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