Business in Malawi

Thursday, August 29, was spent in Blantyre buying the vehicle and getting it registered and insured. Things can take much longer in Africa and lines can be long. The man we were purchasing the vehicle from had been drinking alcohol and wasn’t operating at 100 percent. We spent all morning with him. 

Eating lunch together.

Thankfully, he knew some of the government officials that we needed to see, and things were expedited. I waited outside and let Bro. Master represent me. Corruption is rampant and in addition, the cost for registration etc. would have been higher if they saw I was a white man. 

I must confess, I am weary of the prejudice and treatment by some in Africa because of the color of my skin. I face it almost every time I do business. As an aside, prejudice and being a respecter of persons has no place among people. It definitely has no place among God’s people-in the USA, Africa, or anywhere else. Love is to abound among God’s people and we are to treat one another with respect, love, equality and forgiveness. An unfortunate consequence of people trying to take advantage of someone often is that the individual starts looking on every business transaction with suspicion.

It was refreshing to have a business transaction with a Chinese man today and leave thinking, “Wow, that was really inexpensive.” :-). Lest someone misunderstand, there are many wonderful people here and they have my heart, but this is just another reality of life.

It is a wonderful blessing to have Bro. Master as a friend and brother in the Lord whom has been faithful and trustworthy over the years.

On Friday, August 30, I drove the newly purchased vehicle to the village. I was uncertain if the Nissan would be able to cross the bridges close to the village as the dirt has washed away on both ends of the bridge. I was so thankful to discover that we could make it with no bottoming out.

Stepping off land.

Some of the brethren and I went looking for land to potentially purchase. It is extremely difficult as the land has been subdivided repeatedly among families through the years. There were only two large tracts of land available in one of the areas that we were considering. One of the plots was smaller than what I wanted, and the other plot would be without electricity and is further off a tarmac road. I spent a lot of time pacing off the land to measure the size. One plot they told me was probably at least 4-6 acres was actually closer to two and a half acres.

Due to the scarcity of land, land prices are very high. It never ceases to amaze me how the land prices in impoverished countries can rival or surpass that of land prices in rural America. There are areas where land is cheaper but when it is closer to the tarmac and closer to where electric will be available in a few years the prices are even higher.

We are looking for the Lord to give us guidance and wisdom as we proceed or stand still.

There was a severe rattle in the back of the vehicle which would be very annoying. I’m aware that the rough roads will cause a whole lot more rattles, but this one I just had to fix. In the evening, I found a salvage yard where we opened the back end and were able to find the cause. They tried to overcharge me by three times, but just because I’m a foreigner with a different color of skin doesn’t mean I’m ignorant. 🙂

As a side note, the last couple of nights while I was in the city, the mosquitoes have been feasting on me. I finally went and found another room that I hope will be mosquito free.

Applying a decal for identification.

Saturday was a quieter day. I was able to get a simple decal put in the vehicle: “Church of God.”

Bro. Master was out searching for more possible land sites. We have been in communication by phone and there are some promising leads to follow up after service on Sunday.

May we all ever walk in the Spirit and daily follow our Lord Jesus.

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