by Lizzie Randazzo
I remember when I was just a few days out from my first trip to Africa in 2010. I was terrified and overwhelmed by the unknown. I didn’t personally know anyone on my team and I had trouble picturing anything past the airport. I remember telling family members that this might be my last big mission trip because I felt so nervous about going and had no idea what to expect. Now, I want to whisper to my then-20-year-old self, “You have no idea what the Lord has in store for you! This is literally just the very beginning.” I also like to imagine the Lord watching over me, knowing what was going to come from that first trip. The Lord’s plans were and still are so much bigger and greater than my own.
Today, with just a few days before another big trip to Malawi, I’m full of joy and excitement at all the Lord will do through my team of twelve. This is our first time taking team members with us on a Market Colors trip! In this time of preparation, I can’t help but compare the Lizzie I am now to the younger (in many ways) version of myself. When I reflect on that, I know the Lord will do far more through this trip than I have planned.
While we’re in Malawi, we’ll be working with a group of about thirty women who are part of a group called The Widow’s Program. I actually met these women on my first-ever day in Africa, and they are the group that inspired Market Colors a few years later. The Widows are so talented and have made beautiful products for us in the past. As our site, style, and design have progressed, it became clear to me that this group will need our partnership to be more hand-on during this transition. Our partnership and model of sustainability has the opportunity to greatly impact this group in a very unique way because they live in extreme poverty. I believe that through this trip, the Widows will be set up to receive more orders from us, increasing their revenue stream. Market Colors exists to do whatever we can to create sustainability for impoverished craftsmen throughout the world. In this case, our design trip is what is needed. My team has been working hard on concept items, brushing up on sewing skills, and doing whatever has been asked of them to be as well-prepared as possible.
When I think back on my story and my first trip to Malawi not so long ago, I remember the words from Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” I am so honored to play a small role in the work the Lord is doing throughout the world.
Please follow along with our trip through Instagram and keep an eye on the hashtag #mcinmalawi!