Sunday, December 16, 2007

Gloria in excelsis deo

Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest. And on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Jesus, the babe in the manger, is Peace come to earth. Jesus is God's goodwill toward us. Peace on earth and goodwill toward men- me, you, us. Amen.
Please pray for me as I head out to the village in a few hours. I will be there with Dan and Beth Robbins (my neighbors and friends). We will have a chance to hang out with the kids there, as well as talk with some local teachers sharing ideas and whatnot. I am really excited to be doing the kind of minisry that originally brought me to Malawi and made me fall in love with it. If you could just pray for our safetly and health while we are there we would appreciate it!
I pray that you are being blessed this Christmas season!

Friday, November 30, 2007


Scenery is beautiful.... (this is about 3 hours north of where I live)

But the true beauty of Malawi is right here:

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I talked to a man today who just spewed forth statistics and information about the state of this country. He said that about 70% of the population is infected with HIV, and it just keeps spreading because of the widespread belief that sleeping with a virgin will cure you. The middle generation (ages 24-35) is nearly wiped out because of this disease. He said that the country has plenty of food, but the government takes their crops to export and pockets the money. I'm not sure how much of this is true, but it was a good reminder that there is extreme suffering all around me. As weird as it may seem, it's easy to forget that. I live on a compound with other Americans and it is almost necessary to desensitize myself to the beggars and the desperation of the people here so that I can go on with the work that God has called me to. But I don't want to be desensitized, I want to see Jesus in those people, I want to know how to help them.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Things that make me smile...

I have 7 boys in my class. They are very anti-affection. I can barely get them to give me a high five on their way out the door and they walk like a duck in the morning so that I won't touch their shoulder as they enter the classroom. On Wednesday, though, Mzati had a sudden and spontaneous change of heart. As he walked into the classroom he threw his arms around me really quick, to make sure no one noticed. At the end of the day he gave me a high five, took two steps out of the room, turned around and gave me a great big hug. How sweet is that?

Also on Wednesday I was doing some grocery shopping at a store that I very rarely go to. I was taking my time, debating on which shampoo and conditioner I wanted to spend tons of money on. I finally decided none of them and walked to the counter. Walking through the front door was my friend Rachel- from America! She was on my team last time I came to Malawi, and I knew she was planning on moving to the southern part of Malawi with her husband. However, things did not work out for them here and they were just getting ready to fly to Uganda. Praise the Lord for his providence in arranging for us to be in the same spot at the same time. It was so wonderful to see her!

Today in chapel went something like this:
Chapel speaker: Don't you love the time of day when you get to go home? Don't you love getting to go home and see your parents?
Reception-1st grade students: Yes!
Speaker: What if you had done something bad at school and your teacher was going to walk with you to meet your parents? Would you be excited then?
Students: No!
Speaker: Why not?
Kindergarten boy: Because you know your just going to get a smackin'!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

a rainbow is a promise

Life has been "foggy" this week. Foggy is a word used by the Stauffachers to describe a variety of situations. For example, when you are so hungry that you can't think about anything else- foggy. I have been stressed, and tired, and grouchy. HOWEVER, today was a great day and I got a lot of stuff done throughout the day. I came home feeling much better. It's funny because life is really extreme here. Things are either going really great, or really awful. I either feel on top of the world, or in the bottom of a pit. I'm not sure why that is.

Words and thoughts that have been encouraging me lately:

"Don't be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today...The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm." Exodus 14:13-14

"Those who trust in me will never be put to shame." Isaiah 49:23

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldy enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God's house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him." Hebrews 10:19-22

It is impossible to ignore my need for God here. In America, I can go about my daily life and make it on my own fairly well. Here, the minute I try to do it on my own I am quickly reminded that I need my Savior.

I'll leave you with some examples of why I teach first grade.
Today in Bible we were talking about the rainbow and other promises that God makes to us some of my responses:
"God promised that Jesus would come back to earth."
"God promised to send Jesus to earth to die for us."
"And he also promised that he would rise again after he died on the cross."
"Jesus promised to look after us." (Imagine the accent)
"When I am naughty and I talk to God about it he makes it better."

Things to pray for:
Unity among the staff at ABC
Organization and productivy in my classroom

Things to praise for:
Britt had her baby girl, she's healthy and beautiful, so I hear
I have not seen a huge ugly spider INSIDE the house yet, just in the carport

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

daily life

It occured to me that maybe I should blog about what it's like from day to day here. Today was a good example of what a typical day living here is like. Although it would be a typical Saturday since I didn't have to teach today.

1. I woke up and make breakfast. I slept in until 7:45. That's about as late as I sleep in these days.

2. Annie (my roomate) and I went grocery shopping. We went to two different grocery stores and bought some fruit from the vendors (I did it all by myself!). It took us about an hour and half and I have two different stores to go to tomorrow to get the rest of the stuff I need. Grocery shopping is definately a chore here, although it is growing on me.

3. This part is not typical of life here, but was a reward for Annie and I making it through first term...We got pedicures and went out to lunch. It was a great treat, and even getting a pedicure is a chance to build relationships which is something I appreciate about this culture. It is very people driven and relationship driven.

4. Got home and started the process of cleaning the vegetables and fruit that I bought. Every produce item that I purchase has to be soaked for 15 minutes in a sink full of water with a capful of bleach, then soaked in a sink full of plain water for another 15 minutes. Some people don't soak their vegetables, but the doctor and his family do, so I figure I will too.

5. Alinane, our work study student, came over to clean. She does our dishes, cleans the bathroom, and sweeps and mops the floors. She works about 10 hours per week and what we pay her helps pay for her school fees. It is really weird to have someone in your house like that, but I have been really blessed in getting to know her, and it is so helpful to have her.

6. I made banana bran muffins which are delicious! I'm learning to cook from scratch, and make my own snack food. It's too expensive to buy, and too hard to live without for my busy schedule. The power went off, but came back on in enough time to keep cooking them.

7. I went to the Stauffacher's house for dinner. Played with the girls, chatted with Amy, ate good food and enjoyed the feeling of being part of a family.

8. All staff Bible study on the Ten Commandments. The power went off twice, but the generator quickly sprang to action to provide us with light.

Such is life in Malawi. Tomorrow holds: babysitting the Stauffacher girls, another trip to the grocery stores, a visit to the nursery, dinner with Dr. Boersma and his family, games with the young teacher crew. Good times all around. I am definately enjoying my break. Hopefully I manage to get some work done tomorrow too.

Pray for-
1. another good day of productive classroom time
2. Britt Boersma- she is due to have a baby in the next week. It's her third and she has chosen to have the baby here in Lilongwe. Pray for safety for her and the baby as there are no medical facilities to deal with any complications.

Praise for-
1. the ability to be thankful in all circumstances
2. rest and relaxation over the last few days

God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. Amen.

Monday, October 15, 2007

the lake...

Lake Malawi is moving up on my list of favorite places in the world. I hope these pictures will help show you why. Before you look try to imagine living in a city where everything is surrounded by brick walls with wire on top, bars on the windows, and dirt and dust everywhere. Then you take a drive. The road has more potholes than cement and all kinds of animals, mosey...across the road whenever they want. The drive is long and stressful, but then you get there and you see this:

It's so beautiful. I love it. I spent the entire weekend staring at this and listening to the waves. Oh, and playing with my new friend Annika, who is 4. It was a great time for reflecting and thinking and praying and processing. I'll leave you with a picture of the "scenery" here, taken from the back seat of the car.

From what I hear this will all turn green when it starts raining. Speaking of rain, I can't wait for it to rain! When all you Oregonians get tired of the rain, remember me over here, sweating like crazy from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the hottest month of the year!

Well, I'm signing off for now. Tionana (see you later)!

Friday, October 12, 2007

end of term!

I made it to the end of first term. I can hardly believe it. I just finished up my report cards. I can't believe that either. It's so weird to be giving kids grades. I mean, these things are going to be forever scrapbooked or boxed up (if you're like my family) to be preserved forever. I mean, seriously...this is big stuff!

I am on break school next week. I'm pretty excited about that. I'm off to the lake for this weekend (no more bad food though, don't worry). It's going to be so nice. This time I really will post pictures when I get back.

Things to pray for:
1. safe travel to the lake and back
2. rest and relaxation combined with productivity over the break
3. parent teacher conferences the week after break

Thanks for all you do to encourage and support me. Many blessings to you!


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Reading Day

I decided that since I am so long overdue for updates I'd post two today. Yesterday was Reading Day for the lower grades at the Academy. Talk about stress for the teachers and parents...I had no idea. But talk about fun for the kids. My kids are adorable!

Ok, there's a lot of pictures, but it's so hard to choose! The whole class. Sort of. It's hard to get 19 six year olds to smile and look in one place for more than few second.

My favorite paper bag puppet EVER. And it matches her costume. I didn't even help her either.

Can't have a costume day without a few spidermen.
Here's my tin man. So hilarious. Also, check out Thomas the Train (I thought of you, Mudpuddles gals). Thomas and the Tin Man tied for best dressed.

The final result of "here's a bag, there's the stuff, make a puppet." Not my finest moment of teaching, but they turned out, and it wasn't even THAT chaotic.

Chesire cat. Frog puppet.

No costume, but still quite the ham...

"I'm so cool." All the little girls in my class have a crush on him. Smart, cute, nice, what more can you ask for?

And my last comments about life in Malawi: it's HOT here. I hear that October is the hottest month, but I've also heard that it's pretty hot all the way through January. My body is so confused about why it is getting hotter at this time of year. I love to hear your stories about fall from the Northwest- I'm going to miss it! Carve a pumpkin and step on a few crunchy leaves for me!

Also, I have been posting all of (well, most of) my pictures on facebook. It seems to be the fastest way for me to do get lots of pictures onto the internet. I believe that everyone should be able to view the album by going to this link:

Alright, I'm off to enjoy my Saturday.

God's blessings to you!

Crisis Nursery

Last Sunday I went to an open house for the crisis nursery. Here is my story, in pictures.

Meet Madalitso (Mad-uh-leet-so).
She is the sweetest and cuddliest baby you will ever meet. She loves music. As soon as she hears it she starts dancing and clapping and laughing. She is content, even though love and affection don't always come her way regularly.

Her mother died of AIDS. Madalitso is also HIV positive.

Remember her in your prayers.

I think it would be amazing to organize a team to come out here and help out with the nursery (that's a hint to YOU...start praying...). So much work needs to be done there, and short term teams are so effective for bringing supplies, too. I took a picture of the sign so you can see what kinds of things need to be done. Hopefully you can read it. If not, the point is, there's lots of stuff.
Ministry of Hope website:

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Thank you for praying for me. I got up Wednesday morning expecting to be in bed all day again but discovered that I felt much better. I ended up going to school. I planned to be there for part of the day and ended up staying the whole day. I was very exhausted by the end of the day, but so glad that I could move again I didn't care.

Being sick caused a lot of emotions that I hadn't experienced yet. For example: culture shock. I was so frustrated with all of the workers who kept coming into my house and walking around my house I wanted to scream! I also got pretty homesick. I really miss all of YOU! Anyone want to come to Africa? Anyone? :-)

I am feeling much better now. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.

Well, I just wanted to let you all know that I am feeling better! I'll put up pictures from the lake tomorrow, hopefully.

I'll leave you with a quote from our Bible study book. The study is on grace.

Let grace be the beginning, let grace be the consummation, grace the crown. Bede

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

i need your prayers...thanks!

Hey everyone,

I had a great time at the lake, it was beautiful and relaxing. But now I'm really sick! About half of us that went are sick with some kind of bacterial infection in our stomach. I spent yesterday at the clinic (hospital type thing on campus) hooked up to an IV and really out of it from the anti-vomit medicaion (which did not help). I've been in bed all day today, but I'm not really feeling any better. Please pray for me (and my friends) to get healthy soon!

Thank you!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Update on my Classroom

Hey everyone! Thanks for your prayers and encouraging emails and comments. I really appreciate it! It is Friday and I am so happy! Here is my story to prove to you that I teach in Africa (with a picture for a visual aid).

Mecha (pronounced Meesha): Miss Miller, can Shaun get the roach out of my desk?

Me: The what? From where? What are you talking about?

Mecha: There is a cockroach in my desk and Shaun wants to get it.

Me: Let me see....oh, yes, yes there is a big bug in your desk.

*At this point I'm wondering if it is ok to let a student get it out, because I certainly am not going to touch it. Then, I remembered that I have an aide.*

Me: Mr. Joel, will you please get the big bug out?

Now, talk about a distraction! Haha. It doesn't help when the teacher is freaking out way more than the students, and taking pictures for the blog! We had a long talk about how I am afraid of many kinds of bugs. Here's the pic:

My favorite pic of the day: Keith and Zizwa, they are friends. And the two biggest trouble makers in my class! Keith is also my little singer. I am going to teach my kids "Oh Happy Day" to sing in chapel and Keith already knows all the words! I'm thinking soloist! Please pray for these two little guys as you think about it.

I'm off to the lake for a relaxing weekend. Pray that I can actually relax, without worrying too much or thinking too much about school.

Big praise of the day: The containter is fianlly here and it (hopefully) has my classroom library, math manipulatives, and some organizational stuff in it! Yay! I'm so excited!

Thanks for all of your support! I miss and love you all!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

an honest update

Hey Everyone!

Some advice that I got from other missionaries is to be honest with people at home, supporters, friends and family. That way they know how to pray for you. So, here's my honesty:

I'm tired and emotional right now! I have been working almost non stop on my classroom. There is so much to do it's hard to get caught up to where I feel like I can relax. I did take a good day of Sabbath rest today though, and I am feeling better. I've been missing home- my friends and my family. Also, I seem to have caught a cold, which is annoying. Please pray for my health- physical and emotional!

And here's some more honesty: even though I don't feel the best I have in my life, I am very thankful to God for the provisions he has given. I got my monthly support report and I have a very decent amount to live on, for sure. There are some really amazing people here and I am really enjoying spending time with them. Little Analise has even decided that we can be friends, which makes my heart happy. God is definately good. Above all else, I know that He is taking care of me, and providing for me.

Please continue to pray for me, I don't think you can possibly realize what it means to me and for me. God hears you!

Thank you for support, I love you all!

PS: Sorry that there aren't any pictures yet. Soon and very soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

things I have learned (or relearned) so far...

The internet may or may not work. There may or may not be power. There may or may not be water. The refigerator freezes everything, including apples. Frozen apples look weird, but taste fine once they have thawed.

English words that mean something different when a Malawian says them:

Thank you- means anything from okay to nice to meet you to you're welcome
*Example: "Hello. What is your name?" "I'm Megan." "Thank you."

Tomorrow- perhaps it means tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day, or maybe the day after that.
*Example: "Your desks will be in your room tomorrow [Tuesday]." It is Thursday. I have no desks.


Praise: I feel good about the way my classroom is looking. I am starting to feel comfortable here.

Prayer: That planning and organizing lessons and classroom stuff will go well next week before the students come.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

my classroom!

My classroom: bright colors and very bare! I'm working on it though! Do you notice anything missing? Perhaps, the place where the children will sit??

These are the before pictures. I'll put up after pictures in a couple of weeks when school starts and there are things up on the walls. Hopefully you'll barely recognize the place. I've met three of my students so far. They are adorable. I am excited to get to teach them.

Monday, August 13, 2007


My new friends Amber and Molly. I am holding the hedgehog they found.
My house:

Muli Bwanje! (How are you?)

I have arrived safely in Malawi. Praise God. Thank you to all of you who were praying for my travels. God really took care of me. Everything went really smoothly and I had complete peace and security the whole time I was traveling. JFK airport is not my favorite place in the world though. Here's an example of how God took care of me: I was really worried about finding the shuttle in Jo'burg. Once I found it there was a couple there from Texas and we started talking. They took me under their wing and ended up buying my dinner for me at the hotel. They were both Christians and it was so encouraging to have someone to talk with and fellowship with over a good meal. Another example: I have been sleeping so well! Even in Jo'burgh. And sleep is definitely what I need to get ready for school!

So far things at African Bible College (ABC) have been wonderful. There are so many sweet people who have taken me in and loved on me the last few days. I am so grateful for their love and friendship!

Please pray for me as I start getting my classroom in order and preparing my lessons. I miss you all and love you all!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The last month has been incredible! God has been so faithful to provide for my needs.

First, my tickets were stuck in Malawi. My teaching partner contacted someone who was able to pick them up and get them to someone who was returning to the US. I got them in the mail today and I feel a huge amount of stress lifted. I also don't have to stay the night in two hotels anymore either. Just one in Jo'burg. I looked it up on the internet and it looks really nice and it's only 5 minutes from the airport. Now I just have to make sure to get on the right shuttle!

Second, my support has been pouring in. I am pretty sure that I have all of my support raised, and maybe even a little bit extra. I can't even believe how wonderful my friends, family, and church family have been. "All the money in the world belongs to God. He will release some of it so that I can do the work he has called me to do." That's what Jenny (my teaching partner) told me a few weeks ago. She was right.

20 more days until I leave!

Praise: 1. my tickets are here! 2. my support is mostly here!

Prayer: 1. peace and comfort during travel 2. that I can make the most out of the next three weeks with friends and family (and still find time to pack)

Thanks for being awesome. Be blessed.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Time marches on

Less than two months before I depart for Malawi. My excitment is growing daily. I can't wait to meet my students and start our learning adventure together. I'm also really excited to meet the other missionaries that I've been talking to. We are going to have so much fun together.

Yesterday we sang "Here I am Lord." I've always liked that song, but being in the process of being "sent" makes it even more powerful. Knowing that God is sharing his radical love through me and in me is such an amazing thought.

Another thought that has been frequenting my mind: I need to learn to be radically trusting and radically obedient for this whole thing to work out. I am a long way from trusting and obidient, and even farther from radically so.

Prayer requests: 1. that funding would continue to come in 2. that i would learn trust and obedience

praises: 1. some funding has come in 2. my excitement is growing everyday

Monday, May 7, 2007

support letters

My support letters went out with my graduation announcements last week. I have already been so blessed by the people in my life who want to support me. Sometimes I don't even have to ask, people just volunteer to support me. When I was deciding if I should go to Africa I talked to Andrea (she led my trip two years ago) and she said that she was excited for me to go through the support raising process. Now I see why. :-)

Praises: 1. support is starting to come in 2. I can see God's hand in this preparation process.

Concerns: 1. I am really nervous to travel alone to Malawi. I will be staying the night in two different airports (Minneapolis and Johannesburg). Pray for peace and comfort.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

In the beginning...

In December I began thinking and praying about returning to Malawi. I sent my application a few weeks ago, and within a week I had accepted a position teaching first grade at African Bible College Christian Academy (ABCCA). I am confident that this is the direction that the Lord is leading me, and I am excited to see what he has in store for me in Malawi.

The position is a volunteer/mission one, therfore I will be raising support. About $800/month that I am there, plus airfare. So that makes about $10,000 total. I have been asked to pray about staying for a second year, but I think I will put off making that decision until later down the road.

I decided to create this blog as a way to keep all of my friends and family updated on this process. I will continue to update when I reach Malawi. Thank you for your prayers and support during this process!