MALAWI: Stickland shares thoughts on life in Africa
The Western Territory’s Jennifer Stickland, of the Tustin Ranch Corps, Calif., arrived in Malawi not long ago to serve as a short-term lay missionary. Here she sends news of her work there and of her thoughts as she adjusts to life in Africa.
While new experiences away from home seem somewhat intimidating at first, the knowledge of your prayer support and the kindness and generosity of those around me give me strength and security.
I work at the Salvation Army’s Development Office, which is an eight-minute walk from my place.
Besides me, there are about fifteen other people working there. Development is separate from CHQ (Command Headquarters) and is pretty new for the Army here. Captain Ted Horwood started the work with two other people when he was here, and now the staff numbers around 62. The department has grown quite rapidly. To sum up, the Development Department works with international donors including WFP (World Food Program), SAWSO (Salvation Army World Service Office), OXFAM (a British poverty relief organization) and USAID (US Agency for International Development) to facilitate health and feeding programs in Malawi. The Army doesn’t pay for the food and services; it just carries out the work. What a wonderful opportunity to witness.
The people here are very warm and so is the weather. I’ve been told it will be quite hot come November. We’ve had no electrical power for four days now, and it was just restored. I’m hurrying to send this while it’s on.
So far I’ve been able to see a little bit of the country. The Army work sites are spread out, so it gives me an opportunity to get out of town and see the rural areas. It’s quite amazing and beautiful. Also, I was able to go to my first game park this week for a short visit. I saw baboons and elephants and attempted to sleep in a lodge with small creatures in the wall…yikes!
I’ve attended the local corps/church twice now. The congregation is small but the Spirit is there. We sing all the familiar songs but somehow those words seem much more powerful right now. Thus far, my favorite thing here is the African singing. Whether they are singing traditional hymns or native songs, the sincerity and passion with which they sing them touches my heart.
Please keep Jennifer and all our missionaries in prayer as they reach out with God’s love to others throughout the world. If you are interested in learning more about missions, check out the Army’s website at www.salvationarmy.usawest.org/missions.