A New Season
March 21, 2021
by Jay Schierloh

Spring is here.  Flowers (that are still alive after the freeze) are blooming.

Jacaranda trees in bloom

Stacey and I are experiencing a new season as well.  We recently “retired” and have simplified our lives in order to prepare for the next adventure.

We will split our time between Malawi (Africa) and Houston, Texas.  We are called to serve the ministry we co-founded by being physically present in Malawi.  Therefore, we will reside in the city of Blantyre in southern Malawi to actively lead Orphan Shade and perform ministry with our local partners.  The balance of the time we will live in Texas and travel the US to spend time with a growing family.

Malawi borders Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania in Southern Africa

We believe the purpose of this transition is to place a clear focus on ministry and our expanding family in the next season of our lives.  We have been very blessed in our careers, family and ministry.  We feel a strong calling to give back, make disciples (Matthew 28) and care for the orphans (James 1).

Our tentative plan is to travel to Malawi in July 2021.  There are many reasons not to go this year (a pandemic, increased violence, increased poverty, etc...).  However, we feel clear that we need to go this year.

We acknowledge that living in Malawi will not be an easy thing.  The combination of poverty, African culture, a new language and lack of first world comforts will be very challenging.  We will rely on our Savior and on our good friends in Blantyre to guide us in the transition and day to day living.

The details of housing, transportation and learning the language are clearly not worked out.  Stacey would prefer all the details in writing.  I completely understand.  However, we have much work in front of us to sort out the how, where, who, what and when.  Please pray for wisdom for us as we walk down this road together.

Below is a short video that describes the Orphan Shade vision and purpose in Malawi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqDdOiAIM4c&t=9s