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Arrival in Lilongwe

We arrived in Malawi a week ago to the sights, sounds and smells that are so familiar to us. The journey from the airport to our new home was in the company of friends and colleagues of Scripture Union and we will receive our “official” welcome on Friday evening (8 November). The good news is that we arrived with all of our luggage and were processed through Kamuzu International Airport the quickest we have ever known! Thanks for praying about our journey and luggage. The journey was relatively smooth, although there was a hand-luggage weight issue for us in London! To arrive after a smooth journey with luggage all in one piece is a blessing and helps with the settling-in process.

Although we haven’t started working with Scripture Union yet, our days in this past week have been busy. We have been loaned a vehicle for these two months until we get our vehicle at the end of the year and that has enabled us to get items that we need for making our house more like a home. Before we departed Northern Ireland we had bought furniture from missionaries who will be leaving next year and they had placed it in our house. This was a great welcome and meant that we had a place to eat and sleep right from the word go.

We have learned over the years that purchasing items in Malawi is not by a simple web search or hitting Ikea for a few hours. Rather, hours are passed and miles are covered to go from one shop to the next to see what is in stock and how much the items cost. So after one week we have a cooker, a fan and internet!

We have known such a welcome from the friends we have met-up with so far. This isn’t simply a friendly welcome, but goes much deeper. Our friends are those whom we have discipled, worshipped with and learned from. Our friendships go deeper than simply social connections, but a deep mutual care of growing together and knowing Jesus better.

Two days before I left, a friend sent a link to a John Piper devotional. The passage the devotion focused on was from Mark 10:29-30.

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”

From our perspective we have left the comforts of family, friends and home to long bank queues, power outages, malarial mosquitos and pot-holed roads, but these fade into distant thoughts when compared to the vision of what God is doing here in drawing the nations to himself.

Please pray with us that we would know the reality of being part of God’s salvation work and never think that it is anything of us. We are surrounded by God’s love and presence because he is with us and goes before us.

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