Stories: Jack Phiri

Jack Piri

Jack Phiri according to me.

Upon meeting him you get the sense that every wrinkle on Jack’s face tells a story. His life must have been an interesting one. How he ended up here, with us, is a mystery. Sometimes you don’t need to know every detail to know a person; their face says it all.

His eyes are always filled with compassion (I guess after having ten children in one of the poorest places on earth you might learn a thing or two about compassion). His clothes are mismatched, old and worn, but he brings such dignity to them that they might as well be right off the shelves of a the finest New York City department store. His English is incomprehensible, but it always makes me laugh (apparently when he speaks in his native tongue he can’t be understood either). We all have our quirks, but what really matters is our character. Jack is a man of great character.

This year he made the trip to Zambia for the Greater Grace Conference, ZamCon. He sat quietly, hands folded, and in his suit, for the entire 12 hours. In his own way he was excited, like kid on the way to Disney for the first time.

In these difficult third world places people don’t grow old, they never get the chance. Jack, at 65, somehow managed. He is the oldest full time Bible College student in Malawi. Bible College seems more of a beginning for him. I asked what he wanted to do after Bible College, and he said simply, “I’ll go wherever God takes me”.

He is another example of one our beautiful brothers in Christ here in Malawi.

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