I haven’t written here in way too long. I don’t have an explanation or an excuse, just my apology and my hope to get back into this.
My last blog was about what I am grateful for here in Malawi, and it seems only appropriate to now also share what I have been grateful for from home. I have received so much support in so many different ways. It’s all so humbling to know so many people care.
One of the best and consistent ways I have felt supported here is through cards and notes from friends. When I was preparing to come to Malawi, I mentioned to a few people that it would be nice to have cards to open randomly and on special occasions while I’m here. A few key people took this request and have gone above and beyond with it. Essentially, they recruited lots of people and wrote lots of cards. When the team who was with me for the first two weeks of my time in Malawi left, I received over 100 cards parceled out into envelopes for each month I would be here. I was overwhelmed by this. But it didn’t stop there. Since then Sheryl, the Missions Director at church and my good friend, has continued to collect and organize cards and has sent probably close to another 100. I have opened a card nearly every day I have been in Malawi. I am so beyond grateful to every person who has written a card and to Sheryl for organizing so much of the effort.
Another thing that has been so amazing are the treats and supplies people have managed to get to me. Living in a somewhat rural part of Malawi and being just over 10,000 miles from home, this is no small feat. To mail something here is pretty expensive and not totally reliable. Though I did receive a Christmas card on January 22, and I was very surprised and grateful for that. Outside of the mail system, people have managed to get things to me four different times. Two people from Malawi happened to be visiting the U.S. and two people from the U.S. came to Malawi. All four graciously were willing to carry things for me with them. It is not lost on me the effort that it took to organize all of this, and I really am so thankful for the effort of all of those involved.
The other thing I am so grateful for is technology. It allows me to stay connected. I am thankful for phone calls, texts, emails, video chats and social media. The fact that I can share small parts of what I’m experiencing and that I can see and hear about what friends and family are experiencing is such a gift and I don’t take it for granted. Even if I had gone on this adventure five years ago most of the communication I get to have wouldn’t be an option.
Beyond all of these things though, what I am most grateful for are the people and the relationships. All of these things represent the fact that people care, are thinking about me and are willing to put in the effort to show it even though I am over 10,000 miles away. I realize that the statement “out of sight out of mind” exists for a reason and that people live busy lives. I know that it takes effort to stay connected and it means so very much to me that so many people have been willing to make that effort on my behalf. I am beyond grateful to be the recipient of the love and care so many have shared. It would be so easy to end up disconnected and it would be exhausting and futile to try to maintain a connection on my own. Thank you to everyone in my life who has put in the time and energy to maintain our connection.