Sunday, January 14, 2007

Day 3

This was a tough day folks… The team almost mutinied when they got to the guest lodge… I checked it out and the rooms seemed fine (same place the pastors stayed for PACCT). I explained that it was a cost to benefit thing and that they were saving close to 2,500 bucks this way, but that it was their decision to make. So, tonight, after their last assignment, the team decided to go back to the hotel. With the long days, power outages today and the thunderstorms – it has been a difficult trip so far.

Team B was really happy with the events of the day. There was weeping and singing, hugs and kisses, and high fives all over the place.

Team A did not have a good day today. Apparently there is too much “talking to us about the same things” rather than letting them ‘do something’ and ‘getting a lot done’. So, everyone is tired and frustrated. At our last stop, I thought two-thirds of the group would pass out from the boredom of having to hear one more time how bad AIDS is in Malawi and what people are trying to do about it. Still, the group is hanging tough and trying not to complain. Volunteers like to fix things and make a difference. Helplessness is hard to take.

Yet, I feel God is doing a big thing in their hearts and making this whole thing come together. After returning to the hotel and a brief word on the ministry of presence and listening, everyone’s spirits were raised.

Team D left for Livingstonia this morning and Ya-Mei tracked them throughout the day. The pastor and congregation are excited about hosting them and emotions are running high. The school and the hospital already are putting them to good use. Thank you, Jesus.

What is encouraging is that the groups are beginning to get a sense of vision for Malawi. Everyone has on their heart a desire to do something more, and ideas to make it happen – from supplying the school with the things they need, to helping finish a building at one of the churches, to coming with a team of logging experts to train the local people how to not just cut the trees with greater efficiency, but also to teach re-forestation as a part of a business model and to provide the equipment they need to do so. Yeah team.

I also went to visit Gabriel. He is in bad shape with malaria and I will be very surprised if he checks back in before the end of the trip. The group sent over some power bars, a few jugs of juice, and he has all the medicine he needs.

So, that is the news today from Lake Malawi. First down is over, three more to play. I am going to put some more points on the board.

Paul