Our December 2017 Malawi Missions Trip Highlights
By Susan Bushard
Photos by Paul Mattson, Jill Mattson and Susan Bushard

The degree of uncertainty when going on your first missions trip to a third-world country is different for everyone.  I had a basket full of varied emotions as I prepared for the trip, but once we arrived in Malawi and I saw Shadreck and Yami, I felt like I was home.

As a team of six, we were abundantly blessed to be a part of so much the week we were there.  We were able to journey to see the maize farm,and even though it rained and our vehicle got stuck in the mud, the experience of seeing that planted maize growing and meeting some of the “farm hands” was beyond “a-maizing”!!  It was truly one of the most heart-piercing experiences…to see first-hand the fruition of those words God whispered to me back in 2011, “a lot of a little is a lot”.  To gaze at the maize and know because of many hands, many lives will be touched and perhaps saved.

We also were able to purchase two brand new Singer sewing machines that our friends at First English Lutheran Church in Ohio provided the money for.  These sewing machines will allow our village women to sew Days for Girls Kits for not only the young ladies and women of our village but also to start a micro-business!

We experienced the celebration of welcoming us to the ministry site when we first arrived there.  We purchased 120 +/- bars of soap and spent hours putting the Days for Kits together which we helped distribute to approximately 60 young ladies and also a dozen or so women.  We did several different Bible lessons, we purchased 500 new plastic dinner plates and a couple dozen new plastic cups for the ministry.  We participated in and spent the entire Christmas Meal day with our village orphans and widows, we worshipped with some of the them at one of the local churches.  We learned how to “mud a house” and pump the water well, we showed them how to use the sewing machines…and we played with the children and conversed with the women.

We made our own “drinkable” warm water.  We sweated and prayed often for God to send a breeze.  Some nights we slept withoutconditioning or even a fan.  We slept with bugs in our room.  We ate PB&J sandwiches for lunch.  Our luggage was lost for a few days. We took cold showers.  Some showers (like mine) had no shower curtain.  We worshipped in a church that had no pews and a dirt floor.  Grocery stores and malls had armed police. Traffic consisted of vehicles, bicycles, bicycle taxis, van taxis, people walking, various animals and frequent police “check point” stops.  Yet none of these “inconveniences” meant a thing.  The entire trip was an incredible blessing to be a part of as we put our Faith intoaction with “boots on the ground” and love in our hearts. It’s a week I will forever cherish…and never forget.