I will continue with my interrupted thoughts from the last blog, and hopefully they will lead to the next.
Visits into the village have increased since last I posted and are now a normality for me here. I have visited many of the women in the kitchen (they have proved to be some of my closest friends), friends who are sick, macua ladies that attend our church and others. I have also taken a few friends to Marilia's house to help her build her house (we put rocks in her bamboo walls) It has been wonderful to infiltrate the culture a bit more and scrape the surface of understanding these lovely people. My favorite times have involved being in these people's homes. Each visit could probably be described in greater detail to the effect of a blog post in and of itself.
The journey itself into the villages are pretty intrigiung as well, because we create a lot of excitement with our presence. We hear "Ankunia ankunia" everywhere we go, which means,
-top left: a normal alleyway through the villages.
-middle: little faces, excited and confused about us "Akunias"
-right: kids getting excited to see us and crowding at a doorway.
-bottom left: A lighting system for a house that is a tiny light bulb connected to a battery.
-bottom: a normal inside of a house in the village. The furniture in the back is a bed.
more or less, "whitey". Ha. Kids get so excited and either timidly run up to us, hug us or just stare at us as if we are majestic strange creatures. Though they are more or less used to seeing wqhite people because of Iris' existence, we are still an exciting sight. :) dyuring on e of my visits, I passed through an amazing market - really tight quarters, fish with flies all over them, kids all over. This time my friend, Filomena, who was with me was m,ore or less needing to protect me because the people were not as excited as malevolent towards my presence. People ask for money constantly - this is an issue which I wil delve into mroe in a bit. Regardless - the villages are fun and an adventure.
-Above: The open air market with fish, and many stares
my friendships with the Macua ladies in the kitchen have been wonderful. I love each of them and know their names, and they have been terachnig me a decent bit of macua. I've been realizing how much learning languages is a passion of mine - and this one is really intriguing. I've notioced that there is somehow a connection between music and language to me; I hear the languages rythyms and intonations sort of float through my head alot, and desire to know what they mean. This language is really interesting, in that it isn't written and most people speak slightly different versions, so that you can say the same phrase to different people, and some will understand and some won't.
-Above: My Makuan friends that work in the kitchen. From Left to right - Anisha, Fillipe, Me, Filomena, Lurdish, Maria. (Filomena in the pink striped shirt is one of my closest friends that I made)
Filomena has proved to be my most trustworthy and sweet friend tht I've made of the ladies. :) I say trustworthy because of the fact that at this point we have startd to realize who actually wants to eb our friends and who is just interested in our...stuff. She has turned down most of the gifts taht I HAVE tried to give here. :) She is a widow with 4 children, and she walks about half an hour to work monday through thrusday. She is always happy and my best teacher in Macua, becayuse she speaks protuguese as well. Thank you Lord for these ladies.
My classes, I have realizded are taking more of a role in my life here than I anticipated as far as tehir importance to shaping my life. Mon - thurs we worship and learn together from amazing people. I have been stretched and "wrecked" repeatedly. I can't begin to delve into the things God has been teaching me every day. We had a 24\7 prayer week last week, adn the difference that it made in all of us was evident. Oh my goodness - our hunger fior the Lord has just been getting stronger. It's obvious to me taht the Lord has me here not jsut to learn a lifestyle of service, but to draw me closer to Him and teach me how to drink. :) Heidi Baker is one of the absolutely most HAPPY missionaries I've ever known of, and all of Iris is similarly full of joy and expectation. This stems from their allowing God to take them away and spend time with just Him - they know how to put their burdens on Him. I've learned amazing things aboiut ministry from these people, and I can tell you 1. This is an AMAZING ministry 2. I trust them incredibly 3. They understand. truly, how to follow the Lord inm obedience. Even while we have been here, I have seen miracles for the ministry - they provide food for 10,000 people a day throughout their bases, and they usually dont hav ethe money until the very last minute - God [provides for them EVERY TIME. There has never been a day over the 15 or soe years where they haven't had food for the kids. WOW!
Anyway, I am just seeing more and more how much God wantsto do INSIDE of me in order to work through me. And our week of prayer also reminded me of the PRACTICALITY of christianty; spending time with the Lord, in Hios [prensece, praying, reading - it works. :) It CHANGES you.
We had Supresa Sithole speak last week and it was amazing. I have a cool story to share about this in just a minute. :) This week there are leaders ferom all the bases in the world here for a Global time of seeknig the Lord together. So we are having speakers from all over this week. So far we have had MEL TARI, Bill Johnson, and some of the leaders of the bases in Mozambique who are amazing. We also had patricia Bootsma from Toronto a few weeks ago and she taught a lot about prophecy. AMAZING> She is friends with Alyn and Aj jones, and thsi made me very happy .
Ok - cool story time:
-Last week when Supresa spoke about Spiritual Wisdom, He prayed for me. I started...jerking around a bit uncontrollably for about 40 minutes. It kind of hurt after a while, but I could not stop. :) During this time I was speaking in tongues inm a way taht I had never heard myself speak before. It sounded a bit like Macua to me, which was interesting. I asked the Lord what He was doing in me during this time which I had no control over myself, and I didn't really get and answer other than the fact that I was experiencing God's GLORY. I wrote in my journal ; " I don't know what He was doing, but I know this: I have seen and felt God's GLORY, and I am completely undone". A couple of days later I had the guts to repeat the phrase that I heard myself saying more than the other words in this weird tongue I was speaking. I was expectying it eitehr mean nothing or to mean somethign embarrassingly random. But she said that this phrase meant "Glory of the Lord". AH!!! WOW!!! haha - pretty amazing! This is the real thing - what a special gift the Lord gave me - He knows how much I love Macua.
-My friernds who have gone on outreac h have seen two blind people that were blind all their lives bvbe able to see, we have seen 8 or so deaf people be able to here , we have seen a guy with a tumopr DISSOLVE in front of them, we have seen a group have more bread to give out to the poor when they FINISHED than when they started (i.e. it multiplied!!!!) and on and on. :) This is just from ONE of the outreaches that happen every weekend.
I am going on an outreach this weekend to the bush. So I thoroughly expect to see amazing miracles as well. Not only this, but get to know beautiful people and have some wonderful stories.
-I have really enjoyed taking kids to the beach (they aren't able to go by themselves, so its a huge blessing to them to be taken. And we usually buy them a little snack too). They sometimes take...all of their clothes off to swim haha!! and these little babies will run around naked so excited about getting in the ocean. They have sucha great time - it's wonderful.
-top: Kids from Iris loving swimming in the Indian ocean! -second down: our Iris buddy, obviously excited to be at the beach! notice the beach attire! (usually they just wore their underwear)
-third down: one of my best friends Messiajse, who I regularly took to the beach.
bottom: We are tough! I love these boys!!
- I have also really loved getting to know the older Iris girls. They are shy, but love it when you spend time with them. I go to their dorm where they live, and just hang out. It's a wonderful place to be - they are just braiding each others' hair, sometimes cooking fish, sometimes playing strange games. :) I really like it.
I'm sorry, again, that I can't u[pdate more. I love you all very much!!!
I hope you are all really well, and are doing the practicaly things to make life more meaningful. :)
TEN MILLION TONS OF LOVE