Monday, January 17, 2011
- Left: Hut where we had our classes Mon. - Thur. on the beautiful Pemba base -Right: The Church on the iris Base and the congregation plus us students.
Jan. 14 2011
I am incredibly behind with my blog. I'm beyond behind, in fact; It's almost a new season.
Yet, it has been on my heart to share more from my experiences this summer; I feel it's even a responsibility of mine to share some of the riches that were shared with me, and the life giving instruction that I have been entrusted with.
It's hard to know how little or how much to share. I feel as if I could spend a lifetime explaining all that I learned and experienced which resulted in changing my entire paradigm, and, in effect, me. In fact, I believe, I will be seeing and understanding all that happened in those three months that I was in Mozambique throughout the rest of my barely-begun lifetime.
I will start by trying to resolve some information about my school and Outreach, and then try to delve in a little deeper about what God did in me, and I learned overall, as well as discuss what it's been like after the fact here in the U.S. and what seems to be next for me.
-All of my classmates the day before Graduation!
Graduation from the Harvest Missions school came much more quickly than I thought it would, though I felt as if I had lived a long time in this new, strange, and important life that God had graciously brought me into. My last few weeks I spent trying to fit as much time in with the friends that I had made, and also seeking God with as much of me as I could so as to get ALL that He had for me. My roomate/best friend, Ruth, and I made a list of the people we needed to visit, and spend time with before leaving.
Ruth and I arranged so many get-togethers with our friends in those last 3 weeks, it was very complicated. We were incredibly busy, and would usually go straight from class to someone's house (though I hated missing lunch at our food hall, because I wouldn't see my friends, Filomena, Lurdish, and Marilia in the kitchen). We usually would buy groceries for our friends so that they wouldn't have to pay to feed us. We just wanted to be with them, but they usually would want to make us food - so, that was the compromise that Ruth and I figured out.
Top: My friend Angelica, cooking us a dinner on one of our visits. - Chatting and visiting with my friend Amina, and Joanna's moher. -Walking abck from one of our many ventures into the surrounding villages. we are walking in from the back side of the base. - Breaking rocks with a big metal hammer to put in the walls of Marilia's house. -Ruth and I with Marilia and her family after helping put rocks in the walls of their house, i.e., building the house.
I was also working on a mural in the children's library, and needed to finish it. I visited Filomena one last time as well as her family. I also visited Lurdish, Anna and her family, Rosa, Joanna, and her family, and my friend Elena who was teaching me basket weaving. I also organized a day to go help build Marilia's house, and we had a big group do it. I will have to go into greater detail about these visits in this post and the next few. I also took my best little boy and girl friends from the Iris base out to the beach one last time, and a few out to ice cream. I gave out all my presents, and gave away my favorite dress, skirt and most of the rest of my clothes. I will also tell a particular story about God prompting me to give away some of my favorite pieces of jewelry. I also made sure to spend time with my house family, and the Russian friends I made, as well as friends from all over that were in the school with me.
- My friends and I getting ice cream at the resteraunt run by Iris young adults. - Iris boys enjoying their ice cream treat! - Some of the awesome Iris boys being silly. - Amina and Angelica wearing the presents that I had given them the day before (kercheifs); it was a delight to see! -Amina, Angelica, and their families. - Messiajse and Jalia: two of my best friends.
One of our visits was a day when our little friend, Anna, cooked a meal with her sisters just for us, without us knowing she was going to. It was such an amazing day. We brought nailpolish and painted all of the girls' fingernails that lived in that little area (Anna lives with her mom and sisters in a widows home very close to the base). We ended up getting our nails painted as well as our backs rubbed by the girls, and hair braided!
- Ruth and I eating the meal that Anna and her sisters prepared for us. -Anna and I trying out what she would look like with my hair ;) - Anna, her sisters and some of the girls that painted our nails and braided our hair at the widows hoe. -Anna's mom and little brother; she works on the Iris base. - Anna wearing my purse to protect it as we walk through the village.
We visited our friend Phillipe, the head cook in the Kitchen, and his amazing and beautiful family 2 or 3 times in the last 3 weeks of school. We would buy food for them in the market and they would cook it for all of us and their family would get to eat at least one or two meals out of it. And also my friends Joanna, Rosa, Amina, and Angelica who I talked about in m last blog. The ladies gave me necklaces, and fed us. We played cards, and had a lot of fun singing and trying to talk in portuguese and Makua.
On the last day that I had in Pemba before my 15 day outreach I had to pack and clean our little house and say goodbye to everyone I loved ( I was going to be back in Pemba for about 4 days when I was done with my outreach, but I had to say goodbye to many that I may not have gotten the chance to see). This was a terrible, but happy day. I cried so many times!! Ruth and I had gone to town to buy presents for all the workers in the kitchen (our house shared the payment for the presents): We got them each two cans of sardines, and a pack of spaghetti. This is enough for a few meals for them and their families. I had a terrible time saying goodbye to these ladies, and was a wreck. They sang a blessing song over us, which really got to me.
-ruth and I after we gave the presents of spaghetti and sardines to each of the kitchen workers (this is half of the kitchen workers; we gave the others later.) - Fileman, and I with her family at her house during a visit with her. - Saying goodbye to some of the ex-orphaned girls that I made friends with on the Iris Base.
Then Ruth and I (soooo busy that whole week, and always on the move!) went to visit Phillipe and his family again. Ruth had baked a chocolate cake in our crazy Pemba apartment oven with crazy Mozambican ingredients, and we went to the market with Phillipe's daughter and bought 2 whole chickens, potatoes, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cookies!! We bought Fantas and Cokes as we were waiting for the chicken to cook at their house. I was allowed to help fry the potatoes on their interesting little cooking stations that are on the ground. It was one that was inside the house, which seemed a bit dangerous to me! I was happy to get to though, because it's not often that our Mozambican friends let you help cook! I suppose that's because: 1. They are so polite and don't want you to have to do anything when you are a guest. 2. They dont trust us to know what we are doing! HA!
-Us visiting Phillipe and his family one of the last times; We had just sung many songs and eaten a good meal together and were about to pray for them. - Me cooking the french fries inside of their house on a small grill built into the floor holding their youngest son.
We had such an amazing time - one of the best times of my whole trip. We sang worship songs together, prayed for his whole family, and heard stories of their early missions that they did together and miracles that they had seen. Wow, it was so beautiful to see this amazing part of God's family, and to be connected to these beautiful ones by the bond of Jesus Christ. Something amazing that they did was pray over each of us! And they sang a song over each one of us that was going on outreaches that were blessings. I cried some more. Then, to top it off, Rita, Phillippe's wife, who is amazing and strong and so in love with God, went to her bedroom and brought out two sets of Kapulanas for Ruth and I. A Kapulana is a skirt and head wrap that is traditional Mozambican wear. It was such an honor to be given this. These are expensive gifts, and receiving it made us feel as if we were truly accepted into the Mozambican culture. I am crying right now, thinking about it. :) This was the final realization that we had actually gotten to delve into the culture and MAKE FRIENDS. We are loved in return for the love that we were trying so hard to give out. What a wonderful blessing. Ruth and I had tried so hard to give of ourselves, and had had many instances where we said to each other, "we have no idea what we are doing, but God has grace for us!" How awesome is it to be rewarded for trying, and giving so much emotion towards trying to share ourselves.
Rita, Phillipe's amazing wife who blessed us so much with her friendship. She is very joyful, as you can see! - Ruth and I in our Kapulanas that Rita gave to us! We have just been crying from such a special gift, and are so full of joy!
That last week of school was incredibly amazing as well. god did so much in me, it's hard to relate in words. I was fasting for part of the week, because I wanted to be as ready to hear what He had to say to me as possible! I had a few amazing experiences with God that week, and the overall completion in whaT God had been doing was incredible.
David hogan was the speaker for the last week of school, as well as Georgian Banhov (He only spoke twice on the last day, but he is so wonderful as well). I believe that he, David Hogan, may have affected me more than any other speaker aside from Heidi. I highly recommend looking him up and listening to a sermon or watching a video - his life, his stories, and his personality are INCREDIBLE and so inspiring. Here's a little bit of info about this gentleman: He works as a Missionary in the mountains of Mexico with a people group that are very dangerous and originally hated and killed many Christians. He is a very large and almost scary man from Louisiana who would be a violent and harsh person if he weren't a christian. Instead he is incredibly intense about seeing people healed from diseases and delivered from their demons. He is incredibly loving, a pacifist, who cries when he talks about the children that he has housed, and families that have been injured during his time there. This guy has seen 27 people raised from the dead!!!! HA WOW!!! I know that that's a hard one to believe for many of us in the West. But that is why he goes after seeing those healings in particular ; He said that the other types of healings are easier to refute than someone who has actually been legally dead for a day or a few hours standing up and being better than new!!! HA!! This is the real deal, my friends and loved ones!!!
He told us STORIES of praying for a man that had throat cancer and part of his face and neck were actually gaping open. Hogan then saw this person the next week and didn't recognize him because he actually had a face and had been completely healed of the cancer!!! WOW Thank you Jesus! He also talked of coming into contact with a man who was completely out of his mind because of demon possession: He had been chained up in a room with a heavy door, he had long hair and long nails and had apparently been killing and eating people before he was chained up....?! Yes, you are right, this IS crazy. (That's why you should hear his stories; if you don't believe me, I think you would believe him. 1. You need to hear him, and understand his heart in order to trust him, which I definitely do. 2.There is no way he could make up the details to all these different stories! 3. He didn't see any miracles for the first 10 years that he was working there (he has been there over 30 years), and they are in huge volume now. If you simply have trouble believing in miracles, then this may be something you should ask the Lord about. He never gives us a stone if we ask for bread, and if this legitimately confuses you, then Lord will want to answer your questions). Davd Hogan explained being very afraid at first, as this creature of a man growled and his chains rattled while walking towards him. But David remembered Jesus' dealings with the demon possessed in the Bible (such as the man called "Legion" because there were "many inside this man" Luke 8:30), and started to walk towards the man remembering the power of the Holy Spirit being greater in Him. The possessed man started backing away, and soon David was able to lay his hand on this man who was completely delivered of the demons and was then a completely normal human. He got a haircut and nails trimmed, and started wearing clothes, stopped eating humans (ha!), and spread the word of Jesus being the only deliverer!!!!!!
Some of my roomates, and my house mom right before I left for outreach.
I believe that one of the most affecting things about my time in Mozambique this summer was coming into contact with so many people that LIVE what they believe and live RADICALLY!!! David Hogan, Heidi and Rolland, Supresa Sithole, Jackie Pullinger - they are all Missionaries that truly live the way the first Christians did in Acts and the epistles. They believe in the miracles of healing, finances, and radically LOVING everyone that you encounter. And they SEE these things on a daily basis. It is NORMAL for Iris Ministries to see deaf ears opened through prayer - it's a weekly event. It's almost just as often that they see completely blind eyes be opened. And hearing these peoples' backstories makes me realize that they were once "normal". Ha. Hearing David Hogan's testimony, in particular, made realize that I know many American's that are similar in demeanor to who he was. If this quasi-violent man that loves to hunt can be utterly in love with Jesus and softened to the point of complete pacifism and saving hundreds and thousands of people from death, disease, and the inner death of not knowing the deep and fulfilling love of Jesus Christ, then anyone can. And If Heidi who came from Laguna Beach, very privelaged and wealthy, and could lose it all for the love of Jesus and radically follow Him at all costs, and see 10,000 people fed everyday by Faith without any of her own wealth to help, then anyone can do this!! I can do this stuff! YOU can do this stuff!!!!!!
I have started to really understand that the spirit that raised Lazarus from the dead and Jesus from the dead is INSIDE of you and I that believe! Did you know that Jesus said WE will do "even greater things" than the miracles that He did on the earth??! (John 14:12) Does anyone believe that?? Do any of us act on it? This is part of our inheritance through being a Son or Daughter of God!!
I will tell about some of the miracles that I, personally saw, and my roommate saw in the next post. I will talk about my outreach to Tete, as well as my outreach in the "bush bush".
Eventually I will have to come in with simply story after story that I haven't been able to include so far. I feel as if I could fill a book with stories from this experience.
Thank you for reading, and I can only ask that the Lord bless you, and make it real to you. Let me know if you have any questions - I love talking about Iris Ministries, and the people that I met, and the things that I have learned!!!
-A view of the wall surrounding the Iris Pemba base with a worker sitting on it. I saw this as I was reading and praying under a Baobab tree.
- Elena, my friend who taught me some basket weaving.
Love and joy and peace!
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