Saturday, January 13, 2007

Day 2

Hopegivers Mission Trip Day 2

The mission group from NC is an amazing group of "dare-saints", as my father would say. They haven't blinked even though Malaria is breaking out here and the road to Livingstonia is apparently "more treacherous than ever" due to all the rain.

Sometimes I forget how incredibly good our teams are, here and around the world, at crafting such incredible programs. I have coined a new phrase now, "Sobol-esque" - it means the program is flowing so smoothly, it is as though Mikhail Sobol [CitiHope’s Country Representative in Belarus] is running the tour. I am doing my best to exhibit that same spirit with me as I help our 22 guests feel at home here in Malawi. I have even used some of his famous jokes to get people on and off the busses on time! So things are going very well here!

Still, we do have some sad news, Gabriel has come down with Malaria and his sister's husband recently died. Rev. Munthali just got out of the hospital with it, so the rainy season means Malaria risk for our brothers and sisters in Malawi. Still, we come against all sickness in the name of Jesus. .

Ya-Mei is doing great, as always, and only one thing can explain the amazing blessing she and her husband has been to our program here – God! Our new staff person, Dennis, is doing a great job and putting his previous experience in a travel agency to good use. We also have a new cook here at the Mission Center, Taxom. His mission, apparently, is to send me home 10 pounds heavier than when I came - because he is cooking like a master chief. Last of all we have Siso and Mickey, our two "watch dogs" who are much bigger than Paul and Tamara's Toby. They bark a lot, and the joke among the staff is that if they are not careful, the Sr. VP will fire them... I had no idea I had such a "mean guy" reputation. :)

Today our teams visited schools, churches, and woman's guild project, and are having a very positive experience thanks to your fellow staff here in Malawi. I shared with them the story of CitiHope's origins in Belarus and all God has done though us all. The tears in their eyes confirms all that God has done. Even as I speak the words it is hard to believe that CitiHope, our small and sometimes cracked vessel, has been used so powerfully to pour out much blessing. God is good.

We have a busy week ahead, so keep us in your prayers. All of the food containers are here and we are on track for a great mission. I am forever honored to represent you all. I will do my best. I know we are making a huge difference, by God's grace, and I am certain we have much more ahead. I love and miss you all - I am praying for you too!

Your servant in Him

Paul II