May 2013 New Home
For the last year and three months, I’ve been living on the Children of the Nations campus on one side of a duplex. After we got married, Madalo moved in and we spent our first eight months of married life there. It was great to have a free place to stay while receiving my small Peace Corps stipend as well as during the first months of marriage, but it never really seemed like “ours” because it was fully furnished with mostly donated items that weren’t exactly our taste. We were also sharing a campus with the COTN secondary school which could sometimes be a little loud…teenagers!
Well, on May 5 we made the move to our own place! It’s about a five minute drive from COTN and just a little over a mile away from the African Bible College Community Clinic where Madalo works so she is able to walk often with no problem.
We love our new little place and will be working over the next few months to furnish and decorate it to our taste and get the garden looking nice! We have a guest bedroom with a comfy double bed so if you ever find yourself in Malawi, stop on by! We already had our first house guests, some friends from my first two years in Peace Corps, Terence and Alyssa. They’re back in Malawi doing some research in Southern Malawi for the next two months. It was great to see and catch up with them!
Two young ladies who have been raised in the COTN Children’s Homes program reached the point where they were ready to graduate from our program this last month. Both have completed post-secondary school programs, one in community development and the other in tourism. We held a graduation ceremony for them as well as a farewell party in one of the Children’s Homes. It’s so great to see the fruit of years of investment. These ladies came into the program as young girls who were in desperate situations and here they are today, ready to get out there and find their first real jobs!
Madalo and I sat down with one of these young ladies, Yamikani, and coached her on her resume, job hunting, interviewing skills, and starting her own little side business to keep herself going while job hunting. We hope and pray that the coaching will pay off and Yamikani will do well as she moves on from being in COTN’s full-time care.
Something that I have been involved with over the last several months is helping to start a men’s ministry at my church, Capital City Baptist Church. I and a few other men, including the senior pastor, have been meeting every other week to pray, discuss, and plan what a men’s ministry for our church should look like. It all culminated to a kick-off event that took place this month in the form of a men’s breakfast. We reserved a room at a local lodge and ordered a great breakfast for the men to enjoy. Around fifty men from the church showed up and we enjoyed the food, chatting together, hearing from the pastor, and I had the opportunity to lead them in some songs for worship-I even did a couple songs in Chichewa, a local Malawian language! Overall it was a great morning and all the men are excited to get a structured ministry in place. We had group discussions to brainstorm ideas for how the ministry should take shape and signed up six more men to be a part of the organizing committee to plan the way forward. I really believe ministries like this are important in encouraging men to become responsible leaders in their churches, families, communities, and workplaces.
Yamikani and Dorica as they job search and begin to get out on their own.
COTN Malawi as they build a new Children's Home with local finances. This will allow them to be on their own property rather than paying rent under a landlord.
Jeremy and Madalo as we save up for a car.
Jeremy and Madalo raising the last $500 needed in monthly support.