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Hope amidst the storm

This past week Tropical Storm Ana swept through Malawi, creating much devastation. Southern Malawi was the hardest hit. The Shire river raged, flooding the villages along its banks. Many homes have been destroyed and a dozen lives taken. Our hearts are heavy thinking of the devastation.

As I drove through Blantyre the other day, we parked in an area where where street kids commonly hang out. A pre teen boy came to my window begging for money. He looked high. I could feel his energetic, rebellious spirit through my car window. While my heart broke for him, I had hope that perhaps soon he would encounter Brother's in Arms, and he might be one of the ones who changes his life.

I often look at the young men of Brother's in Arms and accept them as simply young men. Helpful, diligent, respectful, patient, honest and kind. It's easy to forget where they came from; the life they gave up, and the way Christ has transformed their lives. It's moments when I look into the eyes of the lost, rebellious boys that harass and parade through the streets of Blantyre that I am reminded of the great transition and growth that has taken place. The boys of Brother's in Arms used to be them. They scrounged the streets, doing drugs, fighting and getting in to trouble. It's been over two years now that they have chosen to follow a path of discipline, education and focus.

The young men of Brother's in Arms have shown dedication, persistence and strength as they committed to growth and transformation. These photos are evidence; the light that shines in their eyes, the purity in their smiles and the hope that emanates from them. They started school in Agabou, a village of Ntcheu district, where Extending Hope Organization runs a clinic and school. The boys are spending a term of school there while the Outreach Impact Center is built in Lunzu.

While the storm left parts of Malawi with people desperate, hungry and without homes, Agabou is filled with light and hope as these young men continue on the path of discipline, following Christ and creating a better future for themselves. I am filled with hope and anticipation for what the future holds for Brother's in Arms. For the new cohort of young men that will choose to leave the streets and commit to a life of integrity, hard work and following Christ.

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