Thursday, June 26, 2014

Leaving Malawi

Dear Family and Friends,

It is 2:05 AM on the morning of our departure from Malawi after our four years of service with ABC Christian Academy! It is indeed hard to believe that we are leaving, now in just a few short hours.

I would love to be able to take the time to share a few of the things that God has been teaching us through these last few months. Maybe we can have coffee or tea sometime and get to talk more about it. We are also eager to hear from you and about how the Lord has been growing and teaching you.

Prayer Items:

1. By the time most of you see this, we will be on the plane! Pray for patience with the children and their patience with us. Pray also that we would be shown favor as we seek to check in. We have the chance to be allowed 3 checked bags. If we are given al three here in Lilongwe, it could save  will save us a few hundred dollars.

2. Pray for continued good health for all of us.

3. Pray for all of us as we begin coping with the transition ahead of us.

4. Pray for wisdom and direction regarding where we are to go next. Brian still does not have a job.

Thank you again for all of the faithful financial and prayer support that you have given to us over these last four years. We could not, and would not, have wanted to be here without your support. Would you please consider still supporting us in the coming weeks as we try to get on our feet and as Brian continues to look for meaningful and substantial employment. The ABC Mission allows us to continue to receive support for up to two months after leaving the field. This would allow for the tax-deductible contributions through the end of September.

Grace and Peace,

The Carlisles

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Post Election Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Malawi had its historic Tripartite Election on Tuesday. For the most part, the process went quite well. There were some irregularities at some polling centers and and funny business right before the elections. However, all in all they have been called credible and valid by both Malawian elections observers and international elections monitors. There was a bit of a panic in the country today when the sitting President tried to annul this past week's votes and hold new elections in 90 days which she said she would not take part in. The Malawi high court ruled against her in this matter and the votes are still being counted and will move towards finalization soon.

There have already been some ugly political results of this election and their could be much more. Pray that the heads of the political parties will act with prudence and wisdom and encourage their followers to do so too. Also pray for the people of Malawi. They are angry over the arrogance of their politicians with regard to the Cash Gate scandal that stole hundreds of billions of Kwacha from the government and there have been no significant prosecutions. There is very little medicine in the public hospitals. The police have not been paid for awhile and on and on and on. The common people are continuing to be squeezed. Pray that a new government will be installed soon and that there will not be any violence from the losing parties.

Also, please pray for our family. We are in the closing weeks of our time here. There is so much to do and so many things and people to say good-bye to. We are feeling quite overwhelmed with the process of leaving. Brian still does not yet have a job offer for once we get home. He is in different stages of the process with quite a few schools, but nothing certain yet. On many days he is ok with that, but on others it is very hard for him. Pray for the kids. This HAS been their home and the closer we get to leaving the more they realize it!

We are so thankful for all of the love and support we have been shown since we made the decision to come to Malawi. We could not have come or stayed without your prayers and sacrificial giving!

Grace and Peace,

Brian and Scharlie

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Election Day Update and Prayer Requests

Dear Friends and Family,

This week, 20 May, is the TRIPARTITE Election for Malawi. This is a rare election cycle in that EVERY elected official in the country--local, regional and national--is up for election on Tuesday. There is a tense atmosphere in the country. Rumors are flying all over the place regarding what will or won't happen depending on who wins. There is a mild security concern for how things will go on Election Day, but the main reason we have declared a school holiday that day is so that our Malawian staff and families can get out to vote without any difficulties. If there is going to be a serious security concern, it will be in the days following Election Day when the votes are certified and a winner is declared. It is highly likely that the winner may only get 25-30% of the vote, which means that most people will have wanted someone else to win. As we experienced in the riots of 2011, the overwhelming majority of Malawians are very peaceful and do not want any kind of violent response, even to oppression or injustice. However, there is a growing movement in that direction among some of the younger urban Malawians.

Please pray for Godly men and women to be elected and to govern in the best interest of ALL Malawians.

Please pray for a peaceful Election Day, certification period and transition if new leadership is elected.

Please pray for the Church in Malawi to lead the way in showing what is a proper and Godly response to the outcome of the election.

Please pray for the Carlisles. We are OVERWHELMED and so tired, but God is blessing us so abundantly! We just sent 5 boxes with some friends, Matt and Rachel Floreen,  who are going on furlough and did not need all of their space! What a huge blessing. Many others have already helped with taking a box or two here and a suitcase there! There are a number of good leads on work for Brian, but no offers yet. We need patience and more trust. We also need to be loving our kids hard during this crazy period of the closing of our time here.

Please pray for Samuel on his seventh birthday tomorrow! We can hardly believe that our barely three year old that we came here with is now a big brother and  seven years old! Pray for the work of the Holy Spirit in Samuel's life.

We hope to get a "proper" communication out soon, but as Scharlie just told me, "that may never happen!"

Thank you for praying!

Grace and Peace,

Brian, Scharlie, Gwen, Samuel and Nathan

Update on Dani Jenson

I could not be more excited to report to you that Dani Jenson is out of the ICU and walking up and down stairs! It is very possible that she will fly home with her mother and sisters at the end of this coming week! What a blessing! God has been so faithful to Dani, her family and friends, and the rest of the ABC community during this time!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Update on Dani

(This was just sent out by Dr. Chinchen.)

Thank you very much for your prayers for Dani -- and for the many gracious and loving responses we have received. Below is a note we received this morning from our two American ABC missionaries ladies who are in Johannesburg with Dani -- Amy Staffaucher & Sydney Stringer. 
"We just talked to the trauma surgeon and still need to wait for the neurosurgeon before we can get a comprehensive view. She is still stable and they are going to start feeding her through a feeding tube soon. She is still ventilated and sedated. She has a basal skull fracture that the neurosurgeon needs to assess, and he will also be looking at the c-5 fracture and another small fracture on her L-1 (lower back). They will be putting in a chest tube to drain her left lung. She is starting to wake up without sedation which is encouraging to the doctors, though they are keeping her sedated while she is healing."

Please continue to pray for Dani and the others injured in the accident. Two of our college students -- Lonely Chinkuntha & Misheck Mlangali -- spent the night in the hospital with minor injuries. Misheck is the 6th man on ABC's national championship basketball team, and is the one who took charge of the accident scene -- pulling people our of the van, caring for Dani, and then stopping passing vehicles to load injured passengers. 

Two of the Children of the Nations children spent the night at our clinic, and one of their house mothers -- Mrs Munthali, whose husband was the driver of the van. All were discharged today, but one of the COTN kids, (a teenage boy beamed Jonathan Mvula) was a badly fractured arm that will require surgery. He was seen by an Orthopedic doctor at our clinic this morning, and will be traveling a hospital in Blantyre (five hours away) for surgery. 

I also wanted to send you the picture (to the side) of a young man named Joshua visiting with Amy and Sydney. 

Joshua as he is here sharing his deepest apology! He is choking up as he talks and has been praying for Dani.
Joshua works for the medivac company that airlifted Dani last night (NetCare). I, Peter Bartlett & Dr Jansen had been on the phone with Joshua for over 8 hours yesterday setting up the evacuation. I found out during my 3rd or 4th conversation with him (out of about 20), that he was a strong believer. He was genuinely concerned for Dani, and did all he could to get the plane moving as quickly as possible, but both he and I (and Peter and Perry and everyone else on campus) were maddeningly frustrated by the ridiculously complicated system of trying to coordinate the airlift company in Joburg with insurance companies in the U.S., with call centers in Asia, with hospital admissions people in South Africa, and credit card companies that were suspicious of charges large enough to buy a small house. Last night as we waited at the hospital for the ambulance to arrive from the airport with the medivac team I counted 252 calls and texts that I had made in the previous 14 hours since the accident (not counting another 20+ emails) -- almost all related to getting the airlift team mobilized. 

In the end Joshua really came through, but he was also very frustrated with the complicated protocols at his NetCare company, which put payment issues way ahead of the pressing needs of the patient. He called me last night at 10:30 to apologize -- after he had prayed for Dani at his Bible Study that evening, and then asked if he could pray with me on the phone. Wonderful young man. 

This morning he went by Milpark Hospital to check on Dani [Joshua is also an EMT], and to apologize in person to Sydney & Amy for the delays in getting their plane of the ground yesterday. But praise God that every report so far has been positive, and that she is in very capable hands at a very good hospital. The doctor on the medivac team told us last night that the hospital's top surgeon (a name he was surprised Peter & I were not familiar with) was personally taking over the case as soon as they landed in Joburg. 

Thank you for continued prayer. Paul. 

Paul with Misheck and his mother at the ABC Clinic's Tyamike Ward

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Academy Teachers and College Students in Bus Accident

Dear Friends and Family,

Please Pray!

Today about 10 AM Malawi time, two teachers and three ABC college students were in bus accident on the way to the lake. The details of what happened are still not entirely clear to me. However, there were a number of scrapes and bruises and maybe one broken arm, but one Academy teacher, Danielle Jenson, is in serious but stable condition at the Kamuzu Central Hosptial in town. She is being tended to by two American doctors from Partners in Hope--I was under the care of the same doctors when I was so sick last June--while she is waiting to be airlifted to South Africa. She should be on here way there in about 4 hours and it takes 3 hours to fly there.

Thank you for your prayers!


I just realized that I never gave a final update on Mzati Banda. Mzati was back at school about a week and a half after the mugging. He is doing better. I do not know how  he is doing emotionally or spiritually, though. Please pray for him on that front. The police recovered his phone last week and have likely found the two thieves that had robbed him. Pray for the muggers. Times are very hard here for many people. That of course does not excuse such violence, but just to understand it (if it is capable of being understood.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mzati Banda Update 26 March, 2014

Mzati was brought to the ABC Clinic for his stitches on his head to be removed, but the others were not yet ready.

However, he was very weak and did not look well, he was tested and found to have 4+ Malaria. This is very bad. He has had to stay at the ABC Clinic to receive the Malaria treatment.

Please continue to pray for healing for his body and grace for his sufferings and grace and comfort for his family.