Greetings from Malawi! The weather is still normal but there was a strong wind at the House of Joel Unit. There still hasn’t been extreme cold, extreme heat or rain. The food is good and the team members love it. They eat things like soup, casarolls, pizza, chilli mac and many other things. The last couple of days have been awesome. These orphans are impacting the Preteen’s lives more and more each day. There are many occasions where the orphans have fallen asleep in the Preteen’s arms. Sometimes the orphans get attached to the team members and will hold their hands and follow them around. Today was a great day of sports evangelism. The nationals and the team members have had a great time playing volleyball. They also played games like duck duck goose, scatter scatter and sharks and minnows. They also were able to play soccer. The Preteens will often take pictures of the orphans and then show it to the orphans. They love to see their picture on the camera. Typically the Preteens will work for the first half of the day until about 2:00 pm and then they would get to play with the kids for an hour. Since today was Saturday and the kids were out of school, they were able to play with the kids for the whole first half of the day. We were supposed to go on a boat ride but that got canceled because of excessive wind. Since Wednesday, the team has been going to the House of Joel Rescue Unit, whereas before they were going to the Melissa Foster Unit by the base. They were able to begin a new garden. They first broke the clumps of dirt, and then they dug the holes and planted the seeds. After that they watered them and covered them with straw so that the garden wouldn’t dry up so fast. After they finished the garden, the Preteens moved a bunch of bricks into a building that was halfway completed. Also, at times, the team members would work on the roof garden at the base. They would bring buckets of mud on top of the roof. They usually did this when they got a SB. They will work more on this sometime in the middle of next week. Hopefully on Monday they will be able to plant some bushes. Every night we do a Godliness award just like at Boot Camp. Last night it was Tiernan because he worked so well with the kids and gave up playing sports to show his love to one kid that he is attached to. The night before it was Allie because she is always willing to work and she never complains about it. Before that it was Nellie because she is such a hard worker and Ellie S got it for the same reason. We also do piggy bathrooms just like at Boot Camp. Matt got piggy three times in a row. Because he had the most stuff laying out, he had to clean the bathrooms. He’s a good sport about it though. Danae and Paul had KP today and they made Shepherd’s Pie for lunch. Jessica always tries to find a little orphan to hold in her arms every time she is with the orphans. Jennie and Abi are close friends and the orphans have impacted their lives to the point where they are in tears at times. Peter always talks about how he can’t wait to play soccer with the orphans and his sister Elena is a hard worker and never complains about it. Ellie is always so cheerful and is a huge blessing to the team. Dani loves it here in Malawi and wants to go to Malawi next year. Gavin gets homesick at lot but the Lord is doing great things in his life here. He gets teary sometimes but he is holding strong and he has his good moments too. Dona was holding an orphan who fell asleep in her arms today. Even though she wishes she were home at times she is still being impacted by the orphans. Certain things have happened on the trip as well that are somewhat interesting. The power goes out about every day for about 30 minutes to an hour. It doesn’t really affect anything and we are able to get on with our lives. Last night for the first time the water ran dry and there was no water but no matter what happens there will always be drinking water. One of the BMW students wasn’t feeling well so all the team members wrote a get well card. It was a huge blessing to her. The team members were able to learn the song called ‘How wonderful is your name’. Half the song was in English and half of it was in Chichewa and they learned the whole thing and sang it to the orphans today. So that’s how the team is doing. Everyone is doing well and is healthy. Nellie – The summer so far has been good for me spiritually and physically. There have been some stressful moments and times when I really needed strength and endurance in my work. In my devos each morning I have been praying to God to show me some verses I can memorize to help with my problems. With my stress I found a verse in 1 Peter 5:7. It says that we should cast all you stress onto God. God also showed me a verse to help with perseverance and endurance: Isaiah 40:31 talks about how we can run and not grow weary if we have hope in the Lord. Wow, when I’m hauling heavy buckets of mud and I start feeling tired and weak I quote Isaiah 40:31. It helps a lot! I can feel God renewing my strength. And when things are confusing and complicated and pressing me I remember 1 Peter 5:7 and go over it in my head. I also remember God will NEVER leave me or forsake me! Abi – During this trip to Malawi so many things have happened. God has shown us the beauty of His creation from Lake Malawi to the wonders of the stars. Everywhere we go, we wave and say “Wawa!” (That means hello in Chichewa, the native language) which causes the young and old to respond and beam beautiful smiles. The young will dance and chase the truck. At both of the rescue units we’ve been to, so many children run up to meet us as we travel in. They’ll laugh and play many games throughout the time we spend there. But God has also protected us. It may not sound like a big deal but when we pray, He drives away swarms of ants. For instance, ants attack us at night while we sleep. They’ll be all over our arms, legs, and faces. Then we pray for them to go away and somehow we’ll safely drift to sleep. God shows me his love the most when I’m in Africa. I truly feel that this is where I’m intended to spend the rest of my life. I’m a little jealous of my leader, Mr. Adam, because he gets to stay and spend a year here. I am more positive than ever that I’m supposed to be a missionary in Malawi. I feel led to be a teacher here at a Rescue Unit and also teach the gospel. I love my Lord, and I finally feel that I’m doing what I was created to do. Jennie – When I first came to TMI I thought to myself, “This is pretty easy.” Then later on I thought I am never coming here again!” But God had other plans for me! When the trips came out my mom decided to sign me up! I had told her that Australia would be pretty cool but I guess she heard me wrong!!! =p Instead she signed me up for Malawi Africa, which is ok with me now , but at the time I was kind of upset because I didn’t get to go see Australia even when I’ve always wanted to. But I lasted through Boot Camp, once again, and then took three days of travel, here to Africa. Africa is beautiful! The orphan kids here are the sweetest I have ever seen! Yesterday we were playing with the kids and one came up and sat in my lap then she laid down in my arms and fell asleep! She was that way several times yesterday. And they all come up to you and just love on you instantly it just makes me want to cry every time we leave them! This year’s trip may have been a drag at first but now it is more than just an experience of a life time. It is also a life changing experience that will change the way I look at things, do things. And praise God for things because we have soooo… much! Danae – I am having a great time here in Malawi. Two nights ago we went outside to do Bible study and drank hot cocoa We also did star gazing!! It was so cool. We could see the Southern cross. It was great !! Peter – I have been a believer in Christ since I was five years old. Ever since then I have had the joy of the Lord in me and have tried to put Him first, He has given me the confidence to do many things things few people would think I’d be so successful at. Last year I joined the Honduros preteen team and for the first time I lft the U.S. and when I came back I felt more confident than ever and joined my first hockey team with the Holy Name Stars, My parents and siblings harrassed me with the same question so you really want to do this? Your too small and this is a big boy sport? I prayed about it before each game being the smallest on my team I played. All my older siblings played and now I wanted to and with the Lord’s help I scored a suprising 15 goals in my rookie year, Phillipians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.