In the summer of 2014, a number of young people from Carluke, together with their leaders spent two weeks in Malawi. While there, they worked on building projects, visited Harrogate House a childrens' home run by the charity Open Arms Malawi.
In June 2019, five years almost to the day, Megan Hoey, one of these young people, returned with her brother Cameron.
After becoming aware of Open Arms in 2014 when a small group from St John's, led by Karen Gillon, was going over to work there and the Sunday school deciding to sponsor a child there, I headed out to Malawi. All I can say is it was amazing and a life changing experience that I would recommend to anyone. On returning and having organised a child for Cameron to sponsor I promised him that when he was old enough I would take him over. So this summer the two of us headed back to Malawi and back into the amazing world of Open Arms Malawi. This time we were working with the babies, which was a breath of fresh air. The staff give every ounce of themselves to the children and the love and security that they share shines on the face of every child you meet.
When Megan came home in 2014, she had so many pictures but one in particular was of a little boy who on her 1st day there had run up to her, taken her by the hand and pulled her over to the swings so that she could push him and another little girl. After coming back home Neville emailed Megan with the information on the little boy (Boyce) that I was to sponsor and to our astonishment there was the little boy who had grabbed Megan's hand on her first day, as Mum likes to say "God moves in mysterious ways".
Megan promised that when I was old enough that we would go over so that I could work with Open Arms and hopefully meet Boyce, so to have the opportunity this summer to go and work with Open Arms and finally meet Boyce was amazing and something that will live with me forever. So on the 29th June this year, almost 5 years to the day after Megan's 1st visit, we headed out to Malawi.
Our time passed so quickly and was filled with so many wonderful memories and we got the opportunity to meet Boyce, which was beyond words. We are both Scout leaders and took some small presents out for Boyce and our 1st Carluke (St John's) Scout Group neckerchief. Boyce was delighted to be made our honorary satellite scout.
I hope to join the army next year and as life changes and moves on I may never have the opportunity to go back over to Malawi but it is a decision that I will always be thankful that I made. I will continue to sponsor Boyce and would commend anyone to do this, the difference you can make to a small child is mind blowing and all for less than you would spend on a night at the cinema. And to see Boyce growing and thriving every time we get an update is wonderful. I cannot recommend it highly enough and if I could do it at only 13 years of age anyone can.