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A letter from Kay Day in Malawi

June 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings from the Warm Heart of Africa. This will be the last of those greetings for a while, since I leave in less than a month for a three-month tour in the States for Mission Interpretation and time to see many of you face-to-face. I am becoming eager for that opportunity.

It will be a bit strange coming to summer in the U.S. since it is the cold season here. One can’t really call it winter, given what winters are in Pennsylvania. But by Malawian standards, it is cold—in the 40s at night and the 60s during the day. This is also harvest season. The crops are in, for those who plant with the rains and can’t irrigate. That is most of the population. For some the harvest has been good while for others their harvest has been greatly affected by the spotty rains this year. In some areas, like Balaka and Ntcheu, the yield has been less than half of normal and they are preparing for hungry times ahead. But amazingly the Christians in those areas are still participating in Masika. Masika means harvest, and it is a time when Christians bring the first fruits of their crops to the church as an offering of thanksgiving to God (Deut. 26:2). They literally bring the crops—bags or bowls of corn and of rice, stalks of sugarcane, baskets of vegetables and fruits and eggs, and even live chickens. They believe that this is only right, to thank God for the fact that they have crops at all. The fact that the harvest is bad has not affected their thanksgiving. They have some harvest and that is cause for praise. Four Sundays are set aside for people to bring their harvest. During the offering, in addition to money, they bring their crops, dancing up the aisle with joy as the congregation sings “Bringing in the Sheaves,” that old hymn that is almost never sung in our churches in the States. Here it is a part of the Christian culture—we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Part of this harvest gathering is given to the pastor and part is given to the poorest of the congregation, especially the widows and the orphans. They take biblical instructions seriously. Then they trust that God will provide for their needs when their storeroom is empty. This trust is part of their faithful life, just as the giving of Masika is.

Please join me in praying that God will be faithful to his faithful of Malawi and provide for them in the hungry times ahead. Join me in prayer for safe travel as I leave Malawi on July 14 and begin a time of travel and speaking in the States, my offering of thanksgiving for all God has done for me. I have plans to see many of you and look forward to that. There are still a few dates open, if some of your churches might be willing to host a time of hearing about what God is doing in Malawi. Feel free to contact me about available times. I would love the opportunity to share with God’s faithful in America.

See you soon. Love,

 

Kay (Cathie to family)

The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 106

Blog: Day's Diary

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