As I mentioned in the last post, one of the most important parts of our trip was the part we couldn't plan: relationships.
In fact, some of the most encouraging relationships have been you all, our supporters. Because of your rich support for this work we were able to give away $2300, not to mention many gifts, supplies, and 4 entire suitcases full of books. This really is the goal of short-term missions trips: establish relationships that can grow into friendships, brings gifts and supplies, do your best to bless those who are hosting you (take out for dinner!) and look for the Lord's works all around you.
Investing in Friendships
Friendships Are Ministry
Most of us tend to think of 'fellowship' as an add on to the 'real' ministry. But, of course, the Lord often saves us and always disciples us through Christian friendships. Real, trusting Christian friendships are crucial.
So, we were very blessed to find our old friends (such as the Munyongas) ready to reconnect and share life in Christ together. They are a godly and lovely couple. We spent the day together talking about living faithfully in a corrupt society, catching up on our family life, and sharing our vision. They were excited and very encouraging!
Kids On Patrol
On each stop, the boys managed to make friends and enjoy life together with African boys. In spite of a major language barrier, they had good fun together playing soccer, exploring, poking bugs, etc. What a huge encouragement to see them embracing our mission as a family!
Elijah especially thrived in his Malawian school, and made some great friends for the week. By the end of our first week in Malawi, he was freely exploring the little village with his new friends from next door.
In South Africa we reconnected and stayed with our old friends, Mathieu and Kayle Pelletier. They have been involved in theological education in Africa for some time now. We were able to pick up right where we left off. They were excited to hear our vision as well!
We also got to connect with some of our lovely Pacific NW missionaries: the Stoms and Locatells. We spent the day together and we were able to take them all out for a lovely meal. It was so good to reconnect.
Privileged to Give Gifts
In all, we were able to give gifts to each of the missionaries we visited, totaling $1800. We also gave $500 to a godly Malawian couple we know who was in need of a new roof. This couple has ministered to so many people, including us when we lived there previously. In all we were privileged to deliver these gifts to these crucial mission works totaling $2300.
We were so blessed to be able to bring not only money, but piles and piles of books, gifts for missionary kids, and gifts for the school our boys attended. In spite of all that we gave away, we still had some money left over.
Thank you all for your support of our work, and partnering with us as a family! This will be a big help in kickstarting our work and the path forward.