There were things I won’t easily forget:
- A Malawi work zone – 15 men in a row, each with a bucket of paint, hand painting a center line on the road – others snapping a string to guide the edges. (I can’t tell you the comfort that comes from a center line when you are going up a mountain and a huge over loaded logging truck is coming down.)
- The expression of utter sincerity on the face of a Village headman who told us how happy he was that we were the first white people to come to his village.
- The sign on a power company’s truck which read: “towards power all day every day” (In Malawi that takes real vision
There were things that brought strong emotions:
- The child like wonder of blowing bubbles for the children at the well and watching as they overcome their puzzlement and start chasing and trying to catch the bubbles as they dance on the ever present wind.
- The transformation that occurs in even the most reserved people as water first flows from the pump
The hope of a father, who spoke very good English. He came to the well to say thank you. He was holding his first child; named Praise; two months old. He said he was now free to believe she would live to grow up.
- The sight of my 78 year old partner, Charles, kneeling in the dust playing on his harmonica “When the Saints Go Marching In” for the children
- Meeting Marion Medical’s first female field officer and a growing number of head women.
There were moments of spiritual insight:
- Driving through a city market, people of a different race, language, and customs pressing against my truck as I inched along. If I were in Decatur undergoing that experience I would be soiling my clothing. In Malawi I had not one ounce of fear. Love casts out fear.
- I was walking up a hill behind a group of children. Among them was a small boy dressed in a T shirt with 5 or 6 holes in the back and no hem. He had no shoes and was wearing no underwear. They were laughing, excited, and happy. What an impact the advertising industry has upon our souls by creating and promoting the great illusion that we can’t live happily without certain things. Consider the lilies of the field.
- I am amazed by the diversity of gifts given to God through MMM by volunteers: mechanics who precede the teams going over the vehicles, producers of video telling our story – accountants, nurses, ministers, machinists, lawyers, electricians, engineers – driving 4 wheeled vehicles through the bush. Together we are the body of Christ.
- Do you remember the reaction of the judges on England Has Talent when Susan Doyle first walked on stage? I had a similar experience. Chauncey was his name. He was a night watchman. He worked from 4 pm to 6 am six days week. I sat outside my room at 5 am having my morning devotion. He approached me and asked, “Morning devotions?” When I said yes he told me he was a Christian. I invited him to join me. We had a wonderful time of fellowship. He told me he had no Bible. I asked him if he could read. He told me yes. I was skeptical and handed him my Bible. I thought I was listening to Sir Lawrence Olivier read to me. His English was perfect, impeccable. I came home without a Bible. Grace is given to the humble in heart.
I am amazed at the parallels between those on the road to Emmaus and those of us who went to Malawi:
- the closeness of the two
- the kindness of strangers
- the way their hearts burned with-in
- their eyes were opened
One of our group said, “God lives in Africa!” To travel with MMM is to know that. But God must dwell in many hearts for the miracle of 2,500 wells to happen.