After Pastor Mark led our morning charge, we went to the Passion Center for the first time. We spent time with the Passion Center staff members and children before familiarizing ourselves with the facilities. Building relationships with the people of Malawi is our primary goal. The theme focus from our trip is spiritual metamorphosis. As Pastor Mark quotes, “Perhaps the main ‘take away’ is this. We must be extremely careful, not only what we see – but how we see!”
This afternoon, we split into two teams. One team visited Child Head of Households and the other conducted a village bible study.
Child Head of Households
The Passion Center began the Child Head of Households program about 1 year ago. This program is primarily comprised of young females (age ten through sixteen) whose parents have died due to AIDS (or are fatherless), and are left to raise their siblings. This often consists of supporting extended households financially, spiritually, and relationally (read: children taking care of children). These young females can easily fall prey to witchcraft, thievery, being taken advantage of, and are often unschooled.
Individuals representing the Passion Center met with child heads of households to establish goals for the households. From there, the Passion Center provides food, seeds, hand tools for working ground, and opportunities for other income generating activities on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, weekly visits are intended to check on the women spiritually and to ensure supplies are being used as intended.
We met with two girls who head their households, Mercy and Everest. Our team led an impromptu message to encourage the women in their relationships with Christ. Although they are suffering and in difficult situations, victory can be found in Christ. From there, we met with the women in smaller groups of two or three to learn their story, share our own, and pray for their specific needs. For several team members, this was their first encounter with Malawians who spoke only Chichewa. One can easily gather knowledge from academic resources, but experiencing a new culture first hand can be challenging. Life unchallenged is life unchanged, and lives are changing.
The visit was supplemented with supplies (mattresses, pots, cups, plates, water buckets, Bibles, and a book of simplified Bible stories).
Village Bible Study
The second team conducted a village bible study with about twenty villagers. Team members and villagers shared personal testimonies. Suffering united our two cultures. As our team was leaving, the villagers began chanting and singing about how they were going to miss the Azungu (“white people”).
Twenty-three additional bags of luggage arrived Wednesday evening, leaving 2 bags still missing. Please pray specifically that the personal bag of Josh Tiffin, one community bag, and the container would arrive promptly and in God’s timing.
A group of Passion Center girls next to the Residency Center
A few Passion Center girls at the well
The widows enjoying their bags. Each bag included a note written by the widows of Northwest. One example of God connecting us to our Malawian brothers and sisters thousands of miles apart.
Team members listen to testimonies during the widow visits Thursday morning. God orchestrated an amazing sharing time for both the widows and the team.