Jodi Gardner

I came to Malawi for the first time in 2016 with the summer teams and immediately fell in love with the country and felt a connection to the people I met. I returned the following year and spent a month with the teams in 2017. I had been feeling called back to Malawi but wasn't sure what the next step would look like. Just a few days after returning home, I found out that my job of over 15 years was closing. Through weeks and months of prayer, I felt like this was an open door that the Lord was presenting to me.  As long as that door remained open, I felt like I needed to say “Yes, Lord, I'm willing to go”. I arrived back in Malawi in June 2018 and spent the next 14 months being blessed by God in ways I could’ve never imagined. It hasn’t been an easy journey, dealing with health issues and injuries. But through each “hurdle” that came my way, God taught me many lessons and continually provided for me.

 

I serve with the Child-Headed Household ministry, as well as the Community Health Network. My favorite times are those spent out in the field visiting the kids we support. In late August 2019, I had to return to the states to get an injury addressed and ended up having 2 back surgeries the following month. During my 26 nights in the hospital, my prayer was always “Lord, if Your will is for me to return to Zomba, please keep the doors open. And if not, give me peace with whatever the next chapter looks like.” I feel called to continue serving in Malawi and it is my prayer that God will continue to use me as I desire to do His will. We are called to be His hands and feet “whenever, wherever, and however” He wants to use us. We all are called and it’s our job to say “yes, I will”. I appreciate all the support from back home and I am extremely grateful for the prayers being lifted up for me daily. I am able to do none of this on my own, but I rely entirely on strength from my Father in heaven to guide and direct me daily.