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“Wind’s in the East…”

The cause of all the dust in our house!

My mother always said that I could never see dust. She drew this conclusion by the amount of dust I would allow to gather in my bedroom and study (even though I had been sent to thoroughly clean and tidy both!). In my defence, it wasn’t that I didn’t see it, it’s just that it didn’t bother me. For those who know me this may come as a surprise considering how particular I was about cleaning and tidiness on outreach teams and camps!!!

If you were to visit our home in Lilongwe, you would see dust all around. It’s that time of year when the rains have ended, the cooler temperatures set in and winds from the East start to blow the dry dust everywhere. It also means that the harvest is in and there is once again more food about, generally speaking. Although we are thankful for a strong harvest this year, there are still areas of the country that will suffer severe food shortages towards the end of the year.

Fresh maize, boiled and ready to eat.

Harvesting always happens quickest in the city due to the risk of theft from fields and small gardens. This comes with the problem that the maize cob doesn’t get an opportunity to dry out, so the picked cobs need to be left in a secure place in the sun to dry. They then can be stripped of the kernels and stored, ready for milling when required.

Around Lilongwe, the election fever has calmed down and the most exciting thing in the city is the new tarmac laid on the road leading to our house. Unfortunately they didn’t tar the final 500 yards, so we still have a dirt road to navigate to get home.

In terms of work around Scripture Union, we are busy getting ready for the visit of a team from Tearfund. They will be involved in camps, schools work and retreats. I have been working over the past few weeks in getting everything in place for their coming. SU staff have also been busy getting ready for other school camps and Bible Club rallies that will take place during July. All in all, it is a busy time and it isn’t helped by my departure from the country next week.

Bright, sunny and warm days with cold evenings and nights mean that it is winter.

I will miss all of the winter activity here, which is a bit of a disappointment as it would have been good to see the completion of the plans we have been making and to see what areas of training our staff and volunteers need in the future. But, as much as this is a disappointment, there is more to look forward to with the birth of our baby at the end of July.

Please pray for Scripture Union as the staff prepare for and then deliver camp programmes over these next two months. Pray also for Pam and I as we prepare to become parents! I travel on 4 July, arriving in Belfast on 5 July. Please pray that the journey goes well for me.

Looking forward to seeing so many folks and catching up over the next three months.