Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Wonderful First Day in Blantyre, Southern Malawi

Yesterday I arrived in Blantyre. As I got off the plane at the airport and walked onto the tarmac, I waved to Bishop Tengatenga. I was so glad to see him after my long flight (20 hours over two days). Imagine my surprise when I was pulled out of line at customs and taken to a lounge! There I was greeted by the Bishop, the Dean, the head of the Mothers Union and a delightful young girl from the Junior Guild. They gave me a flower for my jacket and welcomed me. I also saw many of our dear friends from the diocesan office here. What a surprise. Then as I was escorted outside where the Mother's Union from several parishes greeted me with singing and dancing!

I was invited to greet them; which I did in the name of Jesus Christ, and told them of my family's and diocese's wishes for them.

We went straight to the Bishop's home where we had coffee together and visited. We spent much of the afternoon talking about Southern Malawi and the country's challenges. We also reviewed our schedule and made plans for the week.  Then we went into town to several grocery stores for some items, and the Bishop explained the economic life of Blantyre.

We had a delightful evening with his wife Josie and their daughter Susan. Susan is a law student and is currently working on an internship. Josie works as an accountant at the International School here. It is a small school with some 400 students. I explained that that would be a very big private school in the U.S. Many of the private Anglican schools here, while not many in number, have 600 to 800 students per grade!

We ended the evening sitting on the back porch doing what friends do ... solving the problems of the world. It has been a great day and the hospitality has been so generous and kind. I am truly overwhelmed by their welcome.

On Thursday we travel to a tea plantation and visit a congregation there.

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  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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