DO Diaries: Day Five

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In the morning we attended a local church called “Flood Church.” It was started by a church in San Diego, California. We’re trying to connect Hugo and Bre with a local church, and they were very welcoming. The pastor is Malawian, and there were probably 500 people in the second service. It was a special Sunday, because five people were baptized and there was a celebration with food. Church is much different from what I’m personally used to in Ohio—this church is set up like many American churches with a praise band in the front, but what the people do in the pews is much different. Some songs were in English and other in Chichewa (the local language), and the Malawians were dancing in their pews. It was really wonderful to sing familiar songs with brothers and sisters in a faraway place, but yet it felt like home.

Joining for church and lunch afterwards was an American couple that serves in Malawi at an orphanage in a remote location on the way to Lake Malawi. They are actually from Ohio and have been a great connection for Hugo and Bre in helping us with their transition to Malawi. So many questions about culture, immigration paperwork, banking, etc.—things that we take for granted with living in the US. We had lunch at a nice restaurant and even had ice cream, something that in my last 10 years of traveling around Africa I’ve never had the pleasure. It was a great treat for all and a small taste of home.

After lunch we went to visit the future DO guest house. It’s about 85% completed and looking really great. Hugo and Bre were able to walk through it for the first time together, and we were planning out how to set up furniture, appliances, etc. Today we’re going to some local stores to gather supplies so that it can be set up and ready in July when they move here. Electricity is unreliable, and so, many people have back-up solar systems if they can afford it. However, the guest house won’t have that for a while. So, we’re looking for all gas appliances (gas stove, which is common in the US, but also gas refrigerator, which is uncommon in the US). The good thing about gas is that the tanks can be refilled in local stores. Lighting will be done with rechargeable solar lights until the grid power is connected later this year. Final supplies for the guest house are coming from China, but many items are delayed because of the shipping backlog caused by COVID. We continue praying that all arrives on time and without further delay.

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