Zikomo! Internet Coming This Week! Yahoo!

He will keep His promises!
He will keep His promises!

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”

Jeremiah 33:3 

God says this and I say, “Bring it on!”

 I am missing you all! I am solving the internet issues this week!  I promise!  I am using James and Claudia’s (missionaries here at the project) internet and it is fantastic!

We had an amazing week!  Especially with the staff of the school and Africa ABC Project.  Finding people of character is challenging here. Deception is common here for a number of reasons, so I am grateful for my small but committed Malawian staff! At our staff meeting on Friday, Abusa Kalima, our lead pastor, shared a message with the team and Tisu led us in beautiful praise and dancing to God.  Then we ate chicken, rice and greens.  After our meal, I led the staff in two team building exercises. God showed me so much in these two hours with the team. I had each person write down the most important attributes in people they work with and then each person shared. I told everyone that everyone will share-100% participation always, no exceptions. People like to hide out here in Malawi- be quiet and not give input because they are scared or think they are not important.  After that I had each person write down their goals for 2010- personal, professional and spiritual. Everyone was so focused on their list and took much time. They loved the activities.  The sharing drew us together. The quality of their answers showed deep reflection.  It was beautiful!

 It was a great time of laughing, encouragement, teasing, honest sharing, and relationship building. What I learned is that in this society everything is about community before individual.  Now there are very important qualities to this, but at the same time people don’t learn each other’s names, even after knowing of someone for a long time.  The value of the individual person as a person distinct and special is not highlighted. So they were so encouraged about learning about themselves and each other as individuals.  It was very exciting for them.

I am grateful for so many things! Mary O’Neill and I are approved and funded to provide a training to the Pediatric Nurses at Queen Elizabeth Center Hospital regarding the Role of the Nurse in the Pediatric Ward.  Mary will be taking the lead on this and I will be providing a piece on Child Psychology and practical application on how to communicate effectively with children.  This will be the week of March 8th. In addition we will be holding the Leadership and Educational Training the week of February 22nd for both private pay clients and teachers within the community based orphan care centers.

We had to reapply for certification as a Private School due to the change in ownership of the school. We are approved by the regional education office and I go to Lilongwe this week to submit the application at the state education department.  Yahoo!

I could go on and on regarding the miracles God is doing here and what He is showing me about the future.  He is bringing me very good people to work with and keeps encouraging me as I go through the challenges.  Last Thursday after a tough day of no water or electricity and tons of rain, Abusa Kalima calls me to come outside to see something. I walk up the stairs and face the Ndirande Mountains, which are covered in green. And there spreading over the mountains right in front of me is the largest rainbow that I have ever seen.  Like God created it just for me.  To remind me of His promises.  I take Him for His word.  He will finish what He started. We place a stake in this ground for God on this hill.  We will train up leaders in the faith here and they will make a difference for this nation. And people will know that it was not built by man, but by God.

Love, Maribeth

In Malawi On Mission

God Is

I am beginning a personal study on “What God is Like”. ( Thank you Annie Herman!) I thought you might all be encouraged by the introduction to the study. Malawi Update below!

God Is

God always has been,

He always will be!

His eternal existence is powerfully

Expressed by two words:

God is.  

 

I miss you all!  Thank you for your love, prayers and support!  Cindy and I have had a very full 10 days. I thank her with my whole heart for her encouragement, prayers and support. She is heading home now! Here are the highlights of what God is up to in Malawi.

Malawi Montessori Christian School

The children are learning with velocity and joy! Tisu Mwanza  has been hard at work leading the staff. We will be hiring another teacher in the next couple of weeks. Please pray for our discernment. With the additional materials, we are looking like a true Montessori Teacher Training Center. Rock on! The school and training center which was gifted to Acts III in June has been gifted back to us.  

Teacher Internship Program

In two weeks we will start up this program again. This practical week of teaching experience and supervision we will offer as a scholarship to the teachers from the local community based orphan care centers and to private paying clients as well as one of our IGAs.

Africa ABC Project

James Machila has done a brilliant job of leading this project. He has gifts in leadership and administration. He makes me to-do lists!  I love it! Now that the MMC School and Africa ABC Project are working under the same leadership both programs are energized! The blending of spiritual gifts and capacities is making for a great team. What is happening in the orphan care centers can only be explained by the power of the Holy Spirit.  James and I agree, it is unbelievable the transformations that are taking place! 

Property Acquisition – Christian Leadership Center

We will rent space here at Acts III until the property transfer is secured, then we will purchase the property. Randy McEwen, the director of Acts III Global Ministries, arrives February 3rd. We are praying that as a team we can assist him with removing the obstacles to a purchase.  We are praying for his wisdom and that he can use the authority God has given him to address the not yet resolved issues. We know God is going to do it. He told us He would so we are preparing for a transition.

Ministry Development- Malawi On Mission

God is bringing our Malawian partners forward and we are moving forward with ministry development with our key leader, Abusa Aubrey Kalima, who is a brilliant and humble man. And most importantly he and his wife, Madalo, don’t mind me knocking on their door a zillion times a day to discuss problems and solutions.  We can see the instrumental role both the current church and the local churches of Ndirande will play in the function of the ministry and the development of the Christian Leadership Center. We will be running multiple ministries from this site and requesting the support and partnership of the local churches and other Christian organizations.

Playroom Development at Queens Hospital

Mary O’Neill (who is a business woman, Montessori Credentialed teacher, Nurse, as well as an inspiring Irish Malawian) was asked to create a playroom for children who have life-threatening illnesses at Queens Hospital, the government hospital in Blantrye. She has asked for my partnership. Bring it on Jesus! We are busy designing this room which will encourage and bring hope to these precious children. We are working with the doctor of palliative care, Zoe Palmer.  She asked us to develop the room, but Mary and I are going to create a plan for the development a program to reach the children in all the pediatric wards and train the pediatric nurses in the role of the nurse in the pediatric ward. The amazing part is that are church has been going to Queens twice a month to minister to the sick.  Spiritually speaking, Queens feels like home territory.

Future Trainings

February 22nd-25th  Leadership and Montessori Teacher Training (4 day)

March 8th-11th      Pediatric Nurse Training (4 day)

March  22nd-26th and 29th-31st Lakeside March Impact Team Trainings for Parents & Specialists working with Children with Physical Challenges (Team composed of educators, Occupational and Physical Therapists as well as media specialists). We will video tape and create DVDs for the training sessions.  Malawian organizations assisting us in the trainings: Cure International Hospital, Queens Hospital,  Feed the Children Orthopedic Recovery Center and Chikondi Orphan Care and Disability Center in Ndirande.

Other Highlights!

Miqlat: Visited the Fair Oaks Presbyterian effort at Chiradzulu village and had a tour of a completed village orphan outreach program at Kagoya.  Miqlat Malawi is working with F.O. Pres on the establishment of a Hope Center at Chiradzulu. Excellent village program! They are doing good work. When we drove home, I held Cindy’s hand and cried. There is so much work yet to be done for the children. Miqlat, which American headquarters is housed in San Diego, is sending two teachers out from SD in Feb.  Hope to meet them and see what God is up to with this new connection.

Ndirande Church: Children’s Church Program and Outreach Ministry is expanding under the leadership of Simon Kambala. Our kids at our school are developing a play about a story in the Bible to present each Saturday to their friends. Our kids take invitations home with them on Friday to invite a friend for Saturday. Wish you all could have seen Jonah and the whale!

Chikondi Center:

Friday we took pictures and recorded a profile on 43 children with disabilities at this center in preparation for the March Team. This center staff and parents are ready for an infusion of leadership and training. This center would be ideal for a vocational center for the 16-23 year olds with disabilities.  The space is available. They do not have trades people or teachers or a plan yet. God told us to help them find business people who would rent out their spaces, apprentice their young people and pay the young people a stipend. What do you think about that!

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR PRAYERS! THE GROUND WAS PREPARED FOR US! OPEN DOORS EVERYWHERE WE TURNED!

Love, Maribeth

Landed Johannesburg! Fired up & Ready To Go!

Dear Friends and Family, 

Cindy Dickson and I arrived safely in Johannesburg, South Africa last night and will travel onto Blantyre, Malawi this morning.  Our 8 bags of school materials were checked all the way to Blantrye and we are so grateful for all of your prayers and all the people who helped us along the way. As special thank you to Singh and Gaye at United Airlines for your care and commitment for our mission and our bags! May God bless you abundantly!

Cindy and I were too excited to sleep last night so we proceeded to talk the entire night about our lives, God and Malawi.  We are calling it our slumber party!  And we have promised to stop talking and get a good night sleep tonight.  We spent the night planning the next 10 days, reviewing the next five months plans for the ministry, and planning my summer. So it was an inspiring and productive night in Joburg!

We have great plans for the next 10 days, but despite the many tasks to be accomplished, our focus will be on being with the people we love. Relationships are the priority. The Malawi Montessori Christian School staff and the Africa ABC project staff as well as the Abusas and James and Claudia have been working very hard to continue to make a difference in Ndirande. We cannot wait to see them and thank them and encourage them.

Thank you all  for your love and encouragement!

Love, Maribeth

P.S. We heard from Dan Gillespie with Miqlat- the Fair Oaks Presbyterian partner working with the village at Chiradzulu. We have Malawian staff contact number and are hoping to visit their project about 30-40 minutes from Blantyre next week. Right on!