Let's start at the very beginning ... 
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    In this newsletter ...
  • In the words of Sound of Music's Maria ...
  • My wish
  • What I learned from Bill & Melinda Gates, and a friend
  • The need:
  • Together we can meet these needs!
  • A little boy and his money
from B & M Gates Visitor's Centre

In the words of Sound of Music's Maria ... 

"Let's start at the very beginning
A very good place to start
When you read, you begin with - A, B, C ... "

At the very beginning ... we're all born with needs and wants. At first, we don't know the difference between the two, but eventually we learn. A toddler sees another kid playing with a toy and ... well ... he NEEDS it! In time, though, he realizes that needs aren't just the things he really really wants. On a material level, we need food and clean water to live. We need shelter to protect us. We need good health and hygiene. We need to learn in order to survive and ultimately reach our potential. Globally, we all have these same basic needs. Some of us are born into homes where our basic needs are met. From this starting point, we look out on a world of opportunity. But billions of our global neighbours are born into a world of lack and instability. The future and all it's opportunities vanish, swallowed up by the everyday crisis of survival.

Love a Village works with Malawians to meet
the basic needs of villagers born into poverty.

Because, EVERYONE should have opportunity
to live a healthy and productive life.


(Here's where some of you will stop reading.
I ask instead that you would skip to this part below.)

For those with a cup of tea, and who like a good read ... "ti a drink with jam & bread" ...

My wish

I wish there was a way I could adequately express all I feel due to all I've seen and experienced through my visits to Malawi. It's just impossible though. There's so much that consumes my heart, soul, and mind. And I feel stuck trying to express myself in a way that will infuse your heart with the passion that's stirred inside me. I feel what seems like desperation to have people understand what's going on on the other side of the world. And to know the needs of the people there. I want to write in an inviting kind of way. One that will inspire you to want to do something BIG about it. I want to express what my eyes and heart and spirit have seen and felt, in such a way that people will become passionate along with me. I want to move you to action.

What I learned from Bill & Melinda Gates, and a friend

Last fall I had the wonderful pleasure of visiting my sister in Seattle as I transitioned back into my North American life. While there, I visited the Gates Foundation Visitor's Centre. What an incredibly moving experience! I had to have tissues on hand. 

I've written before about the difficulty I have re-transitioning into my 1st world, "me-first" culture, society, and life. While in Malawi I live for a long time out of a suitcase filled with comparatively little to what my life seems to require in Canada, and I find I do quite well surviving with so little. Through these experiences, I learn a lot about the difference between my needs and wants. And I have come to realise there really is very little that I actually need in life. My NEEDS are simple. My WANTS are vast. Vast comparatively ... depending on where you live in this world. It's quite amazing to see the wants of a Malawian compared to those of a Canadian. Literally, worlds apart.

Tears came regularly while visiting with my sister as I allowed myself to actually sit still, breathe, and re-enter into my life away from Malawi. While visiting the Gates offices, my spirits were gently lifted and I found myself being re-inspired. I took picture after picture of quotes around the office building and the Visitor's Centre. 

It's a good thing to be bothered and uncomfortable
about living here in my first world culture


My heart is still heavy. I think it will always be that way. I believe I will always be bothered and uncomfortable about living here in my first world culture. Which, as a friend recently suggested, is actually a good thing. I am thankful for her wise words! It's painful, but also good. What I have to learn to do is not let the disconnect that presses in on me ram me into the pavement and leave me sinking into a concrete hole, but rather figure out how to get the disconnect to push me up, and out, and spur me on. I feel like I'll be working on the "how" of this for the rest of my life.

One of the biggest things that became clear to me while in Seattle is how important it is for me to present the needs of the people of Malawi by educating and informing the people of Canada. Plain and simple ... money is needed to reach and change the needs of those who don't even have their basic needs met! This is a problem that needs addressing. When I return to Canada I become overwhelmed by how much our country lives beyond our needs, when there are people with huge needs that aren't being met, and simply put - they can't do it on their own. God has given me an opportunity to love and serve those who are in dire need of having their basic needs met and to share with others what these needs are.

God has made it clear to me that I need to work on informing and educating people here, what the needs of the people are there. There's a difference in my mind now between fundraising and, informing and educating. About as vast as the difference between the worlds we live in.

(If you'd like to read about why I'm not appealing to people individually for funds for awhile, read this previous newsletter.)

I left Seattle refreshed. I'll admit, I'm still raw and weepy even today sometimes. But, I'm thankful for two things:

1. To have been reminded by my friend that these feelings of discomfort are a good thing.
2. To have had my eyes opened to the importance of informing Canadians about the NEEDS of Malawians.

... which I will try to briefly do now. 

I'd like to help meet a need

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,

I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about?
When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink?
And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’
Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth:
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored,
that was me—you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:35-36 MSG

from B & M Gates Visitor's Centre

Almost 85% of Malawians are living in extreme poverty
and don't have their basic needs met


• no clean water to drink
• not enough to eat
• unsafe shelter to live in
• poor health & hygiene
• no toilet
• lack of education 
Love a Village believes
that TOGETHER we can cultivate hope
one village at a time by empowering villagers
to escape extreme poverty
and live with their basic needs met.

                The need:

                         • 50 shallow wells (10/year)

                         • 1000 water filters (200/year)

                         • 500 toilets (100/year)

                         • New farming techniques, training & implementation

                         • Sheet metal roofing to replace thatch roofing

                         • Chickens, goats & other animals

                         • Skills for life programmes for girls and women
                            - such and sewing and feminine hygiene

                         • Malawian workers to help implement these projects

      Malawian villagers need help with the basic necessities of life.

Help us help them meet their needs.

I'd like to help meet a need

Together we can meet these needs!

Would you consider sharing the opportunities you were born into, with another person on this planet who was not?
Funds go towards projects and the implementation of these projects. Without workers the projects will go nowhere. For example, we now have 600 Sawyer filters in our basement that we need to distribute while training villagers on their proper use. Love a Village provides funding for Malawians to do this important work. Over and over again, projects open new opportunities not only for beneficiaries but also for project workers and their families. In time, a new vision of what's possible for individuals, families, and whole communities is emerging. The injustice of poverty is starting to break!

Would you consider sharing the opportunities you were born into,
with another person on this planet who was not?
* Monthly support allows us to budget for our projects.
I'd like to help meet a need

A little boy and his money

Recently, I spoke at a school about Love a Village and the people of Malawi. I had the most beautiful little boy (aged 7/8) raise his hand and ask if he could give his money to help. I told him he could speak with me at the end. About 30 minutes later, he came up to me and held out his tiny little hand with his money outstretched in its palm, offering it to help the people of Malawi. Where did this money come from? Was it his lunch money? My heart was filled to its capacity with joyous tears. This boy gets it! The simple faith of a child to give without feeling the sacrifice, and expectantly KNOW that it will make a difference!

Oh God! May we be so bold, trusting and brave!
Oh God! What this child has offered, may it be multiplied in the heavens!

I'd like to help meet a need
I'd like to help meet a need
(Have you noticed there are two little left hands holding the bigger hand?)

Love a Village's teams dove deep into life in Malawi.
God was working in, around, and even through us the whole time.
Here's a brief glimpse into what our teams were doing between May and August, 2016.

(not available to be viewed on phones due to copyright restrictions)

Disclaimer: Music "There Will Be Time" by Mumford & Sons, Baaba Maal (Google Play)
Video by: Kiki

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