So we started on a trip, in the early of the day. My alarm rang out at 6am...I wanted die. As the iciness of the shower pierced my skin, one thought occurred to me, "this is outreach my friend." As we drove through the tea fields and villages, to which you could not tell where one ended and the other began, tea is one of the life lines of this country. Over 80% of all the base-tea in the world come from Malawi and it's still one of the poorest countries on the continent. Is the tea industry owned by foreign corporations really a life line to this nation? Well, we had a journey of four hours of tar road ahead of us. We were heading straight north to Lake Malawi for the groups day of rest. Jeremy and I had come to visit our Discipleship Training School that was on their fourth week of outreach in Malawi. They're working with a orphanage started by some Americans, over ten years ago and they run a Christian school, which includes the orphans but also children from the local villages. This compound is hid away, behind one of the many tea fields in Malawi, forty five minutes south west of the city of Blantyre. The children are happy. They tease me, saying that I can't be Jackie Chan cause of my beard. I have to resort to plan B and tell them that they are right. I am not Jackie Chan. I'm actually Bobby Chan, Jackie Chan's brother! They love that joke!
Well, a tar road, in most of Africa means a road that had been paved, years ago, now in the midst of rubble. Temporary Road Construction is filling in the holes in wht tar road with dirt. There were so many detours on the road, we were averted to the service road many times. Now the service road is considered the dirt path of the sides of the tar road. It was not a smooth ride and taking a nap became very challenging. Another re-occurring thought..."this is outreach, my friend." After four hours, we finally made it to the dirt road we're supposed to take to the lake. As soon as we turned off, BAM! There was a loud noise from the back of our VW Kombi (VW Van) and we stopped moving. We all got out, lifted the engine hood, which is located in the back of the Kombi, and...the engine had dropped out of the vehicle, barely touching the dirt road. "this is outreach, my friend" but this time there was a bit of excitement in me. Surprises, accidents and unexpected events is the what makes life interesting, and gives God room to do impossible things. Not only did we break down on the road but we broke down in the center of a local village of Malawians. They all came out to see the commotion. We were immediately surrounded by children and their parents. In Malawian style, the children were the eager to help us push. As we pushed our wounded van down the dirt road, I begin to think if there's a mechanic in the town, or if there isn't, what will we do?, how will we get back?, and that our visit to Lake Malawi has come to an end. We were all sweating the in hot sun and then I began to worry about my asthma as my breathing became more labored. We finally reached a golf resort. They phoned into their front desk and in five minutes two resort vehicles pull up for us. They told us that they have a garage and will be able to fix our van. We piled into the vehicles and in five minutes, we were driving through the resort. We could tell that this was an upscale resort. They dropped us off at the welcoming area which was decorated with a wooden patio framing with vines and flowers growing overhead which blocked out most of the sun and created cool area of shade. As we all peered down this oasis-like darkened path, we could see at the very end, the color blue. The bluest blue that I haven't seen in years. We began our walk towards this heavenly blue. Feeling under-dressed, I began to wonder how much we'd have to pay to stay at the resort. We came across the receptionist desk and asked how much the cost was. The receptionist said with a big smile "It's free. Please enjoy." Another thought crossed my mind, "this is outreach, my friend." We finally made our way to the end of what seemed like a breaking through of a depressing breaking and spiraling down of a day, to this fantasy of blue, a dream surrounded with unexpected beauty, and then we saw it. We reached the end of our path and faced the beginning of a new one, a much brighter one. Another thought crossed my mind, "This is outreach, my friend." Words cannot do this next part justice, so here are some video clips of the day. Even the video does not do the beauty of that day justice, but I hope it gives you an idea. Oh and the last thought of the day was "God is good."