Saturday, August 16, 2014

A different Stride - Blog by: Andrew Berry


What is comfort? At what point in your life will you be able to say that you have reached comfort? When you buy that house? Or when you FINALLY get your parents off your back for getting into that great university? Or is it when you can kick back on the couch for the evening and watch CSI and eat Oreos? 

Well, what if I told you I saw comfort in people who have no shoes, no source of electricity, a hole in their roof, and ate only one meal a day.. Honestly it shocked me because I know in my life I run after a sense of comfort that never truly satisfies me.. I wait until I have an abundance of something to give. I stress over getting somewhere that maybe I wasn't even supposed to get to. Are you with me?

On the 27th of July me and 11 others left our "comfortable" lives here in Texas and started a journey to Malawi, Africa. I had honestly never heard of Malawi and now I will probably never stop talking about it! Going into this trip I expected that I would see new things and even take some great "GoProfies" that were sure to get over 82 likes on Instagram. I don't think I fully understood how this great country in Africa would change me!

Truth be known, Malawi wrecked my life. While I was there I saw poverty, I saw awful living conditions, and I saw sickness draining life from people. But you know what I saw even more than that? I saw smiles of pure joy, I heard singing and worship as powerful as a marching band,  and I heard laughter that filled the atmosphere.

One experience that will forever be painted in my mind is the the opportunity to help feed the orphans! Some of these awesome kiddos walk these same miles everyday to eat this one cup of porridge. And these same women that are there prepare the food, hand it out, and do these dishes everyday! I am glad we got to give them a short break from their hard work.

As these kids made their way out of the class they would wash their hands with a single cup or water. They would sit in rows on the ground and patiently wait for their meal. Not a single one would complain or cry. I was so shocked that this is the only meal that they would eat that day. And yet the only hunger I saw was in my own life...

In Malawi, I saw true comfort.. Not in their living conditions, not in the amount of money they have, or any worldly thing. I saw comfort from the only one who can supply that, The Comforter. These amazing people have God, and that is all they will ever need.

As I reflect on my trip around the world and back I can't help but notice the distractions (or as some of us call them "comforts") and how they only starve me from a close and intimate relationship to the creator. I thank God for where He placed me in my life. But I now have a true perspective on what comfort is and I pray I don't lose that.

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust Him." Psalm 91:1-2

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Power of Love... by Katie Kelley

The Power of Love...  by Katie Kelley

Although I was only in Malawi for a short time, I saw something that lasts a very long time. I saw love. I saw what it truly meant to love one another. I saw how one can be compelled by love and do great things in the name of Jesus. I saw a love that last forever. This is God’s love for these precious people and their love for others.

Within minutes of being in Malawi, I saw love in our driver, Moses, his sweet smile and joy for his passengers. I saw love as we drove through the city and children beamed with light as they yelled, “azungu!”.  As our work began the staff of Somebody Cares were overflowing with love for the ground-shaking work they were doing in numerous communities. In the volunteer home based care workers I saw love as they brought food, God’s word, and a heart full of compassion to their beloved patients. 

My encounters with love were endless in Malawi.

God’s love for us is endless. There is nothing we can do to make him love us more or less. He just wants us to love Him back. The people of Malawi showed me what it truly meant to love Christ back. I pray that we can be a nation that encompasses what it means to love one another.

Go love!