Monday, October 27, 2008

Malawi and Music

Last night, a missionary family visited our church. They are raising support to go to Malawi, Africa.

I learned quite a bit about Malawi that I didn't know before. For example, I believe there are 13 million people in that country, and the geographical size of it is about equivalent to Tennessee. The people of Malawi are well known for their kindness and warmth; Malawi is known as "the warm heart of Africa."

The country of Malawi is amazingly poor. Though only 20% of the land is fit for farming, that is the way 90% of the people make a living. Our Pastor was a missionary for 25 years, and has been many times to the country of Romania. He says that the Romanians are very poor, but they are sending missionaries to Malawi, and the Romanians are amazed at the poverty there.

David Livingston opened the country of Malawi through his explorations. Because of his work, the slave trade in Malawi was eradicated. From that time, the country had been open to the gospel, but it has also been a sowing place for the seeds of deception. Numerous cults, as well as the Islam religion in recent years, have been established there. True Christianity is rare.

Despite this, the people there (in general) are very open to witnessing. Even the Islamic circles have not yet developed the hatred for Christianity that is found in other Islamic countries. It is said that the Malawi people are quick to believe when the gospel is explained to them. They just haven't heard before.

To see a field THIS white unto harvest makes my breath come quickly. What an opportunity! I am so glad this family is going there. And I'm glad I've had the blessing of meeting them, and getting to know them.

This family has seven girls, ranging in age from 12 to 22. They all sing, and six of them play instruments.

I don't remember if I've mentioned this before on my blog, but three of my siblings and I have joined together with three siblings from another family in our church to make a music group. The seven of us get together and practice almost every week, and whenever we can we do specials for church, visit nursing home-type places, or go out anywhere else we have an opening to play.

At the request of folks at our church, we've given our group a name; The King's Strings. Between the seven of us, we have two guitars (but three guitar players!), one banjo, one banjatar (a cross between a banjo and a guitar. Both of my brothers can play this), one violin, one flute, two mandolins, and three possible harmonicas (they don't all play at the same time). We also have a couple piano players amongst us, though that's not a very portable instrument. :)

The family visiting us had...oh, let's see...I think they had three guitars, one banjo, two violins, and four mandolins. Oh yes - the father can play the trumpet, and several of the girls can play piano.

...Can you guess where this is heading?

Yup; we had a deliriously fun time after the service was over. FIFTEEN instruments going at once! (One of my brothers was playing two at the same time, and one sibling who doesn't usually join in with The King's Strings decided to play the piano.)

One piano. One flute. One harmonica. One banjatar. Two banjos. Two violins. Four guitars. Three mandolins. (...or was it three guitars and four mandolins?)


Talk about loud. Talk about complex! Talk about fun. We just played, and played, and played.


Leah said...

Thank you for telling us about the Malawi people. Now I can pray for them!

It sounds like you had a wonderful time with the music, what a blessing!

Alethea Jordan said...

Wow. That sounds like soooooo much fun!

Amanda said...

**How fun!!!** As you know, we *love* to make music with other people - wish we could've been there!

Also, that is *really* exciting and challenging about Malawi! I am *very* interested in missions, though I don't know exactly where I'm supposed to go. Here's another open field...