Malawi, Africa 2006

Kid eating and other kids playing around

Kid eating and other kids playing around

I am thankful to God that He gave me an opportunity to go to Malawi Africa this summer and to serve him there. We went through a lot of obstacles before and throughout our trip. But it was God’s will for us to be there and He made everything possible. God taught me a lot throughout this trip. It was the hardest trip I ever been on emotionally and spiritually. I wanted to drop everything and go home. We were treated unfairly and were put down by people around us. But for the sake of this nation, for the sake of Malawians I was ready to put up with anything just to serve God and those people.

I was never a big fan of blacks/African Americans, but God was drawing me to go there for some reason. I never thought I would fall in love with this nation. I never thought I would love these people the way I do now.

Poorest Country

Poorest Country

When we were planning to go to Africa not a lot of people supported us. Some said we were crazy. I was told that normal people my age usually want to go to Paris, Australia, etc… but not to Africa. But you know I am happy that I don’t want to go to those places, I am happy that God drew me to go to Africa. Others were saying that we are just a drop of water in the ocean, meaning that we can’t help everybody. I know that, but I also know that God gave us those children and adults in Malawi for that specific time, and for them it meant something, it meant a lot. We can’t feed, clothes and provide necessities for everyone. We can’t guarantee that they will not die tomorrow of hunger, but we can do so much more. We can give them hope, eternal hope. We can tell them about God, about Jesus Christ. We can tell them about the biggest gift that was given to a human- forgiveness of sins and a promise for eternal life.

Malawi is the 4th poorest country in the World. And that didn’t mean anything until I went there and saw it with my own 2 eyes. I thought Russia was poor, I thought Siberia was poor; trust me we don’t know what poor is. I never thought people can live so badly in this day and age. We are so blessed; we have so much and much more. We don’t know what hunger is and that is a blessing. But we still find what to complain about. But what amazed me the most is how happy these people are. They don’t have anything, but yet they are so happy and they thank God for everything.

Food is in great need

Food is in great need

Most Malawians never tried bread in their life. They eat this kasha called “Zima”- it is made of white corn, it is the most disquisting food I ate in my life, but to them it’s life. Little kids catch rats in the field and sell them on the side of the road to make some money. People eat rats–for them it’s MEAT. A lot of kids have bloated stomachs, suffering from malnutrition. This means they are dying, and we probably won’t see them next year. I am done crying, I left all my tears in Africa. It was amazing to see how hungrily they ate when we fed them. The plates were loaded with food; they were grabbing the food with their hands and stuffing their little mouths. They don’t know the limit, and they will eat anything that they get their hands on even though their stomachs will hurt after. They do that because they don’t know if they will eat tomorrow. It only costs about $10 to feed a family for a whole month. And what is $10 for us? They don’t have toys, descent clothes, or even shoes. A lot walked barefoot anywhere from 7-8 km to be in our camp, and some walked up to 25km. They live in mud huts the size of our bathrooms with straw roofs and no windows. They don’t have lights or even candles, and sleep on a cement floor.

But these are all physical needs. The biggest need in Africa is that they live in sin and they like it and don’t want to leave it behind. They are dying from it, but they still don’t want to turn away from it. These people need God in their lives. Malawians sleep around a lot, they don’t have marriages and a lot die from AIDS. According to my interpreter, January, approximately 30% of the 350+ children that we had in our camp are infected with AIDS. Also she said that she would give 99% that all the girls in our camps were already raped at least once. January herself is dying of AIDS. She is only 27 and she has a 7 year old son Austin. She is a good Christian and she contracted AIDS from her husband who already is dead due to that. But I never saw anyone so happy, so jolly, and so thankful as her. She knows she is dying but that doesn’t stop her from loving and serving God. I have personally learned so much from her.

Children's camp

Children's camp

We were able to make a children’s camp for approximately 350+ children, and also a youth camp for 270 youth. Our camps were titled “Mulungu Whanu Ndani” in Chichewa–which means WHO IS YOUR GOD? We had Bible lessons, crafts, different games, and of course food for the children in our camps. God worked in their hearts and a lot repented. But they are in need of our prayer. They need to stay on this road with Jesus and not to go back to their sin. They need our support of prayer. We were also able to visit local villages and do one day camps. We were able to go to a hospital visit the sick and pray with them, we also went to a prison and had an opportunity to tell them about Christ. We visited widows, orphans and helped them with some basic things.

There is so much work in Malawi; these people need God so desperately in their lives. I ask you to pray for Malawi, for Africa, for their people. You can also support them financially. And if the Lord is asking you to go, don’t put it off. There is an opportunity to serve Him. Pray about it and you can be an instrument of God. What can be better than that? If you are still reading this, I want you to ask yourself one question, “Who is your God”? and what are you doing for Him today?

Much work

Much work

P.S. When I was leaving Malawi, my interpreter January came up to me gave me a hug and said, “maybe I will see you next year, and If I won’t I will defiantly see you in heaven”. I never got to see her again. She died in February 2007 of AIDS. The news was devastating for me, but I do know that one day I will see her in heaven. I am thankful that God gave me an opportunity to meet and work with such a great person on this earth.

Lydmila Melnik

Port Charlotte, Florida

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    2 Responses to Malawi, Africa 2006

    1. Kristine says:

      Hi :)

      I came across your story totally by accident. But there are no accidents in Gods eyes…I’m glad I read your story. Its always been my dream to go to Africa on a missionary trip but I don’t know of any Russian groups who go to Africa for missionary trips. Do you still go? Can I get in touch about going with you and your group next time?

      kristinebooks@gmail.com

      -Kristine

      • Friend says:

        Hey Kristine! Do you still want to go to Africa? I know a group of friends who are going sometime next year. Would you like me to direct you to them. I am sure they would love more teammembers!

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