January 10, 2005
I am happy to report that we are doing much better. Over the past few days, many people have called or emailed us, telling us that we are in their thoughts and prayers. It has meant so much to us! We are really grateful for the support.
I thought that I better tell you a bit about what has transpired since I last wrote. Alfred did return the night that we returned from our trip, but not until 10 p.m. and he was drunk. Dan had a long talk with him the next morning when he reported for work as usual at 7 a.m. He knows how disappointed we were with his behavior. However, he had contacted the police for us and cleaned the entire house, and did not think that we would be home for a few more days. He has been doing his usual great job ever since. His family rejoined him as I write this (Margaret and the children had gone back to the village for a few weeks to plant maize).
It turns out that our guards may have been in on the robbery. The Synod had laid them off (cost cutting measure) the week prior to the break in. They claim that they were asleep on our front porch during the entire episode, but we find that hard to believe, since there was a wooden table broken in the living room, which is right next to the porch. The police are investigating (although that means next to nothing here in Africa). We think they left in a hurry, as there were items strewn across our yard, and we are grateful that it was not worse.
All of your prayers have been working on us, because our spirits are much better. In fact we even feel a bit guilty about being so traumatized. The PC(USA) missionary family in Lilongwe, the Demmings, were robbed just before Christmas. Their home was really wiped out, a computer, gifts, household goods, etc. were all taken. Our hearts ache for them. Every PC(USA) missionary in Malawi has been robbed at least once, according to church officials.
One man who reads our web journal in Australia wrote to us and said, “Have you heard about the tsunami? No doubt your family will miss the things that were stolen, but things are replaceable. Imagine seeing your whole life flushed into to sea.” That really puts things in perspective.
Another emailer said that she was praying for the thieves, who were driven, perhaps by desperate circumstances, to do such a thing. I have to admit that I am not ready to do that yet, but I do have a whole new attitude towards the event. My brother, Scott, summed things up when he said, “God may allow you to suffer, and you may never understand what God’s purpose is for that suffering, but you can trust God. God has the big picture.”Dan has gone back to work, and the girls start school again tomorrow. We have four houseguests at the moment, and life in Malawi is good – especially since pineapples are in season!