St. Francis of Assisi

"Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words"
~ it is always necessary... but make sure you live what you preach now!

Friday, 30 May 2014


(written while en-route back to Vancouver)            

        What a week. I’ve been in Malawi for just a few days shy of six months. This is home…or is Vancouver? That’s going to be a fun one to figure out. You see in six months you make a lot of friends. People you never want to forget in a million years or leave behind, but you do have to leave them behind. And so the week of farewells began.

        From one outreach to another, from one group of mothers and children to the next, to the orphans I’ve spent hours with, to the youth group I've fallen in love with…one good bye after the next. But no tears! I am a MAN after all. We have no emotions and only half a soul. SO, NO WAY JOSE, AM I CRYING! And I didn’t, until Friday. Friday was my last day at COBT.
        Though told many times of my impending departure, the mothers forgot I was going. They now wanted to get me a gift to say ‘Thank you’, but didn’t have any more time.  One of them had just bought a large sack of beans. They asked if I ate beans, and I do. So they started the division: One after the other bought a scoop of beans from the one, and then placed that scoop into a bag for me. Smiling and thanking me they would point to their child and say "This is 'Thank you from Blessings', or 'Chisomo', or 'Manule', or 'Rose'." I wanted to run away…Niagara Falls was coming! I somehow kept it together.
        You can’t understand what a sacrificial gift that was! Food security is generally for the rich in Malawi. The time of year when food is scarce is now. These mothers did not in anyway have an excess of funds to be able to afford this, but they gave anyway. Like the widow and her two small coins. I broke, again watching them. I broke a lot on this trip. I haven’t shared most of those times, but this was one of them. Never have I seen such love.

        After this were the staff devotionals we have every Friday. It's how we encourage one another and unload all the heavy weights and burdens from that week. It was also a goodbye for me. Again, I could feel the water falls coming, but I damned those suckers up. However, then came my time to say a word of farewell. ‘Oh, God,’ I sighed. And then they came. A week's worth of tears in a moment. I read my piece. Thanking them. Thanking them for being my family. Then they started. What a mess. After many songs and food our last goodbyes came (after a few hundred group photos). I love them. I miss them. And I’m crying in the middle of Heathrow as I type this up for all the world to read, while half the traveling world wonders why the giant is crying into his Macbook.

1 comment:

  1. Real men know how to cry :)
    This has been a wonderful journey for you. Thank you for sharing it, both the joys and struggles.