28. 01. 94
Three weeks ago, before we left Johannesburg, we were still wondering if the Lord wanted us to go without any funds. No funds had become available to us during our three and a half month stay in Johannesburg, (specifically for our Malawi trip). During our prayer times, the Lord showed us not to concern ourselves, but that we were to take with us all the money we would receive in the last few days of our stay in Johannesburg. We received the Uno car which we had given in to the Mission some 20 months ago and told to sell it. With the money received, we were to buy a Notebook computer and take the balance of the money with us for our trip. The car was sold (cash sale). A dear brother came and said the Lord had laid it on his heart to give us R10000.00 for our trip. I sent R7000.00 to the mission in Nottingham Road, and so all in all we were able to take with us R2000.00 in cash plus R9000.00 in traveler’s cheques.
We were heavily loaded, having a fridge, stove and other appliances with us. These items we hoped to use there and leave behind when we go. The journey through the border post was without incident (by God’s grace, thank you Lord). We had to purchase Visas for each adult, at R85 each totaling R340.00.
It was extremely hot even at 10.30pm when we went through the border post!
Now in Zimbabwe, we noticed that our passports and temporary import permit have only been stamped to 18 February and 14 February respectively. We will have to go and get these extended in Harare.
We spent two days in Harare getting our extensions to the end of February. Zimbabwe. Immigration did not want to stamp our passports until the 18th. But they eventually agreed to help us. The vehicle temporary import permit was no problem. The Mozambique embassy gave us visas for Z$66.00 (Z$76.00 for 24hr. service!). These visas are only for transit and are valid for one day only. We were also told we needed visa photographs which we had done, for each passport holder, which came to Z$280.00.(R116.00). When we actually applied, they told us we did not need the photos!!
Total spent Z$880.00 (R370.00). It was just by God’s wonderful grace that the Z$ had been devalued just a few days before we entered the country. The price of everything was about the same as R.S.A but of course the exchange rate was in our favor.
We are now set for our departure to Malawi through Mozambique. We apparently need a further R40.00 vehicle import duty, R7.00 per head and money to cross the Zambezi at Tete.
In Virginia, Macheke where we are staying, the community is a bit weary, believing us to be somewhat radical. We showed Keith Green’s video last night and it went down a bit hard!! The local bible study is next Monday. We have been fellowshipping with the local farm laborers’. They had a service on the farm in the ‘compound’. It was spoken in Chichewa (Malawian language) and there was an interpreter for us. We shared a word with the congregation and elders. They were very blessed and thanked us greatly. These were very humble, simple people.
The bible study never came about the next Monday. However, the following Monday was arranged for the Anglican minister to come as per usual. He did not arrive and I was asked to share something. What a blessing! The word was well received by those present and a really wonderful evening was had by all. It was the Lords hand at work right before our very eyes, as we had nothing to do with arranging this.
We have been praying corporately with our wives these past five days in obedience to the Spirit. I have spent the day fasting for our journey on Monday. The Spirit has led us in much spiritual warfare over the dark forces at the Mozambique border posts and in the country.
We had a trouble free journey to Lilongwe. Leaving Macheke at 4:00am 21.02.94 in a terrible storm, we were only able to travel very slowly. The road was not good in places; we could only drive at about 5 kph! Entry into Mozambique was not a hassle but very uncomfortable.
The atmosphere was terribly demonic with much anger and hate. From what we could see of the country, it is completely dead. We didn’t even see any of their currency. They demanded more money from us, R10.00 per passport and R20.00 for the vehicle. We also had to pay R5.00 for the temporary import form.
The road was passable but not good with potholes appearing unexpectedly. Our oil light began to flicker as soon as we were a few km’s into Mozambique. It was then that we realized we hadn’t checked the oil since leaving Johannesburg about 3000kms ago! We prayed and were able to reach Mwanza in Malawi where we got oil at K13.00 per pint (R7.00). There was a feeling of lifted depression when we got into Malawi.
We missed, our host, David at his workplace as we arrived 10mins after they closed. We found a man who was able to show us around. We stayed the night in the camp site at the Golf club. That was K100.00 per night for all of us. The next morning we were able to find David.
He took us to his house which he had been hoping to extend before we arrived. Regrettably, he was unable to do this and so by God’s grace we had the tents to pitch inside the extensions. (Miraculously, a blessed brother had offered us his family tent the day before we left Johannesburg. We thanked God).
The house is covered in sand from the alterations and the soil outside is ‘red’ and very muddy when it rains.
Conditions are completely different to what we ever imagined…..”
We had arrived in the middle of the rainy season and there was mud everywhere. All sorts of ‘kruipende diere’ (creepy-crawlies) began to appear out of nowhere. Previously we thought Kwa-Zulu Natal laid claim to the world’s largest cockroaches, but ‘they ain’t seen nothin’ yet!!’
Our children quickly succumbed to sicknesses associated with our living conditions. Malaria did not take long to strike, even though we had been taking preventative medicine for the past months. Medical help was not what we were accustomed to and it was difficult for us to find a hospital that we could be comfortable with. The only answer was… prayer. God held us in the palm of his hands and healings were taking place just about daily, not only in our families, but in those around us….
Mission Malawi is a bi-monthly series and will be published every second week until the diary ends.
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