A reflection of my time with Mayhem Missions, by Coach Dylan Marsh

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A reflection of my time with Mayhem Missions, by Coach Dylan Marsh

Back in March of this year, I had the opportunity to join Mayhem Mission who partnered with Longarm Malawi, on a Mission trip to Malawi, Africa.  Longarm Malawi is an orphanage started by a husband and wife living in Tennessee, who felt a calling to do more after their adoption process out of Malawi.  This couple has deep roots tied to the CrossFit community as their gym, Mountain Valley CrossFit was born as a way to help raise awareness and support Longarm Malawi.  A full circle experience that allowed me to tie in my faith, fitness, and desire to help others all in one trip. 



And I’d love to share it with you all –  




After landing in Malawi, we headed straight to the orphanage where we gave the caregivers some much needed rest.  We handed out clothes, food, and toys, and fed the precious babies their evening porridge.  




We headed out to the construction site where the new orphanage was being built this morning.  We landscaped, planted trees, and played with the local kids.  We finished the evening by h

eading back to the current orphanage where once again fed the 6 month – 4 year old children their evening porridge. 



Bright and early, we drove several hours out to a remote village and school.  We were welcomed with traditional song and dance by the local women as a gesture of greeting.  A classroo

m filled with 50 kids echoed with the reciting the ABCs and number counting.  We handed out toys, soccer balls, and taught them games.  We began to cook several large batches of porridge and watched the crowd of 75 quickly surpass over 200 men, women, and children.  As the crowds settled, we packed up our passenger vans and headed back to the construction site of the new orphanage.  We spent the rest of the afternoon doing more landscaping and painting the exterior of the building.



We visited a Women’s prison and dropped off women’s hygiene supplies.  We interacted with the prisoners and they got a chance to show off their hair braiding skills, a skillset taught to them while in prison to provide them with a vocation once they’re released.  As we left, we escorted one of the women via passenger van 2 hours to her home where she got to visit her children, and reconcile with her village.  A ceremonial and emotional experience.



As Thursday rolled around, it would be our final full day of care.  We drove some 2.5 hours away to another remote village where we handed out clothes, shoes, food, and bikes to a village that handn’t been reached in years.  We were greeted once again by the women of the village with traditional song and dance.  A long day of travel to and from to cap a week filled with care, giving, and renewed hope.  



Today was a personal day, letting those who wanted an opportunity to stay back and relax, and prepare for the long 24+ hour travel we would embark again on Saturday.  Saturday morning we packed our bags and made one final stop at the orphanage.  A chance to spend one last morning with the nearly 20 babies and kids currently living at Longarm.  An emotional morning knowing that we’d had back to the states while these precious children await their opportunity to hopefully be adopted.  

Going into this mission trip, I was hoping for a perspective reminder.  A humbling experience to remind me of how well I have it here in the States.  And while we are all faced with our own struggles, witnessing first hand the extreme poverty and immense amount of need for basic necessities such as food, clothes, and love, is a reminder to be grateful.  And that we’re not just here to earn a paycheck and live our lives.  But to love on and serve others.  


And, to be very candid, my ability to pursue and fulfill this trip would have been significantly more difficult had it not been for the way I prioritize my health and fitness. I am so grateful to have been a part of this experience, and for the CrossFit Community at-large.

Who wrote this post...

Dylan Marsh

Dylan Marsh

Dylan began his journey in 2013 when he was introduced to CrossFit by a friend. Through a college internship and incredible mentorship, Dylan fell in love with the sport, being drawn into the philosophy and lifestyle CrossFit has to offer. His desire for learning and understanding movement, along with his keen eye for the small details has developed a true passion for teaching others how to move better and improve their overall health. When he’s not in the gym he enjoys exploring the city, having authentic conversations, and volunteering at his church. In his former life, Dylan served 7 years in the Army. He loves adding to his tattoo collection, and his favorite benchmark workout is Helen.

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