Myles spends most of his time in his office bashing away on a PC but every now and then he is allowed out for good behaviour 🙂
A few weeks ago an invitation to lead the bible reflections at the retreat of a Malawi based mission team gave Myles the excuse for a sunny midweek escape deep into the Satamwa tea and coffee estate near Thyolo.
Global Interactions is an Australian Baptist mission that works to grow vibrant faith communities among the least-reached people groups. In Malawi that means working in the Mangochi region among the Yao people.
Even before Myles had met with the team, he was inspired by their mission ethos, which is very much in tune with ZM’s approach:
To encourage and empower communities to develop their own distinctive ways of following Jesus
In need of some peace and quiet to step back, pray, and reflect on their work, the team had chosen to stay at the enchanting Chawani bungalow which is set many miles inside the Satamwa estate over red dirt roads, surrounded by the most amazingly lush subtropical rainforest scenery.Satamwa coffee happens to be Myles’s favourite these days so he was keen to have the excuse to see this estate set up in 1923 in the Thyolo Highlands which still retains the feel of an old-fashioned Scottish Highland estate.
Myles and the group used the opportunity to carry out a ‘Spiritual MOT’ based on the insightful quote of Tom Bodett (US author and broadcaster):
They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.
Similarly, Myles and the group found Jesus gives his disciples someone to love, something to do and something to hope for:
Someone to love: We are given two key commandmants – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind“, and “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matt 22:37-39).
Something to do: We are given two key commissions – we are to ‘steward God’s creation’ (Gen 2:15); we are to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).
Something to hope for: They concluded that, just as with driving a 4×4 off-road in Malawi, we are called to balance the “traction” of our lives across the two key commandments and the two key commissions of God. And we are to do this, not looking to either side at worldy things, but looking ahead in certain hope of a glorous life in a “new heaven and a new earth” (Rev 21:1).
Myles found it a time of real refreshment both psycologicaly (being out of the office) and spiritualy (with the great fellowship). And as ever with these things, it was the discussion over coffee and lunch that proved some of the most valuable time as the team shared their experience, the challenges they face, and the opportunities they look forward to in their challenging but rewarding work with the Yao.
Please pray for the Global Interactions team in Mangochi town: Tim, Melanie and their their two boys, Jarred and Clayton; Graham and Pam; and Robyn. Pray also for the many other faithful disciples working with Muslims in that area – many of whom we meet as they pass through Blantyre – who live and work in even more remote villages further north and east in Mangochi district.