Friday, October 30th
Today's village outreach was different than last week's and yet just as touching.The team meet at 2 and after waiting a good while we gave up on the translators and just headed out to the village north of the Iris base. Not too far into the village we stopped at a house exploding with children. Come to find out there are people living here that run a sponsorship program. The kids loved the attention and we just sat and let the girls play with our hair and played games with the boys. There was another small baby today that I was holding and playing with for a while. She had a washcloth that was pinned onto her as a cloth diaper so I was safe from being peed on this time. However she did end up spitting up all over me as do most babies. It is just different here though. There are no blankets handy or spit rags. So you just brush it off best you can and shrug your shoulders.
Next we went over to a woman who's husband works for Iris as a guard. She had such a gentle spirit and she asked that we pray for her. We prayed for protection and provision and as we were saying our good-byes she took the necklace off her neck and put it on me. My heart melted I couldn't stop saying "obregada, obregada.(thank you)" I'm so touched by her generosity. I can't wait to go and see Theresa again.
We moved onto a group of women playing a game similar to the board game "Sorry." I joined the ladies for a while and was really content to just stay there, until I got distracted by a young girl of about 9. She was playing with my hair which was fine but then she took off my necklace and would not giving it back. I had to walk away from the game I was playing and convince her I was serious about wanting the necklace back. Eventually she gave in and a group of us then moved on to another woman's house. We had found a translator by that point and so we just sat and got to know her a bit. We met her son and saw the house she was in the process of building. At this time we began to run out of daylight and so we started heading back home and she walked all the way back with us.
Our purpose for these village visits is purely to develop relationship with locals. There is no big plan when we go out. We simply love people where they are at, become a part of their lives even in a little way, assess their needs, and to continue visiting throughout the week. Once relationships are developed then we have opportunity to meet some of their needs as well, such as bring them a pair of flip flops, or sign them up for our roofing team to come and put a roof on their house. But it is important that we have relationship with them first and then can give out of love and not just to meet a need.
Saturday, October 31st
Happy Halloween. I'll give you one guess what I was this year... Yep a Missionary in Africa! Surprised? Well jokes aside I had quite an amazing day today. Esther came to my window at 5am to wake me up. I threw on some yoga wear and we headed to the beach with Alicia and E.B. The four of us did yoga together on the beach when people barley scattered the beach. After an hour or so rain began to kiss our faces every couple of seconds and we gave up the yoga and hit the internet at the Nautilus. Once finished with responding to the rest of the world we walked back down to the Nautilus's restaurant for breakfast. Sitting on the beach with coffee and toast what could be better?
After breakfast we walked back home and Esther, Alicia and I went into town for supplies, toilet paper, laundry soap, peanut butter, all really exciting things. It is 50 mets (close to $2) for a taxi ride into town and our Portuguese is good enough to get around town. Often we will go to the market for bananas or mangoes as well and do some bartering but today we went in for pure necessities.
Once back to the base there was the decision was made for the dolphin that tonight. The dolphin is a kinda cheap restaurant closet to the Nautilus Hotel we use for the internet. You can get a small pizza for 120 mets ($5ish) A full two tables of us walked the stretch in pursuit of food other than beans and rice. Sometimes it is worth a walk and 120 mets for a pizza over another RICErific meal here on base. After the full day of being out and about I finished off the evening sitting on Alicia's front porch with a cup of African red tea, friends and discussion of music and life.
Monday through Wednesday:
I will be honest with you Monday through Wednesday looked like school, projects, reading, meetings...
Thursday, November 5th, 2009!!!!!! 21st Birthday!!!!!!
Well I woke up this morning early and in a good mood. Praise God! I grabbed my ipod and listened to Andrew Bird's "The Happy Birthday Song" and then "21" by the Cranberries and finally "Melody" by Blond Redhead. All great happy birthday Melody songs. I then grabbed my breakfast roll and tea and left it on the table as I did yoga out in front of my house. Later as I began to get ready for the day Alicia came over and gave me a birthday present of carrot sticks and homemade in Africa hummus!!!! I'm not sure how I could possibly explain to you what a miracle gift this was! My house was wonderful to me as well and showered me with "happy birthday" wishes before heading up to class where they then sang happy birthday to me. A group of us are going on on outreach this weekend and so those who weren't all prayed for those who were. After I passed through the line of people praying for me I went and layed on the floor to just listen to the Lord. I layed down and Henk from South Africa came over and prayed for me. He prayed an incredible birthday blessing over my life and for the next hour or more God continued to give me visions and talk to me.
One vision I had, I was laying in a hammock with the refreshing Montana mountain air on a summer day kissing my face. Papa God was laying in the hammock next to me and as we layed side by side in the hammock with His arm under my head I could see that we were on the tippy top of a steep mountain. From this mountain God started showing me different cultures and villages. I peered down into the valley and could see African villages next to London, East Indian villages next to Paris, Arabic villages next to New York. I could see the world. The Lord then brought to memory the scripture I read on Tuesday Psalm 2:7-8 "He said to me 'You are My son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession." Which to me is a reminder of the promise that God has called me to travel the ends of the earth with Him and I wont ever stop bringing His love to every corner of the world. He is my papa God and I am comfortable in His arms.
We had class and again a lot of good things happened. After class however was rush time. Time to inhale some rice and beans grab backpack, tent, sleeping bag, water for 3 days, and a pack of wet-wipes and head to the camion to leave for outreach. We left sometime after 3 and headed to a village about an hour away. We set up our tents and then began to set up for the Jesus film. The Jesus film is a simple short story of the life of Jesus in the Makua language. Heidi came on this outreach along with our guest speakers right now Paul and Sherrel Black. Heidi preached after the film and called up those who wanted prayer. We spread out and began praying for people. I know is "un taka tefu (come Holy Spirit) and so pretty much that is all I prayed. The chief of the village loves the Lord and the people in this particular village were happy and excited about us being there. So in this aspect I would say I felt as if I was living the "Always enough" book. It felt extremely natural because of reading stories just like this.
As I layed my back in the African dirt and looked into a sky that is clean of all light pollution, I began to analyze this years birthday in comparison to my last. Birthdays are significant days and therefore it is easy to go back to this day in particular. This is the first time I have realized that I am a different person than I was last year. I layed under a completely new sky of endless layers of stars and I cannot possibly understand the depths of the universe. Yet, the God who created it all, chose to transform the insecure, pushover person I was last year by bringing me to Africa. I now have realized that I don't even recognize the person I was and know without a shadow of a dout that I could never go back to that place again. I have a confidence in who I am now that I never had before and I only received that through spending time with the one who made me. He knows how I tick and tock, He knows my ins and outs, my ups and downs. And now I can say that I have found all I need in Him, and I no longer have to turn to people-pleasing to fulfill a need to be needed void inside of me.
Friday, November 6th:
I woke up sick this morning. It got so hot so fast in my opinion and there really was no escaping it. After packing up tent and gear I kept my yoga mat out and just layed out in a field while everyone else played with the kids for a while. I was overjoyed by the time we were ready to head out, because I knew there would be a breeze once riding in the back of the camion. Sure enough it was a big deal for me to be able to cool down. I tried to keep drinking water but there was no use, I couldn't keep anything down. After a few hours of driving and some really hard to bear stopping in the extreme heat of the day we made it to the village of Ungora. As we drove in the children came out from all around and began singing and dancing on the hills as they waved and then began to chase after the truck. By this time I was feeling much better and we sang and played with the kids for a few hours. Now that we are a significant distance from the ocean it is HOT. Even the Mozambiquanas take a nap at this time of day when it is this extreme. We are guessing it was around 120 degrees Fahrenheit. So we decided to take a break from kid time for a little while as we had lunch and set up camp. I skipped breakfast this morning but my 2 in the afternoon I was feeling pretty good so I decided to have some pasta that our cook crew made for lunch. Well this was not such a good idea in fact and I ended up going to bed for the rest of the day because of feeling sick once again. As I was laying down God brought to mind the rejoice always scripture and though I know God did not make me sick I began to praise Him because His goodness remains constant even when things don't go as I planned. Seven o'clock rolled around and I was woken up by my good friend Alicia, Courtney, and Shenea. They had come back from where the Jesus film was playing because God told Alicia to come and pray for me. I woke up and as I sat up my stomach was again in extreme want to fall over pain but I let them pray for me and the pain stopped and I received an energy I did not have before. I threw on my Chacos and we walked back to where the film was showing.
This evening was eventful in a different way and we never will understand what really goes on because of the fact that I know I will never see these people again and there is no way to tell what changes happen on an individual level but all you can do is hope that you made a positive impact by just holding babies and seeing the Holy Spirit heal those in pain.
Saturday, November 7th:
We packed up and went to church early this morning. They had church today because we were there and we sang and the Mozambiquan pastors preached and again there was a simple enjoyment of company this morning. After saying our good-byes we hopped back in the camion and headed for home. It is strange how truly "home" this has become. As my eyes saw the ocean for the first time my heart got giddy. Getting back to my family here was refreshing as well. All those who didn't go on outreach went to an optional class that was going on for anyone interested (not just Harvest School students) on marriage. It was a lot of male/female brain games that I know was really great information, however I'm happy on my decision to go on outreach instead. Those of us who did chose outreach we all then decided that it would again be fun to go out to eat tonight at the Dolphin once again. A pizza and a coke treated me well after a good long outreach and tonight I decided even to get a little dolled up. I put on makeup and did my hair for the first time in over a month. It was a fun dramatic change considering how dirty I was from 3 days in the bush.
My apologizes this is so long but it has been over a week of not talking to you at all. As you have read there was a lot that went on this week and as I've told you before, you are a part of the adventure so I can't leave you out on the details. Life here in Pemba is really so so so incredibly privileged. We have electricity from 5am-8am and again from 5pm-10pm, I have a bed, I have running water, I have more than one set of clothing, I have a grocery store, and I know that I am intensely blessed.