Our First Week in Malawi!

Hello again from Malawi, Africa! I am writing this from the couch in our apartment. Our counter-parts, Sam & Amanda left earlier this week so we have officially taken over their car, home and some responsibilities at CAPA. It was wonderful to be able to have a week for Chris to get the official DL about the responsibilities he is taking over for Sam. Chris is eager to get started!

Although we are glad to be getting settled into our own space, we were sad to leave Matt & Brianne Kopp’s house. They have been more than hospitable to us, they have really taken us under their wing and have been so helpful with helping us adjust to the time zone, learn to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, how to navigate the town, buy produce from street vendors and even how to communicate a little in the local language, Chichewa (very helpful on so many occasions, especially for police stops!). Zikomo kwambili (thank you very much) Matt & Brianne!

We are enjoying our new home! It is bigger than our place in LA (especially the kitchen!) and we are thankful to have most everything we need already provided for us. The compound we are living in is fenced in with guards and gardeners who have already been very kind to us (Sam and Amanda really paved the way for us to have good relationships with the folks here!). I brought some sourdough starter with me from home (dried, of course) and I have sourdough bread in the oven now! Brianne and I made a loaf last week at her house and I’m glad to be able to share and continue my sourdough baking here!


Chris spent most of last week at CAPA. He isn’t teaching yet but he has been sitting in on the week’s intensive Holy Spirit classes. He is so thankful to be observing the class dynamics and see how the CAPA leaders here present material, handle problems and present new material to the men. Next year they will be not only working through the final year of the first MDiv class (where Chris will be teaching Hebrew) but they will also have a new MDiv class starting AND a diploma class! It will be a very busy and exciting year at CAPA! We are so glad to be here and excited to help as we can – it seems that we should have a lot of opportunities! The CAPA team that is here is amazing. We have felt incredibly supported by them all and are so thankful for the opportunity that we have this year to learn from them.

Our anniversary was last Thursday! We celebrated by going to the Wildlife Center in the afternoon, shopping for some home items and out to a fancy dinner. It was a very fun and special day! We have a tradition of picking out a piece of art wherever we are on our anniversary trips and this year we decided to get a carved wood piece at the farmer’s market today! It has the “big five” animals (buffalo, lion, elephant, rhinoceros , and cheetah) on it and is very hefty and African. 🙂

Thank you for your continued prayers for us! These are things that we would like pray for in the upcoming weeks:

  • We are still waiting to receive Chris’ TEP. They will be following up in the next few weeks. Pray it would be approved and not need to be resubmitted!
  • Help as we adjust to life in Malawi. That we wouldn’t get homesick, anxious or irritable as we face inconveniences and difficulties here.
  • That we would be a blessing to the other missionaries here.
  • Preparations for the Hebrew Classes coming up.
  • Patience and wisdom as we learn the things we’re doing here and step into them.
  • We have both been convicted about wanting to grow in prayer. Pray that we would grow in this!

We got here!

Hello from Lilongwe, Malawi! We’re so excited to be here! A few really great things:

-Our flights were mostly on time and quite smooth, including all of the security checks and plane transfers. 

-All of our luggage was at the airport waiting for us when we got through customs. I was concerned about this but it was no issue at all! Praise the Lord!

-We’re staying with Matt & Brianne Kopp this week. They are such a blessing! Their home is comfortable and they & their family are so kind and helpful!

-We got Malawian cell phone numbers! It’s a small step but we’re excited to dive into life here.

-We came early to be able to train with Sam & Amanda before they leave and we’re so thankful to be able to do that!

More details, photos & updates will be coming soon!

Thoughts about Home in the Midst of Life Transitions


Last year we made an enormous move from Spokane to the LA area. In the weeks leading up to moving out of our apartment, staying with family in between and actually getting into our place in Santa Clarita, I didn’t think the transition would be particularly difficult. I was very wrong.

Transition is hard.

I’ve been thinking of that more as we, less than a year later, are in another time of transition. We are the middle of our week in Spokane, enjoying our time with friends and family and excitedly looking forward to our departure without a clear idea of what life will really look like on the other side of our plane ride.

One topic of conversation Chris and I have had recently is about HOME. We love Spokane. Chris grew up here, I became an adult here (you know, that growing up period in your twenties where you mature and become a functioning member of society) and so much of coming back here felt like coming home. Especially on Sunday when we were able to go to Faith Bible Church and hear Dan preach and worship with our church family (not that we dislike Grace but there is something special about being in your home church). But as we’ve wandered around, comparing how things are different from LA (traffic, distance/time to get to places, culture) we’ve both felt that it’s not the same. It’s not home. The realization made both of us ache. If this isn’t home and LA isn’t home, where IS home?

For me, being married to Chris, it’s sweet that our home is wherever we’re together. But even that is not completely satisfactory. As Christians, this world is not our home. We’re experiencing some of the bittersweet longing for home that Hebrews 11 describes that Abraham had:

“and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

We are exiles in Spokane, we are exiles in Los Angeles and we will be exiles in Malawi. We are seeking a homeland, our heavenly homeland! This knowledge doesn’t make the transition time easier but it gives us hope to persevere through them.

Another transition was not in our plans. In fact, when Malawi came up, facing another transition was a detractor in the decision making process. I don’t like it. But stepping out into discomfort and the potential for pain, we had a tiny bit of faith. “Yes, Lord, we’ll go to Malawi if you send us financially, with the local church behind us and if certain difficulties are removed in the process.” He answered that bit of faith swiftly and powerfully. I mean, who raises $30,000 in two months? How were obstacles removed so easily? It certainly wasn’t because of our magnificent effort. God is at work in this! He is growing our faith and confidence in Him – not just for Malawi but for our entire lives. And the transition, hard as it is, is keeping our eyes set on our heavenly home as our earthly home shifts yet again.

In less than a week we will be in Malawi. On this side of it, it seems impossible and surreal. But it is happening! We can’t wait to update you all with news of our long airplane ride and our first impressions of Africa – our next temporary home on our way to heaven.

Please continue to pray for us – see our Current Prayer Requests for ways to pray this week.