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Painting Layers

I find a misty well rising in my eyes these days. Stinging. Breaking. Falling. Like my heart. It’s because every tear holds a face, and every face holds my heart. Tears drip onto pages of my life and the colors bleed together, making forever indistinguishable what was once separate. I suppose this is what makes endings so hard. It seems that between the beginning and ending of things there is the messy bit called the middle. And, it’s in the middle where the tears and faces and hearts all bleed together like colors on the pages of my life. Endings […]

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A Creative Adventure in Faith

Have you ever had someone recognize something in you that you couldn’t see or thought was insignificant about yourself? If so, it was probably someone who knows you really well like a parent, close friend, or mentor. But, what if it was a total stranger? Someone you have never met, but who was put in your path by no contrivance of your own. Things like that never happen to me. But, last month, it did. I’ve been wanting to write a post about the whole thing, but on top of it being rather busy around here and being sick, I felt […]

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Malawi Conference 2016 in Photos

MalawiCon 2016 was another significant event marking the continuation of God’s faithfulness to the work in Malawi. Pastor Scibelli, the Missions Director of Greater Grace Church, was the guest speaker for the conference and graduation. Fifty students graduated with either a two year certificate or three year diploma. Over three-hundred people were in attendance, filling the hall to maximum capacity. It was a great celebration as we watched God promote many young men and women in the faith. Find out more about Malawi at armanmissions.com and mattsliva.com

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The Barriers to Loving and to Being Loved

The Boy The other day I walked into town. It’s about a 20 minute walk. I like to walk into town because it’s a chance to be quiet. I can pray or take some time to hash things out in my mind that have been troubling me. A couple minutes into my walk, a little boy came up next to me and started asking me for money. He could not have been more than 4 or 5 years old. His little shirt and shorts were filled with holes, and he didn’t have shoes. If he had bathed in the last […]

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Stories: Katie Ngoma

  We first met this courageous lady as a group of us gathered around her bed in the post-surgical ward of a local Korean owned hospital. Hooked up to an IV that she monitored herself, she smiled wide at us while recounting the events that led up to her fifth (and thankfully, final) corrective surgery following the botched Caesarean section that brought her first and only child into the world. From that day we have watched her miraculous recovery and fearless confidence in God. For those of you who will understand this reference, she is the “Trish Watson” of our church […]

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Stitching Line upon Line

“For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) These days have been filled with stitching.  Needle pierces fabric; a tiny sword piercing flesh, “penetrating…the deepest parts of our nature.” Needle goes down, pulling crimson thread behind. Sword piercing flesh […]

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Chinsapo Bible Study Photos

Every Thursday we have a Bible Study in one of the poorest areas of Lilongwe. This was the first time Lisa and I went. We walked about a third of the way. On foot you can really get a picture of the lives people live here. The surprising thing is you still find people laughing and kids playing. Its hard to translate what we see into words but hopefully these pictures will give you a better idea what is like to be here. Kids are always interested to see us. A little wave or a thumbs up will make their […]

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Written On Our Hearts

A time to not only write words on our hands, but to have words written on our hearts It’s not everyday a note is worthy of being written on your hand. I realize some people do this all the time, but for me it has to be something really worth keeping. Pastor Renaldo’s recent visit to us here in Malawi was worthy. He brought encouragement, wisdom, rebuke, and faith. I imagine his words touched each person in a personal way as I know they did me. We needed his visit as a church, and I needed his visit as friend, I […]

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Merry Christmas

This Christmas we have so much to be thankful for. The halls of our little green apartment are festively decked, but mostly this season we have been awakening to the reality of Emmanuel, God with us. He has made Himself known in the littlest of things, and in the things that seem too big, even for Him. We have sensed Him with us in our messy life, caring about it, and pouring out His grace and faithfulness over and over again. Being a missionary isn’t anything glamorous or profound, but we are finding it to be a gift, sometimes wrapped […]

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Today is for…

Today is for… I’m stirring early on this day. But, today is not the day I thought today would be. Today is not for pancakes and sipping coffee from under blankets. It’s not for filling the ears with Christmas and the screen with floats and yardage. It’s not for enjoying us in a strange place where exotic birds call at dawn and sun beats down on dusty streets. It’s not for grateful sentiments on napkins and over mantels. There will be no fireplace, no cozy sweaters, no snow here today. No, today will not be the day I thought today […]