It’s been a little more than a week since returning from Malawi and as always I’m slow in adjusting time wise (If anyone wants to grab some coffee at 4am, let me know). Though it’s wonderful to be back with family and friends, part of me misses the team that went in April; the amazing way the day begins on the Plateau; the time spent with the Passion Center kids and staff; and seeing again the various ways God’s grace is communicated throughout the villages. As I process and reflect upon my time there God continues to humble and amaze me in what He is doing in and with the Passion Center. There are a few thoughts that come to the surface which I’d like to share with you in the coming days, there is so much I could write about but let me start with this…
The older kids just amazed me, so many are doing well in faith, life and school! In talking to the older ones and the second group of students applying for college, I was struck by the fact that these kids are the direct results of all the effort, prayer and love that the Passion Center staff has poured into them. Yes, to be sure, there are disappointing setbacks and so many challenges, but it’s inspiring to see how the “seeds” of new life, new opportunities and a new future in Christ are now becoming visible! Take for instance “Chimwemwe” (not her real name, but a very real Passion Child).
Chimwemwe was orphaned at a young age, her guardian traded sex for food. Unable to pay for her school fees or tuition she faced a future likely filled with an early teenage (pressured) marriage and multiple births before 20. She would have little education and no skill or vocation to break the cycle of poverty. But today she readies herself for college and a future that would have been unthinkable before God’s grace was shown to her through the Passion Center! And she is not the only or last one, there are so many more coming along.
Since we know that not every Passion child will qualify for college, it is for that reason that near Chimwemwe’s small village house, a second Residency Home begins to take shape. A team of Americans and Malawians worked, prayed and became friends laying bricks together to build the newest home for Passion Center orphans. When both Residency Homes are completed, and half of the orphans move in, their old dormitory hall will become the Vocational Training Center. This Center will provide skills and trades to Passion Children, widows and villagers while encouraging them to trust and follow Jesus.
It’s so humbling and sweet seeing the work of God’s rescue, redemption and restoration displayed in Chimwemwe’s life, the construction of a Residency Home and the hope of a Vocational Training Center. We are grateful to all who help make this possible and we invite you to join us by supporting the ministry of the Passion Center. Your gifts, prayers and support are needed, greatly appreciated and powerfully multiplied by God’s amazing grace!