Over the River and Through the Corn

On March 12 I left Namikango early in the morning with the Bible Department to visit a church to the South of Blantyre. The Bible Department maintains a rigorous church visitation schedule and these church trips are a common part of working at Namikango. We left the mission in good time on what I considered to be a fairly routine trip. Soon we left the paved road and began traveling into the interior, the nice dirt road quickly deteriorated into a stony path, and finally turned into a small walking path. The driver was not daunted however, and we continued to bounce along until we arrived at a river.

This was where, we discovered, we would have to abandon the vehicle and begin traveling on foot. Our guides helpfully told us to remove our shoes and socks, and before I knew it, we were wading through the river, our Bibles and shoes held high. Over the next hour we climbed steadily upwards and waded through three rivers, and even through a swarm of ants at one point. Our walk took us through corn fields and small villages. Finally, we arrived at the small church on the top of a mountain, sweaty, tired, and with wet pants. The church greeted us warmly and eagerly with some thobwa. Once we were rested the church service began, first inside the church and then concluding outside under the trees where it was cooler. Following the service, in which five different churches were represented, we all ate a spectacular lunch prepared for us by the ladies. Finally, we made the trek down the mountain, back across the rivers, and found the vehicle where we had left it. We arrived back to Namikango Mission in the evening, very tired, but very glad to have made the trip. It is not every day that you have such an adventure!

As we waded through the muddy rivers and along the dusty footpath I kept thinking about how incredible the Kingdom of God actually is. Here, in the remotest parts of Malawi, where roads and technology have not yet reached, where rivers flow without bridges crossing them, the word of God has penetrated into the hearts of people. Even here, far from the rest of the world, we were traveling to find this small church, where the people of God congregated, sang, and learned about how loving God is. Isn’t it incredible that our God is not content to stay in the cities, not content to dwell only among the affluent; he is not content to only go to the easy places. The spirit of God flows where it pleases, and it seems to me, that it pleases the spirit to flow everywhere, even here.

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