Team Mangochi arrived on Saturday afternoon and were greeted by throngs of eager children and villagers waving and following us as we drove down the dirt road. At the gate, our team spent a few minutes greeting the children through the barbed wire fence. Most of them seldom see white people and love stroking our hair and skin. Since there’s such a pronounced language barrier, active play becomes an especially important communication tool with these kids. They love high-fives, fist-bumps, learning to count in English and taking pictures and then seeing the picture on the camera screen.
On Sunday we got to go to a small church in the local village which was about 10 minutes walk away from the TMI Mangochi Base. Doing our presentation of songs and puppets with coriogriphers was a lot of fun. Anna E. shared a short testimony and Katie J. gave the team introduction. Mr. Bret did a great job preaching a sermon with a translator based on 1 Corinthians 13 about how important it is to do all we do with love. We enjoyed the music sung in the Chichewa language and the opportunity to greet our fellow church goes after the service.
The TMI Mangochi base is very nice and situated right on Lake Malawi. There are a few local villages nearby and at least the closest village fishes on the lake. The base is simple in it’s beauty but laid out well with the buildings in the middle and surrounded by several trees with several on the property also. Trees are not as common in Malawi as one might expect. Our tents are situated under a group of trees between the buildings and the barbed wire fence. The ground is covered by sand and it makes for a nice platform for our matresses. The temperature during the day is probably high 70s to low 80s with no humidity and quite comfortable. During the night it cools down and makes sleeping in a sleeping bag comfortable. When we get up in the morning we put on a light jacket for about an hour. We have encouraged the team to use bug spray in the evenings and mornings since that seems to be when the mosquitoes are mostly out and about. The team is also faithfully taking their Malaria meds if they have them and we have extra bug spray so the others may use it also. Everett K. mentioned that he is enjoying the amazing star constellation which are not hindered by the light polution… since there is very little light pollution out here. The base has no electricity but they do have some solar power that they turn on in the evening.
We are excited to start our work project on Monday! We will be adding a room on to a building. The rooms will be rental rooms that people will be able to stay in when they visit. The team will start with some steel tying, then mixing cement with shovels and laying the floor. They will build the walls from small bricks that look similar to the red bricks we see in North America. Mr. David, our local coordinator, expects that it will take 20,000 bricks to complete the room the team will be working on. Our team will also help transport the bricks on the truck which can carry 1,500 bricks at a time. Several of the local BMW students will be helping lead and work on the project so we are hopeful that we will complete our project in the time we have. Spirits are high as we transition into this work project. Please pray for safety and energy.
We were thrilled to be able to purchase fresh eggs and veggies on our way here. The TMI base has provided us with a nice room to cook in and propane and charcoal to cook over. We even have a well out back and running water in the kitchen. What a HUGE blessing! We filter all drinking and cooking water so it’s safe and tastes good too. The kids take turns with one on KP each day (since we are a smaller team, we have one). At night the other team members help with the dishes and finishing the clean up. It is usually dark by about 6:00 pm.
Please continue to pray for our team for continued unity, fellowship, safety, energy, and peaceful sleep. It does our hearts good to know that everybody back home is lifting us up on prayer. We miss you all but are eager to complete this project that the Lord has allowed us to come to Malawi to do.