August 23, 2004
An Eventful Week
This week has been an eventful one for the Merry Family.
Here is a quick synopsis:
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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