A letter from Jim and Jodi McGill in Malawi
June 1, 2009
Greetings from Atlanta, Georgia. We have nearly completed one school year here and are very near the end of our itineration assignment in the States. We return to Malawi tomorrow. During our time in the States we have spoken about the Synod of Livingstonia and our work in Malawi to approximately 50 churches. Meeting new people and checking in with supporting churches has been the highlight of our time in the States. We have been heartened by the interest and value being placed on continuing mission work in Malawi and throughout the world, including the United States. We are always aware of the gifts of time, thoughts, prayer, and finances provided by you and have greatly appreciated the overwhelming care, concern, and help shown to us during our time here. We have felt humbled and grateful—from holiday treats and cards, tutoring and babysitting, pledges of support for our work and our salaries, and funds to provide our son Michael with a hearing aid and FM amplifier to take back with us to Malawi.
Everyone is looking forward to returning “home,” and even our youngest, John and Joseph, mention almost daily getting on an airplane and going back to Africa. The general consensus from the children is that toys in the United States are better but the bread tastes “funny” and that friends and free time are better in Malawi. Jodi will miss ready-made spaghetti sauce, pre-grated cheese, and tins of refried beans, but is anxious to work again with the nursing students. Jim has been working with some knowledgeable and interesting people at the School of Public Health at Emory University and the Center for Disease Control, and they are exploring ways to support the sustainability needs for protected water and sanitation programs at the community level. He looks forward to returning to Malawi to continue and expand that work, but he confesses that he will miss one thing in addition to family when we return: WiFi Internet access.
We were unable to visit many of you due to constraints of time and distance. However, there is an exciting opportunity to have a visit from other mission personnel during the Mission Challenge 2009. Forty PC(USA) mission personnel will visit hundreds of congregations across the United States this fall to tell how God is at work around the world. World Mission Challenge, a reprise of a similar event in 2007, will be held September 25–October 18, 2009. Learn more at the Mission Challenge Web site or by calling Ellen Dozier at 888-728-7228, x5916. So far, WMC has signed up 145 presbyteries (out of a total of 173) to participate. For a list of the participating presbyteries and the mission speakers, see the above Web page.
World Mission Challenge will conclude with World Mission Celebration, a large gathering for Presbyterians who care deeply about mission. The event will be held October 22–24 in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and the adjoining Duke Energy Center. Learn more at the Mission Celebration Web site or by calling Lis Valle at 888-728-7228 x5279.
Thank you again for being with us in spirit during this time in the States, and we look forward to hearing from you and seeing some of you in Malawi.
Jim and Jodi
The 2009 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 44