As the saying goes, “you never really leave a place or person you love, part of them you take with you, leaving part of yourself behind,” and Malawi is certainly stamped on my heart.  Exactly 4 years ago today, I was saying goodbye to Malawi – time surely has flown!

*I uploaded my journal entries / church blog posts to look back on.  Sorry if you’ve read the church blog – there’s a lot of crossover since I was pretty involved.

God placed me in positions outside of my comfort zone, that have equipped me to continue stretching:

1. Sharing my Testimony – Nervous?  Yes.  In another country… while being translated into another language… in front of a congregation… on Sunday morning?  YES BUT – the beauty of the Gospel is its simplicity.  We love to over-complicate, but its so simple!  I’m a sinner by nature in need of a Savior, and that’s my Jesus.  He will be yours also if you ask him!

2. Prayer Warrior – Hannah, a three year old girl with Typhoid, and I locked eyes when we first saw each other in the pediatric ward, and I knew we would pray together.  I prayed for Hannah, her ill brother, and their mother.  They understood me with help from a translator, but I learned prayer is a language universally understood when our hearts cry out for mercy from God.

3. Pastors’ Conference Coordinator – Yes, you can bring PowerPoint to Africa! God used my talents and gave me the responsibility of executing logistics for the day.  We didn’t have power for an hour before the conference was scheduled to begin, but God showed himself mighty and restored it just in time.  I was blessed to observe and speak with more than 82 pastors and pastors’ wives as they left the conference with a deeper desire to know God and shepherd their flock according to His Word.

4. Optician – only in Malawi!  When Jesus was here on earth, He healed immediately, often restoring sight to the blind.  Not only did He heal the blind physically, but more importantly spiritually.  Stuart, a Passion Center staff member, was at the playing fields after receiving his aviator-style glasses and said, “I cannot believe what I can see!  Look at all the beautiful land!”  What a sight to behold!  Stuart lives in one of God’s most cherished countries and could not fully appreciate His magnificent beauty.  Only God knows when He wants us to see clearly!

The beauty of a mission trip is that we are taken away from the distractions of everyday life and are able to solely focus on the Lord’s purposes.  The challenge is to keep Him in the center of a world full of distractions.  If we have Christ in our hearts, we should view life as one big mission trip!  We do not need to be overseas to share God’s love or His Word.