Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some everyday info

My family and friends, I am so grateful to have people like you in my life. Even though I am fully enjoying my African experiences here I still cannot help but be thinking and praying for all of you. When my head hits the pillow you are the ones that visit me in my dreams. When I am on my face in prayer, you are the ones that are on my heart. It is hard for me to not have as much communication with all of you as I would like, but just because I have no idea of what is going on with you, doesn't mean that you are any less on my mind.
So I have already told you the morning ritual of super sweet tea and a bread roll, but I have not told you about the other two meals of the day. Lunch is rice and beans everyday and dinner varies. Rice and some topping. My goal is just to keep my perspective in the right place and then I hope to not get sick of the routine.
Slowly but surely I'm getting out to you some of the basics of everyday life here. You know my every morning, you know my every meal, you know about the few and very speedy showers. Doing laundry is another great adventure. It is all hand wash in buckets and communal line drying. After only a few items the wash bucket is full of dead ants and the water looks as if you used it to mopped a floor for the first time in 3 months. It is important to do laundry before class however, in order for the sun to finish drying the clothes before they get unwillingly donated after sunset. This means laundry must start at 6:30 or so. I really don't mind doing the laundry though. It is kinda meditative.

A few other daily things besides yoga, laundry, prayer, reading, going to the beach, and all the other things that sometimes get me to thinking I'm on vacation, one of my favorite places to go is the baby house. I love hanging out with the toddlers because there is no hindrance with when it comes to the language. We just play!
For the kids here the idea of a TV is an outrageous thought, but they don't really even have toys. The boys are really good at making these toy cars out of old flip flops and sticks. They make balls out of old garbage bags and twine. The kids are perfectly content just sitting around. They don't have to be entertained at every moment. The culture is all based around community and relationship. Dancing, or singing or girls doing hair, or boys playing soccer, these are the things that make up fun.
This week we have been doing a 24/7 prayer week which has been fun. We have a gazebo here on base that has someone praying in it at all times. During the afternoon each day we have a spontaneous worship session. Singing with the Holy Spirit is so much fun. I was on the team that played on Tuesday.
I know this weeks blog isn't specifically what happened this week in my life but I wanted to give you a few more tid-bits of the everyday here.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Time to Go Out

The rest of the week has proved to be yet another novel. Wednesday evening was another monumental experience in faith for me. I am once more a new person today than I was yesterday. One of the key words here for this school has been acceleration. I believe that word has proven true in my life already. This is a school not based on just learning a bunch of facts. This is a school based on changing a life to forever be wrecked for God. To be wrecked for seeing the things of God, hearing the voice of God, experiencing the presence of God, and to live in this reality for the entirety of life remaining on this earth is the goal of the instructors for the students.
Friday marked a new season of learning here however. Up until this point I have had God do so much for me internally that when Heidi Baker was speaking Friday morning, God warned me that today is the beginning of the hands on training. For two weeks I have had time to receive the internal transformation to get me to the point of being able to live the life. Every Friday I signed up to go with a group that is going to visit the village just outside the Iris base and just see what God wants to do. There is no agenda except loving people and letting Jesus show His love to them through us. It is important to wear a long skirt past the knee and a shirt that covers one's shoulders when going into the village out of respect to their culture.So here is the story of my village experience:

A group of us "Acunya" (white people) and two translators walked out of the gates at the top of the Iris base and walked into real poverty. Rows of houses made from bamboo, rocks and some clay created pathways of red dirt. Mamas sat on grass mats outside their houses with naked bottom babys sitting on their laps. We great them with "Salama," the Makua word for hello, as they respond with "Saloma mohavo?"
"Kehavo, Mohavo? I'm good. How are you?" we reply
"Kehavo!" echos which ends the extent our our knowledge of the language. This is frustrating and stirs within me the strong desire to learn more Makua. As I follow our group leader Mattheus we stop and sitt on grass mats with four women. One woman is sick and with very little energy, pulls out her breast to explain she has no milk to nurse her baby. We pray that God heals her body from all sickness and returns it to a healthy state. A few minutes of prayer and translation pass and she then asks her mother sitting on the other grass mat for her baby. She then begins nursing and has a new countenance and energy that she did not have previously. I am sitting on a grass mat next to a woman that looks to be the grandmother of the young woman and Matt, our group leader, is sitting on the other side of her. Matt knows a bit more Makua and tries to make conversation with the woman and she sits with no response. The oldest Mama's daughter gets up, puts her mouth to her ear and yells what Matt is trying to ask. At this the elderly woman response and we learn of her serious hearing loss. Through a translator it is then revealed that her vision is in poor health as well. She sees a blurry double of everything. So we ask her if we can pray? She agrees and I hold her hand with both of mine, while Matthaeus takes her other hand. The presence of the Holy Spirit showed up so thick that the three of us did not want to move from that moment. As we sat there enjoying the peace of God the translator standing about 3 feet away and speaking in a regular voice asked the woman if her hearing was improved. She then opened her eyes and responded to his question! He then put two fingers in front of her and asks how many? She responds speedily with the correct answer every time. He then points to a person walking in the distance and asks again how many? She responds, "one." The whole family and all the kids that had showed up during this process then began to all shout "Hallelujah, gracious Adaosh!" and we joined in the celebration as this woman's hearing and vision became totally restored!
As we continued on our way through the village more and more kids joined our parade. I picked up a precious little girl and I carried her though the town. The sweat of our bodies mixed on my t-shirt with the dirt in the air, as we walked and laughed through the village. We followed one of our translators which is a local pastor to his home and as we arrived I said goodbye to my new friend as she ran back with the other kids. I then picked up a new little baby and held her as I sat outside the pastor's home. A warm liquid then covered my skirt and I just smiled as I realized I was now covered in baby pee. We prayed for the pastor, his family, and his home and then began our way back though the village in the direction we had came.
We came to another small house and stopped as we greeted the three women sitting on their grass mats. One then informed us that her daughter was sick inside. We went into the small box made of clay and there was a table on one wall, and a bed on the other. On the bed was a gorgeous young woman sick with Malaria. I sat down at the head of her bed and began to rub her back realizing she was nothing but bones under a blanket. Tears began to stream down my face clearing trails of dirt as they poured from my eyes uncontrollably. The desperation of the poor came over me to the point in which praying with compassion was not a hard concept to have. The translator informed us after about 15 minutes of praying with her that she was feeling better. One by one we made our way out of the house. The peace of God was thick in the room and I just wanted to stay. I eventually got up and walked over to the young woman's mother and gave the good-bye gesture of shake hands and kiss each cheek. The nonverbal communication intensifies when it is all you have and she communicated her thanks for us coming. We all left the house with the door open and stood outside for another 20 or more minutes. I kept peering in the doorway gazing at the woman on the cot and she had a completely new glow about her. She sat up and stopped coughing and new energy was in her eyes.
During the walk home through the village my mind was wrapped up in all around me; babies in rags playing with knives, cardboard houses, visible diseases and infection. We had to continue walking at this point because the sun was beginning to set and it gets very dangerous to be in the village after sunset especially for white women. The group of us made it back into our safe gated community, thanked our translators, and went on to our separate houses. I reached my front porch and could only lay there by the door. I smelled of urine, I was covered with dust and dirt, sweat, and tears. Yet in knowing all this as I layer on the floor in front of my luxurious house, I almost didn't want to remove the filth from my body. Because in a way I felt just a little more connected to the people while in this condition.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 19th - October 21st Sickness and Health

Monday, October 19, 2009

Today was spent in bed! First night of Africa I was welcomed by the bugs, they now are a constant companion that all of us are just getting used to. Today however I got visited by another African classic, sickness. In the middle of the night last nigh I was kinda feeling it, but I tried to press on and even got ready for the day. I was in class for not even 10 minutes before I knew it was not going to be possible for me to stay. I was having a hard time climbing up and down the ladder to my bed so my bunk mate Carri let me sleep on her bed for the day and I have been in constant contact with a fan or else my fevor takes over and I nearly fall over in a full body sweat. My house has been wonderful though. Jess went and got me a sprite and I am sitting up now which is a huge improvement. People are praying for me and I believe by tomorrow I will recieve new strength. I wasn't able to keep my milaria perscription down either so I really need to be better by tomorrow in order to try and take another one.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I awoke this morning not only totally well, but full of joy in abundance! Yes I took many vitamins and slept all day yesterday but there was tens of people praying for my health as well. I believe that God sometimes works with us on miracles. In some cases such as my ear, He heals instantly. In other cases as the flu that I had yesterday that I no longer have today He works with us through vitamins, and prayer, through rest and intercession. Yet in both cases I blame God for my healing. Ha! 'cause He is good in every circumstance and every situation. God did a lot of house work on my heart today as well. I cannot possibly tell you all that has occured within me, but it is all good. Each day I feel a new lightness in my step and a new wieghtiness of glory on my hands. Each day I chose to give up the dirt and sin in my life, and embrace the love and joy in return. Each day I become more of the person I've always desired to be. So tonight I took a shower and I stood in the big bucket we do our laundry in so in order to reuse the water that was rincing me. So the shower process looks like this: Turn on water get wet, turn off water, soap up and shampoo up, turn water on and rince. This way the running of water lasts not even two minutes and I am happy to get a shower every 2 days, its actually quite great. So as I was saying this time I stood in the bucket in order to be able to reuse the water that rinced off my body. Ha! so I sat and used that water to shave my legs and when I went to pour it out it was the thick red color of the earth here in Africa. I don't realize how physically dirty I really am, but hey its all good 'cause everyone here is in the same boat. We are all dirty and stinky together!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Again I awoke with such an energy and joy today! I just loved it! I made a new morning playlist for myself and went out to do my morning yoga and prayer. I just love it! When I got here God told me to be on the worship team here. I argued but knew that He knows best for me, so I signed up. This morning my bunk mate Carri from California, this guy Chris from North Carolina, Rollo from the UK, and I all lead worship. Man it was fun! I so enjoyed just floating in God's presence this morning and we ended up leading for the second session as well. I didn't realize untill someone asked later on but, it has been 7 years since I have been an active part of a worship team. I might have sung once or twice within those 7 years but not really a member of a team. It is so refreshing to be right where God wants me to be. Another classmate came up to me when class was out and said that my voice made her want to drink coffee and listen to 50's music. I am still laughing at that comment 'cause I just think it is so funny. So here I am on Wednesday and I'm posting another blog but I just can't help it now. I'm so excited to share all that is going on with you. Please write me any questions you have, and just so you know the whole time I have been here I have been praying for you! You are the ones that come to me in my dreams, you are the ones I'm interceding for, I love you my home, my family, my friends, my people, and I believe God is doing big things in your life!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A novel has occurred within just one week of school it is hard to give you a real taste of my new life here. The sun creeps up over the ocean at 4:30am with birds celebrating a new day. By 5:30 I join the celebration with my i pod, my bible, and yoga mat. Kim Walker sings "You wont Relent," as I stand in tree pose facing the ocean. Every morning my body and soul crave this one-on-one time for just me and my lover Jesus. After an hour or more I tear myself away to grab a roll and cup of super sweet tea from the kitchen. I sit on the front porch with a book and enjoy the simple food for another hour before grabbing my notebook, bible, and water bottle. I walk to class, a large gazebo located on a hill overlooking the compound, and utter "bom dia" to every person on the way. I stand with the ocean breeze whipping my skirt and my arms stretched out in worship. This is how each and everyday begins in paradise!
Even though each morning looks very similar, God does something new in me everyday. Sunday was my first African church service and it really was all I dreamed it could be. The kids and I danced in the front during worship. They have more dancers and kids on stage than they have musicians and all the music carries a strong drum beat you can't help move to. Papa Roland Baker spoke a few sentences in English then it was translated into Portuguese and then again into Makua. The message was a simple invitation to have more of the Holy Spirit. In response I made my way to the front of the church, and laid on grass mats among beautiful African women and children. Tears streamed down my cheeks as my mind raced with the miracle of me being in this moment.
On Monday the first day of school, my ear was really bothering me and it was hard for me to be in worship. Back when I was in 8th grade my right eardrum popped and it has given me problems since. In worship I placed my hand over my ear and my friend Alicia who was next to me, saw that my ear was hurting so she placed her hand on mine and prayed for a new eardrum. Instantly the pain left completely and my hearing was totally restored! Ha! God is so good!
On Friday the last day of school for the week, Heidi Baker spoke about our identity. Ephesians 1: 4 states that God chose us. Laying on grass mats I began to thank God for choosing me. What a humbling thought that the God of all time and space chose me. As I lay in His thick presence, I was taken away into a series of visions. After each one I asked God what it all meant and He would explain. I felt as if I was laying on the floor for maybe 20 minutes yet when I opened my eyes, the sun had set and when I moved, my body was sore. I was on the floor for more than 2 hours! My heart and my head now belong to the King of Kings who has the best in mind for me. He has given me dreams and He promises they will come true.
All I can tell you is what is happening to me. I can't explain. I can't argue. All I know is God is so real that I hear His voice clearly and have relationship with him,and His touch is so real that miracles happen. I am praying that you get to experience God like this. That He visits you in dreams and takes you on journeys and touches you in ways that every heart ache is healed and every pain flees.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I made it to Pemba! Upon arriving we went to town to get the feel of things, did some shopping and whatnot and a hurricane of emotions was constantly storming for me. I was extremely exhausted and after setting up my room a bit and having dinner I crashed into bed. Only a few hours later I awoke to the feeling of a bug bite on my leg, then a tickle on my arm and then my neck. I tried to convince myself it was all in my head and finally ended up turning on my light in order to find my bed was swimming with ants. I grabbed the bug spray killed all that I could, brushed off the tiny dead bodies and tried my best to sleep the rest of the night which didn't go to well. The ants returned in force and since Wednesday when I arrived it has become routine. I spray ants last thing I do before bed, and when I wake up I sweep out piles of dead bodies, then go get breakfast come back spray some more, read then sweep, and this continues all day. I have since moved my bed to the opposite wall of the window and have yet to have them in my bed. However, last night my goodnight present as I climbed into bed was a large cockroach on my pillow. :) Welcome to Africa!
Well enough about bugs, and onto kids. I have had multiple dance parties and the girls have done my hair. We have played Frisbee, and played in the ocean. I'm telling you this is heaven. The kids are so much fun. At one point in walking back from the beach I had two kids holding each hand. They just surround you at all times. I love it. Michael Jackson is the man around here too, so the kids in playing and dancing on the beach sing "beat it, beat it!" I love it!
My other classmates have been wonderful as well. The first of us all arrived on Wednesday and then none until Friday. I have fully enjoyed everyone since Wednesday I have yet to know the new students. But already friendships have blossomed. I have decided I will come back with a Auzzy, South African, British accent just so you know in advance.
Well, school starts Monday the first week has been amazing! Rice and beans for lunch and dinner with a roll for breakfast. Thank you all for getting me here. God bless you and next Saturday I will tell you all about school.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Getting there

Well the flights were in fact long and at one point got lonely. Two days of absolutely no one to talk to! Can't remember the last time that happened. Back home my voice was starting to get harsh because of talking from 7am to 11pm everyday. All flights went according to plan and the visit with Nicole and Zach in Seattle was just perfect. Connections with Alicia worked perfect as well and we are now happy stereotypical Americans in South Africa. Staying up all night, doing yoga, crunches, taking photos and sitting on face book, has summed up our evening. But we know it wont be like this again so we are taking advantage of the opportunity. Oh and a side note for you, even in South Africa, where it is over 70 F I still have cold feet.