"Over and over, when I ask God why all of these injustices are allowed to exist in the world, I can feel the Spirit whisper to me, “You tell me why we allow this to happen. You are my body, my hands, my feet.”"
—Shaine Claiborne, The Irresistible Revolution
Landlocked Malawi ranks among the world's most densely populated and least developed countries.
In 2004 it's said that 54% of the people were under the poverty line.
Malawians deal with hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis. According to USAID 45% of the country’s children underage five are stunted due to the lack of adequate nutrition.
Major infectious diseases include but are not limited to typhoid, malaria and hepatitis C, and the degree of risk is very high.
In 2009 there were estimated to be about 920,000 people diagnosed and living with HIV AIDS, and I've heard from a number of different sources that that number is also estimated to rise higher (the highest I heard was 2 million).
Worldwide, 16 million children have been orphaned by aids, and 14.8 million of these children live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where Malawi is located. In 2009, 650,000 children were orphaned by AIDS in Malawi, and I've heard that number by another source to have gone up to over 1 million in our present time.
This is where I'm leaving to go early Wednesday morning on a missions trip to help repair a Bible school, paint, work, put on services, pray, go to orphanages, bring supplies, evangelize, do outreaches, and anything you can probably think of doing to help out overseas.
From the time I was very little I knew I would someday go back to Africa. I was born in Ivory Coast in 1992 in the middle of a revolution. Going back always seemed like a very far off and distant dream, not really something that would be a reality for a while. I can say that growing up I always felt immensely comforted by the sound of an African speaking English with their accent. It had a soothing effect on me. Although I will not be returning to Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire this time I travel in Africa (I will go back someday), I am extremely excited about reconnecting with part of a culture that I was born into.
I'm Ivorian. I was born in this far away continent, and this will be my first time returning. I am not exactly sure what to expect, and I already know many people have said they've gone to Africa and left their heart there. That once I go I'll never be the same.
I don't want to be the same when I come back, but honestly? I think I was created with a heart for Africa when I was born during that revolution 19 years ago. I think I've always had it and I think that going back for the first time, after all this time, I'll discover it was there all along.
What can you do to help me? If you have a digital camera that I could borrow that would be fantabulous since mine broke :) But really? Pray. Pray hard. Just because we're going, doesn't make it safe, but we're going anyways. There's something about looking adversity in the face and saying "My God is bigger" that empowers you. I can't wait to tell you all about it when I get back.