The story of Koinonia 

I had just landed in Malawi, I had liquidated my assets and decided to go to school online for my biblical counseling degree. While sorting out internet I prayed to God, “Father? Could I have a dog? Am I responsible enough for a dog?” I had never had a dog. I had never been ready for a dog. But now with several months of school ahead of me I could get a puppy, have several months series of shots and import her with my savings account. That same evening, walking through town, I saw her. Instantly I knew she must be mine. After a hard debate with myself I paid about $5.00 and walked away with this sweet little flea bag. Instantly knowing her name was Koinonia, meaning Fellowship.
What I didn’t know was that I wouldn’t be able to get internet in such a way that would make online school possible. But God knew. Then came Dobby, an extra sickly puppy. I would have to put him down or rehabilitate him. Koinonia and I chose to keep Dobby and I became “the white woman with all the puppies” … We lived together in a one room bungalow on the beach. I had to teach the local children how to play with puppy’s. Together we taught both dogs to sit and lay down. The children learned gentleness and the dogs learned not to bite children. These children, along with a few extras, still come to my house 3 times a week. These children make up my hope for the future of Malawi.
With no internet and 2 puppies I was stuck in my location with no way to even travel within Malawi, hard to carry 2 tiny puppies and luggage!
Basically confined to a small room with no water or electricity and 2 puppy’s will always be one of the fondest memories of my life. I was in a tiny paradise in my own world.
Then the needs of the community started to make themselves known to me. I started spending more time in the village and soon I found new purpose for my life. After several months I had made a name for myself amongst the people in my area. One day standing in line at a bank a man approached me angry. He told me he was disappointed that I had dogs, “we have children that are starving and yet you buy toys for your dogs?”
I calmly responded, “and what is my life worth? I left everything I know and love and have spent my life and all my money sitting with the children you speak of. Everyday I willingly sit in the suffering that your own people choose to ignore then I go home alone. I cannot even have a friend because you choose not to allow your women to speak English and I have no desire to fill my house with men whom are only looking to take advantage of me. So I should go home and sit alone with nothing to make me smile? My dogs are the only reason I can do what I am doing. I have even named one Koinonia because she is my only fellowship.”
The man apologized and told me that I had given him much to think about.
If I hadn’t had these 2 puppies, my life would have been drastically different. God used my dogs to steward me into a life with purpose.
Somedays Koinonia is the only reason I get out of bed. She makes sure that I don’t sink into depression at the impossible situations around me. She guards me. She laid with me while I fought malaria and woke me up when I finally blacked out from fever and was having a seizure on my concrete floor. Everyone knows who she is because she is the fellowship dog. She has introduced me to ALL of my neighbors whom can’t say her name but still try!
She was what I was most looking forward to in going back. I haven’t seen her in months, only a couple more weeks and she would be nibbling on my ear like she had since she was a small puppy.
This morning I got an email that she was hit by a drunk driver and killed. It’s hard to express the loss inside my heart. I’m so grateful for her love. I know I couldn’t have done this last year without her. And I wouldn’t have even started this new chapter of my life if it haven’t been for her.
My sweet Koinonia. I wish I could have seen you again, only a couple weeks more and I could have held you. Miss you already. Malawi won’t be the same without you. Thank you God for giving her to me, for everything she was. For everything she helped to make me. I miss my puppy.

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