How does your garden grow?

MulanjeThe last few weeks has seen a transformation in Malawi as the first rains of the new season turn the trees and grass green. Families are now digging over every scrap of their land (regardless of the size and location they are called ‘gardens’ here in Malawi) and planting the maize on which their livelihood depends.IMG_0513 (2)

The last year in Malawi has seen a transformation in Myles as well – one that would make his ‘tractor boy’ friends in Suffolk smile. The former media exec who jetted from one capital city office to another, now finds himself talking authoritatively with rural pastors about the quality of the physical soil and the spiritual soil of their villages, and comparing the challenges of the dry sandy grit of Monkey Bay with the rich loam of Thyolo.

IMG_0512 (2)As you may remember from last year, the garden around our bungalow is not immune to this horticultural transformation, and Jack – the keenest gardener among our guards – has already planted his maize some three weeks earlier than last year. This is surely a good sign for a nation with maize prices rising, the President calling for aid, and  2.8 million people reported as very short of food.

Nevertheless, regardless of the problems from last year’s floods, we cannot help but stand amazed at the gift of God when you see warm, well watered and cared for Malawi soil bring forth abundant growth so quickly. See for yourself the transformation in Jack’s garden last year; recorded by Myles as he took a photo almost every Saturday for about 5 months.

As we see even the waste places at the side of the Blantyre’s roads being transformed into green gardens, Myles rather annoyingly finds himself repeatedly humming the tune of “Our God Reigns” based on Isaiah 52:9

Waste places of Jerusalem
Break forth with joy

And together, despite the repetitive day-to-day work we face in our maturing ministry here, we dream of a time when the Lord’s spiritual rain falls on Malawi and the spiritual fields break forth with joy; green with new life for God.

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