by Lizzie Wirgau
After two very long days of travel, we made it to Malawi. This beautiful country is incredibly special to me. My first trip to Africa was to Malawi, and this is where I initially felt the call on my heart to work with those in Africa.
We had the best greeting at the airport! The beautiful COTN Widows greeted us as we approached the baggage claim area. Not only were they singing and dancing, but they were wearing Market Colors labels on their shirts. As soon as they saw us, they wrapped us up in chitenjis. A chitenjis is a piece of fabric used for everything...baby carrier, head wrap, and for us, a skirt wrap.
From the airport, we traveled to the Widows Program facility, where the children in the village had organized a welcome program for us. The performances ranged from the little ones reciting the alphabet to the older boys doing a choreographed dance to the drums.
My first time in the village on every trip I take is always so special. There’s something about finally being in the village that makes me feel like I’m picking up right where I left off.
The next day, we spent most of our time talking with the women we work with. We visited their homes, met their children, and heard so many stories, many filled with huge difficulties. These stories are so hard to hear. I often find myself sinking into the feeling that none of this is fair. And it’s true. I feel so blessed materially. However, these women have been able to see God show up in huge ways in their life. These stories of hardship are still bursting with hope and faith in Christ.
The ladies told me that the COTN Widows program has transformed their lives. They also told me that Market Colors is truly making a huge impact in their community. I was so grateful to hear that. Several women shared with me that now they have enough money to open a bank account...the first form of savings and debit usage they have ever had. What an amazing sign that Market Colors is doing what we set out to do!
Today we landed in Ethiopia, where we will visit with more craftsmen and explore their beautiful country. Visit our Instagram for pictures from our journey so far!