It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks and isn't going to let up any for another week or two, at least. I know you probably get tired of hearing this BUT.... we need another couple here in Malawi so badly. We will even have a nice flat in Lilongwe for a couple soon. We have a positive attitude and are renting a place!! :) We will stay there when we go up. It should be ready in a few weeks.
We have 12 missionaries arriving this coming Wednesday (7 brand new ones). We are losing 4 (3 transferred to Zambia and one going home). Our numbers are increasing by 8 and we have been busy getting things ready for them and even still there will be 6 in the flat in lilongwe for a week or two. We will head back to Lilongwe this weekend IF we get diesel. Yes, diesel is still a huge problem - even worse right now. A lady who runs a nearby station said she thinks they will get it tomorrow and will call us when she knows. There were several queues today for diesel but it didn't seem like any ever arrived. We bought 6, 25 ltr. container yesterday and will try and fill them - she did say we could. We have two other empty ones as well.
DHL brought us 32 boxes today from Church Distribution I was busy sorting out orders but still have a lot to do. Some will have to wait.
Maria in Liwonde is doing better. She ended up in the hospital and Bro. Chisambo told us they gave her a drink of blood and that seemed to help perk her up. Her daughter, Maria, said they gave her a drip of blood (maybe that is what Bro. Chisambo said and I just misunderstood him). We are glad she is feeling a bit better. They say her cancer is at stage 4 (not sure what that means) but it isn't good.
I have been busy catching up - getting my financial ledgers done and sent in. It takes longer than usual because of some new codes we now have to use. The missionaries were suppose to start using their JPMorgan cards (credit cards that their weekly allotments are put on) the 1st of September but it hasn't happened yet. They say perhaps on Monday but.... we won't hold our breath. I am prepared in case we need to give them the cash. We will still need to give them phone cards and transport money for now anyway.
There is talk of demonstrations again on Wednesday, Sept 21st, but we are praying they don't happen. Most people don't think they will but a few aren't sure. There are talks supposedly going on and the United Nations is trying to keep them talking so they can work things out. If there are demonstrations it could be a problem getting the missionaries from the airport. The Lord will look out for his missionaries and they will arrive safely. When they arrive we will get their paperwork filled out for TEP's and TRP's and they will spend the night in Blantyre -- 6 here and the others in Elders flats. We will put 5 on a bus and take 2 in the truck with us and get them to Lilongwe. There are no Elders in Lilongwe right now (with our one going home) that can drive the vehicle there so we will go up and get them all where they need to go.
At the Kauma meeting house in Lilongwe we have been letting people from the village come and get water. We calculated the cost of it and it only adds up to about $60 a month and it is helping a lot of people. After discussing it with the mission president we decided to continue to let them have clean water. This time of year (end of dry season) water is harder to get. PROBLEM: We got a phone call tonight from the Branch President there and he has learned that the gate guard has been charging the people for the water!! I guess he saw an opportunity and so he took it!! We called the company that supplies the guards and told them we would be up there Monday and would deal with it. So much for us thinking that we were being good samaritans to these people! He isn't charging a lot but I'm sure it adds up for him as there are a lot coming for water. These are very poor people he is taking advantage of. He will likely lose his job --- well at least he won't be working at the church anymore.
It is getting hot here now. We have the fans going and will be glad when we move to the new place that has air conditioners. October is the hottest month and we won't move until at least Nov. 1st. Spring is here and the leaves are coming out on the trees. Some trees lose their leaves in winter and some don't. Soon we will be seeing the jacaranda trees blossom!
There were other things to report but I guess I am tired because I can't think!! If it's important I will remember next time. We did get some of the white shirts that our stake contributed. There is a boxful of brand new shirts and we decided we will use them for missionaries in need, - ones that are serving and ones that are leaving from here. Some go on missions with only 2 white shirts and that isn't enough. We will take some pictures when we start giving them out (when it is appropriate) so you can see their happy faces.
I'm going to head to bed. Love to all. Mom/Sister Bullock/Nancy