Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8-9a)
It seems a long time ago since we were posting on our blog in the autumn of 2014 about selling our family home in Suffolk so that we could get going to Malawi (see Let Go and Let’s Go ). Now we have finished a full 3 years as zambesi mission’s church development partners with the church in Malawi, and we are back in the UK, and for the moment have set up home again in Suffolk. It’s been quite a shock going from the hot rainy season of Malawi, with the usual 14 hours of daylight, to the icy grip and short 7-hours of daylight of winter, especially during our two trips to Perthshire in Scotland over the last couple of months. But it has proven a timely return for us, to support some family members at a difficult time, to meet one member for the very first time, and to celebrate Christmas 2017 surrounded by our family.
Our final 2 months in Malawi were very busy, hence – for those who follow our blog – why there have been so few blog posts. The last few months in Malawi we were busy trying as best we could to leave things properly handed over to our local partners, as well as make final visits to places and friends we have grown to love. We are thankful to God for the way he enabled us to partner with so many people and help develop new works in a country of so much need …
… for the Preach the Word course which is already making an impact on many of the grassroots preachers who have received the training
… for the children’s songbook Ananu Ziimbani which is now in shops all over the country and has kicked off regular events for Sunday School choirs to gather to sing and learn Biblical children’s songs
… for the greater sense of direction in Zambezi Evangelical Church, with well-defined programmes, and a desire for change and progress
… for smoother running and more widely spread Sunday School teacher training being done by Children for Christ Ministry
… for a group of young people bound together by music to form Echoes of Grace and beginning to set out on their evangelistic ministry to the villages of Malawi.
We will certainly always remember the visits to remote little congregations deep in the bush, far from tarred roads, who showed us great hospitality despite their circumstances. And our “home church” for 3 years, Limbe ZEC, who prepared a special farewell for us on our last Sunday morning before we headed to the airport that day.
We have worked with some wonderful people in the zm Malawi office – from our field director, Simon, and the office staff Rose and Mercy, to the guards and our housemaid Dorothy – everyone has looked out for us and cared for us. Also, our “azungu” friends at our midweek Bible study have been more helpful to us than they will ever realize, through their fellowship and hospitality.
Now, in the new year of 2018, we finally feel we are ‘finding our feet’ again as we start to get out and share about Malawi during our UK deputation programme. However, even as we pull photos together and try to express our ideas and feelings, we are only now perhaps fully realising what we have left behind, and fully appreciating all God has done through our time in Malawi to teach us and reshape us.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
So, friends, we thank you for following us in our journey so far. However, our journey of faith – like yours – continues as we step out anew with God. So please continue to keep us in your prayers, read our newsletters, and follow our blogs on www.steppingoutwithgod.com over this period of transition, as we visit churches and as Myles discerns his next step.