Monday, July 16, 2012

Home finally

Arrived in Chicago safely and on our way home. Thank God for safe travel.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Arrival in Paris

We arrived here safely. Everyone is tired but glad to shower and we will head into the city for our retreats of silence this afternoon.

Please pray for our process time and for fun in a new city.

Thank you for your prayers

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We have made it to Kenya.  we have a 6 hour layover and then we will be on our way to Paris. 

Praise God for safe travel.

Please pray for our debriefing.

Turning toward home


This morning we say goodbye to our friends here in Malawi as we head to the airport. It is with joy and tears we say goodbye.

We will arrive in Kenya this afternoon and then we fly through the night to Paris. We will be staying in Paris for the weekend to process our summer and then we fly to O'hare Monday.

Please pray for God to give us safety as we travel and to help our team process and commit to what he is calling us to do

Thank you

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fun at the “Nyanja” (Lake)

This past Friday, July 6th, our team left for Salima, a town near Lake Malawi for a leadership retreat. This included 15 Malawian students, 2 SCOM staff workers, SCOM graduates from the Salima area that are part of the associates team whom help support the ministry and our friends Freddy and Delore from the refugee camp. The weekend was filled with leadership training for the SCOM students, empowering them to be leaders through a Godly perspective at their schools and eventually of their nation. What I thought was especially helpful about this training is the inclusion and importance of women in leadership and they play a crucial role. Historically, mainly men have held leadership positions in SCOM, so it is an important effort to empower women to take those roles.
You might be asking why Delor and Freddy joined us for the weekend, since they are not a part of SCOM. On Friday night, 7/6, Freddy was able to share with the SCOM students the work he is doing in the refugee camp. Afterwards, there was a lot of discussion of how the SCOM students could practically help the refugees and the ministry there.
The last component of the weekend was introducing manuscript bible study to the SCOM students. This bible study went through Genesis 12-16 looking at the life of Abram/Abraham and was led by Chris. We got to see what it looks like to be a Godly leader and how when matters are taken into your own hands without consulting God, there can be consequences. This bible study proved to be helpful for all in attendance.
Of course this weekend was not all bible study and seminars; we had a ton of fun also. Between swimming in the lake and teaching some of our Malawian friends to swim, relaxing in the hammocks and playing in the sand, we formed good friendships with each other and got to share our testimonies of God’s goodness. This weekend was defiantly a personal highlight of the trip because of the interactions we were able to have with the SCOM students allowing us to grow in friendship with our Malawi brothers and sisters.

Prayer requests-

-Pray that the SCOM students can be used to make a difference at the refugee camp through the love of Christ.
-Pray that the leadership training will prompt all in attendance to make a difference in their community, country and possibly the world through Christ-centered leadership.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blog post by Luke Erickson

Sunday was a very good, very tough, very eye-opening day for me. We went to the refugee camp in Dowa which is about a 45 minute drive from where we are staying in Lilongwe. This is the second time we had been there, but the first time was just for an afternoon visit and we didn’t really see much of the camp in depth. That day was spent visiting the villages around the camp that the refugees were helping by building churches for them or providing goats and/or pigs to provide a source of food and economic aid. This time we went to the camp for church and then went around and visited the homes of a few of the refugees as well as the place where the feeding program was based out of.

The church service was a very new, but great experience. People were incredibly warm in greeting us, and were incredibly joyful in their worship. A flat tire on the way caused us to be about a half-hour late, but unlike most of the American church services that I’m used to back home, that half hour was only a small piece of the service. There were several different groups of people that came up to sing and dance. Our team performed by far the 2 shortest songs of the service  and then Chris was invited to come and preach. The sermon, on Isaiah 6, was a great encouragement to the people there as the pastor told afterward. I think he did a great job of not just focusing on Isaiah’s call in verse 8, but the verses that follow that focus on how difficult his call will be. The service didn’t seem like it lasted 3 and a half hours, probably because of the incredibly joy that everyone had in worshipping the Lord.

After the worship service, we went to several different places on our “tour” of the village. It was fascinating to see many of the homes of the refugees, but what I enjoyed the most was seeing the feeding program. The feeding program was started by two men named De’lor & Freddy, two refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was originally just for kids in the camp with special needs, but expanded to helping widows, orphans, and those battling HIV/Aids in the camp. Each morning as many as 42 kids with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities come to this building to be cared for by volunteers (other refugees) and receive two meals. Not only that, but Freddy routinely advocates for these children by going into the homes of the children and helping them see that there is no shame in having a child with special needs. You see often when the group that oversees the camp would go in and take a census of the camp, many parents of children with special needs would say they have 4 children when they actually have 5. They would hide these children and wouldn’t care for them in the ways that they need. Freddy not only helps these children see themselves the way that God sees them, but also helps their families see them the way that God sees them.

Visiting this place really touched me and convicted me, especially seeing what Freddy and De’lor do. Here are two men who were forced from their homelands, not “allowed” to work (camp regulations), given little food rations each month (I don’t know how they survive on 7 kilograms of maze, 1 kilo of beans, and 50 mL of oil), yet in spite of all of this, they work tirelessly to care for people who otherwise wouldn’t be cared for. That is the gospel. As James 1:27 tells us that “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” That is what Freddy & De’lor are doing, and what am I doing? That is what hit me the hardest. They have several ways that we can help advocate for them including buying some greeting cards that they produce there to help with some of the expenses they have. Still, the biggest take away I have is how much I live for myself as opposed to living for others the way that Paul commands us to in Philippians. I hope to better emulate Christ when I return the way that Freddy, De’lor and so many of the rest of these refugees do.

Zomba blog post by Colin Hale

Hello everyone,

We had some both interesting and amazing moments this weekend. We began by making the 6 hour trip from Lilongwe to Zomba, to meet with the students of Domasi Teaching College and Chancellor’s College. We arrived in time to join worship at the Domasi service. Following worship Moriah shared her testimony and Jenny preached out of Hebrews 11. Both the testimony and preaching were extremely encouraging. The preaching specifically showed us the faith of the Old Testament patriarchs, and how we fit into the continuing line of Christians, as well our call to also walk in faith. The meeting ended by the patron (faculty representative of SCOM) giving our team words of encouragement, that what we are doing here in Malawi is truly God’s work. After staying the night in a hostel, we got up and met with the leadership teams of Domasi and Chancellor’s Colleges. Inside these meetings the teams told us all the parts of their ministry that were both challenging and excelling. Some things that were challenging to these students were changing venues for their services, how to start or continue reaching to incoming students more effectively and because of the distance for staff to travel they require more presence from the associates and regional committees. The travel itself was extremely trying, due to poor road surfaces vehicle maintenance is require often, and for long trips break downs are a frequent occurrence. Our vehicle experienced this reality, as we were stopped for nearly an hour fixing a tire that had fallen off, by God’s provision the incident occurred in a village of people that were willing to assist us repair the wheel.

Some of our prayer requests are for continued safety in traveling, for the associates program of SCOM to increase to continue providing for the ministry, along with the associates please include a prayer of thanks for the associates that are present and constantly sacrificing for the ministry.

God Bless.