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We're Leavin' on a Jet Plane!


After six months of uncertainty and waiting, Malawi has officially opened their airports for commercial travel, and we are set to arrive on September 26th!!

The picture of Ellie is her actual reaction to the news that we bought tickets and will be back in Malawi before the end of the month. Miriam has no clue what's going on, but she sure looks cute!

A week of birthdays and goodbyes!

  • 23 September is Miriam's Birthday

  • 24 September is Carly's Birthday and the day we drive to Washington DC

  • 25 September is Luke Skywaker's (Mark Hamill) birthday and the day we get on a plane

  • 26 September is my mom's birthday and the day we arrive in Malawi and begin our 14 day home quarantine.

  • 2 October is Ellie's birthday and the closing day on our house in Columbia!! (Don't worry, we assigned power of attorney - it's all good)


1) We're never really in control. -- As easy as it is to believe that we are in control of our own future, and as much as we like to believe we that can control the outcome of anything...the raw truth is that the future is unpredictable, bad things happen, and the only thing we have control over is ourselves. Which is interesting...since in scripture it's actually the only thing God asks us to control. The truth is when we try to control everything else, we often lose control of ourselves, but when we submit to a loving Father and control ourselves, it's often easier to trust Him with the chaos around us. 2) Life comes in seasons. Solomon was right. In Ecclesiastes 3:1, he wrote, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." At the beginning of this six month adventure, I thought that this time in the US would only last a couple months, everyone would stay calm, the pandemic would pass by, and life would go back to normal. Yikes - that was very short sighted and idealistic on my part. I saw this season an interruption to my plans. A nuisance to be endured. A trouble to be overcome. I didn't see it as an opportunity for quality family time. A chance to dance around the house every day with my daughters. An honor to serve our families in a variety of ways. An opportunity to dream about a future season where we can be closer to family. A time to rest, to play, to kayak, to fish, to pray and prepare. Has this season been difficult? - Absolutely! But has it been a waste of time? - Not at all. Those are the biggest two....if I can remember those two truths, I will have a much brighter outlook, and much more grounded perspective, and a much more surrendered heart. Jesus is King. He knows what we need. He meets those needs. Life rarely plays out exactly how we think it will....and that's probably a really good thing.


With just a few days left until we board our flight back to Malawi, here are a few items we ask that you'd specifically be praying for as we re-deploy into the roles the Lord has called us to in Blantyre:

  • Pray that Carly's transition into her role at the College of Medicine is smooth and her relationships with colleagues stays solid

  • Pray for Zack as he navigates getting onto school campuses that have just reopened to in-person class

  • Pray for Young Life Africa - as a division, we have lost significant funding during this season, as a result, many staff are downsizing, many countries are downsizing budgets and reevaluating financial priorities. Pray for wisdom and provision.

  • Pray for Ellie as she starts back to school - pray for focus, patience, and endurance.

  • Pray for Miriam as her entire world is about to flipped on it's head. Pray for resilience, for health, and for flexibility for our 1 year old world traveler.

Thank you guys so much for always being in our corner and for your continued prayers and support. As things settle down in the future, come see us in Malawi!!

All the best,

Zack, Carly, Ellie Jo, and Miriam Rose


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