Taylor-Ann's Reflections on Malawi 2014
"When I decided to go to Malawi this September, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew we’d be travelling over 24 hours to get to a place where we’d be giving out water filters to people drinking from unprotected sources. I knew that this trip would be completely unlike the trip I was on two years ago because we’d be moving around a lot and would be partnered with a whole new group of people. What I didn’t expect was what I would personally gain from this trip.
But what was so different about this trip from last time? It certainly hadn’t anything to do with the country itself. It was the same landscape, the same guesthouse, the same smell of something somewhere between burning garbage and french fries being cooked in a huge pot of oil. Not necessarily a bad smell, but distinctly Malawian.
I think the answer can be found in the people. There was just something that clicked this time that made Ekwendeni and Luhomero feel like home. Not that we didn’t make great friends in 2012, but the new relationships we made this year are special in a different way. This year, leaving didn’t feel like leaving behind new friends, it felt like leaving family. I left part of myself in Malawi and I can’t wait until I’m able to go back.
God blessed us immensely through the people of Malawi this year. We had amazing people partnering with us. Daniel and Jean, our main contacts in Malawi, welcomed us wholeheartedly. They embraced our craziness and accepted our shortcomings and mistakes without exception. Richard, who we met for the first time in Luhomero, was an unexpected blessing from God. Seriously. I remember the day we met Richard. We all got back to the guesthouse and were so excited to be working with a man who loved the Lord and wanted to serve Him more than anything. He is single-handedly running the one Health Centre in the community and is bursting with love, compassion, and drive for a brighter future for the people he serves daily.
I can’t fully sum up the whole trip in a page of writing. I have a notebook full of journal entries that hardly capture how awesome it truly was. How awesome God was to us over those weeks. I love each person on the team and our whole family back in Malawi. I think it’s safe to say we all have a bit of Malawian in us. Bethany and I even have Malawian names to prove it. Estere and Skezipe.
I’m so thankful that the trip turned out the way it did. We went in with the simple prayer that we would be able to make a change in a small way. By the end of the trip, it was clear that not only had God accomplished that through the water filters, but that he had blessed us as well in incredible ways. Awesome."