I can hardly believe that today marks ten years since we first visited the country of Malawi in southern Africa. Malawi was such a huge part of our lives and dreams for so many years that I can’t help but take this opportunity to look back and reflect on our time in the country and what we learnt from our experiences.
Heading out to southern Africa at 19 years old with my then fiance, just four months before we got married was thought to be crazy to most people. However, it turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made as it was during this trip that we confirmed our call to serve in some form of full-time ministry. We had a heart for mission (both at home and overseas) and Malawi definitely tugged on our heart strings.
Our first visit left us wanting to learn more so a year later we returned to stay with a missionary family who had been living and working in the country for many years. We learnt so much about life in Malawi and the benefits of living simply so that others can simply live. I loved putting my occupational therapy assistant skills to use and we could really picture our futures being here.
This third visit challenged me in many ways and saw me stepping outside of my comfort zone on quite a few occasions. Ultimately I learnt that serving God would at times break my heart and that I would need resilience to work in the areas I felt most called.
This was to be our final visit to the country as we hoped to move out to serve full-time the following year. After this trip we left the country feeling confident about where we felt we could best serve – The Husby with the local church and me, amongst orphans and street kids.
Five years on from that final visit and no, we are not living in Malawi, but we are working with the local church here in Guernsey and continue to have a vision and a passion for orphans and children in care.
Life is sometimes unexpected and in time we learnt that our calling to serve God was not restricted to the context of Malawi.
Malawi will always hold a very dear place in our hearts as we wouldn’t be who we are or where we are today without the country being part of our story. I now look forward to the day that I can return to Malawi, this time introducing my girls to the country that captured my heart.