You Give And Take Away

2010 July 3
by Cindy House


It has been too long since my last post.  We have experienced great joy and deep sorrow in the days since I wrote last.   During the third week of June we traveled to Lilongwe twice for meetings with Ministry officials and the Director of Feed the Children Malawi.  Progress on both fronts is being made as we work to expand our feeding program and also expand our residential orphans program.  We have seen beautiful views of the mountains in this country as we traveled back and forth.  Once we were all in the vehicle singing about the majesty of God and we come over a rise in the road and there before us were layers and layers of mountains and valleys.  It was such a moment of sheer joy as we surveyed the majesty of His creation. 


Isaiah 55:12  “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Look at God’s handiwork all around you.  Do not miss the joy of His beautiful creation.  He wants to be praised for His majesty.


 At one of our feeding centers  the lead cook and record keeper asked me to pray for her son who was sick with malaria.  She volunteers her time there at the feeding center and came this day with her child to work.   It is unthinkable, in my culture, to carry a sick child with us to our area of service but in Malawi,  they carry on and meet the needs of others.  Children are sick everywhere you go and life just doesn’t slow down for the parents of the sick unless they become gravely ill.  Remember these people who sacrifice for their neighbors as you pray for Malawi.

Isaiah 52:7  “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclain peace, who bring good tidings, who proclain salvation, who say to Zion,”Your God reigns!” “


As the fourth week of June began we were met with our most difficult days.  Our precious friends, Bruce and Gertrude , who serve as house parents and General Liason for Esther’s House suffered a great loss.  Their firstborn child, a son, went to be with the Lord just after he was born by emergency c-section.  Early Monday morning Bruce was at our door to bring us this sad news.  His heart was broken and he had bearly the strenghth to speak the awful words that told of his loss.  We took him inside and prayed with him and then we had to begin the process of returning the baby to his mother’s village for burial.  We went to the hospital and prayed with Gertrude, spoke the only words of comfort we could speak, that God is here and He will carry the brokenhearted, and mend the wounds that are so deep.   We gathered up the elder women of her family who were there at the hospital, picked up the baby from the delivery room and began the painful drive out to the vilage.  The wails of anguish coming from these family members as we made our way out to the village were heartbreaking.  I prayed the whole way for God to meet their need and comfort as only He can.  Malawi culture allows only the women to go to the burial of the infant so Bruce and all the men stayed at the home of Gertrudes family while we all walked to the graveyard in the woods and held the burial ceremony.  The elders led us to the area the baby was to be buried and we all sat on the ground.  One of them stood and spoke a prayer and then several of them began clearing the ground in the selected spot.  It was mostly silence as the the grave was dug by several women taking turns.  Once the site was prepared they carried the baby to the side of the grave and knelt again. The elders allowed me to read from the book of Psalms and then asked Alyssa and me to view the baby’s face.  It was an honor they were sharing with us that is allowed only for the elder women of his family.  He looked so much like both of his parents and I was thankful to have had the honor to see him.  He was layed to rest at this point and the elders asked me to pray the final prayer over the grave.  As inwardly I prayed for God to use me to minister to them He spoke healing words outwardly.  These are the times that God carries his children and allows them to rest in His arms.  We slowly made our way back to the men of the family.   It had been only hours since the birth and the burial was finished.   We spoke once more to the family members and then we drove several of the older women back to the areas they lived and worked.  It broke my heart to leave Bruce alone in his grief but it was clear that this was the custom.  

As the week has progressed I have seen the evidence of great faith in these people.  They are believing God and relying on Him.  I had wondered how long it would be before I saw the smiles of these two people that had been a vision of joy for me in past days.  I am happy to report that I have seen both of them smile again and the evidence of healing is clear to see.  Our God is always good, even in times of great grief and He will give joy to them and new prupose as they move forward.   We do not grieve as those who have no hope.    We know that there is everlasting hope in heaven and this baby is safely there. 

Thank you, Lord, for your gift of eternal life.  We are here by your appointment, in your keeping, under your training, for your time.  Let us be your hands and feet, speak your words to the hurting and lost.  Give us opportunities to share our faith.   Show us where you are working and put us to work.  We give you all the Glory for you are our Great God!

5 Responses leave one →
  1. July 3, 2010

    Oh Cindy your story has so touched my heart! I’m so glad you were there for Bruce & his family. I see God working inyou through your stories & your love for the people of Malawi is very obvious.
    Thanks for keeping us informed! I pray God continues to open many doors for you.
    Love you

  2. Lois Johnson permalink
    July 6, 2010

    Cindy, Oh how God is using you there. I know you and love you so much that I can hear your voice telling this story. I hear your love and passion for the people in this Orphanage and the whole area you are serving. There no doubt in my mind that you are exactly where God wants you to be and His hand and favor is covering you mightly.
    Thank you for keeping us informed, allowing me the priviledge to hold you and the other workers up in prayer.
    I love you Cindy.

  3. Allan Martin permalink
    July 17, 2010

    I remain in prayer for your strength, wisdom, safety, provision and insight as you do that which our Lord has so obviously called and prepared you to do for His glory.
    I look forward to seeing you in August!

  4. Mary Esther McCully permalink
    January 17, 2011

    How marvelous is our God, to give words when we cannot think of them on our own! You are His and a gift to all the people with whom you are coming in contact with as you gain their trust for such a time as this for these His beloved people. We will pray for your wisdom to increase as you learn their culture, for your love to go beyond any expectation you ever dreamed possible, and for many to come to know Jesus as their Savior and Abba Father as you love and mentor them on your journey with them.

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