20 January 2015

Reaching Out in a Crisis

The rainy season was late in Malawi but when it arrived it came with a vengeance.  Newly planted fields are washed clean.  Few homes have escaped damage with hundreds completely fallen to the ground.  There are at least two more months of rain ahead so disastrous effects are expected to continue.

The needs are vast.  It would be easy to be swept away by alternating waves of compassion and frustration at the inability to attend to every need.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. 
Helen Kelller
The OM Malawi team is working to provide both immediate and long term practical assistance and spiritual support to people they already minister to and others.  Currently assessing the situation, the first steps are the distribution of maize and blankets, offering nourishment and warmth; and work on securing houses that are still standing.  Some of these precarious houses are sheltering up to three and four families as people who have lost their homes are staying with relatives.  

Much more intensive work awaits after the rains as OM Malawi makes plans to help in the building of permanent houses, restoring both homes and lives.

19 January 2015

eyes to see

I have given you eyes to see
but I ask that you submit them to Me
that I may sanctify, clarify and highlight
where I want you to focus
 
There is much that swirls around you
that you need not pay heed to
Will you choose
to see only what I want to show you
hear only what I want to tell you
and feel only those things I choose?
Then you are truly mine
empty, usable to serve My purposes
 
If the world is offended
remember you are Mine
and not of the world

11 January 2015

wait

When you feel lost, little one
think of how much time 
you have wandered from My presence
you have no sense of direction 
without Me
you have no strength
without Me
for this is how I created you
to need me for every step

walking alone, in your own power
you wither and fade
faint in body, mind and spirit

I Am calling you back
to My Word
to My heart
stop trying to run
trying to walk
trying to crawl
before first being still
in Me
wait…


Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.  
Isaiah 40:28-31 Amplified

 

27 December 2014

lakeside rejoicing

The waves beat rhythms against the sand in repeating patterns
more than one would expect from a lake 
that is so often glassy and silent. 
Motorized boats for tourist amusement 
or local fisherman at work 
move around the islands at varying speeds 
surrounded by the much smaller wooden dugout canoes 
and kayaks moved by paddles and arm power. 

The air is thick with moisture 
the sweet scent of frangipane blossoms. 
Here, both on the beach and inland, the pace is slow.  
The visitors seem to always have time 
for another beer, another cigarette.  
The only rush I sense 
is how fast people seem to be running 
away from their lives. 

We come here and find God’s glory 
tropical beauty, painted skies.  
We rise early to dive into His word as the sun rises hot
then we cool our fevered skin in the waves.  
From rooms next to us others emerge eyes blurry 
staggering, looking far too rough for coffee to cure.  
They never make it any farther than the bar 
or a lounge chair where collapsing
with no appearance of happiness 
they begin another day of nothingness.  
Another beer.  Another cigarette.  
Laughter loud, echoing falsely.

Some are passing through
others have made this place their home
living off the profits of tourist trade. 
In the shadow of their lost lives
we walk, we swim, and we feast on local fish.  
I open my senses to reel in all that I can contain
ever aware of this vitality
this wanting to be awake and alive.

It was not that long ago 
that I too sought and savoured the numbness. 
So this day my heart and spirit rejoice 
whispering, singing, shouting with thanksgiving. 
What wondrous redeeming grace.


 

25 December 2014

Christmas glory

Christmas eve, Lake Malawi
the sun set glory blazing
in the Southern skies
a cross shining
like Bethlehem's star
as God once again
announced His coming

 

21 December 2014

to the lake

Mid-August we left the comfort and routine 
of our secluded and peaceful Manitoba acreage.

We spent ten days of training and orientation 
in The Netherlands with two hundred others
from all corners of the world.

Then we moved on to Kabwe, Zambia 
for nine weeks of intensive discipleship training
living in community with many others on the mission’s base.

The beginning of November 
we finally arrived in Ntaja, Malawi
the spot we believe God has called us to serve.  
Our field leaders have had much time away 
which has made for a more difficult than usual 
period of settling in and adaptation.

From December 20 through January 5 
the Malawi base is shut down
so we have come to Lake Malawi 
to relax, rejoice, pray and prepare 
for the year ahead of us.  
We will have private time 
to connect with each other 
and seek closer communion with our Lord 
as we celebrate this Christmas season.

Day one has left us sun kissed, tired and thankful.

His glory surrounds us 
as He stirs the waters and paints the skies.


14 December 2014

nkhuku - can you say chickens?

Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! 
Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! 
How often I've ached to embrace your children, 
the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, 
and you wouldn't let me.

We are in a season of new birth
nervous hens squawking
proud roosters strutting
baby chicks abounding


 
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