Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back in America

Yesterday at 2:26pm

So, our group is back home. Well, most of the group is back home. Lucas decided to stay in Malawi because the Lord called him to keep preaching to the new believers in the bush ministry.

What an amazing week we had. 50 people were baptized, showing a profession of faith. Numerous others prayed the prayer of salvation in the villages. Hundreds of kids came all week to Vacation Bible School. We even got a chance to witness to a few people when we were traveling back to America.

God was moving all week. I am reminded of our share nights from last week where we would talk about all kinds of different times where God revealed himself to us. I don't think that God moved in that way by accident. Seeds were planted and we will never know how those seeds are going to grow until the Lord decides to show us.

A few of us have expressed having a hard time coming back. We joked around saying "ah, I wanna bring those kids in my luggage back to America." Even though we know we can't do that, there is some truth to saying that. However, even though we can't physically bring the kids back with us, it doesn't mean that their memories are any less vivid to us.

Today, as I was going through pictures on my computer, I just got a deep feeling of joy. Seeing their smiling faces on my computer gave me a peace that they would be fine. They are in a loving environment in that orphanage. John and Lee Ann are doing a great job of loving on those kids and teaching them Godly principles. Those kids will be fine without us. They will still sing the songs of joy and study the Bible every night. They will still smile and laugh and play soccer. They will still braid hair and dance.

The question that fills my mind now is "what should I do now?" Now that I have seen the things in Africa and experienced the culture and seen how God moves, what do I do with that? Well, it's pretty simple. I just keep doing what we did last week. We trusted God to use us as his vessels and pour out his love all over whoever we would talk to. As John said, "The Bible says to LET your light shine before men, not MAKE your light shine." So, just let the love of God run out of us and try to stay out of the way.

The biggest problem I had in my life before I came was a timidness and a shyness to share my faith and talk about God to people. This trip has given me boldness and courage to share with people. I talked about Jesus to complete strangers who didn't even speak my language. I prayed, I rejoiced, I laughed, I read the Bible, and praised God for the work he had done. This is what I need to keep doing, now that I am back from Africa. I can't go back to the way I lived my life in the past. I have seen too many things and seen lives broken before God.

To go back to the way I lived before, standing idly by, is unacceptable. I hope to be bold before God and proclaim the just, graceful, loving, merciful sacrifice of Jesus Christ to people I meet in America. You don't have to travel halfway around the world to witness to people about Jesus.

Travel around your city, or your neighborhood, maybe even your living room. There are lost people all around us and the devil uses distractions such as wealth, fame, pride, the media and all kinds of other things to lead us away from our brokenness and sinfulness and need for a savior.

In Africa, the spiritual warfare is very visible, but in America it is slipped under the rug and hidden. The devil is sly in the way he deceives us and distracts us from our need for God and we need to be faithful and work with God to proclaim the need for him. So, hopefully, I will be able to stay on fire for God and proclaim is perfect and undying love for us and the sacrifice he made.

God is going to do work. The question we have to ask ourselves is this.

Are we going to be the ones he is going to work through or are we going to stand on the sidelines and say "let someone else do it"?

-Troy (from Facebook)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back in the US again!

It is Tuesday and everyone is safe and back home again - trying to get adjusted. Everyone of course except Lucas, but he is where God wants him to be now - still in Malawi, continuing to minister to the people there.

I have used the words amazing, awesome and WOW so much, they are probably starting to lose their effect on you - but it is so difficult to describe it any other way. God worked in such a wonderful way. And those of you who were reading the blog and specifically praying with us were just as vital a part of what happened in Malawi as we, who were there. God heard your prayers and answered them.

As I was going through my many emails today I found one of particular interest. Each day, I receive a "Thought for the Day" from a missions organization that our church supports. Yesterday's thought was "If you can explain what is going on, God didn't do it." Well, that helps me understand why it so difficult to explain what was happening in Malawi - God was doing it and He continues to do it as we continue to pray.

Let me encourage you to continue to pray for the work there. Pray for John and Lea Anne. Pray for Lucas. Pray for the children in orphanage. Pray for the chiefs, especially the ones baptized, that they would fully embrace Jesus and allow Jesus to change their lives and the lives of their villages.

And continue to pray for the team. I remember my first mission trip to the Philippines when I was 20. I was there for 6 weeks. I experienced more culture shock returning to the US than I did when I went to the Philippines. God changed me forever. This team will never be the same. Each one of them see the world differently and they see God differently. They serve a lot bigger God than they realized before.

This Sunday night we will be sharing during the evening service at Piner. Some of the others will be sharing in their churches in the next few weeks. Pray for them as they consider what to share. And pray for each church to be receptive to what God is doing in each one of them. Kristina has specifically ask us to pray for her church. Currently they are without a pastor.

Only eternity will tell what the outcome of this mission trip will be. I do believe that God was glorified and He should receive all the praise.

Praising Him,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Arrived Home!

Just to let everyone know, the team successfully landed back safely in Cincinnati this afternoon. Everyone is doing well. Some even claimed to feel quite rested! Can that happen on a 30 hour flight schedule?!

Please make it a point to be at Piner this coming Sunday night, August 2, at 6pm for our evening service. Our team will be reporting about all that went on while we were in Malawi. God was so good and we have pictures, videos, and stories to prove it!

Thank you for all your prayers. They were appreciated and felt.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday - The Baptismal Service

What an AMAZING day!!!! Have I mentioned yet what an amazing trip this has been. We just finished our daily team share time - it was amazing! What can I say?

This morning, around 10:00 am Malawi time - meaning at 10:00 they thought about starting to organize everyone- we had scheduled a baptism. On Wed. from 9:00am to 5:30 pm, John, Prince (one of the house parents of the children and also an interpreter) and I had interviewed candidates for baptism to make sure of their salvation and to make sure they understood that the baptism did not save them - it is merely a picture of what Jesus has already done in their lives. Today a few more came to be interviewed because they could not be here Wed.

They had heated water in two 55 gallon drums over an open fire to get the water hot. I was afraid I would cook when I got in the water because they were getting it so hot!! We need to get us some 55 gallon drums to use when Piner's baptistry is not working. That was the warmest water I have ever baptized in.

It took about 1 1/2 hours to baptize everyone - a total of 50. I had already gotten out of the water and Lucas was preaching a short message to the people. Instead of changing out of my wet clothes, I just sat down in the back to listen to Lucas. I heard the gate behind me open - and I knew who was there. It was Chief Katayila. It is the Chief I have worked with for the past 2 years. Every day last year and every day this year he has attended the Bible School and the preaching service to follow. On Wed., he was one of the 6 chiefs who came here to the orphanage for us to talk with about the Gospel. All 6 of the chiefs got on their knees and prayed to receive Jesus. Chief Katayila was the main chief that I have been working with. I had baptized 2 of the other chiefs today.

Needless to say, after Lucas finished preaching, I got back into the water and baptized Chief Katayila. This was a HUGE answer to prayer - for one of the main chiefs to accept Christ and to follow through with baptism. It is unheard of in this area. Lucas will be staying here and he is starting a discipleship class at Chief Katayila's home. God is so good!

Tomorrow morning we will have an earlier than normal service here before we leave. Pray for the team - it is hard for them to leave. Pray for John, Lea Anne and Lucas as they stay here. It is hard for them to see us go. And pray for the children. They have gotten so attached to the team. Several of them were baptized today as well. Pray for all those who were baptized. I am bringing a list of all their names back with me so that we will have them to pray for by name. Pray for them to grow as Christians.

This will be the last time I blog in Malawi this year. Pray for our looooooooooong flight home. It will be 30 hours from the time we fly from Malawi until we reach Cincinnati.

In His Care, (here, in the US and in between)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tomorrow's Menu!

We will be having a baptismal service here tomorrow. We are expecting some chiefs and others plus several of the children here at Rainbow will be baptized. I hear we are eating goat! It will be my first experience with that. God is so good and is really doing great things here. Please continue to pray for us.

Having a wonderful time in Africa. Sorry for no messages but we have one very slow computer and too many people wanting to use it!

- Amy (from Facebook)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Not So Quick Note from Troy

Thursday Malawi Update

Today at 1:56am

I just want to start off this note by thanking everyone for their prayers from back home. We can feel God moving over here every day and we know that it isn’t just us. You all are making a difference through prayer.

Wow, where do I even start? Since I last posted, God has done so many things. Today, Wayne, John, and Prince met with a bunch of people that wish to be baptized this weekend. They wanted to meet with them and see if they were truly changed by God or if they just were agreeing with what we had said when we asked if they wanted salvation. It is really common in Malawi for someone to profess Jesus as their savior, but nothing happens, so they come back the next day and have to do the salvation prayer all over again. So, we are just trying to make sure that the only people baptized are the ones who are true followers of Christ and have been transformed by the loving grace of God.

Since Wayne was gone, our group was a man short. So, we went into the village this morning to meet people throughout Katahela and talk with them about Jesus. So Andrew, Kristina, Alexa, Tammy and I went in as a group and talked with some people. We were a little nervous at first because we didn’t really know how to act without Wayne there, but after we went to the first house, we broke up into two subgroups like we did on Monday.

Tammy and Andrew went to a house and God revealed himself again. All this week, we have been praying that people would be attentive and have questions so that we know that they really care and are learning the message. This morning, Tammy told me that they finally asked questions about the gospel that was presented to them.

Kristina, Alexa, and I went to different houses in the same area and we could feel God moving, as well. We went to a chief’s house and talked with the chief’s wife, two other women, and three young men. Our interpreter, Checaesar, explained as we were walking up to the house that wives of chiefs don’t usually go to church because it is tradition for them to stay behind. So, I was going to share with her 1 John 2:15-18. It reads “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” I wanted to share with her that traditions of this world are not going to mean anything in the scope of eternity. Nothing is permanent, so we need to come to God while we have the chance.

What was frustrating was that when I had this passage ready to tell her, she got up and attended to some other business. So, I shared with everyone who was there and kept on going. But I just felt such a burden for this lady, so when she came back about fifteen minutes later, I turned it back to that page and read it again and said the exact same thing about this world being temporary and the only eternal existence is of God. We talked for fifteen minutes or so and she prayed the prayer of salvation. I’m not sure whether or not the prayer was for real, but God does. We can just pray about it.

There should be much rejoicing, though. Wayne came in and told me a few minutes ago that 47 people are ready for baptism. They interviewed about 55 people to see if they were ready for baptism. 6 chiefs and 3 of the children from this orphanage are going to be baptized.

There is a little boy here named Chimwewe and he is one of the children being baptized. He is so adorable. Shane taught him the quote from the movie “Remember the Titans”. Shane asks, “How strong are you?” Chimwewe yells, “TOO STRONG!!!” It is so adorable. I’ll make sure I get it on video.

Tonight we are having Malawi pizza for dinner. I don’t know what is in it, but it smells amazing. For lunch today, we had chicken, sema, cabbage, and some fried potatoes. It was pretty good stuff. It’s always a blessing to eat with these kids during lunch.

Keep praying about God reaching the villages. There is a lot of spiritual darkness in the village, not to mention poverty, sickness, and hunger. Keep the chiefs in your prayers, as well. The most important thing that they can have here is godly leadership. God is definitely doing a work with the chiefs in this area and many of them have attended every day of Sunday school.

Shane, Lucas, Andrew and I are in the boy’s room when they are doing Bible study. They always ask some pretty thought provoking questions. Here are a few questions that we answered from the boys from the last few nights. See if you can answer them without laughing. Where was Moses’ brother, Aaron, buried? When Jesus had a crowd of people around him and he decided to get on a boat to cross the sea, did the multitude of people get in boats and follow him across to wherever Jesus was going?

After the Bible study we had our share time and then made some coloring books. A few of us went outside and were looking at the stars. Here in Malawi, you can see stars all the way to the horizon. The sky is so clear and the stars are very vivid and clear.

This morning it is almost 8 o'clock, so I should leave for breakfast and our morning devotion. Talk to you all later.

- Troy(from Facebook)

A Quick Note from Tammy

I'm sorry I haven't got to update anyone on fb for the last couple of days, we are very busy and had power outages. We are all doing great. We have had the opportunity to spread the gospel and we have had 6 chiefs to give their lives to the Lord. We are very excited for Saturday. We will have the first baptismal service here at Rainbow. So far we will be baptizing 47!!! Praise the Lord!!

-Tammy (from Facebook)

Thursday morning in Malawi

I had really hoped to update yesterday so that you would have the latest for Wed. night services, but it didn't happen. I sent Rhonda a quick email on Wed. morning and hoped that I would get back sometime throughout the day to update. I was going to be at the orphanage all day, because John and I were interviewing candidates for baptism, which is happening this Sat. I thought that there would be plenty of time. When we finished our morning group devotion, there were already people here. John and I started talking to people at 9:15, as soon as he returned from taking the groups to the village. We finished at 5:30 - non-stop except for about 1/2 hour at lunch. We talked to about 55 people throughout the day, trying to discern if they had a personal relationship with Jesus. We now have a list of 47 people for baptism on Sat. PRAISE THE LORD!!

God really answered prayer. We have been asking for prayer for the village chiefs for some time now. On Tues, I was able to sit down and share the Gospel with about 25 of them at the same time. On Tues afternoon about 7-8 of those chiefs came to our VBS. After the VBS, several of them talked to me about the Gospel, getting Bibles and sharing with their villages. I invited them to come and talk with John and I on Wed. On Wed, 6 of the chiefs came. John and I shared with them for a long time, explaining that if they accepted Jesus, life would not be the same. Even village customs, which went against the Word of God, would have to be turned away. At the end of our conversation, all 6 chiefs got on their knees with us and prayed to receive Jesus. They agreed to come Sat. and be baptized. PRAISE THE LORD, PRAISE THE LORD, PRAISE THE LORD! This is the breakthrough that John has been asking us to pray for. God is amazing.

I can't wait to see what God is going to do today.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Tuesday Times

Well, we are here on Tuesday night and I am completely wiped out. These kids have so much energy and I wish I did too. We started off our day this morning at 7 am with a wonderful breakfast. Pancakes and eggs. I really wish that we could bring Lee Ann with us on the plane ride home. The food is AMAZING!!!!!! We have so much great food here. We had cheesy spaghetti with chicken last night. Tonight we just finished rice and beans with peach cobbler and chocolate cake to follow it up. So, we are definitely eating well.

On Monday we went to the villages. We broke the team up into two groups and went to two different villages. From there, we split up even further so that there were three little groups in each village. So, every group had an interpreter, with six total interpreters. We went from house to house and talked to everyone about the Vacation Bible School we are doing this week. John told us that we need to ignore our American instinct to go quickly and tell them and leave. The people of Malawi like to slow things down quite a bit. You must introduce yourself, first, before you are allowed to say anything. We always made sure to go talk to the chief first to make sure it was alright to come and talk to the people. I was in a group with Alexa and Checaesar (our interpreter).

I shared this on Monday night, but I figured I would tell you all, as well. Like I just mentioned, we went out to the village on Monday and talked to people. Well, I had prepared all of these things that I was going to say about Jesus Christ. I had passages of the Bible ready to go so that I could read them and explain everything really well. So, the first house we came to was full of Christians. They knew all about Jesus, already, and were close followers. So, Checaesar looked at me and said "so, do you have something to share?" Well, I had no idea what I wanted to share because that wasn't what I had planned for at all. So, I looked at Alexa and she had the same wide-eyed look on her face. Anyways, about this time, the wind had started to pick up and my Bible was starting to turn pages and stuff. At first, I was trying to force my way back to Luke, but then I just let it flip to Psalms. My own preparedness had gotten in the way of what God wanted to do there. I wasn't supposed to be preparing, I was supposed to be sharing. So, I ended up sharing some psalms of praise with them. During the rest of the visits during Monday morning, I just tried to get out of God's way and share whatever he wanted, not what I wanted.

So, on Monday at about 11:45, we made our way back to the orphanage to have lunch. Here at the rainbow center, we eat breakfast and dinner in the mission house with Lee Ann cooking. For lunch, we eat in the mess hall with the kids. Every day in Malawi, people eat sema. Sema is 100% corn starch. It looks quite a bit like mashed potatoes. I think it's pretty good and so do most of us, but there are a few that cannot eat it. They had some spices that you could put on it, but after the first day, I decided that the spices just make it taste terrible. It's pretty nice with greens. Today, we had it with peas. Although, I can't stand peas on their own, it was pretty nice with the sema. If you walk through the streets, you can see people on the side laying out sema so that it gets to the right consistency.

On Monday afternoon, we had our first VBS session. It was very uplifting. God was definitely glorified. We started off with a quick game of futbol. They thought it was hilarious that these crazy white people brought the soccer balls and played with them. It never ceases to amaze me how great they are at soccer. They have a bag wrapped in rubber bands to use when a regulation soccer ball isn’t available. Their joy was certainly noticeable when the soccer balls were brought out. So, we gathered them in with the futbol, then we sat them all down and divided them into three groups. One group was the scripture group led by Wayne and interpreted by Prince. Another group was the crafts group with Tammy and Christina. The other group included myself, Andrew, and Alexa. Once each group had rotated through every station, we had a time of testimony from Tammy followed by a closing message from Wayne. There were hundreds of children there.

The interesting thing about trying to count these kids is the density that they sit next to each other. In America, you have some space around you when you sit on the ground in a group. Here, in Malawi, the kids are packed in so tight. It seemed unnecessary because we held the VBS on the futbol field, so there was plenty of space. I guess that’s just what they are used to.

Today was a little bit different. We went to the school to minister instead of making rounds through the houses in the village. It was such a blessing because originally we thought that we wouldn’t be allowed to talk to the children because of schoolwork. However, it’s their last week of school here, so they were all outside playing futbol, anyways. We went to speak to the chief and he wasn’t home. So, we went to the headmaster of the school and he said that there was a meeting with a bunch of chiefs about a hundred yards away. Well, this turned out to be the biggest blessing so far. Wayne got to go talk to about 25 chiefs from around the area. We have been praying for the last few days that we would get to talk to more adults. So, there he was, talking about Jesus to 25 chiefs. We ended up getting to talk to all of the school, as well. They had a ridiculous amount of kids. Tammy, Andrew and I were trying to figure out how many there were and we thought it had to have been close to 400 or 500.

We walked all the way back to the orphanage after that. Along the way, many of the people asked if we could take their picture because they had seen us the last few days taking pictures and video of some of the other villagers.

Every night the girls have singing and praying and the guys have a Bible study. Well, Lucas, Andrew, Shane, and I have had the privilege of hanging out while they are doing their Bible study. We start off by reading a passage and then interpreting the deeper meaning. The best part of the whole thing is the end. After we finish talking about the passage, the boys ask questions. They ask the BEST questions ever. Some of them are completely off the wall and outrageous. For example, one of the questions was “When Satan was thrown out of heaven, where did his wings go? Why didn’t he just fly back up to heaven?” Tonight we talked about why Jesus was called the son of David. We explained that it is based on lineage and ancestry. So, one of them said “Well my parent’s sir name means the same as a pumpkin, so I’m the son of pumpkin.” Kids say the funniest things.

Tomorrow is going to be very different. Wayne is not going to be going with us to the village. He will be here at the orphanage talking to people who want to be baptized later in the week. So, our VBS will be a little different, but it won’t be our work anyways. We’ll just let God be God and try and keep our foot off the brake.

Well, I’m going to get off of here and read up on tomorrow’s lesson plan. We are going to cover Jesus feeding the five thousand, Jesus healing the blind and lame, and Jesus raising Jarius’ daughter from the dead. So, I’ll be in touch later.

Please keep the chiefs in your prayers. God is definitely doing work on the chiefs, here. He has been to both VBS sessions, so far. If there was a Godly influence at the head of the village, it would do wonders in helping out the people. We actually spoke to him on Monday and he said that the people are so uplifted every time someone comes to talk about Jesus and then it gets gradually worse and worse and then they are lifted up again when people come back again. It’s all about God, here. If God was being uplifted in the village on a regular basis, year round, the village would be a much better place.

Wow, I type a lot of stuff. Amy just said “Gosh, Troy, how long have you been on there?” I guess I should let someone else give this a shot. I will talk to you all later.


Recap of Day 1 in the village

I was unable to blog yesterday. Not enough time in the morning and no electric at night. There is a generator here at Rainbow, but it is not big enough to power everything, and the computer is not connected to it.

Day 1 was awesome! We had a share time last night. Troy announced that the one hour allotted for share time on Sunday night, Aug 2 at Piner was simply not going to be enough. God is doing so much in this group already.

Hundreds of kids came to the 2 Bible Schools we did yesterday. The play dough lasted in order for each child to get a small piece. Today we have paper bag puppets, and somehow God is going to have to multiple them in order for them to be enough.

We will have to check everyone's suitcase before leaving Rainbow. I have a feeling some of the team members will try to smuggle some of the kids home with them.

Pray for the Gospel to be received in the villages today. My team especially had very few adults show up for the preaching time yesterday. Hundreds of kids were there, but few adults. They were receptive as we visited in the village, but did not come to the meeting.

The weather has been exceptionally cool. The people often do not want to move around much when it is cold. But for most of us it is comfortable.

John and Lea Anne are treating us wonderfully. The food is great, the beds are great, the showers are great. God is so good to us.

Pray for the families at home. It seems to be harder on them than on us here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Note from Troy

A note from Malawi, Africa
Sunday, 2pm-ish

We are here, now. I couldn't write yesterday because I was just busy doing other things. I was in three different planes crossing the ocean and trying to make it here to Malawi. We didn't have any troubles other than a team member getting sick and being sleep deprived.

Usually, when you are coming through customs, they will ask you a question about your visit. Everyone got an easy question except for me. When I was coming through customs, the lady asked me where I was going. I said "The Rainbow Children's Development Center." She said, "No, which city?" I had NO IDEA, because I was just going to follow the leader until I got to the orphanage. So, I asked Lucas and he didn't know, either. Wayne, our group leader, had gone through first, so he wasn't available to ask. So, that lady held me there until Lucas could go through and have Wayne come back and tell her where it was. Apparently, all I had to say was bunda. We are just a few hundred yards from bunda, which means mountain in Chichewa. There is a college here pretty close called Bunda College. So, after she knew where we were going, I was allowed to go through.

It is almost 2 pm here right now. It's great. The kids are just so kind. Right when we got out of the car, they were all standing there and cheering and yelling. It was awesome. We got here yesterday around 4 pm Malawi Time and 10 o'clock am piner time.

We came here, introduced ourselves, played with cameras and camcorders, played some futbol, sang, did a few foot races, and all kinds of other stuff. It is just such a blessing to be here and see all of this stuff. By the way, these kids are amazing at soccer, futbol. I'm pretty sure they could all play on the Ryle high school team back home in Union and they are like 10 years old.

This morning we had a church service and it was great. It started at 9:30 and went until about 11ish. Brother John raised an interesting point when he talked about how people from Malawi view time. If something starts at 9, they will be late. Time doesn't really matter to them. So, being prompt is just unheard of. So, they will just make sure they get here before they think it will end. It's a lot like how Americans view graduation parties. As long as you show up before the end, it's all good.

Apparently, one of the team members from a different group addressed this in a story. He told them all about how they should be on time because he wasn't going to repeat himself at the end ......... well, he said this story at the beginning of his message. So, the people he wanted to address weren't there yet anyways. lol.

But yeah, it is really great here. Andrew and I have done a video of the orphanage and stuff. We got some great pictures of the plane ride here, too. I was the only one who didn't get some kind of sleep on the plane ride. I went from 5:30 am on Friday in Washington D.C. to 9 o'clock pm on Saturday without sleep. And actually, you have to add another six hours to that because Malawi is six hours away. Amy is keeping a little journal, and she always likes to put what time it is here and what time it is in America, so sometimes she has to ask us what time it is over there because I kept my phone to home time.

Oh, and shane made more raps on the plane with Bridget. Some of them poke fun at me, but keep in mind that they never smelled my feet the entire time they wrote this rap.

I find myself reading a lot of Paul's letters to the Romans and Corinthians. I have really been searching God out and trying to find out what I am supposed to do here. It's been a real blessing, so far, just from being in the presence of these kids and hearing them sing and just watching the joy on their faces. Our group, as a whole, could really feel that there was a separation from the orphanage and the people on the side of the road as we drove by them in the car. There was so much poverty and sadness and people struggling to find enough to get by, but then when we pulled in the gate, it was just a bunch of kids hollering and smiling and all kinds of stuff.

Sorry I can't put up picture and video here. I forgot my cord for my phone, so I can't put up pictures. I also didn't bring any software to download video onto this computer and stuff. So, I will try and put up a few of Andrews pictures sometime soon so that you guys can get a taste of what Africa is like. Then, when I am home, I will definitely put up all of my pictures and videos so you guys can watch them. So, be patient, they are coming.

For those who were concerned about safety at night, it's all good. This is like the safest place for miles and miles. There is a gate all the way around the Rainbow Center. There are two dogs. The windows all have bars over them. The doors have huge deadbolts on them. So, for whoever was concerned about us being attacked at night, rest assured. We are in God's hands and he will do with us what is in his will.Well, I will talk to you guys later.

- Troy (copied from Facebook)

God Is Bigger

We just finished our team meeting for today. We were recapping the first 24 hours including our worship service this morning. One of the main things shared by the team was how much bigger God is than they realized before. He is not only the God of Kentucky and the USA, but He is God of Malawi and the entire world. He is not just an English speaking God, but He is a Chichewa speaking and hearing God as well.

Everyone loved worship today. The people worshipped with their whole being. They sang with all that they had, with their whole being. They were joyful. One thing that has really impacted the group that though the people have so little physically, they have so much joy in their life.

Tomorrow we go into the villages to begin visiting, doing VBS and preaching. Pray for the people to be receptive and to attend the meetings. Pray for seeds of the Gospel to be planted and for a harvest as well. We will be teaching on Jesus' birth.

Continue to pray for the team. Tomorrow will be the first day they are actually in the village and there will be much for them to process mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There will be many things they will see that they have never seen before.

All are doing very well. The team is bonding and enjoying themselves. As our meeting was finishing today around 4:00, the team was talking about how the day has flown by. God is at work in each of their lives.

Don't stop praying.