Welcome to prison?

John had the privilege of preaching at the local prison Saturday.  I saw little of living conditions, but have heard they are deplorable.  We were well received by wonderful smiling faces.  Many have been saved there under the ministry of a Malawian friend of ours, Charles.  He was once an inmate himself, and now is a Bible college graduate and dedicated to the spiritual welfare and growth of prisoners.

John sang a couple songs and spoke on “Taking Out the Rubbish”.  Charles had been present in the African Bible Chapel service years prior when I had done a recitation.  He asked me (on the way to the prison!) if I would mind doing it there… yikes.  I was thankful my friend, Wendy, had asked me to do it at her church over Christmas so that it was relatively fresh on my mind.

The band was delightful.  We are always so impressed with Malawian’s ability to make instruments for giving praise to the Lord.  See what you think…..

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feet instruments

Feet instruments!

Charles is on the left in the orange shirt.

Charles is on the left in the orange shirt.

He IS!

He IS!


So… how long has it been since I last blogged? Wow… for those of you who are not on Facebook, I apologize for being so bad about keeping you up to speed with our lives. Much of the reason is because there is nothing earth shattering to share.

I would write more if every day were filled with exciting stories of God transforming lives, but most of the time it is the same day in, day out routine that you experience in America. The scenery is just different. Much different.

Another reason for not writing more is, candidly, sometimes the things I would have to share are just not very nice sounding. The frustrations of living in a foreign country with people who think so differently than us, is… well… it can range anywhere from “oh cool” to hair-pulling. If I blog about such experiences, will those who don’t really know me, misjudge me? Then again, if you are reading this blog, you probably DO know me (us) pretty well.

I wish our eyes had built-in video cameras. I would love my friends and family to see what I see, and smell what I smell, and hear what I hear. Then I wouldn’t have to stretch my writing abilities to try to describe life here.

I have gotten so accustomed to the sights here that they don’t quite bring the awe and wonder that they once did. I hope I am memorizing the littlest of experiences so that I can pull them up years from now and reminisce. I don’t want this all to go by me so fast that I don’t truly experience it. I want to get everything here God wants me to get. Experiences, lessons, and just the awesomeness of being in a country that most people will never get to visit. I don’t want to come home with regrets.

I was blessed to go back to the States for Christmas and while there a friend encouraged me to just blog about “any ‘ol thing”… without worrying about how flowery my speech is or how boring it might sound.

SO…. That is what I am going to do.

Starting tomorrow. Lol.



Last month I had the thrill and privilege of taking another Permaculture course at Kusamala Institiute of agriculture. (Thanks to my sister’s generosity and my husband’s being a tight-wad for months!)  The last course I blogged about was a 1-week introduction, but this was the internationally recognized 72 hour certification course in Permaculture design.  To avoid a lengthy definition, I will say that (for my purposes anyway), permaculture is all about      creating edible ecosystems. aOne of the    permaculture ethics is to care for the earth.  That isn’t some new left-wing-tree-hugger idea.  I think we would all agree that God told us to  have dominion; that is, stewardship over it.  Although it will be destroyed by fire someday, I  don’t think we need to be the one’s to start it!    Hee hee. I would prefer to be responsible for what He entrusted to us and let Him destroy it when he is good and ready. (oh please oh please, come quickly Lord Jesus)

SO… that being said, what do I intend to do with this knowledge here in Africa?

Partner’s In Hope once had a demonstration garden on their property started by Dr. Jansen’s father.  I would like to see a new site. The purpose will be to teach by demonstration and example, how to grow a variety of nutritionally dense indigenous foods in a small area with limited resources. The target audience will be patients from PIH with compromised immune systems desperately need high-nutritional/high antioxidant foods.

More about that in my next blog.

For now, here are some pictures of my adventures at Kusamala.

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me and kuona 2

My fellow student had her nursing baby with her so I got my grandma fix for 2 weeks!


I had the honor of learning from Kristof Nordin of “Neverending Food”









Explaining my vision for the PIH garden.




Howardey & Operation Mwetulira!

What a thrill it has been to walk with little Howard Isaac and his mother, Margaret, through this last life-transforming week!

John almost turned down the invitation to preach at a village church a good howard-smalldistance from our house several months ago, but God just wouldn’t let him. Pulling away from this church we saw a young boy with what appeared to be a cleft palate watching with saucer eyes as this “galimoto” went right through his walking path. We immediately began praying about how we could get him hooked up with operation smile!   He wasn’t at church, so would the pastor even know of him? How could we arrange this with total strangers?  God just orchestrated it.  After many phone calls and preparation, it was all arranged!

howard and mom-samll The day Howard was to come to the ‘big city’ we picked he and his mother up in Chisuzi village, prayed with the family, and off we went. It was Howard’s first ride in a automobile.  He never took his eyes off the road… even when his poor mother was desperately car sick right beside him. Poor Margaret!  Besides being well-along in a pregnancy, the stress of what was to come in the next few days, being with total strangers who did not speak her language, and now motion sickness?!


We delivered them at a secondary school that Operation Smile was using as their make-shift hotel. Almost 180 surgical candidates and their family members would call this home for one week.  John and I visited several times with extra food, goodies, clothing, etc.



 Many of you prayed that Howard would be deemed healthy enough for surgery,
and thank God, he was! Surgery was set for the following day.

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As it turned out, Howard’s palate was barely affected. Only the lip was cleft! An easy fix for a skillful surgeon! Thank you Jesus!  Howard only needed to stay overnight! The following day we found him eating Africa’s version of “Cheetos”! And as you can attest by the picture below, he looked great!

the new howard

 Over the next several days, he continued healing and I was able to take them to their home. As we piled out of the car, I heard Howard’s young friend cheer “Howardey Howardey!” A small crowd gathered around Margaret as she pulled her goodies from her new bag. Howard, lost in a crowd of children was no doubt happy to be home.

We are humbled that God would use us to help sweet Howard, and look forward to developing a relationship with the family in the months to come. We are trusting that just as God sovereignly orchestrated this life-altering change in Howard’s appearance, He will someday make a live-altering change in Howard’s heart.




Food for Tummy/Food for Soul!


My first grafting attempt on a mango tree!

Upon our arrival to Malawi, I learned that Malawi has a 12 month growing season, 600+  indigenous edible plants, and yet people starve to death.


God began burning in me a desire to learn about the agriculture here, to learn about those 600 edible plants, and to pray about how I can make a difference in this area.  Last week I took an introduction to permaculture class at Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology.


It is hard enough to know people die hungry in a green country like Malawi, but even harder to think they may die without knowing my savior, Jesus Christ.