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Malawi
The Merry Family

Merry Mission Journal

August 23, 2004

An Eventful Week

This week has been an eventful one for the Merry Family. Here is a quick synopsis:

Sunday:

  • We spent three hours worshiping at St. James CCAP at the English Service.
  • In the afternoon The General Secretary, The Rev. Daniel Gunya, invited us to attend a youth rally in Luchenza. Because we arrived early, he took us up to the conference center at Likabula. There we visited the “Camp Crestfield”of Blantyre Synod. It sits in a spectacular setting at the foot of Mt. Mulanje and was really interesting to see.
  • The youth rally was inspirational. Five hundred youth from across the Synod gathered for singing, worship and socializing. We listened to a rousing sermon (in Chichewa) and watched as several hundred attendees rededicated their lives to Christ and then broke into small groups for counseling.
  • Dan successfully drove home in the dark which is very difficult in Malawi, because of all the people, bikes and vehicles in the road that are hard to see.

Monday:

  • We ventured into Blantyre’s open air market to buy baskets and woven mats for our home. We also bought a handmade wicker bookshelf for our bedroom.

Tuesday:

  • We heard that there was a group of people from Pittsburgh at the Domasi Mission building a garden, so the Merry women went up to help. “The Garden”is a five acre farm, and we spent the rest of the week planting trees, digging irrigation ditches, and gathering supplies for the big project. (read more about this in Heather’s Journal account)
  • Wednesday:

    • Dan drives the Rev. Daniel Gunya and the Rev. McDonald Katawati (Synod Moderator) north seven hours to the large CCAP Mission Station at Loudon in the town of Embandweni to represent Blantyre Synod at the bi-yearly meeting of Livingstonia Synod. With one hour’s notice, he is asked to preach to the entire assembly. He stayed with the only doctor at the 150 bed hospital, a wonderful, dedicated young Malawian. This is the only doctor in an area that has a population of about 45,000.

    Thursday:

    • The girls had an exciting day at Domasi. Heather spent the day on a huge truck making “brick”runs. She saw three monkeys and 37 people on top of a truckload of 2,000 bricks.
    • Brooke had a rather terrifying experience. While walking along the irrigation ditch, she spotted a blue cobra (very poisonous) snake. The Malawian bricklayers killed it. She was quite shaken up, but safe.

    Friday:

    • Dan returns from the Synod Meeting. Beth continues to look after the newly planted mango, orange and plum orchard. Heather hikes to the source of the Living Waters project. Brooke and her new Malawian friend, Chipie, continue to work on the irrigation ditch.

    Saturday:

    • Dan picks us up at Domasi and we return to Blantyre with Kate (a volunteer at the Garden from the Sewickley Presbyterian Church), who will sleep at our home before she returns to the USA on Sunday. Since there is no food in the house, we decide to eat at the only Chinese restaurant in town. Much to our chagrin, it was “closed for vacation”for the next four weeks! The grocery store was closed too! We found a snack bar after searching the entire city.

    Sunday:

    • We were told that there would be only one service at St. James today, beginning at 7:00 a.m. It was a praise service and lasted until noon! The sermon was 70 minutes long. The church was packed, and they set up extra benches and chairs all over the place. We were exhausted when it was over, and rested the rest of the day.

    Beth Merry



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