Yesterday, Veterans Day was again spent in Malawi. I sometimes miss being home on this day and enjoying the fellowship and comradely of old and dear friends.
John left for Tengani at 0600 and Rackson was at the compound by 0830. We loaded up our needs and the five of us headed south. As soon as we dropped off the plateau south of Blantyre and headed down into the valley several thousand feet lower we began to feel the heat. It was a long hot drive but the road is much better than a few years ago so I guess you find a blessing where you look.
We arrived at the site of the new compound at 1145 and I was already tired, thirsty and hungry but nobody cared.
John welcomed us and gave me a tour of the place and I took pictures. His vision for the future is bold and clear. It is easy to see and be a part of. The store house is a multipurpose building, it is the church, office, home, and last of all a storeroom till the house is built. All there is now is the foundation and dream of what is to be. The walls of the compound are finished so security is good. The foundation for the church is completed and a little of the walls are done. Footings for the classrooms, medical clinic and sleeping rooms are dug out and are waiting for cement. The well is done and ready to go as soon as ESCOM comes to put in the meter. They have been promising to put it in for the last 6 weeks but not done so yet. With ESCOM John would not have to run the generator so much and that would save a lot of money on petrol. John has found a nice house to rent and will be moving the family down there very soon. That will cut down on travel time and time away from the family. The house is about 20 minutes from the compound.
After the tour we went to look at the house to make sure there were no surprises in store for Darcy. She liked what she saw and is in the packing stage as you read this letter.
From the house we went back to the compound and had lunch. Although the food was good it was just too hot to eat. The workers told Rackson and Grace this was one of the cooler days they have had, hmmm... this may be the last time I see John.
After lunch we departed at 1430 and headed home to cooler climites and a shower. On the way the winds kicked up and dust was in the air so heavy you could not see but a few feet ahead of you. I am so glad Rackson was driving. It started to rain and for the first few minutes it was raining mud. Then the wind really picked up and the rain was like nothing I have ever seen. It blew kids off bikes, roofs off huts and brick walls down. Cattle that were on the road lost their footing and fell, some breaking their legs. It was tough to watch. We were blown to the sides of the road a few times and when others vehicles passed it was every man for themselves. It lasted for about 40 minutes and begin to let up as we started to climb out of the valley, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the top of the plateau.
Rackson got us back to Mapanga at 1730. We unloaded and I picked up my stuff and prepared to move back in with my Malawi family. I bade adieu to my white family as Rackson and Grace took me back in. Home was a blessing with shower and big bed awaiting me. I do not know how Grace knew about Veterans Day and what it means but on my bed was a quilt in Red White and Blue with the Flag in the center. “MY God what a blessing these people are, they reflect Your Son.”
Because of the Cross,