348,000 Kwacha Stolen!

A man in our church recently had his wife accused of stealing money from her employer. The amount was 348,000 Kwacha! That’s a lot of Kwacha, but not a lot of dollars; about $800. On top of being accused, she was thrown in jail with no evidence of her involvement. On top of that, she was 8 months pregnant. She was accused by a co-worker, the same co-worker that was actually caught Malawian Kwachadoing the stealing. I guess he thought he might limit his punishment by bringing fault on someone else.

As all this was going on, I was trying to get into the head of this man, her husband. I was wondering what he was feeling. I think sometimes because of cultural differences we don’t see the strength of the family bond as we would expect to see it. We don’t see marriage or families as we would expect to see them. In Malawi, you don’t see husbands and wives together; you don’t see families together. They don’t sit together in church; they don’t even walk together to church. On the surface these relationships can seem like arrangements: marriage to appease culture, children to appease culture. Is it meaningful at all? I’m not here to proclaim right or wrong, I’m just giving a perspective from my point of view. Honestly, I hate to even admit these thoughts, but they are genuine, so I have to.

I guess I never sat down and thought about why I perceived marriages and families in western culture to be meaningful. Maybe this African model is actually the core of our western idea. We have added complicated layers and trimmings to the cake. For instance a friend of mine recently got divorced because she wouldn’t ever use the sex toys for men that her ex-husband enjoyed to use, so he divorced her. Is that really a reason for divorcing someone though? When it comes to your bedroom antics, everyone has different preferences, and that’s fine. Not everyone will like the same things that you do, but you can sort of see why he would be upset by this. Think of it this way, some women I know like to use a squirting dildo every now and then, but the likelihood of their husbands divorcing them is very slim. Why? Because they love each other. The situation for my poor friend was unusual, and I hope for his sake that he has found someone who likes to use the same sex toys as him. He wasn’t just happy with his cake, he wanted the trimmings too. However, here they just have the cake and it seems to show in their happiness. This idea kind of fits with the type of people we find here. They are simple, humble, caring people, and uncomplicated. I think they’re relationships take after these ideas.

In the end, this man stayed with his wife for two days and two nights. Visiting hours were short, but he was still there. She was released on bail on a Sunday morning, we’re not sure how the bail system works here, but she definitely wouldn’t have had the help of companies that could issue out Bail Bonds at some of the lowest rates. However, looking at this case, it feels that learning about how the bail system works in different places could be a bonus (it could be definitely helpful). Moreover, it may also be necessary for some people to have the contact number of a reputed 24/7 bail bondsman handy just to get instant help.
Anyway, let us go back to the story. He took her home, made her comfortable, and then rushed to church to give us the news. He was tired and worn out, but he expressed the faithfulness of God. This is a great example of love. It was uncomplicated and uncompromising. Maybe this couple never had a fairy tale wedding and don’t sit together in church, in fact, she doesn’t even come to our church, but that’s not important. They don’t exhibit the signs on the surface that we expect to see, but, in this case, I witnessed something beneath the surface, and it was something I recognized. God’s love is the same yesterday, today, and forever. It came before, and goes after, culture of any kind.

3 Responses

  1. Hey Matt,

    I was reading through all the posts you’ve made so far, thanks for all of them! It is so crazy to think of how different things are. It is awesome to hear your honesty about the bus ride, unfamiliarity, and the cultural differences -amazing pictures too. Out of all the missionary teams in Greater Grace, the Malawi Team is the one that ended up on mine and Jasmin’s fridge. We got all three couples up there! So keep up the good work and don’t forget all the prayers made for you guys as you make such a wild adjustment.

    1. Hi Justin, I cant wait to tell Pastor Chris about your fridge. Team Malawi has its very own fridge, thats so cool. More importantly thank you for your prayers. It is changeling being here, not just culturally, but Im convinced that the prayers of the body are what keep us. We are having alot of fun sharing the grace message. Please say hi to your wife from me and Lisa.

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