Our Malawi team is traveling in June to meet with mission partners and distribute funds raised by PHPC.
I have no idea what day or time it is. I am on the second airplane of three flights of 23 total hours of traveling. The flight attendants are passing out hand wipes and passengers are settling in, ripping open plastic bags stuffed with blankets and headphones. At this moment, I’m struck by the woman sitting across the aisle in 20C. She’s in full Muslim garb. Gorgeous henna has turned her hands into works of art matching the delicate patterns at the Qu’ran she’s reading. Gold ink adorns the Arabic script printed across the pages and she is quietly singing prayers. Her soft voice soothes my ears and turns my heart towards God.
I’m reminded of why I’m even on this airplane, why I’m on this journey, and why I’ve left my sweet Owen and my loving husband and good ‘ol Thomas to be here — because of God. God has stirred within the hearts of PHPC members to go beyond their walls, their ZIP Code, and even their own country to live out their faith. Faith we have in God, faith we have in the family of God, and the relationships that have been formed by those who have gone before me to Malawi. Like the prayers lifted up by the woman next to me, I can imagine the many prayers lifted up my PHPC members, prayers offered during in committee meetings, and even the one offered last week for all of our mission teams during worship. All of these words of gratitude and petitions binding us to God who desires of love and unity to prevail above all else. And so I add my prayer for this chapter of this story of the Malawi partnership with PHPC:
Most holy and loving God, there is nowhere in the universe where your love does not have power. Help us to live into your will and desire for us. Help us to build up this family of faith knowing you are always with us, granting us wisdom and joy and compassion every step of the way. We give thanks for those who have had the courage to live and love expansively like your Son. May the time we spend with our friends in Malawi add fuel to the fire of love that we have for one another. Remind us that the Holy Spirit goes before and behind us wherever we go, guiding, challenging and comforting your people. For it is out of love for you that we can dare to love one another. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen