Wednesday brought another transition for our experience in Malawi. We woke bright and early after having rested well during our stay at the Makuluni home in Ntaja. There was a brief time for greetings and farewells, and then we headed back to Blantyre – a three hour drive.
Upon our arrival in Blantyre, we were privileged to reconnect with our brothers from South Sudan, who had been the guests of the Synod whilst we were visiting Mbenjere in Ntaja. During a farewell luncheon for them, Rev. James and I signed the official copies of the “Memorandum of Understanding” between the three church bodies (Rev. Mbolembole, Moderator for Blantyre Synod, was compelled to be out of town and therefore had signed them previously). I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly fruitful this time has been, particularly in terms of strengthening the pan-African portion of our tripartite agreement.
After escorting our friends to the airport for their flight back to Juba, Brian, Lauren, Chikondi and I visited the Blantyre Synod Health and Development Commission, the arm of the Synod responsible for the most direct relief and development work. Here we were very engaged by a presentation from the Director and two members of her management team. I have long been impressed with this group and their dedication to serving the poorest of the poor, and hope that we will have the opportunity to continue to work to strengthen their ministry here.
Our day ended with great fun and laughter as our hosts, Davies and Angella Lanjesi, invited Lauren and me to prepare the evening meal. When Davies stayed in our home, he remarked that he really enjoyed the fish filets I served. I told him that I had caught and filleted the fish myself, and he said, “One day, you will be in our home and you will show us how you make these filets”. Yesterday, apparently, was that day! Lauren prepared fried chicken for the first time, and after the meal we introduced her to the wonders of Malawian sugar cane. We spent literally hours around the dining room table laughing and enjoying the time together. It was a great day. Thanks for your prayers.