When I was a kid, once a year or so we’d travel up to western New York and spend time with the family. Mostly, it was fantastic: we’d play whiffle ball beside the runway of the Dansville airport, go swimming in my cousin’s pool, and walk around Aunt Mae’s farm. There was so much to DO!
But some days we didn’t “do”. Some days we had to put on clean clothes and get in the car and go “visiting.” To my nine year old self, that was horrible – walking in and out of people’s homes, doing nothing but talking and drinking tea (or sometimes Coca-Cola)…I just couldn’t see how adults could want to waste time “visiting” when there was so much DOING to be done.
Well, as you know, I’m old now. And while I really enjoy doing, I find increasing value in “visiting”. Taking time to stop and enter into people’s homes and lives and open mine to them.
While much of this visit to Malawi has centered on getting stuff done on behalf of the International Partnership Ministry Team, we needed to take at least a day and connect with our partners at the Mbenjere CCAP in the trading center of Ntaja. The first time I came to this place it took at least three or four hours to get here from Zomba. There was no paved road, and it was arduous. That was 23 years ago, and so much has changed. The town is growing, the drive is much easier, and the church is thriving. It has been a real joy to connect with old friends and make new ones.
Here are a few photos of our day of visiting. If you’d like to see more, well, let me know. Maybe we can get together and… well, you know.