Namikango Mission

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Over the River and Through the Corn

Apr 24, 2018

Early in the morning a group of us from Namikango went to visit a church to the South of Blantyre. The Bible Department maintains a rigorous church visitation schedule and these church trips are a common part of working at Namikango. We left the Mission in good time on what I considered would be a routine trip.

The paved road ended and soon the nice dirt road turned into a small walking path. The driver was not daunted however, and we continued to bounce along making our own road until we arrived at a river.

This was where we had to abandon the vehicle and we began traveling on foot. Our guides helpfully told us to remove our shoes and socks, and before I knew it, we were wading through the river, our Bibles and shoes held high. Over the next hour we climbed steadily upwards and waded through three rivers, and even through a swarm of ants at one point. Our walk took us through corn fields and small villages.

Finally, we arrived at a small church on the top of a mountain, sweaty, tired, and with wet pants. The church greeted us warmly and eagerly with some thobwa – a local, milky drink.

Once we were rested, the church service began. Five different churches were represented. We first met inside the church and concluded outside under the trees where it was cooler. Following the service, we all ate a spectacular lunch which was prepared by the ladies.

Finally, we made the trek back down the mountain, across the rivers, and found the vehicle where we had left it. We arrived back at Namikango Mission in the evening, very tired, but glad to have made the trip. It is not every day that you have such an adventure!

As we waded through the muddy rivers and along the dusty footpath, I kept thinking about how incredible the Kingdom of God actually is. Here, in the remotest parts of Malawi, where roads and technology have not yet reached, where rivers flow without bridges crossing them, the Word of God has penetrated into the hearts of people. Here, far from the rest of the world, we were traveling to find this small church, where the people of God congregated, sang, and learned about loving God. It is incredible that our God is not content to stay in the cities, nor content to dwell only among the affluent; He is not content to only go to the easy places. The Spirit of God flows where it pleases and it seems to me it pleases the Spirit to flow everywhere, even out-of-the-way places in Malawi.

By Eric Gephart