Welcome! Muli Bwanji!?!?! (Hello and how are you!?!)

Hello everyone! As many of you know, my heart spent some of the most challenging and growing two months in Malawi, Africa this summer. I am now back to my community in San Diego, serving with Flood Church and finishing my senior year at UCSD. I am excited to share with you my experiences, thoughts, and feelings as I continue to process myself what God taught me this summer. I would also love for you to share comments, as well as how I might be praying for you and your family. I will be updating posts and pictures as well as sharing with you ways in which you can continue to support and pray for the children and people that I fell in love with this summer!

Thank you so much for your encouragement, love, support, and most of all, prayers...He is Good!

Love In Him,

Encouraging Words of Christ

"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

Ephesians 3:16-20

16 August 2008

More Than Words Can Say... : )

Hello All!

First, I apologize for not updating as frequently these last few weeks...but know that in all the activity and good byes that there has been, you  have all been in my thoughts and prayers!

So this morning I write from the office before breakfast....there is SO much to share from the last few weeks, but since breakfast is soon and we are off again traveling this morning to Lake Malawi and then home next Tuesday morning, I will try and highlight a few things...

As far as the widows' ministry, we officially had our last day last Thursday and it was one of the hardest yet joyful days of my life. Our whole team had mixed feelings going into this day, and as we prayed for the last time driving in, my heart was overcome with the growth and fellowship that we had with these women that two months ago, I hadn't even met! On our previous visit that week, we had done a foot washing day and I had shared with the women the example of Jesus washing His disciples' feet from John 13. It was an AMAZING day, one that I will never forget, and still don't quite know how to describe. We had four buckets  and alternated washing all of the 40 or so women's feet all morning; their faces and dancing and the reality of the humbleness and servant hood of our Lord was SO very real....truly a holy moment...(Also, huge thanks to all who donated soaps, lotions, etc. The women were truly pampered with God's love through your generosity!!!) So...when we arrived on Thursday, we all felt the weight of leaving these women come to reality, and we  spent the day like many of our days in the morning; singing, dancing, sharing words and creating with them. In the afternoon, we all were encouraged to share something with the women about our summer and time with them, most of us with tears in our eyes as we did...Many of them shared how God had used us and they would be praying for us as we traveled home and told people of our experiences. As we climbed into the back of our 3 ton truck for the last time, they all formed a pathway of singing and good byes and kept pointing up to the crystal clear blue Malawian sky, as they told us to leave not with tears in our eyes but joy in the reality that we will see them again someday with our Father!!! What a moment...much of which I cannot even describe now, but I hope that you get even a picture of what these women have meant in my life as well as our team of girls...the ways He has worked in my heart this summer have been through such unexpected ways and I can't wait to continue to share with you all when I arrive home! : )

Let's see....well, of course another thing I have to share with you is the amazing intricacy that is God's creation here in Africa! We just arrived back home from Zambia last night after a bus ride of about 8 hours that was to say the least, a "little bumpy." : ) I spent the last three days experiencing 5AM sunrises over rivers filled with hippos and sunsets with elephants and giraffes silhouetted on the horizons!!! While going into our safari, many of us has mixed emotions about being in Africa still  but not with our kids in Mgwayi, but we were reminded when we arrived at  the importance of taking some time in community as a team to soak in His glory and work in our lives this summer through His creation! The highlight was definitely yesterday morning...a small group of us took the last opportunity to go on a morning ride at 6AM...we hadn't seen any lions since Wednesday evening after the sun had set, but we were still hoping to have another  sighting on our ride. Right aroud 7:45AM, our driver was following the tracks and we rounded a hill, and there before was the most beautiful and majestic animal I had ever seen, Mufasa! : ) He was simply sitting, a few yards from our land rover, looking our over the meadow and mountains before him...all of us were silent and simply soaked in the beauty of this moment that He had planned for us! I wish I would upload a photo right now to try and capture this moment for you all, but that will have to wait until next week! Until then, let it be a reminder to you of the power and grace that He is in our lives, and the beauty that He has created this world to be...

Wow, this seems so small for what we have been experiencing, but know that I can't wait to share so much more with you all as I am home, beginning next week!  : ) Just to let you all know again, I will be flying out at 7AM on next Tuesday for home and will be in LA the next day, at which point I hope to stay with my sis (hint hint) for the night : ) and then head down to San Diego to move into my new apartment and then I will be coming home to Grass Valley for a while after that around the 28th....until then I will probably not be online since today we leave for the Lake until Monday, so know that you are in my prayers and I hope that this week and next you truly feel His love for you and that you are encouraged and strengthened in whatever He is challenging you with... See and talk with you next week!!! :  )

Love, Rachel


Karin's Mama - Nan said...

Dear Rachel,
My heart is full after reading the account of your last days with your new family and safari. I am thankful for you and for your friendship with Karin and soon to be roomies. I hope you can come home with her sometime so I can give you a proper hug from a mom who is grateful that you are in my daugher's life. Have a safe, restful, and happy reunion with your sis. Love, Karin's Mama, Nan

mai oh maiii. said...

your past week sounds amazing. i can't really describe the joy that i'm feeling just reading about how you experience the joys God has placed in your time in Malawi. can't wait to hear more. i miss ya. can't wait to hear more. :]