From our 'Foreign Correspondent'!


From our 'Foreign Correspondent'!

Abroad thoughts from home

By Megumi Fazakerley

Home assignment is something peculiar to missionaries. It is generally understood by most Malawian friends as a holiday. We certainly take a break from our regular missionary work in Malawi, and taking some rest to become refreshed is an important aspect of home assignment. However, it is much more than that.

The humble papaya: free off the tree in Malawi but food for the rich in the UK!

It’s a combination of many things. It’s a time for reporting and sharing. We are in partnership with those who sent and support us. We visit them to thank them for their prayers and giving on our behalf; we explain what God has done because they sent us out as missionaries. It’s time for reconnecting. We have family and friends whom we left behind in order to serve in Malawi. Now is the chance to reconnect with them. It’s also a time of learning and equipping. We attend courses and read books to sharpen our skills, expand our knowledge and deepen our understanding, so that we may become better at our work when back in Malawi. It’s a time for ministry, particularly in relation to one of SIM Malawi’s strategic foci, to advance mission. We meet many people; many are already involved in mission one way or another, but some think they are not cut out for mission and others are very interested to get involved. We talk to them in the hope that the whole Church of God may become mobilised for His global work. It is also a time for reflection. We evaluate what we have seen and done, and pray about visions for the future.

How is it going? 

So far, we have only had a few churches to visit, but we are using this time for other purposes. In addition to everything above about a normal home assignment, this particular one for our family is a time of major transition. All three of our children are transitioning into adulthood. Our first child has just started at a university. Our second child applied to five universities and is currently going through the selection process. Our third child is working hard in the lower sixth form at a nearby grammar school. When we return to Malawi, we will leave all three behind in the UK. That will be a big change, and we are trying to prepare for it in various ways.


Bank sign not all it seems to be!

How does the UK compare with Malawi? 

It’s very cold here! We try to keep warm by wearing many layers of clothes. Heating is available, but we want to keep the cost down, as gas and electricity seem a little more expensive than in Malawi. The other day in a local supermarket, we found another item that is far more expensive here than in Malawi. Here is the photo. What God gives us freely growing on a tree in our garden in Malawi is food for the rich in the UK!

Having said that, some things are cheaper in the UK, particularly things that come to Malawi as imported items. We bought a printer and a scanner, both of which were less than half the typical price we would have to pay in Malawi.

Signs in the UK
Some of the signs around us make us feel like foreign visitors. For instance, this sign below almost made us rush to the cash machine just for a moment, as it seemed to say that the machine was giving away free cash, and we could get as much as we wanted.

Train sign

This sign was in the toilet on a train. Apparently, not a joke. The first few items not to flush down the toilet seem familiar, but the rest seem very strange. Can you blame us for not quite feeling at home?