Acts 1:8

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you;
and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem,
in in all Judaea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
Acts 1:8

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lanny's Journal Entry - August 13, 2014

  1. Malawi Sunrise Letter to Steve and Faye 
    8/13/14 Wed  
    Location: Outside the Ivory Room of the Baptist Guest House, Lilongwe

    Local Time: 5:46a Sunrise

    I awoke this morning and my first thought was to write a letter to Steve and Faye.  I grabbed my journal and headed to the back porch of the Ivory Room where I sat every morning at the Baptist Guest House watching God’s glorious sunrise before doing my devotionals. This Wed am on Day 9 of our Malawi mission trip was an exceptionally beautiful display of God’s wonders. I opened my journal to the next blank page and I wrote the following letter in my journal:

    Faye & Steve,
         THANK  YOU, not just for Malawi but for who you are as people and the beautiful way you as a couple live your lives for Jesus. Before coming to Calvary on that Wed eve, Deb and I were busy “Church Workers” but our “works” were not feeding our Spirit. We were spiritually tired and hungry when we arrived at Calvary and our hearts leaped for joy that first Wed we visited for our souls were washed in the Spirit as Steve broke the Bread of Life with us and Faye filled our cup with Living Water! Here in Malawi as I sit here on the east side of the Baptist Guest House on the back porch just outside the Ivory Room watching the beautiful Malawi sunrise and listening to the song of the birds, I smell the wood smoke of the gate watchers and I thank my God for the good night’s sleep and the refreshing of my Spirit. I think back over our time at Calvary and tears pour from my eyes as the joy of my heart cannot be contained - I realize that Steve and you have been “gate-keepers” watching over our souls. You have fed us the Word and you have poured the Love of God into our thirsty hearts. We now have learned the Miracle of Malawi - God teaches all that the Mystery of His Love is that the more you pour out, the more He fills you up! From the bottom of my heart that has been totally surrendered to God’s Love, I thank you for both the direction you have given our souls and the dedication with which you have lived your lives. You are perfect examples of how Christians should live their lives towards others, and because of your Love for God we enter also into the Joy of Serving the Kings of kings. Now, thanks to you & Steve, Deb & I can truly sing “Wherever He Leads I’ll Go”.

    Love in Christ,

    PS. Faye --- The first day God sent a bird to sing a song which over the course of our time here in Malawi, God has written each line and He has made it clear to me that it was your prayers for Deb & me that put flight in the birds wings and directed the bird to land in the branch over my head and sing to me a “new song” on Day 4 – Aug 8 that will forever be in my heart!


         As soon as I had finished writing the sunrise letter to Steve and Faye I bowed my head and started to pray but words would not come as the Holy Spirit overcame me and I wept with my head bowed and my heart bursting with the Love of God! As I raised my head, a man approached me, introduced himself to me and asked if I would talk to him about Jesus?  The bird started singing  the same song that I had heard the first morning so I shared the Bird Song story with him and his heart was filled with joy!  I then said that God had sent me to Africa to deliver the message of His Great Love and I asked if he knew Jesus? He said yes he knew Jesus but wanted to know more and begged me to “Talk Jesus” to him. I started to share and he asked me to wait until he went and relieved the night watchman because he was the “Gate-Keeper”! It struck me that I had just written about comparing Steve & Faye to being spiritual “Gate-Keepers” and here God had sent the actual Gate-Keeper to me asking me to “Talk Jesus” to him. The gate-keeper stopped and said “You must talk Jesus with me” so I asked him his name (Medson) and when did he want me to “Talk Jesus” with him and he quickly said “Now!”  He then said I will be right back and he quickly relieved the night watchman and returned. We made a formal introduction and he sat down at my feet and we “Talked Jesus” --- we talked until time for our morning devotionals and as I was leaving Medson said, “We (the gate-keepers) watch the missionaries come and go out to the villagers but you never stop and talk Jesus with us, why?”  God made it very clear and impressed upon my heart at that instant that we need to quit “driving by” the gate-keepers in our lives and stop and “Talk Jesus” with them and to thank them in the name of Jesus for doing their jobs day in and day out as our gate-keepers!


    After writing the Sunrise Letter to Steve and Faye and my divine appointment with the Gate-Keeper, I returned to my room to gather my morning devotional readings and once again I was overwhelmed when I pulled out Sister Faye’s card she had written weeks earlier for today Aug 13 – Wed  because it read :

    Day 9 – Aug 13
    Psalm 65:8

    “Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in Awe of Your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, You inspire shouts of joy.”

    “Lanny, isn’t it a blessing to see the African sky? The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular! May your heart be filled with shouts of Joy today. 
    We love you, 
    Bro Steve and Faye”


    What overwhelms me is that God had this morning sunrise in Malawi planned for me since from the beginning of time when He “…made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day; and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also… So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.” So God on the fourth day of creation put the sun in its place and started the cycle of sunrise & sunset for each day from the beginning of creation until Wednesday August 13, 2014 so that I could sit in Malawi watching the beautiful sunrise in the African sky and shout for Joy at God’s creation just like King David wrote in Psalm 65:8 and Faye on Day 9 – Aug 13 (2014) --- God is GOOD!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Malawi DeBriefing at McDonald's Farm

We met Thursday night, September 11th, at Faye and Steve's house for a meal and time of reflection and sharing. Not all of our team could make it; Brandon could not get time off from work and Laura was in the middle of a very important project, but the rest of us had a wonderful time together, sharing our thoughts and remembering our time in Malawi.

Lanny will be sharing excerpts from the journal that he started a few weeks before we left for Africa, so look for that in the coming days and weeks.

Also, Joe Veal will be visiting our church on September 28th and I will certainly post some pictures and information about that. We are so anxious to see him again...we are family now.

The McDonald's home is floor to ceiling a testimony to our Lord...Beautiful!!

Steve is right at home in the kitchen...

And Faye's teasing kept us all laughing!

Because we had a smaller group than expected 
we were able to all fit around the dining room table.


This is my kind of selfie :-) I AM in the picture! the mirror...

We had a scrumptious Italian meal!!!

You can tell that none of us were enjoying the meal at all...

How do I manage to get everyone chewing?

Anthony's "doggy bag" of red velvet cake!

So very true...

Remember to look for Lanny's journal entries in the days to come...

We thank You Lord for sending us to Malawi. We ask that You help us to focus on the work You have for us here at home, in our families and in our community. May we never forget the great gift you've given us or fail to share it with all around us!
We love You Lord Jesus!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Video Adventure of our trip to Malawi!

Our trip to Malawi is over, but a big part of our hearts remain there...we will never forget the people, the beauty of the sunset, the sound of laughter and the harmony of the voices....the eyes of the children...memories of Africa will remain with us throughout our lives, and perhaps God will allow us to return...Hope you enjoy the photographs and the videos. The music is that of the children in the orphanage and the people we met along the road and in the plays continuously in my mind...I LOVE IT!!!

Malawi Mission Video

Zambia Safari Video

Monday, August 18, 2014


We were welcomed at the airport by a group from Calvary...Pastor Steve and Faye, Anthony and Connie, Martin and Connie, Paul and Marie, Laura, and Brandon's wife Natalie and the kids...what a thrill to see them there with signs and balloons and smiling faces.

It's a bittersweet gathering...we, the current "team" full of visions of the awesome work that God did in and through us...the others having wanted to go so badly this year, happy for our having the experience, all but Lisa, for the very first time.

There are so many stories that we will share over the next few weeks and months...probably for the rest of our lives. God has revealed much in these last days but we know that He will reveal more to each of us as time goes by and we are ready to receive it.

I thank God and the people He touched to give their support in prayer and substance to send us on this journey. It will be a precious memory for all eternity. Thank you, dear friends and will never know how much it has meant to us.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 10...Our last day...

We will be heading for home tomorrow... I know we will leave a part of ourselves behind...a big part of our hearts.

The Ohio Team, Danny, Jennifer and Sarah left this morning for home. We all had breakfast together and then Joe drove them to the airport while Fedson drove us to The Lighthouse Orphanage in Nathenji to deliver blankets. I also had a bag of bead bracelets that could have been diamonds, the children were so thrilled, and thankful for them!

The women meet in the orphanage sanctuary on Thursday afternoon each week to praise and prepare to head out for evangelism. They invited me to dance along, and I didn't do too bad for an "ago go", which is Chichewan for Grandmother or Grandfather, an old person :-) I will be working on a video of our trip on the long plane ride home, so be looking for that!

Then we went to the school room where the children were performing some of their songs for us. We were invited to also participate and one of the songs was the Chichewan version of "A Tooty Ta". If you don't know what that is you will have to come with us to Children's Camp next year to find out. Or I can explain it to you sometime :-)

We stayed awhile longer with the children and then headed to Fedson's house for a short visit. Lisa had some gifts she brought to Fedson's girls Memory, Jean and Esther. She brought them school bags packed with supplies and a stuffed animal. Lisa has watched these girls grow up over the last five years and is always anxious to visit with them when she is here.

We went for our last dinner together to an Italian restaurant and had a fantastic dinner. We drove back to the Guest House, with God's help, without a clutch. I will have to write a separate post to tell you all the funny, and sometimes a little scary, things that have happened with these vehicles. It will read like a comedy adventure!! 

We came together for a time of debriefing, reflection, and devotion. We've had some of the most moving devotional times here at the Guest House and I doubt that I will ever forget the worship I've experienced in the living room of this apartment. 

Our clothes and carved treasures are packed, Lanny is writing in his journal and I am sitting here thinking about today, about the last 10 days, and knowing that I will never forget them.  I have dirt under my fingernails that just won't wash out...perhaps it never will. I know there are a lot of things, feelings and tears, joys and the sound of laughter and singing that will never fade in my memory. I sense that it might even grow clearer as time goes by. As Joe said tonight, it may be next week, next month or even next year that the memory of an event or a sight will come to mind and I will see exactly what God was trying to show me. I look forward to that because I know that God sent Lanny and me here for a purpose, and I know that He still has much to teach us about the reason we were here these last 12 days.

Lucy making nsime.  Lucy lives next to the orphanage and helps there.

Hauling blankets to the children in the orphanage.

There is not yet a road directly to the orphanage so we have to walk across the bare winter fields.

The money for the blankets was donated by a church in Ohio. Steve will send a photo back to show them the children they will be ministering to with this gift!

I gave the children the bracelets that the Ohio team brought over for them.

This little one stole my heart. God gave me such a heart gift in that short time I was able to love on this precious little child. 

I was given a chilundu (a wrap) by Abusa (Pastor) Chibwenji and his wife. The design is the country of Malawi and this will be a treasure to me. I was also given the necklace by the teacher. It is made of newspaper or magazine pages wrapped tightly and sealed. These people are so very talented artistically.

And for you Laura, here is a picture of Happy in the new dress you sent her. 
The name suits her perfectly!

Day 9

Today was a very long day...we had breakfast in the city, visited the carving market for the last time, had lunch and headed for the villages.

Lanny was outside walking around and praying when one of the gatekeepers came over and asked him to talk Jesus with him. He said that every day we drive thru the gates, passing him by to go out to the villages to speak Jesus. Lanny led him to the Lord. I am not sure if Lanny will ever come down off this cloud!!! He's is high in the Spirit!!

The Gate Keepers, Patson and Medson.
Lanny gave Patson his ball cap and Medson his shoes...
Medson's soles were coming off.

I am not sure where we ended up today but it is certainly a day I won't forget. We worshiped in a village church and Lanny preached. Then Lanny, our interpreter Harold and I were left there to evangelize until time for the Jesus film.

Lanny and Jority dancing with the congregation.

We simply walked from house to house, Harold calling in Chichewan "Come, come to hear the gospel". People were coming from everywhere bringing chairs or mats for us and welcoming us with their beautiful smiles. We watched the children as they sat down in front, the adults sitting or standing behind listening to one of us share the Good News.

As we walked to the next open area the children ran along with us singing and dancing as we went. They were singing about "Yesu", following Him, or serving Him or just loving Him. Several of the women of the local church went along with us and it was an amazing day. I wish I could tell you all the stories of little ones that nearly cried when they first saw us but that ended up letting me hold and love them. They just want to touch and be close and never tire of shaking hands,  I wish I could tell you the feeling as they listen to every word and then raise their hand to accept God's gift of salvation.

The women of the church led songs about Jesus!!

As the sun began to set we headed back to the church area to set up the film. The YouTurn men have it all perfected. Poles and sheets, generators and small laptops...they can set up and take down in minutes and the children sat patiently waiting to see the film. They play Gospel Music Videos to call the people to come and the videos are about Naaman or Joseph or serving God. Colorful, joyful dancing and again, those melodious voices of the people.

Harold sat all the children down and chose some to lead in music. He has been a wonderful interpreter for us and we feel now as tho we have known him all our lives!

The pastors wife led the children in the Chichewan version of "We are the soldiers of the Lord."

The people watching and waiting for the film.

The moon was not out so the night was black and the stars were unbelievable. I could not help looking up at the sky and was just in awe of my Fathers creation. We saw the Milky Way and Southern Cross and a shooting star.

Lanny preached after the Crucifixion scene and Harold says that there were 800 people was dark so I could only see the little ones sitting around the front. There really are no words.

The truck returned to pick us up just as we were tearing down the equipment and we headed back to Lilongwe, again like a pack of sardines, but so, so happy!

We got back to the Baptist apartments around 10 and Lisa, Sara and Jennifer made grilled cheese sandwiches for us. What a perfect end to a perfect day.

One more day for us here...bittersweet....

Brandon and Soko, his guide.

Lisa and Chibwenja, the YouTurn Country Director.