Christmas in Malawi

01/17/08

As the end of each year draws near we all turn toward Christmas for a little excitement and some quality time with family. We knew this year would be different, but as with most things here in Malawi, we really had no idea. Compared to the holiday season in the U.S. it is very quiet here in Malawi. We attended a short church service at our home church in Lilongwe and then spent the better part of the afternoon at Chitipi Farm.

If we need a quick reminder of why we are here in Malawi, a visit to Chitipi Farm quickly reminds us of the importance of the ministry and just how precious these children are. We arrived at Chitipi and were excited to see all of the children in their new Christmas clothes. They had decorated the entire living room with paper chains of red and green along with other multi-colored chains. A small artificial Christmas tree sat on the table with tinsel wrapped around it and covered in small ornaments. Mom Esther and Dad Patterson greeted us and were overjoyed that we had come to share Christmas with them and the children.

Some of the older girls pulled out a new floor mat that doubled as a collection of board games. Courtney joined in and taught the girls how to play Chutes & Ladders and an extremely excited game quickly took place. At the same time Mike was getting a refresher course in the African game of Bowe (meaning the children were beating the pants off of him). We all played games for a couple of hours and then it was time for sodas. Part of the COTN tradition is for the children in the homes to all get sodas and cookies for Christmas. Mom Esther brought out the sodas and everyone sat down for some quality time of food, drinks, and conversation.

As the sun started to set and the daily rain began, we headed home thoroughly refreshed from a day spent with the children. It was strangely fulfilling to avoid the holiday-season chaos of America and simply spend time with some very special Malawian friends. We will not soon forget our first Christmas in Malawi or the joy that being with COTN’s children brings to us. Being so far removed from America continues to be quite a challenge, but continually eye-opening as well. God Bless all of you back home. We hope the holidays were filled with fun and laughter like ours was.