Day 8: Praise Him From Whom All Blessings Flow

(Get ready for plenty of photos!)

As our team looked back on the past week at CAPA, cleaning up the campus, interviewing students, transcribing audio recordings, and accomplishing many other tasks, we were inspired by the students’ interviews and excited to continue serving the students and missionaries. But our team was also excited when Tony McCracken, one of the missionaries and CAPA faculty, and his wife Santi invited us to join their family on a day trip to visit Lake Malawi. Caleb Ayres was also going to join us!

After a refreshing sleep from those face masks worn the night prior, we woke up feeling ready to leave for the world’s 4th largest lake. Lake Malawi makes up about one fifth of the country’s entire area. The lake is also a hub for biodiversity, as it hosts the most number of species of fish than any other freshwater body of water.

Lake Malawi

The moment we left the parking lot and walked toward Lake Malawi, we were stunned by the shimmering blue water infinitely extend left, right, and into the horizon. It truly looked like an ocean. We were awestruck by the gorgeous lake as we continued toward the shore, but were also a little confused because it reminded many team members of some beaches found in the warm Pacific. Were we in Malawi, or Maui?

0902171055_HDR
Near the entrance of the lake beach

Once we set down our bags, we ran down the soft, sandy beach and into the water. As we splashed in the waves and swam in the clear water, many team members were taken aback by something else: unlike the waters of Californian beaches, the waters of Lake Malawi wasn’t salty at all, even though it looked like we were by the sea! We all really enjoyed our time at the country’s treasured natural wonder.

0902171151d_HDR
Grace, Ivanna, and Caleb building their sandcastle
0902171151a_HDR
Bridget, Kandace, and the McCracken children, David and Ami, playing in the sand
0902171217_HDR
Georgie and Nathan building a bigger sandcastle
0902171201_HDR
Other team members (and James McCracken) joining in on the fun!
0902171241a_HDR
Our entire group eating lunch on the lakeside terrace

Craft Market

After having lunch and playing at the beach for a little longer, we set out to visit the Malawian craft market, which was along the way home. Each vendor’s stall was filled with wood carvings, paintings, bracelets, and other pretty wares and trinkets. Our team members had fun interacting with the local people and looking at their excellent works of craftsmanship. Many of us got gifts for family and friends. Once we wrapped up at the market, we continued our ride back home through the countryside.

Our team and missionaries visit craft market stalls that lined the road
0902172211_HDR
Examples of the beautiful woodwork that some team members got
090217carissarhino-edited
Carissa took a picture of a big rhino* that she saw outside our van

Noble China

Later in the evening, the Ayres family took us to an unexpected destination: Noble China, a Chinese restaurant in the middle of Lilongwe! Jim told us that it’s the best Chinese restaurant in the city, perhaps even the country. The decor, menu, and even the room’s scent reminded me of the restaurants I’ve visited in China. Perhaps that gives plus points to authenticity? ūüôā Aside from the furnishings and atmosphere, the food was also delicious. Highlights from dinner include dumplings, lettuce wraps, and cashew chicken. How interesting…I never would have thought I would be using chopsticks and eating Chinese food in Malawi! With tummies full and legs tired from a long day, we returned home. We prepared for church that’s tomorrow morning and were definitely ready for bed.

0902171755a_HDR
The entrance to Noble China
0902171845_HDR
Caleb Ayres got to sit with his new friends from UCLA
0902171845a_HDR
Table with the rest of the Ayres family
0902171852_HDR
Delicious Chinese food in Malawi

Reflection

Although we may be physically tired from traveling today, I think we felt rejuvenated and rested. We had such a joyful time spending time with one another and encouraging one another in conversation. It was nice to see another side of the beautiful country that our CAPA students call home on this earth. What amazes me more, though, is thinking about how our rest in heaven will be so much more awesome. When we are finally, truly home in heaven, God says “He will¬†wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). There, we will finally be together with Christ.

It was a blessing to marvel at God’s beautiful creation today. It was a blessing to rest and hang out with fellow Believers. It is a blessing to be saved by His grace. Today, we saw a variety of international tourists at Lake Malawi and an interesting cultural exchange at Noble China. Seeing such a mix of cultures reminded me of how small the world can be. Though we may seem worlds apart, I’m reminded that we are all humans, broken people, sinners who are in need of a savior. Praise God that we would love us so much, that we would send his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins, that we may have eternal life with Him. Praise Him from whom all blessings flow.

0902171717a_HDR
The Malawian sunset, on the way back from Lake Malawi

“Let¬†the¬†heavens¬†be¬†glad,¬†and¬†let¬†the¬†earth¬†rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and¬†the¬†peoples¬†in¬†his¬†faithfulness.”
(Psalm 96:10-13)

Thank you for reading and for your support thus far! ūüôā

– Richard


*Disclaimer: Carissa didn’t actually see a real rhino: it was just a wooden figurine she held up to the sunset!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s