Monday, May 2, 2022

April 2022

We kicked off the month celebrating Abe's 6th birthday! We celebrated a day early by going to swim at a small local pool, and on his actual birthday, which was a Sunday, he went with Josh to visit a church in the Lower Shire. He's growing up so much, and is finally pretty good riding in the car (he's always gotten bored and cried quickly). He's so funny, and we love him so much.

Our 8 month old boerboel (South African mastiff) guard puppy almost died this month from eating a toad. Did you know that toads are poisonous for dogs? We do now! Thankfully he's a big boy (71 lbs and counting), and I think that's what saved him. If he'd been smaller I think it would have gotten the best of him. He was really sick for a few days until I took him to the SPCA in Blantyre and they gave him a shot for nausea, then he turned around pretty quickly after that. I hope he's learned his lesson and will stay away from toads from now on! The picture above is from when he was not feeling great and had thrown up the charcoal we'd given him all over his front legs.

Josh and I have been on a mission to declutter the house before we leave for the US. Four years is the longest we've ever lived anywhere since we were married (tied with the 4 years we lived at the parsonage at Mt. Tabor Baptist), and the house is desperately in need of some spring cleaning! In the picture above, we had to eat lunch in the floor because we'd emptied out the pantry and stuff was all over the table and island. It feels so good to clean and organize everything, and it will be great to come home to a tidied home in January.

Josh and I have also spent most of April driving the clinic team all over southern Malawi for our mobile medical clinics. We don't have any medical expertise ourselves, but we have an incredible team of doctors, nurses, preachers, and organizers who make these clinics happen. I spent 4 days and 3 nights in the Lower Shire (the southernmost region of Malawi, south of Blantyre if you look at a map), and it was grueling to drive such long, difficult roads every day, but it was so worth it. Especially in the village of Million, there was a malaria outbreak and almost all the kids in the village were very sick. They're too far from any clinic or hospital to seek care, so our team showed up just in time. Malaria is almost always fatal if left untreated, but easy to treat with medicine. 


We celebrated Easter with Gospel Life Baptist Church here in Zomba, and our family wore our Gospel Life shirts from last year, since we haven't had a way to get our 2022 shirts here yet. Now that there are multiple years of shirt designs available on our bonfire site (shirts are available to buy year-round, we just do a big push in the spring because a lot of people like to wear them on Easter for Forget the Frock), it's fun to see people wearing all different Gospel Life shirts!

The 18th marked 60 days until we leave Malawi for our 7 month visit to the US, so the kids and I made a countdown for the pantry door! We are feeling ALL THE FEELS about this trip. Excitement to see our family and friends, obviously, but also overwhelm (for Josh and me especially with all of the planning, packing, and logistics), apprehension about how much everything/everyone has changed in 4 years (including ourselves) and how well we may or may not fit in now, sadness at saying goodbye to our friends and home here for more than half a year... so many feelings. As with all of the major transitions our family has faced, I'm doing my best to get the kids talking about our feelings and understanding that it's ok to be unsure of ourselves and to hold conflicting emotions at the same time. 

Finally, we celebrated Josh's 36th birthday. He's officially in the late 30's that he's been teasing me about for a while! He's the most selfless soul and only ever asks for Nestle Toll House recipe chocolate chip cookies (with real flour, butter, and sugar, not the healthier changes we usually make to recipes) for his birthday. We went on a short hike on the Zomba plateau, and the weather was perfect. We are the luckiest people ever to get to have him in our lives.

I can't believe we can now officially say that we will be in the US NEXT MONTH! (I'm finishing this post up on May 1st.) It's so crazy!! April was insane and exhausting and stressful, and May and June look like they're going to continue that trend. We have so much to wrap up here with the ministry and our life here before we can step away for 7 months, not to mention all of the planning and packing we have to do, so please pray for our family any time you think of us. 

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