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!