Friday, June 11, 2010

Manchinana Jesu

Manchinana Jesu (Makua for the "In Jesus Name")

-top left picture: The pemba, Mozambique airport -top right picture: The Pemba Iris Ministries Base. The church is on the left. the road that the car on is the entrance in and out of the base. The beautiful beach is directly across the street from the base (from the direction the car is coming from)
-right:the tiny luggage belt in the Pemba airport.

The thought of trying to decide what to say and how to say it overwhelms me. There is too much!...An overwhelming amount of goodness and new life. And I am right where I’m supposed to be. At the end of this second week, my task has been not to miss anything due to weary mind and/or body. I will try to relay a bit for you, my dear friends.

I am full of joy and am eating gulping up all that I can – mentally, physically, and spiritually.
My initial reaction to life here has been that this is exactly the way I have been wanting to live. All of my normal ways of life are not only overshadowed but more or less made complete. I wake up in community – living simply (six girls in one small room. I have made little cabinet shelves to fit under my bunk bed in which I store my clothes but have no other room to myself.), then I walk out of my little house and am immediately surrounded by dirty little brown faces of beautiful wonderful, rascally, kids. There are Iris’ kids, who live on base; they are a little more shy and clean. But they are all beautiful and you can spend all of your day just spending time with and getting to know them. Then I sometimes walk to the beautiful Indian Ocean beach and read and talk with the Lord. I see fisherman, little crabs, and reflecting waters.
Then I have a class at 8 which has involved so far – Heidi sharing her heart with us and telling us about her adventures of living in China, Indonesia, England and here. She really did just come here by herself and sit on a streetcorner with children for months. She told us of how she ate cat. Haha – the children would share their food with her. Also we had Rolland Baker, Will Hart, Dan slade, and Don Weike (A Mozambican pastor who has prayed for people when they are dead and seen them rise) It has involved us getting to know the 200 or so pastors from all over Mozambique who speak only Portuguese and Makua.

-Above: Our little bedroom for 6 girls. These are two of my roomates, Laura and ruth. The blue in the background is the mosquito nets over our beds.
-Right: Ruth and I with the large Mozambican fruit that is quite delicious. behind us is an example of the houses that we lived in.

I am learning two languages at once. I have no books or even understand how to spell most of the Makua words I’m learning, but I have many lovely teachers. ( I will talk about my favorites of these teachers in a moment). So far with the pastors we have learned their Makua African songs and dance – we have had major amazing wonderful worship times – all of us in my school from 20 different nations (Australia, Finland, Belgium, South Africa are just a few) singing and dancing with African jimbae as our percussion. We have yet to hear their stories, but we do know that they are very poor and have walked or ridden on busses very far to get here. Their hearts are humble and beautiful (though there have been a few that seem to be looking for wives L ha – and I have had an interesting time trying to let them know that I am only a friend. Cultural understanding has been a small trial, but a necessary and good one).
After school every day I go the food hall which is one of my favorite places. The people that work in this place are my good friends:Widows who speak mostly Makua. I eat my little beans and rice and sit with these ladies who are my teachers! I have learned the word for friend, “ampwanaka”, and I wear it out with these ladies. One of them, Marilia, has invited me to her house twice, and I think it might be a regular outing for me. She has 8 children and they live in a bamboo house that is far from finished. You can see through the walls and it has no roof. She is a beautiful beautiful ampwanaka of mine. It is also great to eat with all of the Iris kids and pastors at meal times. There are 120-ish kids living on the base, and it has been quite an adventure to try and remember names of all the kids (Iris AND village) plus the pastors and the widows who are always on base. Just a few of the things that I do in the afternoons involve visiting the girls’ dorms (the girls that used to be orphans but are not longer!) They are shy, but they love visits. I have gone three times now, and have also visited the toddler house to hold children, and I am getting to know some the girls better. I love doing this. I think that soon I will bring some nail polish or a craft and do this with them.
Another option in the afternoons is to visit the house where the widows have sewing classes. They have a shop, which is where I will be doing most of my shopping. The money goes straight to them and their facility!!
There is also a children’s feeding and church that I have yet to visit because my class hasn’t been done in time, but I want to visit soon.
This base amazes me!! They are doing so much, and there is such love everywhere. I feel as if I am being stuffed with learning about God and the way He works, and also how to get lower and be more and more humble. I spend most of my time trying to walk from one part of the base to another and being bombarded with friends (kids, pastors, Makua ladies). Sometimes it takes me half an hour to walk a couple hundred feet.
-top picture: the hut that we had our classes in Monday through Thursday. These are some my classmates from 20 different nations!
-picture: My ampwanaka, Marilia, and her children in her house with Ruth, and I . We took this after helping her build her house (putting rocks in the walls)

Here are a couple extra highlights:

My first day of being here was a holiday,
"Un de Junio",which is basically a celebration of children! We had a lot to do – we made 1000 balloon animals :) little bags of candy, helped with the feeding of about 5000 children (…!!!...) (there was rice absolutely everywhere), washing dishes and cleaning.
-One night we had a huge worship night with the Mozambican pastors and the kids with Ben Dunn and a Makuan songwriter named Helder. We danced like crazy. Heidi was dancing holding hands with the children.So was I! It was a beautiful sight. And I believe it had deeper meaning in its unity.

- right: The children enjoying their chicken, rice and fanta soda. this is huge treat for most children.

I’ve run out of time. I have limited time to come into town and use the internet!
Two interesting facts just to throw in for fun: 1. one of my classmates is name Francis. He was murdered a couple of years ago. He was raised from the dead the day after. He is my classmate. More on that later. Please feel free to freak out, like I did.
2. (on a more silly and personal note) Heidi’s personal assistant, Helen Enga, is Bjork’s cousin. I was talking to her yesterday and she told me this. (ah!!)
I miss you all, but I'm mostly glad that I'm here. I hope that doesn't hurt your hearts.
I so want to share with you in the ways my hearty is changing. Please please RUN TO GOD - cling to Him! He is all that there is. I can see the apathy and commonplace in the U.S. lifestyle much more easily from here. :) And it is debilitating. Please get yourself desperate for more. For my sake. :)
Love you all so much


  1. tetra! it's so beautiful! i'm so happy i may or may not have cried! please keep sharing with us. it's such a blessing. the lord is so good, and in reading your little testimonies, he is renewing my heart and mind. oh i do love you.

  2. my sweetie, How envious I am that you have found a deep connect with Father God at your age. I am just beginning to experience the reality of the supernatural connect with my Papa God. I agree so much with you about "the apathy and commonplace of the U.S. life style". But we have found it here in Argentina as well. We have had to be a part of that apathy for 4 years now. I believe that it has been a preparation time for us. I am so praying that we will be able to get away from the city life and get ourselves "dirty" too. Please sweetness, pray that this will happen soon. I want to be in a place where we can minister in sozo but also to the poor. The place I believe the Lord has opened doors is in Misiones. The country community that I want to live in is very poor. There will be many oportunities to work with orphans, widows, homeless, and the poor.
    I am so proud of you. I am praying for you. What a wonderful place to see God at work.
    Love you MOM

  3. oh tetra i was smiling the whole time reading this. i can feel the holy spirit even through just your words!! i'm so proud of you and your joy and fulfillment is overflowing!! i love you and you're in my prayers.

  4. My goodness!!! I'M SO EXCITED!!
    I'm very happy to read all of this.
    The guys in my house are going to be stoked when I share with them.
    Love you!
    In our prayers,


  5. When the distractions of modern life are stripped away there is only God and the people.
    People connect to one another and to God in ways that are nearly impossible in modern life. Wonderful that you are experiencing that!

    Donna Reagan

  6. Tetra!

    Thank you for sharing with us. It's a joy to hear about your life there and the things that you are seeing and learning. Your words are blessing and encouragement to me. It's ok to be glad you're there. haha. I think it's because that's where God wants to meet you right now.
    PS i'm freaking out about francis.

  7. jeeeeeeeezz loueeeeezzzzzzzz shmap!! whhhaaammmdoodle!!


    Tet...can i just take this moment to tell you just how much i love love love you? i don't think i've ever missed anyone as much as i miss YOU!! i've seriously been get choked up every time i think about you!! isn't that lame??!! haha but seriously! i love you so much and i am so so proud of you and so thankful to have you as my best friend and sister. you have always been an enormous encouragement and inspiration to me. please please pray for me. please pray that the holy spirit gives me some direction about what to do with myself (and if you hear anything, please pass it to me!). i'm finally getting hungry and ready for way more than what i've been settling for. i think about you, pray for you, and love you every single day! you know that?? you know! ok well, kiss some dirty little brown faces for me! they are so lucky to have you!