Monday, December 28, 2009

Tete part 1

How can you possibly sum up 3 weeks in Mozambique Africa that forever alters the course of your life? How do you put to words days that mark the worst and the best at the same time? How do you explain love and heartbreak, when you are unable to speak the same language? I will do my best for your sake and for mine to tell the Tete story. But I know that I will fail to do it justice.
Tuesday December 8th, 2009
5:30am the alarm goes off and I know there is no ignoring it today. I crawl out of bed and begin the final stages of packing. By 6:30 my bags were packed and it was merely time to wait. By 9:30 it came to the point were it actually looked as if we were going to leave. I said the last of my good-byes, and gave the last of my hugs. We piled 8 girls into the back of the Land Rover and David, Pastor Carlos and Willie, made up the driving team. I pressed my face against the back window, watching Lisa and Jess walk behind and the Land Rover exited the gates of Iris Ministries Pemba. I knew that even when we return 3 weeks later the base will never look the same again. The first day of driving ended in a quiet peaceful village. We were all tucked snugly in our tents safe from the “mother spiders” by just after midnight.
Wednesday December 9th, 2009
Rain gently tapped my tent to say good morning. We all quickly loaded the truck and drove away within the hour. In desire to keep the party moving we have not really stopped for food the last couple of days and so by lunch we actually got out and had a meal. Trying to estimate time is near impossible because of road conditions. In looking through the window I feel like I am watching a arcade driving game. “Drive a Land Rover on roads in Africa trying to avoid children who run in front of the car, tire-popping pot holes, and vehicles driving on your side of the road.” It was again midnight as we were nearing our destination for the night and in all honesty I was not excited about the 2 hours it takes to get the bags and set up camp. But then we experienced a miracle. We pulled into the Dondo base to find out that they had beds made for us and food on the table. I was so shocked all I could do was walk around with my mouth open trying to take it all in.
Thursday December 10th, 2009
This morning I took a shower! It was so glorious I didn’t even care that I shared it with 2 cockroach things each bigger than my thumb. I truly have stopped caring about the extremely large insects. I walked out of my room, feeling cleaner emphasis on the “er,” and another amazing surprise walked into the visitors’ center, Ron and Jan Brunk! This is a couple I met before coming to Africa that went to the school 2 years ago and own the bike store in my tiny town of Whitefish, Montana. Out of a town of maybe 6,000 full time residents we met up in Dondo, Mozambique by surprise. Now because Ron would come into the coffee shop that I worked at almost every day and so him and Jan then had me to their house for a cup of real coffee. French pressed, and served black in a real ceramic mug. We left one of our Mozambiquan girls, Fatima here in Dondo for holiday with her family and the rest of us didn’t make it on the road till around 2pm due to some Land Rover issues. Today’s road I no longer felt that I was watching a video game I felt as if I was in a movie. Truly it was surreal. I begin to write the story in my head to entertain myself for the next 12 hours. Midnight had come and gone and construction roads stretched an unknown length. The African bush was dark and encircled all around us. The air smelled of cigars and clouds of dust would choke your breathing with every passing semi. David, 25 years old, 6’5” wearing a Patagonia plaid button up with the neon driver’s vest was the only one talking and it was never more than the few phrases of, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” or “ Oh, come on!” Pastor Carlos the Mozambiquan guide sat next to him interpreting the road signs for David, with his little son Willie almost 3 years of age asleep on his lap. The road was littered with reflecting road signs but it was a mystery to all of us what any of them meant. It looked as if they had just put every sign they had on the road to say “yes this is the main road and not some abandoned bush bush trail.” In the back the seven girls sat in silence. Amy with long blond hair braided into a million tiny braids and a big Canon camera around her neck at all times was the official photographer. Debora, 6’2” could be mistaken as a New Zealand super model over the inquisitive student that she is always has a huge smile on her face and always excited to take in all the new experiences. Ruth Ann, with long brown hair always pulled back into a braid has been put in charge of food. She is wonderful for the job considering her Amish background. Tuweni, also known as “queweni” is from Malawi. With no fear of speaking her mind and her desires she is a valuable asset to the team considering she speaks the local language. I can be summed up as the young inexperienced nurse, and Natalia is from Tete and we are transporting her back to her family. Merari a firery Porto Rican co-leads with David and Pastor Carlos and serves as the Portuguese translator. The Land Rover jumped and shook after every pot hole and everyone did their best to find a handle to hold onto during the ride. As we came to a bridge again littered with construction signs one man stood in the center with a red light saber waving back and forth.
Now if you take this team and exaggerate all of our personalities, gifting, and backgrounds this would be a crazy good film. We made it to Tete around 2am yet again and Maria Jose and Roberto greeted us with open arms and a hot meal. Our Tete home has a weird familiarity to it. It honestly feels as if I’m staying with my Brazilian Aunt and Uncle, and my siblings and I just did 3 day road trip to get here. The house has 4 empty bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen the size of the bathroom. There are 2 chairs and a bench in the living room along with a few African nick-nacks. But there is not much else in house. Mi and Pi don’t even have a bed. And yet we are so grateful to be living in such luxury, because in Africa this is housing of only the rich. I believe many Americans would break down in tears if they had to live in such poverty conditions. After unloading the luggage from on top of the Land Rover we placed our air matrices close together on the cement floor and slept as best we could in the suffering Tete heat.
Friday, December 11th, 2009- Monday, December 14th, 2009
The first few days spent in Tete concussed of just spending time with “family.” Each day we went to the small one room concrete church. There is a brothel right next to the church that we are trying to purchase to turn into a children’s center. However, it is currently still in business. We have walked all around the surrounding village in prayer and Saturday night when we showed the Jesus film at the church many of the prostitutes came over and came up to turn they’re lives around. Many of them were at church the next day as well. The Tete church is amazing and these people truly love the Lord. They are far more mature spiritually than most of the churches here in Mozambique and that is all thanks to Mi and Pi (Maria Jose and Roberto). I have gravitated toward two little girls in particular here at the church. They must be about 5 years old. One of them is the Pastor’s daughter named Ida and the other I never was able to get her name. They are best friends and are always scene together. Each time we show up they run over and are attached to each side of me the entire time I’m there. They remind me of my best friend Nicole and I when we were that age.
Tuesday December 15th, 2009 - Thursday December 16th, 2009
Bush bush visit- Singorah: The camion full of our missionary team and a group of Mozambiquans from the Tete church arrived to the sound of singing and dancing. One by one we jumped down from the back of the truck and joined the celebration. Singorah is the most beautiful village in Africa. Ok, well as far as I’ve scene. Green grass covers the ground as goats, cows, chickens, and donkeys roam. Ducks and Hogs enjoy the watering hole shaded by a large mango tree. Even in the little church the women have hung dried flowers from the roof. Everything is clean and beautiful including the people. They are all so inviting. One women walked us to the market and tried to buy us sodas. We managed to buy the drinks and so she bought us a pack of cookies.
When we visit the bush bush, during the day Mi and Pi split up the Mi’s and Pi’s and talk about AIDS, sexual purity, and relationships while the rest of us take the kids. Typically the we paint the girls fingernails while the boys play soccer. We sing songs, and dance, play games, and tell a Bible story. Tuewni is so good with the kids and we are lucky to have her. She has a billion songs up her sleeve all in their language. We visited another visit on Wednesday as well and did the same thing with them. Except Maria Jose and Roberto kept the Mi’s and Pi’s together and talked about relationships. They had the pastor and his wife give each other a hug in front of everyone and even the children turned around to witness the most awkward hug. They simply do not hug. We have enjoyed bringing the concept of the hug to the people. Even with the children, it takes them a little while before they melt and embrace the embrace.
When we got home to Tete Thursday evening upon entering the bathroom we found the bathtub was completely covered in cockroaches. This discouraged the excitement of showers mildly, but not much. We killed them, removed them and got the shower line moving. 12 people sharing one bathroom means that it takes a while for everyone to get a turn. After everyone got their shower, we went to town to buy supplies for the next bush bush visit. I got some time on the internet, which was a wonderful surprise and after collecting a small donation we sent our leaders out to dinner.
Friday, December 18th, 2009 - Saturday December 19th, 2009
Back to the bush again. These two days were openly some of the worst days I’ve had in Africa and at the same time two of the most amazing. At the first village it had to be 50 degrees Celsius. Upon arriving to the first village I got serious stomach cramps. We set up our tents and I went to bed almost immediately. Sleep was not an option however. This was indescribable heat. The ground is mainly coal and therefore it was radiating heat all night. I was drowning in pools of my own sweat. I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life and I will be honest in saying I don’t desire to ever experience that again.
Once Saturday rolled around, and I gave up the idea of sleeping at all. I’m sure no one slept at all Friday night. We played with the kids again while Mi and Pi took the adults. At one point I looked over to find a little boy of maybe 3 laying in the dirt crying. I went over brushed him off and took him in my arms. He stopped crying and calmed down as I gently rocked him. He had a necklace placed on him from the witch doctor, which meant there was something wrong with his health. I began to sing blessing over him, and canceled all curses placed on this boy in the form of the bondage around his neck. I sat down and cradled him in my arms and Roberto and the local pastor came over and noticed the witchcraft symbol as well. The pastor begin explaining to this boys mother that the witchdoctor doesn’t have any power to bring healing and blessing. Witchcraft only brings curses and destruction. The Holy Spirit is the real healing power and there is no required fees, or negative consequences. In the end the mother couldn’t care less, but the little boy changed. He was held and loved for an hour. He experience the peace that comes only from Heaven and the enemy could not touch him while he was in my arms. I don’t mean to sound mellow-dramatic but the spiritual world is a reality here.
We left Saturday afternoon and went to another village. Again we were greeted with singing and dancing and Deborah and I joined in on the party. My eyes focused on the amazing dancers and my hands clapped along to the beat and too quickly for me to understand what was happening my capulana fell off! Grabbed it faster than I knew I could move and Doca, my sister from the Tete church, and I had a good laugh. Yep, one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I flashed the whole church! The local pastor took a small group of us on a little tour after the welcome party, and we ended up hiking up a mountain in capulanas in the heat of the day. Not something I would recommend. It was beautiful though. He then took us to the chief’s house to introduce us. This is probably the farthest into the bush that we have been yet. There is no electricity, no roads, no cars, nothing remotely close that gives hint of the modern world. However as we neared the chief’s house Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” drifted from the radio. It simply didn’t fit the scenery of hippo skulls, and mud huts.
We came back to camp to find that lunch was ready. Deb and I helped Fatima and Doca with the dishes. We had a blast washing the dishes African style, using the dirt as a scrubby sponge, and brown muddy water from the river to rinse. When we were all finished Doca and Fatima took off our sandals and began washing our feet. Not long after this beautiful moment, Deb and I decided to join the dance party. We learned the Tete dance to the best of our ability, which resulted in a lot of laughter by all. That night after the rain, the film, the prayer, and salvations we jumped back into the camion to head back to Tete. No one really packed the gear for the drive home and Deb and I were sitting at the base of the pile and it was not long before DVD players begin crashing onto our heads. We did our best to hold everything in and with sweat pouring down my face and my body getting tossed worse than some crazy earthquake it became mandatory that I make it to the end of the camion. After falling onto Mozambiquan laps, and worrying about my capulana falling off again, I made it to the end just in time to hurl over the side. Yep, again the worst and the best wrapped into one.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Last days in Pemba

Saturday, December 5th, 2009
Happy Birthday Meadow!!! I love you sister! This morning I woke up barely past 6am to a text message from my good friend Jenna back in Whitefish. This is the first time I’ve talked to anyone besides my parents on the phone and a few tears were shed from pure joy. I know I was an emotional wreck in the beginning of the school and now at the end of school I am the same wreck, but really I promise I wasn’t this way in the middle. Anyway Jenna was watching 5 out of 6 of the nieces and nephews and the phone got passed around to all of them. It was wonderful. This afternoon we I said good bye to Henk. He has been one of my favorites from this school and we had our reentry meeting where some really good things were said. Then Jess, the dutch, James, Esther and I all went to the Nautilus for lunch. I had rice and beans at home and just used the internet for a bit but sat and enjoyed the convo with the rest of the table. Then us girls ran into the water then sat on the pier in silence while the boys stayed chatting and drinking cappuccinos, Ha a little reverse roll hey? Us girls laughed about it. Once back on base I showered and changed into clean clothes, borrowed some bobby pins and pinned up my hair, and even get this… put on makeup. Yeah I went all out tonight baby! Anyway then Mandy, Alice, Sherri Lynn, Spencer, Chris, James, Eric, Tiago, Martha, Rallo, John, and I went to the Navel for dinner. Later Jerome and the other Eric joined us and then Esther, Desi, Lisa, and Dan joined our table as well. I had some great convo with Spencer tonight which is fun because he is one I didn’t ever get that close with while being here. Well, in all honesty I didn’t get close with any guys. To a certain level yeah, but I still feel like I am at week 2 with all of them. Alice and I also got some good heart to heart tonight. Oh a noteworthy tragedy today was after I woke Carrie up to inform her that our medical meeting got bumped up to right as I woke her. Carrie and I came back to the house and it was about 9:30 at this point. Carrie had 2 Starbucks instant coffees left and had water boiling with her cup of coffee sitting right next to the stove. Krista who just got back from the chicken shack with a soda that she just purchased came in the door and added a few ice cubes to a cup and then started pouring her soda in the cup. Then she freaks out and says, “Uhh… why can’t people learn to do the dishes!!!” Her soda was a nasty brown and I realized what she had just done. I then said gently, “Krista you just poured your soda into Carrie’s coffee” All Carrie could say was “its ok, its ok” at that point I knew our house had then reached a new level of “oh gosh!” and I said see you later.

Sunday, December 6th, 2009
Happy Birthday Jillian!!! My oldest niece is 13 today! Today was a wonderful day. Last night was a late night I didn’t go to bed until 12:30 or so but I was up at 6:30 with Esther at my window asking if I was awake. We made our breakfast plans for 7:30 and I threw on some clothes and spent some time in the word. I felt like God was extremely clear this morning. I just stayed in bed listening to Ave Maria and reading from Luke. I read the story of how Jesus appeared to the disciples after He rose from the dead and they didn’t recognize him the whole time and it wasn’t until they began to eat together that he recognized him and He had to open their minds (Luke 24: 45). It then made me think about the last supper and when they ate, He then said do this in remembrance of me. I thought well they sat and ate together all the time and then the last time they eat together Jesus says when you break bread an drink wine do it in remembrance of me. I just couldn’t help but think of what a crazy mess of religion Jesus made of things. Here He was one man that showed up and says that He alone is fulfilling the law and that people don’t need to do this whole sacrifice thing any more and we are in a new covenant with God where we can feel Him any time we ask. It is so drastically different than everything that everyone knew back then. Anyway I just had some interesting convo with God this morning. I’m still dwelling on all this obviously.
By 7:30 Esther, Alicia, and I went to the Nautilus for breakfast. I had a pancake, it was tasty and a cup of tea. Oh and our server gave me a free muffin just because.
Once back I put together my medical box and then went to the truck to say good-bye. I did tear up just a little once she was in the truck driving off. I adore the girl, I feel she is my sister. By then it was house cleaning time. All of us went to town on our dirty house. We did a crazy good job and now I am sitting at the clean table walking barefoot on clean floors with flowers on the table and the smell of bleach still in the air as I journal in an empty house listening to my music. I don’t care if I am a dork who eats a candle lit dinner alone, because I enjoy it.
My gear repair kit has come in quite handy since being here. I have yet to use it for myself but I helped Henk the other day, I helped Spencer today and I have helped Johan twice.

Monday, December 7th, 2009
Today I had to say good bye to two trucks full of friends. Some I know I will see by the end of the month, others I know I will see at some point down the road, and some I know I will never see again. It is hard but I know I don’t know how hard it really is yet.

Shout out to all y’all!!!

I just want to say that I will be in the bush bush now for the next 3 weeks but I will be back in Montana before you blink an eye. Thank you to everyone who has sent emails and quick messages of love. They have gotten me through this far. I can’t wait to see you or talk to you once I’m back in the states. I will fill you in on the rest of the story in a month. I love you! God is with you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Graduation week!

Monday, November 30th, 2009
Today was the first day of the last week of school! Weird! Today really was a great day. School began with worship and graduating the Young family and Jesse and Tanya because they leave tomorrow to go back to La Shinga. Then Mel Tari spoke, which was so amazing! Man he is one of my school favorites! Then Amy spoke! She is an amazing, wonderful woman that beat us up with her honesty in a good way. I really respect her when she talks about not whining, and enjoying the luxuries that we have. Mel too, I respect him so much and find him relatable when it comes to talking about how we need to go about our day to day lives. This morning God put Nina Landis music in my head when I woke up. So I listened to it as I did yoga and read my Bible. God started talking to me about same things that Mel and Amy talked about later. That is God for you! For lunch Esther, James, Alicia, Chris, John, Mandy and I went to town had Chinese food, ice cream and did some grocery shopping. It actually was a wonderfully enjoyable town visit. I had a lot of fun and was able to get a little bit of peanut butter and mangos and bananas. It was great. Alicia, Esther and I made tuna sandwiches for dinner because the Iris base ran out of food so they did not feed the mission school students tonight. They fed the kids and the bible school students. Then Mel Tari spoke again at the evening session and again it was wonderful. God is good, day after day, after day! AMEN!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Today marks exactly one week till I leave for the bush bush, and exactly one month until I am home in Whitefish, Montana! Crazy!!! It is all exciting, and wonderful, yet sad and terrible at the same time. I will be saying goodbye to my family here, my home here, and my life in my bubble. Yet I will be embarking on an incredible adventure that will last for 3 weeks and then I will be heading back to Montana to bring all the wonders of Mozambique home with me. God has not given me a spirit of fear, and yet I know believe that it is good to acknowledge the fact that difficulty is around the corner. Because when I headed out to my first outreach I didn’t believe that it would be hard for me, and with that I got a slap in the face I was not expecting. But I am admitting that this will be hard even though I am so excited for it, and I know that it will be hard once I’m home as well even though I truly can’t wait.
Today Mel Tari spoke in the morning and he is amazing I’m telling you. He is such a papa and ridiculously funny! Then Heidi spoke and she always has many incredible stories to share. As soon as school got out I went and got my rice and beans and went to the meeting for outreach. David made creeps and oh man were they good! I’m looking forward to more of those! I had to leave that meeting even before we were totally done because I had color group meeting with Heidi. We sat in her office with kids coloring, walking around, and interrupting and we went around the room and shared how we got to Iris, how we liked the school, and what we are doing after school. I have to tell you about Dan and Lisa! So I don’t think I mentioned it at the beginning of the school but the first day the first group of us were here, we were all chatting and Lisa mentioned that her and Dan were engaged and Esther asks “so do you have a dress yet?” Lisa casually answers “no but I’m not worried about it, I’ll just wear my favorite dress if it comes down to it.” Well Esther then says “well I have a wedding dress, God told me to bring a wedding dress to Pemba, do you want to try it on?” Lisa tried it on and it is the perfect fit, and it is exactly what she had been looking at online that she knew she couldn’t afford. Wow! So ok here is what happened today… As Dan and Lisa tell their story to Heidi, Heidi then asks “do you have rings?” the answer was no and Heidi then responds “well do you know I have a ring ministry? Yeah people give me rings and then I give them for wedding rings. So what do you like, gold, silver, white gold, diamonds?” Come on!!! I started crying right then and there. God is just so ridiculously good!

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
The last week of school God never intends to leave you with what He has done in the last 7 weeks. He always wants to give you that last bit more. This morning Mel Tari spoke and then Papa Roland. They are both awesome! And worship was incredible too. The afternoon was pretty mellow and after dinner and a little gathering of ice cream for those who helped Roberta with the book reviews. The evening session started shortly after that. All we did was worship and at one point the Lord layed the burden of Whitefish so heavy that I was in a ball on the floor rocking, and tears pouring out of my eyes, snot dripping from my nose, and I was screaming! Everyone around me was loud and in their own world so no one really noticed my crying and screaming. As when I have a intense intense cry this was it and all I could do was ask God to visit people now. I would call people by name as God gave me the names and I believe that God is coming to Whitefish. I feel a bit vulnerable telling you this whole story but I promise in the beginning that I wanted to tell you even the times that I am a mess on the floor. After the evening session I put on some hot water and Jess, Anna and I sat and had hot chocolate and talked a bit. We had a wonderful talk with Anna and just loved and encouraged her tonight. I think it was really good and I felt that we bonded over it as well. We talked about what a testimony she is and if there are things that she still needs to cry or scream about that she needs to do that and not feel stupid about it.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
This morning after getting dressed and grabbing a cup of Ricoffee, only the best, I washed all my clothes. Once every item was hanging on the line I grabbed the remaining of my coffee and walked to the last class! Mel Tari spoke first and then Mamma Heidi. After class I had a meeting and then Jess and I made two batches of glory balls for graduation tomorrow, then two batches of Jello, cleaned house, made dinner, and then an apple crumble. We had a very domestic evening. There are times in which I step back and think, “what time period am I living in?” I have to haul my own water, I spent all day washing laundry by hand, cooking and cleaning. And we have to do it all in a floor length skirt

Friday, December 4th, 2009 Graduation Day!
Wow! What a day! Just after 6am Jess came in and woke me up. I made some rice porage from rice that I saved from the night before and we were out of the house by 7am. We walked up to Nathan’s casa (Nathan is the school director), to do some gardening. There is a large garden area up by the prayer hut and the school hut that is beautiful but the horses are free range on the base and therefore they have fully destroyed the garden. At one point goats got into the garden and did a lot of damage as well. But Nathan has been working on it for the last 2 months or more and a wall has been built surrounding it so the horses cannot get in and today a group of us planted trees! We planted coconut trees, mango, orange, and papaya trees, thorny bougainvillea flowers along the wall to keep the banditos from jumping over. We cleaned up garbage, and watered. It was so much fun. Even in just 2 months you can see such a transformation of our garden enclosed! It is beautiful and I can’t wait to come back in 3 years and see the coconut tree that I planted, tall and bearing fruit!
So I didn’t get to stay long today because I had a meeting at 8am for medical training. I volunteered to be the on sight nurse for my 3 week bush bush trip. We are a group of 7 with two Mozambiquan pastors. We will be driving in a Land Rover for 3 days to get to our destination. We are going to a place that doesn’t yet have a children’s home. A Brazilian couple from the last mission school just moved there and are pioneering this new city. They just got there and we will be there first visitors, so this is truly going to be exciting. Iris Ministries just bought what used to be a brothel and the plan is to fix it up to the point in which it becomes a children’s home. From what we have heard there are many, many abandoned children. Street kids are everywhere and currently there is no where for them to go. I will be here for Christmas unless we decide to start driving back to Pemba Christmas day, but either way I’m also the “Christmas Director” for our team. I’m so thankful for my children’s school class back in Whitefish. Before I left they did a bake sale and raised money for the kids here. The Lord told me to hang on to it for a while and I didn’t give it to the base here right away and now I know it is for the street kids for Christmas in this new town I will be living in for 3 weeks. Thank you kids! Just a little side note it is rainy season and the town we are going to is on the Zambezi river and there are big possibilities of flooding so please keep Mozambique in your prayers in this regard. I have scene what one day of heavy rain can do and I don’t to see it get worse. Moderation of rain please, no floods!
Ok so after the medical training I went home put on a bright red t-shirt with the Iris logo on the front and back, a long skirt and my purple bandana to signify what color group I’m in. Graduation here is definitely not get in a nice dress, take a shower and put on makeup it is more like just wear what everyone else is wearing and don’t bother showering today because it will end up being pointless and hey no one wears makeup any other day there is no point in putting it on today and then crying and sweating it off 5 minutes later. I walked up to the school gazebo looking like I went back in time and am now 10 again with my baggy tee, my hair pulled back, and my skirt. Once there all of us students gave a standing ovation for our wonderful staff. We stood shoulder to shoulder completed the circular gazebo with a wall of bodies in red, blue, black, and green Iris t-shirts. The staff walked around to each of us praying over us and blessing us with authority to go out into the world. We started up there at 10am and by 1:30 we glanced at the clock and realized we were supposed to be at the kitchen a half hour ago. We were just having too much fun.
At the kitchen we broke up into our color teams with a group of the Mozambiquan Bible school students in each team as well and we had a chicken dinner feast! Each house made a few batches of no bake cookies and after passing those out the competition began. We played the simple egg on a spoon game and I know this sounds funny but it was such a beautiful sight! Mozambiquan mommas and papas and mission school students from 17 different nations dancing on tables, screaming, and getting so excited over a piece of chicken, rice, a juice box, a cookie, and a simple egg on a spoon game. Music blasted the sound of gospel hip hop something, “get down get down get down…” and I there was not one body not dancing. Mamas carried the egg on the spoon with babies strapped on their backs and I can truly say it felt like family.
After the massive lunch party we all walked down to the church and Papa Roland, Mama Heidi, and Papa Mel Tari were waiting for us. The dancing continued once we reached the church and a all students from both schools were up on stage doing the follow the leader dance to some African worship song. That building is HOT and dancing only makes things worse. Like I said earlier no point in taking a shower. Everyone is soaked with sweat at this point. Mel Tari then preached with his Indonesian accent heavy and his Pentecostal mannerisms even stronger, and a Portuguese translator did his best to keep up with him and the Makuah translator did his best to keep up after the Portuguese. Heidi then read each a group of mission school student’s names as they stepped onto the stage just to fall to their knees while Mel, Heidi, and Roland prayed for each person. Brian, the leader of the Bible school, then would read a group of Bible school student names and they would come up and do the same thing. I believe we started this process at about 3 and when I reached the front door of my house it was 8pm. I know this might be really hard for you to imagine but God is a lot of fun! It was not a horrible sit through the reading of names and clapping for 5 hours it was a quick mention of the names and then lots of prayer. And again this might sound strange to you but the prayer was not quiet whispering, with classical music playing in the background it was tears and laughter, it was shouting and dancing, it was fun! At one point after everyone’s names had been called and we were all now on stage and the music was going again as loud as ever a Mozambiquan woman picked up Mamma Heidi and carried her around our “dance circle” then a Mozambiqan man did the same to this guy Eric, a mission school student from New York, and then my roommate Krista runs across the room and picks me up. I felt as if I was in some Jewish wedding or something. It was hilarious! We both then fell to the floor in laughter and stayed there for probably 2 hours.
Once we mustered the strength to walk back to our house we discovered that the party continues! All of us mission school students then sat around a fire roasting hot dogs. Yes I had a hot dog and coke and didn’t think twice about it. The evening has dwindled to an end at nearly midnight and everyone here can testify it was quite the day!