Malawi Moonsmoke


Captivating stories of author's exciting spiritual journey in third world development

Applying the "Public Health Model" to Nsanje District in southern-most Malawi, the author weaves the story-threads into an almost palpable fabric of successful interventions in Child Survival. She underpins the mission with her personal experiences in her spiritual journey from widowhood through senior-citizen romance to selfless adventure in Africa.

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Captivating stories of author's exciting spiritual journey in third world development

Applying the "Public Health Model" to Nsanje District in southern-most Malawi, the author weaves the story-threads into an almost palpable fabric of successful interventions in Child Survival. She underpins the mission with her personal experiences in her spiritual journey from widowhood through senior-citizen romance to selfless adventure in Africa.

Family Nurse Practitioner, author, teacher, and more -- Bee has been invited to High Schools and Universities to present portions of Malawi Moonsmoke to graduate and under-graduate students.

Professor Judy Murray, Ph.D. Executive Director for Idaho Nurses Assn., and formerly with Boise State University, says of this book: "This is an intensely personal story of the author's faith as she developed a public heatlh system of village health workers in very needy parts of Malawi. This system will continue to help the people long after she is gone."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598003420
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/30/2006
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I could not help but be especially interested in the outcomes of our two most remote villages, Misamvu and Kanyimbi. Mr. Honex Faind Phiri, HSA, chose to be stationed in Misamvu and Mr. Castings Mchiza, HSA, chose Kanyimbi because his younger brother was a primary school teacher there. Both of these men were married and had wives and children about 100 kilometers distant in the valley. Both young men had experienced some successes in farming and business, hence it was an unusual sacrifice for them to make to choose these distant locales. Theirs was the first scheduled training for volunteer Mother Visitors, and I had made a commitment to attend the completion ceremonies for as many of these groups as possible. It was a particularly hot day as I drove with Supervising HI, James Lusuntha, the 140 kilometers from Ngabu to Misamvu. The classes had been conducted in an unused classroom in the Primary School. The final oral examination for the Mother Visitors was to be administered by Mr. Lusuntha, followed by speeches of congratulation by village leaders and the HSA team teachers, and a festive communal dinner of goat meat stew with vegetables and nsima. As 25 pairs of dusty, bare, black feet entered the room I was impressed by the wonderful courtesy they each observed. Bowing graciously to their leaders and me at the doorway, they took their seats at good classroom desks. By presidential edict, no class or formal meeting ever begins without a prayer to the Creator-God. Mr. Phiri designated one of the men to pray (there were only two women in the class -- both of them traditional midwives). The designated man asked the people to stand and bow their heads, and it was about this time, with the deep resonant voice of this man thanking God for the Child Survival opportunity, that I began to fill up with tears. This is the beginning of results, here in this faraway place, with these precious people, excited and happy to serve their own. I could understand some of the Chichewa words in Mr. Lusuntha's oral examination. As each student was addressed, he or she stood up, erect, and addressed their answer, "Sir, ..." As each one confidently responded to question after question, they demonstrated how well prepared in understanding of the purposes of the project, their anticipated roles and the health messages, interventions and actions they could give. As I listened and watched, the hot sun was beating down on that tin roof and brick walls, and flies began to buzz around our faces. Brushing them off, I jotted down some of my impressions and those moving thoughts became a poem, entitled Jesus Christ in Misamvu. Although I have used this poem many times since that day, I have never been impressed to edit it.
Here is how it goes:Jesus walked the dusty trails to Misamvu today;
Bare, black feet on the thorny ground, under the African sun.
He came in the heart of His child, Mr. Phiri –
He, Who risked all to save all people, came
Into Mr. Phiri's heart, to call him, also, to a certain risk;
The risk of leaving his home and family, in order to serve;
And the risk of rejection by those whom he came to serve. Jesus talked to the people in Misamvu today;
And the people said, "you are welcome!
Did you bring us medicine?"
But Jesus, in Mr. Phiri, said, "I give you better than medicine;
I give you myself, to live among you and to teach you,
That your children might not die."
"I come to show you a new and better way;
I want to make Disciples* of you.
Then you, too, can show and teach a better way." Jesus taught His disciples in Misamvu today;
Those who responded to His call; and
The love of God was carried to this furthest outpost of Malawi;
To forever change the hearts and lives of His children there.Now, a child cries out in fever and pain, and
A mother's anguished look appears.
Jesus responds through His disciples who are
listening, treating, encouraging, teaching and touching.
The mother responds to Him by listening, learning,
cleansing and patiently rehydrating her child.
And the child then responds to Him with laughter
playing in the sunshine. And the village people begin to clean the entire village,
Protecting their water supply; planting better gardens,
Teaching and learning from one another, and
Praising Mulungu, the One God who made them, and called them
to a more abundant life! Jesus prayed in Misamvu today; the prayer gratefully yielding
these children to the Father's care.
Jesus lives in the hearts of many in Misamvu today,
because He came in the heart of one man.
*Child Survival Volunteers Mr. Mchiza's family had no plans to join him in mountainous Kanyimbi. The older children were in school and mayi (mother) Mchiza was an excellent manager in overseeing the planting, growing and harvesting of their cotton, maize and guar bean crops. Mr. Phiri's wife was much younger and they had a young child eleven months old. They seemed very happy as they first moved all the family katundu up and out to Misamvu. After only about a month, mother and young son joined Mr. Phiri and Ken in the old blue Toyota when all was ready for them in the Misamvu house. As Ken drove up through the ebony forest he became increasingly concerned at the severe coughing, strangling and crying of the baby. He suggested that they turn around and go back to the Kalema Parish Hospital for some medical help, but the parents declined, saying they were sure the baby would be all right just as soon as the motion of the car was past. Ken again asked as they were putting things away into that little brick home, if they would please allow him to take mother and baby back to the hospital about 70 kilometers away. Again, they refused, and about dusk Ken left to maneuver the Land Cruiser down the rugged foot path, just barely wide enough for the 4-wheel drive Toyota. He felt sadness as he brought the vehicle back to the tarmac and past the Parish Hospital. One week later, as the jungle drums brought the message, we learned that the suffering baby died the next morning and even the traditional healer in Misamvu village recognized the condition as whooping cough. Although this child was still breast feeding and thus receiving disease-fighting antibodies from his mother, he had not completed the important infant immunization for diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT). Needless to say, the mother and father were devastated. The young mother said she could not stay in that remote village any longer and she returned to her parents' home. She hinted at leaving her husband forever and finding a man who could give her strong babies that would not die at the least infection. Ultimately she did divorce Mr. Phiri, but he determined that he had made this commitment to his God and his people and he would stay on alone, if need be.
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