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.