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"The village chief told us that when he first heard a group from America was coming to build a multi-purpose room in his village, he thought it was a joke," says Sue Husar. "But our arrival confirmed it was true!"

This summer, Husar, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Mt. Prospect, Ill. and veteran of past LHM International Volunteer Trips to Vietnam and Cambodia, led a St. Paul team to a new country, Malawi, on a new continent, Africa, to learn a new skill: bricklaying.

The distances that women and children must walk to the doctor and to school have become a concern in the rural Malawian village of Kachikho. The farther they must walk, the more vulnerable they are to extremes of weather and other dangers ("In rainy season," said the chief, "children are advised not to go to school or else they would be washed away!"). Village leaders determined that if there were a multi-purpose hall in Kachikho, it could serve as a place where the community's youngest children could be taught the fundamentals of mathematics, together with the English and Chichewa languages—and it could double as a clean, spacious facility for expectant mothers to receive prenatal care. Lutheran Hour Ministries—Malawi stepped up to help make it happen.

When Husar and her team arrived in Kachikho, they found a mud foundation and multiple mounds of bricks.

"The project manager and two masons then taught all ten of us how to slap on mortar and lay the bricks," Sue explains. "Lots of village men came to help."

Some of the piles of bricks were a good distance away from the foundation, so the team formed a bucket line to start moving the bricks. Many of the village men formed a second bucket line. Before long, American "line jumpers" were crossing over and joining the African line, and vice-versa.

Village women came, too, but most did not get involved in the building part of the project.

"Getting water is a community event for the women," Husar explains. "All the women in the village walk to the river together with buckets on their heads, singing and dancing as they go. On the second trip of the day to the river, they pulled several of our women into their group to sing and dance with them. A couple even got to try their hands—well, their heads, actually—at carrying bucketfuls of water."

Children came as well. They were quiet and timid at first, but eventually the team was able to recruit them into the bucket line to keep the bricks moving. As the work on the hall progressed, the team was able to take a break and gather the children together to give them witness-bead bracelets and share the Gospel by demonstrating how to use them.

"Now they know that Lutheran Hour Ministries kept their promise to help them build a community hall!" Husar reflects. "And that will bring evangelism opportunities! We feel blessed to be a part of all this."

In 2015, Lutheran Hour Ministries International Volunteer Teams have traveled to four world regions to share the love of God alongside LHM ministry center staff and volunteers. Time and again, in every place, the impact is beyond the imagination of those who serve and those who are served. More international volunteer opportunities are available now; is God calling you to live your faith and build relationships with others in His name? To learn more about LHM International Volunteer Trips, visit

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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