Thursday, June 16, 2011

STEAM - Trumbles in Malawi - 22 Nov 2010 - Refugee Camp

Greetings from Malawi!

The rains have finally come. We have had rain (or at least a sprinkle) for four days in a row so it seems that the dry season is over. Wednesday will mark 10 months since we arrived in Malawi. I turned 40 on the 10th of November. My Colorado driver’s license was expiring that day and I had not obtained a Malawi license yet so I went to the office where such things are handled and was told that I needed my Temporary Employment Permit (TEP) stamp in my passport first. My TEP was approved in April but the paperwork has yet to come through and so I don’t have the needed passport stamp yet. So, I drove over to the immigration office to see if I might obtain the stamp in my passport. The parking lot at the immigration office is fairly minimal but a car was going to come out of a space so I waited for it. As the driver negotiated his way out of the parking spot, he backed up a little too much and bumped another car and then he just drove off. I was going to attempt to back into the same spot and I hit the same car…Happy Birthday to me! I had just recently acquired business cards and the first one I handed out was to the wife of the owner of the car.

In the end, I still didn’t get the passport stamp or my driver’s license. I now don’t have a valid driver’s license anywhere in the world.

The pastor of the church we attend heard me talking about a Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito. He and his wife made a quick trip to the States and he brought me back a Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito in his carry-on luggage. He bought it in California on Tuesday, the day before my birthday, at about 5:30 pm and I ate it on Saturday, some 80+ hours after purchase. The tortilla gets a little slimy/clammy through the process but overall it wasn’t bad at all. It might be the first ever Taco Bell 7-Layer Burrito in Africa!

On Saturday, Will and I and a few dozen folks from ABC (a mix of staff and students) made the journey north to the Dzaelaka refugee camp where about 10,000 displaced Africans live. This is a pretty dire place. Dry and without much foliage, it is populated by people from Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC, formerly Zaire). Unless the refugees have specific specialized skills (such as medical or teaching), they are not allowed to work in Malawi so they sort of sit in this no-man’s land where they are not home but where they can’t assimilate into the nation in which they currently reside (and some have been in Malawi for years).

In the morning we broke up into groups and spent some time visiting residents of the camp, and in the afternoon, Mingoli, a group made up of ABC students and led by Kelly Dehnert, put on a little concert and Jonathan Robson (another ABC missionary) spoke through a translator to share some Scripture from 1 Peter.

The group that Will and I were in during the morning visited briefly with a Somali family and then spent a bit more time with some people from the DRC. Ronald and Chisomo, two ABC students, shared the Good News of Christ with four people and before we left Ronald led them in praying to receive Christ as their savior. Ronald shared in Chichewa, which the man understood, and he translated into Swahili which the others understood. Please pray for these new believers who are in quite a tough situation.

Evance, the man from the camp who led our little morning sub-group is also from the DRC. I asked him how many languages he speaks and he rattled off several, none of them English (which, admittedly wasn't fantastic but it was good enough to communicate with me). He said he speaks Swahili, French, Tshiluba, Lingala, Bemba, Nyanja, and Mbunda. Pretty amazing…here’s a guy who possesses fantastic linguistic ability and he is stuck in this camp with his life essentially wasting away.

Please pray for the refugees in this camp and the ABC students who will continue to try to minister to some of them. While their situation in the camp is very tough, we know that God is in control.

To read more about the camp, check out pages 2-5 of the document to be found at this link

Please continue to pray for our family. Beth and the kids have only 3 weeks (including this week) before Christmas break at the Christian Academy. The college semester ends about a week after that. There seems to be little doubt that this will be the most warm-weather Christmas that any of us have ever experienced.

Thank you for your continued prayer and financial support. As you consider your year-end giving, please remember the Trumble family and ABC.


for the Trumble family

Pictures from the Refugee Camp

Note the lady behind Will who is pounding something into flour. She was really pounding away (see inset).

I’m not sure where the sticks come from, but they drag these long sticks to their houses to be used to help support the thatch roof

Will and Titu (tall guy, and an ABC student) with a bunch of kids in the camp

Evance is the multi-lingual guy. Ronald led the man to his right in prayer and he in turn led 2-3 other to his right in prayer to give their lives to Christ.

No comments:

Post a Comment