Saturday, March 29, 2008

Camping with monkeys...and sad stories...

So we took off on Wednesday to camp. Yes we camped here in Malawi. Some friends had a tent we could borrow. Very nice. We brought our Malawian BBQ and brought food to eat. Blankets, bug spray and a flashlight and we were good to go. Mind you I am a girlie girl. Don't like to camp at all. Really haven't done it since High school. So this was a stretch for me. But I came to quickly realize that Camping here is not much different than living here. It feels allot of the time we are camping all the time. Not really but yes it does feel like it. So we headed about 3 hours north and ended up at a place called Nkhotakota on Lake Malawi. We were charged 10 dollars a night to stay at their camp site. It really was nice. They had bathrooms, showers, a veranda and fire pit. We were the only ones there. Nice. They had guards there 24/7. Amazing feeling to know that someone is there to watch over you. Didn't think of that until we went to go swim in the lake and there were tons of kids passing by and all of sudden you see your stuff walking off with them. So it was nice to have a guard there to watch your stuff. By the time it was evening the first night there were about 20 monkeys encircling our camp. Strange feeling. Really Africa you know. Anyways of course Bob was throwing food at them to get them to come closer. I really wished I had brought my camera. That would of been awesome pictures. We had a real restful time with each other.

By the end of our 4 days we started talking with our day guard. You know your heart is never really ready to hear heartbreaking stories. He has one. He is of 4 kids, 2nd born , and he is 21 years old. His name is Cyness (sinus) anyways- both parents died when he was 11 of AIDS. He has been taking care of the rest of the family since then. He didn't finish school because of he had to work and support the family. Right now he works 12 hour days as a guard at this lodge place we went to. How much does he make a day ? $1.00 a day. really a dollar a day that is about 8 cents a hour. Ugh. Here we are camping for a getaway and he is working for what 8cents a hour to survive. How did we get to be American and not live his life. So deep of thoughts. We talked about Christ and gave the gospel to him. He seemed to get it and he told us that no one really had explained it to him. Of course we wished we had a bible to give him right away. But we didn't. We gave him the money to get a bible. He of course said he would and continued to thank us continually. We don't know if he will get the bible. With that money he could need it for everything. Just life. That is when you want to change the whole world and the way poverty is. When people are working 12 hours for a dollar it just breaks your heart. That when you want to give it all away to those in need. I told Bob how do we live balanced. We don't know. But I guess just baby steps and affect those people that come across our path.

It makes me sad for these families that are affected by AIDS. Who wandered away from their spouse first. His Dad first or His Mom. Who brought the disease to family. How did they become another statistic. Deep thoughts. How is possible that a one night stand destroys a whole family. Knowing many families affected by AIDS. It really comes down to it is called commitment to the family and to your spouse. Giving a condom is not going to fix it. Awareness is not going to fix it. It is the family commitment that is broken and until people start not breaking the vows this AIDS crisis is still going to be around. It affects our families in america too. We just don't have AIDS to show how broken our families are. We have to be intentional to our spouses in marriage. We have to be emotionally there for our spouses and we have to be physically there for our spouses. Here and there and everywhere. We don't let the laziness creep in and settle for whatever in a marriage. It happens so fast. Anyways. I am getting off my box. I am mostly talking out loud to me! Anyways Just a snippet of our journey here. Taking Baby Steps... Love - all of us

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy Easter and Happy Birthday Nya!

We had a wonderful Easter with friends and the next day was Nya's 6th birthday. We had a tea party and had a slip n slide. Who knew that they would have one of those here. It was so much fun as Nya states continually. We are still on spring break and Next week we are in full busy mode again. IT will be fun! Thank you for prayers and love! Love - Us

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My journey to Khuyu...

Here I am preaching to some of the villagers in Khuyu
The many kids of Khuyu
Some of the team singing at the Sunday service

I had the priveledge to take 6 of my college students on a 3-day trip into the bush (a little village called Khuyu). We spent our three days sharing the message of Christ with this village by going door to door, sharing the Jesus film, open air preaching, etc. This village (about 600 people) was literally in the middle of nowhere. We traveled about eight hours to get to this village (two of these hours were on dirt roads/paths/animal trails ???). The village setting was amazing; mountains all around, tobacco and corn fields in the valleys, and beautiful mud huts scattered throughout. The people were very friendly and were amazed to see an azungu (white person) in their village. Many of the children had never even seen an azungu. There was no electricity within miles, so the night sky and the stars were stunning. I felt priveledged to be at this place. Both Saturday and Sunday night we kicked on the generator at night to show the Jesus film on the big screen. This outdoor showing drew a big crowd, most of them had never seen a movie before. The movie was in their own language, which allowed them to really understand the message. What an impact.
On Sunday we held a church service outside using our sound system and pretty much the whole village showed up. This was amazing considering their were many different denominations throughout this village. Many of them said that this was the first time the whole village has come together as one. They said "why should it take a group from African Bible College to finally bring us togother after all these years. We need to be coming together more often".
Many people received Christ and were saved during our trip. We plan to go back soon and to train leaders and pastors in this village who can care for and lead these people.
Thank you for your love and prayers.
As a side note, I just wanted to let everyone know that teaching here is going very well. I love my classes and feel that God is truly using me in a wonderful way. I am teaching an outreach/practical ministry class and we go out as a class each week into the local villages, giving each student a chance to put their knowledge into practice. I get to see these students really making a difference in the lives of people who are in real need of the hope of Christ. These students will be the future leaders of Africa and it is a real priveledge to train them in the ways of the Lord and to encourage them as people. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity than what God has given us as we continue to serve here in Malawi. Keep praying for us as God is leading our family and keeping us close to Him.
Bob Stauffacher

Friday, March 14, 2008

My girlfriends singing my song...

Above is the video

Above is the video of my friends that stopped by to say goodbye for the easter break. they are all freshman here. Linda, Mary and Hennelise... This is my favorite song. They sing this so loud and fun a couple of times. Just so you could see how fun it is to sing with them. Love you all and miss you. Wish you could experience this with us. Love- the stauffachers

WOW! And we are in Easter Break already...

Here is the team from San Diego. Dr. Paul Chinchen (director here at ABC), Pastor Carlton Harris, His wife Carol from College Ave... Jack and Nell Chinchen founders of all the ABC in Africa and Brett and Jennie and Cory From College Ave..
The worship team at the first night service

Time has really flown by. The students have finished their studies this last week we had a special speaker from College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego California! He spoke all week in our spiritual emphasis week. It was refreshing for the students and the staff We were all in tears by the end on Friday. We all walked away challenged and changed. Of course my favorite was the singing. I love Malawians singing and Tanzanians and Kenyans! Those are what I have heard in my little life! Amazing. When I have my friends over I love to sing with them and we have fun singing and listening to me pretend to speak Chichewa. It is so delicious to have them sing. They have fun hand motions too. So as I was typing my girlfriends came over and i asked them to sing my favorite song so here it is on Video. Enjoy it , it is my favorite song. It is how jesus came to give us a new life and how he picked us out of the mud and gave new life to us. Just want to keep you updated!

They are off...

The team left today at 11am... they were to leave at 10 am but it is Africa and things are usually about 20-30 min late. They say here TIA (this is africa) They are so excited. Bob and the 8 students he is taking to about 5 hours north to Khuyu. It is a freshmen's home town his name is Blessings Chibambo. He had it on his heart to bring students to outreach his hometown and work with a local church there. So they leave tomorrow morning in our car to travel there and stay for about 4 days. They will be working with his local pastor there and plan to impact his whole village. They will show the Jesus movie and disciple people there. Please pray for their safety and that they would be used mightly there. Thank you- Amy for the team.

P.S. Us girls (nya analisey, and mommy) will be staying home while they are there. So pray for safety for us too.

If you want to see the team they are the blog below on Feb 22nd! they are really sweet people! Blessings is in the white shirt. they will pick up 2 more people on the way!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

It was bound to happen...

Nya's hair getting braided... So here is a picture of it... She has such a tender head. But with the cute momma braiding it she didn't say a word.

Here is Analise a couple days ago with a flower wreath that a friend made for her.

Right now they are playing house and it is cute because they are saying (pretending) is the power out in their play house. Yes says analise Nya says lets just wait for it to come back on.

Oh the life of american girlies with African electricity... Love you all! The Stauffy's

Friday, March 07, 2008

a couple pictures of our life here...

Here is Analise and we call them the Darth Vader guys that come when you push a security button. They come when it rains too. :) Some reason our button goes off when it rains...

Here is my Senior Bible Study class that I am teaching on Friday Mornings.... You want some names.... Just for fun We have Muuzananji(white shirt in front), Mwai in the blue shirt in front, Neke in Black and orange the behind is Grace in the Pink and Thomasin in white blue, and Cathering in the Black and Chokandi in pink and black and Fanny in the multi blue shirt and Josephine in the striped shirt and white skirt...

Fun isn't it then you have Tia in the red Rosemary behind and Atupele next her and Chokandi and Jane next to me... And Analise and I in the middle....

Fun ladies.... Fun memories... Lots of love- amy louise

Sunday, March 02, 2008

You know you are in Africa when...

You have gone to 8 ATMs to get cash and they are all broken... and when you find one there is a 45 to hour wait.
You are low on gas and they don't have any at any gas stations because the Gas people (who ever they are) didn't pay the bill. What how knew there was a bill to pay.
You have honk at cows, goats, bike riders, and everyone else in the country as you drive on the road.
You see litter everywhere and someone in front of you throws out a huge bottle. (so against my system from being scared to throw out even a tiny piece of gum in America)
You have to go to say no to people asking for help and no must not mean no and you almost have to yell NO.
You feel a deep heartache that you can't help everyone.

But on the good side of it...
You know you are in Africa when...
You stop by someones house and they take you in like family and you didn't have to schedule at least 3 weeks in advance to see them.
You get to be apart of something bigger than yourself. (IE the world)
You get to drink Coke out of glass Bottle
You get to hear Africans worship God. IT is the most beautiful sound ever.
You have tortilla chips that I made from scratch. Yep I do that! With the best guacamole dip! These avocados are amazing. or so are the bananas and pineapple and all veggies and fruits!
You get to see your children ask questions to the things they are exposed to. Like Nya asked the other day "what can we give the kids who have nothing?" as we were in a local village.
You get to stuff 11 people in your car when it only sit 7.
You have the opportunities to love on people who have nothing and affect their lives.
You get to love on babies that are orphans.
You get to share Christ love in a tangible way!

Love you all- Amy Louise