meet her. I only wished that I could speak Chichewa so that I could really encourage her and explain to her that there is Someone out there looking out for her. I really pray for a better future for her and a better life.

After visiting Doreen, we went back to the school to pick up Edwin and Blaziton, who had now finished working. We had to drive them to their houses because they lived in two villages which were quite far from the school. At this point, the newly appointed communications man for AE, a professional journalist who had worked for the Malawi times and also for World Vision, had to drive in the back of the bakkie because his place in the car had been taken by the headteacher who knew the way. So I traded places with him. It was such fun to be able to ride in the back of a bakkie again and with some of the guys from the foxfire team too. Enoch was worried about me and that I might fall off but Lynn soon explained that I'd done it many times before and wanted to do it again - VERY true!

Anyways, we drove to Edwin's house (and got some funny stares along the way because it was a rare occasion for the villagers to see a white girl and rarer still to see a white girl driving in the back of a bakkie!) We finally reached Edwin's small house and gave to him and his family all of the food and the presents for Edwin. They were so thankful. Edwin's uncle and aunt looked after him since his parents passed away. However, they also were still quite young (only in their 20's) and were struggling to provide food and educational materials for their family. They were so thankful. One thing that the headmaster stressed every time we delivered the gifts to the families, was that they shouldn't sell what they have received because they will end up in a worse situation. I hope that the message has sunk in and that they are making good use of what they had received.

Finally, we made our way to Blaziton's village. His house was quite far into the village without access for cars, so the poor guys on the foxfire team had to carry those 50kg bags of maize (though they were more like 60kg!) The three bags of maize would last the families for about 4/5 months so it really does make a huge difference to their lives. Blaziton is 20 and has recently written his standard 8 exams (end of primary school. You have to pass these exams to get into secondary school.) He was waiting for his results and they came through while we were still at his house. It was such a blessing to see him come out of his house with a huge smile on his face proudly announcing that he has gotten into a boarding school in Lilongwe. My parents and I knew that he was keen on education and therefor had provided a lot of educational materials for him, including a scientific calculator which he was very thankful for and incredibly happy about.

It really was a day of many blessings for the orphans and their families but also for me too and I thank God that I could have this opportunity! 

 

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