Skaggs Steve Vonnie 1990 Malawi

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  • MALAWITHE WARMHEART OF

    AFRICA

    MALAWI CHRISTIAN MISSIONMISSIONARIES- STEPHEN AND VONNIE SKAGGS

    FIELD ADDRESSPC Box 2500

    Blaniyre. MalawAfrica

    Phone 635691

    forwarding agentsJames and BeverlySMts

    SS80 McLarnan RoadGambler. Ohio 43022

    (6141668-2581

    January/February 1990 Newsletter

    TRUCK NOW HOME IN MALAWI

    Yes, we do indeed now have the long-awaited-for ToyotaHilux and we have been very pleased with it thus far. In lateNovember, we were able to go down to Johannesburg, SouthAfrica to pick up the truck and drive it back to Malawi. Thedrive back was long, tiring, and, at some times, very tension-Filed. Jeff Kennedy, a fellow missionary in Mzuzu, Malawi,and I drove our trucks about 2,500 kilometers (about 1500miles) in about two and one half days through Zimbabwe andZambia before we arrived back safely in Malawi. All in all thetrip went very well. Everything went smoothly goingthrough Zimbabwe, as expected. We expected Zambia,however, to be a different story. Surprisingly, though, thingswent pretty smoothly. The Zambian roads had, it seemed, justbeen patched, so there weren't quite as many massive potholesas we were expecting. In addition, the hastle at the Zambianborders wasn't very bad either. What was most surprising,though, was that we didn't encounter as many police/armyroadblocks as we expected. This was truly a blessing, since itis a very uncomfortable feeling having a soldier with amachine gun stop you and want to search through yourvehicle. Certainly, we could feel the Lord protecting us.. . .especially when Jeff Kennedy, who was driving in front ofme, had a blow-out in one of his back tires when we were onlyabout 20 minutes from getting out of Zambia! To say the least,it wasn't comfortable at all to have to stop to repair a flat tireat night in the middle of nowhere in a country that is well-known for its high rate of crime. The exact feeling is hard toexplain, but when Jeff and I crossed the Malawian border, Ireally felt like I was home. I really do feel that the reasonthat our trip went so well was the prayers of so many people

  • for our journey! A special thank you to all of you that werepraying for us!!!

    THE BABY IS COMING!

    As I am sure all of you know, we're expecting our firstchild in early April. After much prayer and consideration,Vonnie and I have decided that it would be wise for Vonnie tohave the baby in Johannesburg, South Africa. Probably thebiggest factor in this decision is the quality of medical careand facilities in Johannesburg as opposed to Malawi. Themedical care here just does not seem to be equipped to dealwith any complications if they arise.

    IN THE WHAT'S HAPPENING DEPARTMENT. . .

    Steve began a language course at Chancellor Collegein Zomba, about one hour's drive from Blantyre, on January17ih. The course in Chichewa is an intensive course lasting 6hours/day, five days/week for two months. We are stilllooking for housing in Blantyre. Houses to rent are veryscarce and rather expensive. We are hoping to find a house torent for one year while we make more permanent plans. Therains are here in Malawi, and from all indications, thecrops are coming along well here! Because of the rains, wehave mostly been visiting churches close to Blantyre.Even though these churches are close, we still often travel abit on dirt roads, but so far we have had no trouble reachingthe churches. Our missionaries here are continuing toreach out to the refugees from Mozambique in Malawithrough the money provided by International Disaster andEmergency Services (IDES). The money is being channeledthrough Bill Brant. Since he is away on furlough, Steve hasbeen organizing the providing of some clothing, medicines,food, and Bibles for these refugees. The needs of the refugeescontinue to be great, but the relief provided by the ChristianChurches/Churches of Christ through IDES, as well as relieffrom many other Christian and non-Christian relieforganizations, is certainly helping the situation here.

  • VONNIE'S CORNER

    We had a special first Christmas here in Malawi. Forthe most part, our Christmas Day was a very warm, sunny, andbrilliantly beautiful summer day. Except for family andfriends, who we missed very much. . . and snow, our daylacked nothing. We were richly blessed through phone callsfrom our friends and family in the States. We ate a delicioustraditional Christmas dinner (with turkey and the works!)with fellow missionaries Gordon and Estelle Nelson, as well asJohn and Gail Douglas (from Chipata, Zambia). Our day was sofull and blessed. It was toward evening, though, when Ireceived a very special gift. One of our Malawian Christianbrothers showed up at our door. In his hand he held a lovelybunch of bananas. . . a gift for Mrs. Skaggs from his wife!Although it has been common for us to receive similar giftsfrom churches we have visited, this was the first time anywornan had given me anything. I was so pleased and honored.Trying to start a ministry among the women has been veryslow for me! My youth holds me back, as well as my lack ofknowledge of the culture here. Trying to find ways to sharethe Lord with them isn't easy. This act from this woman wentbeyond the gift of bananas. It was her acknowledgement ofme as one who has come to share Christ with the Malawianwomen. Steve has been accepted so well by the churches hereas another missionary who has come to help them grow in theLord. But to many of the people here, I am just themissionary's wife, without a real purpose in the work. Steveand I know we came as a team to work with the Malawianpeople. Although keeping our household together andpreparing for motherhood does not allow me the time 1 wouldlike in the work, I have a desire to reach out to these womenand share the greatest gift ever given to us-Christ! 1 felt thegift of the bananas from this dear Malawian woman was apositive sign. Please pray for me, that despite the newresponsibilities of motherhood, this year God will use me toshare His love and Word with these women.

    1989 FINANCIAL STATEMENT AVAILABLE SOON BYREQUEST

    We are currently putting together a financialstatement for 1989. As soon as the stateside figures forDecember come in the mail from our forwarding agents, wewill complete the 1989 financial report and it will be available

  • upon request byaddresses above).

    writing the Sivits or the Skaggs (see

    A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM VONNIE AND STEVE

    We want to thank all of you who sent us cards andletters over the Christmas Season!! We were overwhelmed at

    the many kind and encouraging words sent from so many! Wecannot find words to tell you how much your words andprayers uplift us and push us on in our work! We thank Godfor you daily and we pray for you all. While reading throughRomans, I came across this verse, and it says what I want toshare with you all in this new year: "May the God of hope fillyou all with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you mayoverflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans15:13) May God bless the year of 1990 greatly for each of you!!

    PRAYER ITEMS

    Please join us in praying for the following needs:

    Vonnie's Work With the

    Women and Children

    Housing for Steve andVonnie

    Steve's Chichewa Class Praise for Safe Trip fromS.A. with Truck

    Good Crops for theMalawians This Year

    Refugees from Mozambique

    Continued Growth of the

    Church in Malawi

  • MALAWITHE WARMHEART OF

    AFRICA

    MALAWI CHRISTIAN MISSIONMISSIONARIES; STEPHEN AND VONNIE SKAGGS

    FIELD ADDRESSPC Box 2500

    Sianiyfe MatevsiAll tea

    P>vjne 53569'

    FORWARDING AGENTSJames and BevertySivits

    5S80 McLaman RoadGamtyer. Oho 43022

    16141668-2581

    MARCH/APRIL 1990 NEWSLETTER

    STEVE FINISHES LANGOAGE SCHOOI. I

    Language school is quickly coming to aclose. I have enjoyed the class, but am gettinga bit weary of driving two hours each day as Icarpool back and forth from Zomba. As I havegone through the class, I have picked up somevery interesting expressions! As you know,every culture and language has it's "sayings."For instance, if someone does me a big favor andI wanted to express my gratitude, I might tellhim, "Mudzigona kutali ndi moto," which means,"Sleep far away from the fire." The idea hereis that I want this nice fellow who has done methe favor to keep himself safe. Also I guesseveryone has their version of "two heads arebetter than one." In Chichewa, they say, "Ichinchiyani nkulinga muli awiri." Literally, thismeans, "What this thing is depends on you beingtwo." The idea is "how is one person going tounderstand this problem on his own ... it willtake two people to figure this out." Anotheridiom that expresses the same idea is "mutuumodzi susensa denga." That is "one head can'tcarry a roof." They are referring herespecifically to the roof of a storage bin wherethey store maize. And the verb they are usingfor "carry" refers to carrying things on one'shead. So here in a very literal way, they aresaying that two heads really are better than

  • one, for one can't carry all the materials tobuild a roof on just one head!I

    Although I have been learning a lot inclass, I still have a very long way to go! Istill know only a portion of the language. Soafter class is over, I will just keep pluggingaway at it, and hopefully, with the Lord's help,one day I will be able to speak Chichewafluently!!

    I THE BABY IS ON THE WAY I

    Yes, can you believe it . . . the longawaited addition to the Skaggs family is aboutto arrive! The baby is due around April 8th.And yes, we are getting very eager for itsarrival. Please be praying for us as we traveldown to South Africa for the birth of our child.Also, we want to add a special thank you to allof you who have already done so much for thislittle baby . . . all of t