Mattâ€™s parents, Eric and Lorraine Floreen, are here visiting us for 2 1/2 weeks.Â Rachelâ€™s busy keeping a house full of 12 going, so we jumped at the opportunity to have Lorraine guest blog for us!
(Lorraine Floreen) Weâ€™ve been here for two weeks now. Matt and Rachel have done a great job at making a peaceful and homey atmosphere even with power outages. And the meals weâ€™ve had, well let me just say that on several occasions Eric has asked Rachel to send me the recipe.
Having lived in Jamaica, there is much that seems familiar, everything from driving on the other side of the road, to being in the minority, to bartering. Weâ€™ve gotten to experience a lot, starting with one Sunday worshiping at IBF (tea before service was a treat!), followed by a trip to Zomba plateau. We were surprised at all the villages but even more so the number of people walking along the â€˜highway.â€™ Matt did a great job of making us feel comfortable even driving up the twisty road to the 6,000 foot plateau and up another 2,000+ feet to where we were staying. We arrived to no power, but a fire and candles and oil lights awaiting us. The very first morning Abigail and I were up while the rest of the family slept, and when we went into the backyard, a baboon passed about 6 feet from us. It was the first of many baboons we saw while there.
Matt also took us to a village in Mozambique with the team from The Masterâ€™s College. It was 15 km off the highway, but it took about 3 hours for us to drive that distance, mostly because we only had one 4 wheel drive vehicle, and clearance was a problem for the other vehicle. We took tents that we slept in, and were prepared for having no running water or electricity, but it was even more basic that we expected. Not a chair or bench to sit on, except for the mud covered brick â€˜benchesâ€™ in the church. Due to a diesel shortage, we took one less vehicle, so Rachel and Abigail stayed behind. Because Rachel wasnâ€™t there, I, as Mattâ€™s mom, was presented with a large basket of maize flour and a live chicken as a welcoming gift. These people love the Lord Jesus and shared the little they had with us – they made maize meal for us twice a day, and even killed a goat for us to eat.
Watching Matt and Rachel minister here in Malawi, and playing with Abigail, has been a blessing far beyond what we had expected.