Once again I met God in Mgona. Mgona is the perhaps the poorest community in Malawi. 50,000 people call this area home. 25,000 of them are orphans and vulnerable children under the age of 15. Mgona used to be a place without hope -- but times have changed.
Today Mgona has hope! Why? Because God has come to Mgona through His people who have become the hands and feet of Jesus to the sick, the dying, and the widow and the orphan. Through Home-Based care workers, the 110 members of the HIV/AIDS support group, the pastors of churches, the ministry of WOW (Women for Orphans and Widows) and the staff of Somebody Cares Jesus is bringing hope and healing. Where once people asked if God was in Mgona -- today there is no doubt. He is there and He is not silent -- He is speaking loud and clear!
Today a small group of us joined a group of Home-Based Care workers and an HIV/AIDS Support Group in worship. As our Malawian friends sang and danced and as we joined them, I was once again overcome by a sense of God's love for the people of this community and for me. I once again met God among the poorest of the poor -- it seems that often happens -- at least to me.
Tomorrow (April 18) we head out to Salima, about 2 hours from Lilongwe. Brent Stockwell and I will join Jim and Kathy Cantelon to spend time with the leadership of Lifeline Malawi to determine whether a partnership is something God would want us to do.
On Sunday (April 19) I will be speaking in the community of Matanda -- one that I have visited often. The church meets in an open-air feeding shelter used during the week to provide meals to 350 orphans and vulnerable children. Pray that God would speak through me.
On April 20 & 21 Brent and I will be meeting with Theresa Malila of Somebody Cares as well as Visionledd leaders -- planning for future ministry together. Brent and I will also be meeting with Stella Kasiyre, the African Director of Willowcreek Community Church and Dr. Perry Jansen of Partners in Malawi.
We will also be participating with 800 pastors, youth leaders and other Christian leaders in a pastors conference. Pray that God would move in the lives of these pastors as they are encouraged and challenged to be God's hands and feet in the battle against AIDS and for community transformation.
We leave for Zambia on April 22.
Pray for us over these next few days. We need wisdom, insight and direction.
Thank you for your prayer and support.