What do I write about? What do I write about? I have dreams of being a successful Youtuber or blogger, but seeing as how I can never think of what to write about, I don’t think those dreams will come to fruition… By the way, I started at the title and cannot figure out if “land owners” or “landowners” is correct. Please correct me if I chose the wrong one :).
But finally, FINALLY, I have something noteworthy to talk about! We are becoming farmers!! For the past six or so months, we’ve been feeling a push to copy Chipata. You know the feeling when something is God inspired? Whenever that happens to me, I feel a strange sense of peace. When we moved to Malawi, I felt a strange sense of peace. I knew it was crazy, but I didn’t feel worried, I just had a sense that “yes this is what God wants us to do and it’ll all work out.” Well, Brennan and I both had the same feeling with this. After a couple brainstorming meetings at the office, we got home and just looked at each other and said “yep, this feels right.” Of course when we look at it without God in the picture it looks insane and impossible, but God has given us that strange sense of peace once again.
I got greedy (I’d prefer the term, “zealous”) and prayed that God would give us the perfect piece of land. When my sister and I were little we really wanted a dog. Our parents were fine with the idea as long as the dog was quiet and didn’t shed. We prayed for the perfect dog, and ended up with Milo—a dog who didn’t bark at anyone (now he’s 18 and howls constantly… but that didn’t start until a couple years ago), one who was already house trained, and one that didn’t shed much. So I had faith that God could give us the perfect piece of land. We didn’t have much money and we have zero farming experience, but we knew that this was what God wanted us to do and that He would provide. And oh man, provide He did.
So we’ve bought 6 acres of land in western Malawi for an amazing price. And by amazing price, I mean the land was over 5 times larger and 6 times cheaper than the plots I was previously looking at. The first plot we bought used to be a farm and is only a couple miles off the paved highway. The dirt road that leads to it is in good condition (yes, we’re picky about dirt roads—the Bongo can only handle so much), and it is so so quiet. The piece is bordered by other farms and is far enough away from the villages that it’s peaceful and quite solitary. This plot is 5 acres and amazing. It’s flat and has some trees growing on it already. The other plot we bought is near the first one. It’s a 10ish minute drive away. This plot is only 1 acre, but it is covered in mango and guava trees, annnnnnd one of its borders is a river. It’s too small for us to keep the Feast on (I’ll get to that in a second), but we couldn’t pass it up. It was an amazing price and the river doesn’t dry up in the dry season. Also, it has 2 wells on it already.
So, the Feast. This year we are planning to keep the Feast on the large plot of land! And we’re having a combined Feast with Chipata. We’re looking forward to all the work parties we’re going to have in order to make the land ready, the first one is this Sunday. When I look at all that needs to be done I get overwhelmed, but I have confidence that this’ll work out.
What needs to be done? Everything. The most important item on our to-do list is getting a water source. We can do either a hand dug well or a borehole. Both have their pros and cons. A hand dug well is far cheaper, but a borehole has a pump and can pump more water in a short amount of time. Imagining 100 people drawing water by hand for bathing, cooking, and drinking gives me a little bit of anxiety :). But, the borehole is much more expensive because we need to hire a company with borehole digging machines (clearly I am not a borehole expert) to put it in. Plus it comes with more parts, and those parts can be stolen. Recently, one of our elderly members had the pump to her borehole stolen. She makes money by charging monthly fee for people to use her borehole. Thankfully LifeNets replaced the stolen items. But these are all factors we need to pray about and consider.
Other things we need to get done are buying tents and mattresses, digging pit latrines, building a shaded structure for church services, and building a shower station. I’m not sure how we’re going to find the money for all of these, but I know that God will provide if this is where He wants us to keep the Feast. Last year Brennan and I stayed in Malawi, all year, without jobs. We relied on our savings. Every time I got nervous about money, a member from Brennan’s home congregation Garden Grove, happened to send us a check. God always provides. I can’t say “thank you” enough to our Garden Grove family who was the answer to our prayers.
Thankfully the latrines and showers won’t require any plumbing. The latrines are latrines, aka outhouses. The showers station is a couple rooms with stalls in them for sponge/bucket baths. This type of bathing is typical here in Malawi. Adults, of course, bath in private, but you can always tell when it’s bath day in our office’s neighborhood because everywhere you look there are crying kids standing in buckets of water. Bath day is not popular with the children of Mchesi.
Well that’s just about all I have for now. Please pray that God leads us in the right direction and that we make wise decisions concerning the Feast. Thank you for all your love and support 🙂