Liv and I are going on a Missions trip to Malawi, Africa with our church, Steamboat Christian Center. We leave with 15 other people on February 14th (Happy Valentine's Day!) and return on March 4th. We will be based in Monkey Bay, Malawi (Southeast Africa) and doing projects near there and the remote village of Zambo 4 miles away (remote = no road). The below is a photo of Zambo. It is accessible only by boat or foot. Monkey Bay is on the other side of one of those "little" hills
We will be supporting the efforts of a Steamboat woman, Grace Hampton, who has been assisting the small village of Zambo for the last three years. (For specific details of her inspiring accomplishments there and our specific projects, see the excerpt from a recent letter to her friends and family at the end of this page.)
Liv and I are extremely excited to be a part of such a profound endeavor. We are looking for sponsors to help us with the approximately $3,000 per person cost of transportation and lodging. (Additional expenses include passport fees, vaccinations and many supplies)
When I first learned of the trip, I thought "No way can I afford a minimum of $6,000 for both of us!" and shrugged the idea off. When the idea would not allow itself to be shrugged, a quote came to mind that inspired me. It was from the movie Babe (I know, silly, right?) and it was this: "Farmer Hoggett knew that little ideas that tickled and nagged and refused to go away should never be ignored, for in them lie the seeds of destiny."
Seeds of destiny, you say? sign me up! But still, the money issue. Impossible. Then the brilliant Nelson Mandela passed and, the internet and social media sites were flooded with his inspiring quotes. The one that kept finding me (again and again and again) was: "It always seems impossible, until it is done". I decided to take heed and, in a Field-of-Dreams-fit-of "If you build it, they will come" sort of moment, I committed Liv and I to participate. I have fearful thoughts of: "What have I done! What did I just get us into?" and then remember, faith and fear are mutually exclusive so, I am going for faith. I choose to believe in a God who has our backs.
These are some of the beautiful children we will be working with. Liv has been warned the children will pet her with her white skin and lightish hair, she can't wait!
Any donation will help! You can donate directly to this site or, if you want to make a larger tax deductible donation, you can send a check directly to the church and indicate "Missions" in the memo section. Also, include a note indicating the contribution is to help with Liv's and my expenses so they know to credit our balance. Make sure to let me know as well so I can count it towards our goal.Steamboat Christian Center
Attn: Shawn Donnelly - Malawi Mission
PO Box 770968
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
Call me at 970-846-3944 or the church at 970-879-0063 xt 1 if you have any questions.
Having done similar "work" in Jamaica when I was 20, I know firsthand how getting "out of ourselves" to be of service is life changing and life enriching. My foundation was forever shifted by the experience and I am excited Liv will get to have a similar experience at a much younger age.
In the 2 months I was in Jamaica, I got head lice, impetigo, tendonitis (from always carrying kids) and was usually filthy. I had never been happier. I went to 'help' and was profoundly altered.
Thank all of you in advance for your generous donations. Know that your contributions will have a far-reaching impact.
"May the road rise up to meet you and the wind be always at your back."
Madeleine & Liv
Grace Hampton - Excerpt from December 2013 family letter:
"With the beautiful
encouragement and generous donations, last year I assisted the
community with funding and constructing a new school building for young orphans
that has served as a place for the children to gather for learning, shelter and
a well-balanced meal. During this past year, with the hard work and commitment
of the local people, we have been able to give these children a protein rich
meal everyday and provide them with trained teachers in a school which is
supported and recognized by the Malawian government. During this past year I have continued to send
$80 USD a month to Rita (local woman who runs the school), giving her the ability to purchase enough food to
provide the approximately 60 children with one meal a day for the entire month.
This funding also gives the 4 teachers a small monthly
salary to continue to be able to give their time to the school."
"With the help of the
local church here, Steamboat Christian Center, the community of Zambo will also
be encouraged and supported by 17 volunteers traveling from Steamboat Springs,
Colorado to Malawi, Africa for 2 weeks. These spirited individuals will work
hard to complete several proposed projects. The schoolhouse will
be completed by painting the building and constructing a playground; as well as
digging, planting and tending the surrounding land of the school house for
vegetable gardens. We will also be teaching about compost and the importance of
its fertility, designing and constructing 2 compostable toilets and an area for
food/plant compost. By building chicken coups and purchasing chickens, we can
provide a continued supply of eggs and meat. There will also be a large tank
constructed on the edge of the school building for the catchment of rain and
roof water, providing for all the life around the school with water during the
long dry season." The one water pump for the whole village:
traveling from Steamboat Springs will be bringing different ideas, talents and
skills they can share with the people of Zambo and Monkey Bay. There are some
young adults coming who will participate in youth sports and tutoring at the
school. We will also be visiting the elders, disabled, and sick people of the
villages, providing them with their necessities and giving our support. The few
nurses who are volunteering their time have the ability to bring simulation
devices to teach CPR and healthy child birth, as well as other needed supplies
to perform small health clinics."
Doesn't this sound sublime!