Dear Friends and Family,
It would seem that my life is always brimming with adventure, which is just fine with me. Well, to start you off, I am currently two years fresh out of Bible school and I have been given the amazing privilege of serving my year long internship in the country of Malawi, Africa. Needless to say, I am super excited about this. I fell in love with Africa last year and I am truly excited to participate in the work that is left to be done there. During my stay, I will play an active role in the wonderful ministry opportunities Teen Missions International (TMI) currently has in motion. My prayer is that this letter in turn will serve to excite and inspire you.
To be honest, two years ago I didn’t even know Malawi was an African country! Through TMI, my eyes have been opened to the many hardships that often don’t make the headlines. The spiritual state of the country, compounded with its 400,000 AIDS orphans, make the situation seem particularly bleak. Even as you take the time to read this letter multitudes of children are dying from lack of basic necessities, such as clean water and nutritious food.
However, many are seeking to support this nation in its poverty. The bad thing is that much money is either misused or stolen altogether for completely selfish reasons. TMI responded to this corrupt and underhanded behavior with the start of their work in the 1980’s, then going on to build a base with two annual Boot Camps along with a Bible Missionary and Work Training Center run by American as well as national staff. One extremely important ministry is to the AIDS Orphans; which is primarily done through the Rescue Units. A Rescue Unit is a building constructed in a remote village to being relief and support to orphans in the area. They provide medicine, first aid and educational opportunities, along with many other things. Amazingly we are able to reach several hundred orphans through each Unit. In Malawi I will be traveling between the ten different Rescue Unit locations to work alongside the staff. However, I am most looking forward to working in the Motorcycle Sunday School Mission which involves riding motorcycles to remote villages in order to educate the children in the Bible, phonics and literacy classes.
This upcoming year is going to be a journey of joy as well as sorrow and I ask that you consider traveling it with me. William Carey, a famous Missionary to India, once heard missions work described as a deep cavern and some said, “Who would possibly venture to explore it?” In response to this William said, “I will venture to go down, but remember you must hold the ropes.” I am indeed in need of rope holders. However, the “caverns” of Malawi are incredibly deep and the hold is going to be tough and painful. Your arms and back will begin to ache and your hands will start to bleed. There will be times when my shouts of victory will take longer to reverberate back up to your ears and you will even wonder if I am even still down there, but I will need you to persist and hold the ropes. I would much rather receive the prayed over widows mite than a manipulated kings ransom, so please pray about my future work and see how the Lord is leading you. The complete funds that I will need in this work is a total of 20 families consistently willing to support me with 25 dollars a month for one year. This money will serve to keep my work alive and active during my years work in Malawi. Please keep Malawi and also me in your prayers. May God richly bless you this day and may you continue to pursue Christ in all that you think, say and do.
In Christ, Travis Carlson