Namikango Mission

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Our Trip to Malawi - Continued from last month

Jan 5, 2017

The place where we raised our family was at Lubagha Mission, in Northern Malawi. I have wonderful memories of those years.

Several of the ladies who traveled with us – along with Erik and Dana – held a Bible study for the children there. They loved it and had never experienced anything like that before. We held the study under the trees behind the church building. I absolutely loved being outside to teach.

While we were outside, Mark taught inside to a packed building.

After the studies, we all went to Brother Kelton's house for a meal and to meet with many of the preachers in that area.

This was a very emotional time for me and I know it was for Mark as well, bringing back so many fond memories.

On July 16th, we made the long journey to Tombolombo. Many of the church leaders called Mark and me and our family together to console us at the loss of my husband John. Even though it had been 10 years since he died this is their custom and it is done to honor us. They gave me a gift of money which was $5.40. I know they had sacrificed to do that for me. Of course, I cried again as I was so touched. (Seems this was becoming a habit of mine.) I really realized how much they loved our family.

I might add this is the same place they had made me a daughter of the village and gave me the name 'Mrs. Chirwa." This is an African name of honor.

On Sunday, July 17th, we met with the Jomo Church of Christ for their English services at 8:00 A.M. and then stayed for the Tumbuka services at 9:00 am. It was a full day as the Tumbuka services lasted for two and a half hours. On Monday we took the team to Nkata Bay to see the beautiful Lake Malawi – the 12th largest lake in the world. We all shopped at the carvers and bought some little gifts for our families. It was a fun day.

Tuesday the 19th of July we began our four day Bible school at Ekwendeni. Becky Rose and I taught the ladies in the morning and the afternoon. We felt it went well. Our classroom was packed and we didn't have room for another person in there. The room was rather small but still, 98 lovely ladies were in there! They asked a lot of questions – such an interested group. I marvel at how hungry they were to study messages from God.

July the 20th, we had the same good experience with day-long classes. There were over 400 men and women who showed up for the teaching and the Bible Study for the children. Some skits were put on to teach a Bible lesson. Many of the women watching were impressed they were in tears. The next day continued with more huge crowds. It was such a wonderful week of teaching. We were all blessed.

On a side note – there were roadblocks every five miles or so.At one stop we met a policewoman who begged for a Bible. We told her we would get one for her. We saw her again at the end of the week and gave her a Bible. She was the happiest person I had ever seen! There were several policemen there and they begged for a Bible as well. We only had one extra Bible with us and we gave it to them; they were almost fighting over it. What an experience! Maybe they will share it.

On Saturday we relaxed (recuperated) and went shopping for Malawian fabric to carry home.

It was a fun day. We wanted our team of visitors to love Malawi the way the Thiesen family does and they did not disappoint us.

Concluded next month . . .

Ann Thiesen Barganier