Thursday, June 30, 2011


Yesterday was an amazing day in Africa!  The temps warmed up just a little and for the first time all week I wasn't freezing!  Yes, it can be cold in Africa.  I learned that this week!  I spent the morning at the fish ponds and the afternoon at the OVC before attending prayer visits in the evening.

We accompanied Pastor Mudenda's wife and several elders from the Wesleyan church to visit folks in their homes to pray with them.  Some of the people had missed church on Sunday and others had specific prayer needs.  This was my first opportunity to be welcomed into a Mwandi home and sit with men and women in their natural settings, rather than at the mission house or at the OVC.

Mwandi homes are quite different than what you and I are used to.  On our first day we took a village tour and were shown how villagers live.  The stark contrast between our homes in Mooresville and the homes in Mwandi are evident, yet I found myself forgetting what life was like back at home and really appreciating the handiwork and skill that goes into the homes in the village.  Some are mud huts while others are made of concrete blocks that are mixed and set each by the homeowners.  Homes here could take years to build.  They don't hire contractors and skilled workers.  Each homeowner has built their own home and does so with what little free time they have after work, school, feeding, etc are all complete.

It reminds me of my parents and how they built the home I grew up in little-by-little.  It was always in a state of construction.  As we lived in the basement, he continued building the main floor and second floor.  The house itself was a project in savings and they added to it a little at a time when their was extra money.  Today it stands as a very large beautiful log home with all the character and beauty that only a home built by the homeowners could possess.

The same is true for the homes in Mwandi.  The villagers take great pride in their homes and they are well kept and neat and orderly.  As we arrived to each different home unannounced, they were taken a little off guard, but quickly made us feel at home and welcome.  Their hospitality was humbling.  They would stand up from their small wooden benches and invite us to take a seat. 

At each home we would sit and pray over the people, chat a little, and then head to the next home.  We didn't spend more than 10 or 15 minutes at each place, yet I felt that our visit was significant and appreciated.

Meeting in homes and praying with one another is such a common occurrence in Mwandi.  While we came into the homes without any proper warning, there was never a moment where I felt unwelcomed.  Our presence brought them hope, just as their presence brought me peace and joy.  I felt so comfortable praying outloud, and praying for complete strangers.  I have never felt my faith or salvation as vividly as this experience made me feel.  It made me realize that while most of the villagers in Mwandi are materially poor, Americans are truly the poor ones.  We are spiritually poor.  Even though I see myself as a devout Christian who truly believes in the resurrection of Christ, I have never had to live off of faith the way many in Mwandi must.  I can see now that poverty is not simply having little money or food.

When I get home I want to take what I have learned here and implement it.  I joked with Forbes that we are going to begin meeting with all our friends, popping in on them and praying for them.  We joked that they are never going to invite us over for anything ever again!  But don't be surprised if you see us knocking at your door someday soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment