I cannot express the sadness that I have knowing that I’ve gone a week without seeing the bright faces of the kids of the Malawi village. I also find myself struggling with the realization that I may never get the chance to see my new friends again. At the same time, I have so much happiness and appreciation for the experiences I had during my time in Malawi. I developed friendships that I will treasure my entire life. Coming back to America has opened my eyes to so many things. From the things that we take for granted, to certain aspects of my spirituality that I could improve. To say that the kids of Malawi were a blessing is an understatement. I find myself reflecting on conversations and the fellowship I had the privilege of being a part of constantly. Their smiles and laughs are engraved in my mind, and heart forever. I would give anything to be able to have another game of knockout or just a meal to exchange riddles and knock-knock jokes with them. I have flipped through the pictures they gave to me countless times remembering their personalities and the times we had together.
My time since being back in the states has given me a lot of time to reflect on all the lessons I learned, and had the privilege of teaching. The experience of traveling to Malawi to serve at the Rafiki village has and will continue to shape me into a better man of God. The character traits that were in every one of the children will allow me to shine a light on the kind of person we should all strive to be. Humility, perseverance, gratitude, respect, generosity, and God-fearing, these are just a few of the traits that each of the kids showed in their everyday life. They are also traits that I will never neglect to show since I’ve had the opportunity to see them in their best form. The long-term missionaries in Malawi have done a tremendous job of developing these children into young children of God. Their faith is far stronger than I could ever describe, and it shows in their constant praise to the Lord.
I cannot thank Drew Boe, The Rafiki Foundation, and each and every administrator, momma, and child enough for making this experience possible. To be able to see God working through nearly 100 kids in their own unique way, and to get to personally bond with each one was absolutely amazing. God has simply blessed me beyond measure with allowing me to take part in this trip. It has taught me things about life that I could never learn by staying in the states. As I read the countless cards and letters I cannot help but feel so loved and overcome with joy. These kids would give the clothes off of their back to a friend in need. They pray to God with the strength of an entire congregation. I could ramble on and on about how amazing these kids are, and I know that God is not done teaching me through them. I will pass the knowledge they have given me on to my future children and to my friends and family, just as they did for me.
Lastly, I want to thank my awesome teammates. I never imagined I would be sent out with a more amazing group of people. I laughed, prayed, and praised more with these three people in three weeks than I thought was possible. From the breakfast to start the day, to capping the day off with devotions made each and every day a blessing. I pray that our paths cross again so that we can make more awesome memories, and maybe I could win a game of Phase 10.
-Don Roundtree, Texas A&M Football