Saying “Yes” to Malawi

On Tuesday evening, I will board a plane en route to Malawi, in southeast Africa. It will be the first leg of 46 total hours of flight time, and in the seats around me will be 13 women and 1 man, all of us adventuring together.

During our visit, we will lead professional development seminars for the Malawian teachers from 3 villages near Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

I’m actually co-leading this team, but that’s a story for a different day. (Hopefully, someday soon.)

But I simply wanted to pop in here to very briefly explain why I’m going to Malawi.

The reasons are many.  They include thoughts, dreams, plans, questions, social justice and education and the local church and using my gifts.

But ultimately?

I said “yes” to Malawi because I didn’t have a good reason to say “no.” For each obstacle my over-thinking brain generated, a clear and simple rebuttal was easy to find.

No, I can’t leave Ian for 2 weeks. Of course I can. Evan is a more than capable parent, we have friends and family around to help, and I’ll enjoy his giggles all the more after missing them.

No, I can’t take 2 weeks off work. Of course I can. I can work hard to get ahead, my coworkers will fill in the gaps, and Jesus is responsible for the ministry, anyway.

No, I might get sick. That’s what doctors and vaccines are for.

And so forth.

Annie Downs has long been one of my favorite bloggers (since way back when she was an elementary school teacher in Georgia), and she released a new book this week. The title?

Let’s All Be Brave.


I’m pretty confident that it’s NOT a coincidence that this book came out right before I head off to traverse hemispheres, so I immediately went to Barnes and Nobel and bought it. It was the first thing I stuffed into my carry-on, and I can’t wait to crack it open as our plane leaves the runway.

I’m looking forward to saying “yes.”


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