6/22/2017 10:26:02 PM
Growing up in Malawi, Africa
I moved to the United States at age 17, the summer of 2012, after growing up in Malawi, Africa. Every year brings hardships; every year yields blessings. In some ways, leaving home for work or college is a universal experience. Every child grows out of their childhood home, says goodbye to Mom and Dad, and becomes increasingly independent. But what about the trust it takes to be separated by oceans, time zones, and culture? It is easy to feel alienated when your closest relationships are so far away. It is easy to question God’s promises when you are blind to his plans.
Erin with her friend in Malawi.
Sometimes people ask me, “Would you prefer to have been born in America?” I believe it was God’s plan to shape me for service to him by being born in Malawi. While living in Malawi, I learned how to witness to my classmates who came from every continent in the world. The other day my training kicked in during a religious conversation on the bus. Growing up in Malawi I experienced intense fellowship and built irreplaceable relationships with the mission family. Last year I organized a weekend Bible retreat for missionary kids to remind us of the value of fellowship and relationships. In Malawi I saw death, poverty, and sickness. Now I have the heart and the opportunity to serve the poor through the Aquaponics Initiative in central Africa.
Setting up an Aquaponics system in central Africa.
My parents always say that the missionary is not just the one who goes out but the one who sends. It is WELS members in America who send my parents to do their work. They also send me to do my own work. I want to thank LWMS for the times they have reminded me of God’s wisdom, provided fellowship when I was alienated, and smoothed the transition into my new calling. The encouragement is overwhelming, needed, and appreciated.
Erin Nitz, daughter of Missionary Paul Nitz
Missionary kid weekend Bible retreat, 2016. Pictured are: Rachel Holtz (Zambia/Malawi), James and Reuben Nitz (Malawi), Gideon Kroll (Zambia/Cameroon), Josiah, Seth, and Jonathan Wordell (Japan).