Monday, August 4, 2008

Kathy writes

It’s been a good day in Mzuzu. We are in countdown mode. We have been here for eight weeks so far and this week will be our last full week here. This Sunday will be our last Sunday in Mchengatuba where Fred has been made Rev. Hara’s “associate minister.” Suddenly we have gone from gaping amounts of time to fill to only one week to wrap up loose ends and leave Mzuzu by next Thursday.

Fred shared with you about visiting the widow who had their houses roofed for them by Mark Purcell when he was here visiting the end of July. We had a great afternoon touring the different houses in the dambo last Thursday. At the 1st house we went to Laura asked if they had bednets (if you remember the dambo is the free low lying ground that is overrun with mosquitoes during the rainy season). At each of the six houses we found than none of them had bednets and at three of the houses the widows said they didn’t have a bed but would like a blanket. How do you even fathom such a thing? No bed, no blanket, but ever so grateful to now have a solid roof over their heads. They were so thankful to us and I wished so much that Mark could see the joy and hope he has brought them.

The next day Sam and Grace went to work finding the best deals on wooden beds and mattresses. By Saturday, the carpenters they had contracted with had completed three of the beds (three quarter size) and we picked them up. After loading all three on the top of Jodi’s van we headed into town to purchase mattresses. After getting them rolled up and stuffed into the car with the 9 of us (sans Fred who was on top of a mountain a couple hours away observing a synod election) we carefully drove to the dambo.

As we started out Sam said, “We will have to go the back way so we don’t get stopped for overloading.” I thought O.K. that sound about right. We arrived without incidence and were able to deliver the beds to the widows who had no idea we were going to get them for them. It was a very good day.

That was Saturday. Today, Monday, we did our shopping in the market, finally, found the phone company, purchased some more blankets, renewed Laura’s, Beka’s, and Zoe’s visa, found a warehouse to buy porridge for the dogs, and delivered the rest of the things for the widows to Sam and Grace. Almost as an afterthought Grace handed me a folded envelope. I asked her, “What’s this?”. It was Ruth’s passport and visa. Ahh! Finally. I didn’t think I was ever going to hold that in my hand! Then Grace tells me that they’ve stamped it for an unprecedented two year period. Unbelievable. We are awed and stunned . . . and very, very excited.

What will tomorrow bring?

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