Greetings from Malawi! The weather here has turned quite pleasant. It is the dry season but the rainy didn’t end so long ago and there is still a lot of green (of course, being from Colorado where not much grows, my standards for such things are rather low).
Beth and the children have about 3 ½ weeks left at the ABC Christian Academy and it will be good to reach the break! The College students only have two more weeks. Just like in the States, this end-of-school-year time is a busy time of with lots of extra activities. We will soon have a Senior banquet, baccalaureate, and graduation. Last weekend was Super Saturday which is a fun day (kind of like a track & field day) of competition amongst 5 teams: The four classes of students (Fresh, Soph, Junior, Senior) plus a staff team. The rules for qualifying as “staff” are fairly lax and Will (our 10 year old) participated in the 400 meter relay, the 100 meter backwards run, and the 3 legged race. Beth took 4th in the women’s cycling event. I was part of the staff tug-of-war team (which we won, by the way). On Saturday evening folks gathered on the “football pitch” (the soccer field) for food. There were 3 bonfires set up and there was even an opportunity to do s’mores (although these s’mores weren’t exactly what we are used to in the States…the chocolate was from a chocolate cookie). I can’t imagine that the bonfires did a lot to improve the soccer playing surface! To see some pictures, follow this link http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=172409&id=650243390&l=6714f863a1
Earlier this month the college had Spiritual Emphasis Week. The Monday was a national holiday but for the other 4 days, regular college classes were put on hold. Students met in small groups in the mornings in people’s homes for prayer (I hosted one group in our home) and then there were two worship/chapel services each morning and another on Tues-Thur evenings. Bob Botsford, senior pastor at Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego was the key speaker but there was a whole team that came with him including other speakers as well as some musical guys who led the students in song (in a much more enthusiastic way than my Presbyterian roots prepared me for). Pastor Botsford shared several messages on Hope from various scriptural passages. On Friday evening the Junior/Senior Banquet was held on Friday evening (the whole student body, not just the Juniors and Seniors, is invited to attend). This was my 4th Junior/Senior banquet but the first in almost 21 years. For the first time, I finally went with a girl (Beth).
This past week there was a dedication ceremony for a new building that is being largely financed by Evangelism Explosion. EE will be able to use the building as a training center during ABC breaks but during the school year it will provide additional classroom space as well as additional women’s dorm space. It’s neat when the body of Christ can unite for His glory in the way that ABC & EE are doing on this project.
We have had a bit of sickness in our house over these last 2 weeks or so. Each of the children has missed time from school. There was one day where Elizabeth and Will stayed home and after a while, Stephen came home too. Mostly it’s been diarrhea/upset stomach kinds of stuff and not horribly unpleasant. Beth hasn’t been 100% during this time but has not had to miss any teaching days. I’ve been fighting a cough for quite a while now and last Tuesday I went to the ABC Community Clinic where I was diagnosed with bronchitis and prescribed some medicine. However, it’s now Saturday and I’m still sick (I’m not totally debilitated but I’m not exactly at the top of my game either). On a positive note, the cost for seeing the doctor and filling 3 prescriptions was about $23-$25…less than my co-pay used to be for the doctor’s visit alone! So, medical care is cheap. On the other hand, I was in a store where I saw flour tortillas and the price worked out to more than $8 for a package of 8 tortillas…I did not purchase any. Gasoline runs at over $5 per gallon.
This message has gotten rather long but if you’re still with me reading, let me mention a few additional things. Please commit these issues to prayer:
· For the way that ABC is investing in the lives of future leaders who will take their Christian witness into their spheres of influence.
· For the provision of a new headmaster who will be moving to Malawi with his family in August to serve as the headmaster of ABC Christian Academy for the next 3 years.
· For the united work of Evangelism Explosion and African Bible College on this new building project
· Trumble family health and strength to finish the school year well.
· Staff needs – Have you ever felt God tugging at your heart to explore short or long term service in missions? If so, let me encourage you to consider coming to ABC to serve. You might be surprised at the way God can use your gifts here in Malawi. Of course each year there is a need for college professors, teachers for the Academy, and medical staff for the Clinic but we also have other needs that might not be as immediately obvious:
- Facilities/Maintenance - Our main facilities/maintenance guy recently moved back to the States with his wife (who was a teacher at the Academy and is now expecting their first child). The African Bible College campus has more than 40 buildings sitting on nearly 50 acres that need to be maintained.
- Accounting/Finance - My area of focus thus far has been on the college side of the ministry here in Malawi. However, there are two other key finance people, one each at the ABC Christian Academy and the ABC Community Clinic, who are both departing within the next 45 days. Please pray for the provision of qualified people to step in and fill these needed administrative rolls.
If you feel God leading you to overseas missionary service but don’t know how your particular gifts could be used at ABC, why not contact me so that I can put you in touch with someone who can help you explore where your gifts might fit?
Elizabeth has a blog. Why not check it out for her unique perspective on things: http://eatrumble.blogspot.com/
Thank you for your prayer and support!
Dan ~ for the Trumble family
Whether I deserved it or not, I was in one of the pictures with some of the luminaries on the day of the building dedication. Included in the below picture are the presidents of Evangelism Explosion and African Bible Colleges, an international board member of EE, and the founders of African Bible Colleges (and some others, including me).
Beth and Dan at the Junior/Senior Banquet
Trumble kids in front of one of the fires on the football pitch on the evening of Super Saturday