- The last bit that I shared was about our last days of school/graduation. I’ll give you a few more tidbits about that and try to be brief (I’ll share more detailed stories after I catch up!!),
- Then I want to share about my incredible adventure of an outreach to Tete, Mozambique.
-The day before Graduation consisted of hearing Heidi speak and making us cry and want to live our lives with more purpose, fervor, and passion for Jesus (as she usually does). We also heard from Georgian Banhov who quickly became one of my new favorite people. He grew up in Communist Bulgaria, and is now one the most relaxed and happy people that I have ever encountered. Then we had a dance fest for about two hours in which I danced on the stage with all of the African dance leaders. PAUSE – I must explain something: In the worship services at the churches in Mozambique, you don’t have solely a Worship leader, there is also a team of people leading dances on the stage or front of the church. If this isn’t enough for me to fall in love with the culture, then I don’t know what is ( I LOVE TO DANCE!!!). So, if I had any timidity in dancing on stage with the people who REALLY know how to dance, it was completely gone by that point in replace of my LOVE for JESUS and extreme release into the Glorious Freedom found in his love. YES!! So I danced my little heart out and my little feet to blistering on the stone /concrete floor in the church.
- this was an amazing moment for me when I recieved the "stopping for the one" award - which basically just meant that I was recognized for simply living with a gift God gave me, which is love for many people.
-Graduation day (I covered the general things I did in the week and the day after graduation which was also the day before my outreach when I visited people all day and Phillippe’s family etc.). As to be expected, our Graduation was not a normal Graduation ceremony. We first were prayed for and prophecied over by all of the staff ( I have all of these written down, and I have so many amazing promises and big picture things revealed to me by the Father. I’d love to share some, and will share a few key ones soon). Wow, this was amazing. Of course, we were all in tears.
-Then we went to the kitchen with all of the Mozambicans (200 – ish) that were in bible school/pastor school for a chicken, cabbage, and
Fanta feast! You have no idea how special chicken, and cabbage, and soda is in that world – it’s a huge treat, if you can grasp that! Each house of students from my school (about 6 – 10 people per house) also made a dessert of sorts with the Mozambican ingredients to bring to this feast. My house made banana bread. I gave out a few small presents to my Mozambican brothers from my Color Group, and received two drawings from my brothers with scriptures on them and notes in Portuguese/broken English blessing me and telling me that they would miss me. Paper is hard to come by (believe me, it is also a special treat to have!!), so these special drawings/notes meant so much to me. I also received a small wooden, Chinese wall hanging from one of my closest friends in my color group. ** Such a strange gift, but, again, meant so much to me!!!
(If I haven’t clarified the Bible School/Color Group well, yet, then here is a better explanation: There were men from all over northern Mozambique there living on the base for the same 2 and a half month period that we were in the school, and they were more or less new believers that had met Jesus through Iris ministries’ outreaches in surrounding areas . Some of them actually were training to start their own churches as a part of this huge revival in Mozambique that is 10,000 churches strong at this point. Wow! Heidi really stressed the point that we realize we are in the same family with these beautiful Mozambican brothers, and one the biggest growing aspects for all of us was tied up in walking out these relationships with them. We had class with them twice a week, and had other worship nights etc. We also each had COLOR GROUPS (my color was Zinzento = silver!) of about 12 of us International Students with about 12 Mozambicans. We had a meal together in which the Internationals prepared food and we all ate together; We made a special feast of fruit salad and fried chicken rice, and brownies for them, which is food that they don’t get often by any means. We also went on our short weekend outreach together, which I have yet to talk about. These men were amazing, and I will share about some more of that soon. )
- All the students eating and celebrating together for our graduation day! : a feaast of chicken, cabbage and fanta!
-We then met in the church with our color Group and had photos with Heidi! Then different color groups spontaneously started chanting our color names “Zinzento, ZINZENTO” and we started dancing, and just being generally really excited that Jesus had saved us from everything our lives would have been if we hadn’t just had the experience that we did!!! It was one of the happiest days we had had!! And then we proceeded to DANCE some more! We topped the amount of time that we had been dancing the day before by about 2 or 3 more hours making a total of at least 4 hours. And I danced the whole time, you better believe it!! We were ALL incredibly hot and sweaty, but we were also so filled with joy and freedom, and I could see in the International students that they had lost so much of a worry over their appearance from being in the environment as long as we had, and realizing that they actually could go without coffee or plucking their eyebrows for a period of time, and be more than content about it. ;) Since I don’t drink coffee or pluck my eyebrows, I was even more feeling a level of disregard for “dignity” than ever, and I worshiped the Lord with so much abandon!! I will never forget this breaking off of my regard for the opinions of others, and I know I will NEVER care as much as I may have in the past. This is something that I PRAISE the Lord for. I remember ballet dancing a bit and hearing the Lord telling me that I was going to dance with Him all over the World (a word similar to one that Heidi received years ago as well – woo!). The dancing (sort of) stopped at about 6 pm or so, and then each student had their name called and blessed by Heidi and was then “blasted” in prayer by David Hogan, our other staff leaders, The Banhovs, and the Bakers. WOO!; Such an amazing time! We stopped worshipping at around 11 or maybe midnight and then at some "hot dogs" by a bonfire.
-Dancing dancing dancing! mozambicans love to dance, and we did too!! We praised Jesus for hours and hours even when we were sweaty and our feet were blistering!!
-The next day was the day I mostly explained in which I visited many people, received gifts that I didn’t feel like I deserved, gave some gifts as well, cleaned and packed, and cried all day (wearing my Kapulana outfit that rita blessed me with). I ended the night trying to see my roommates, the kids from the base, and my Russian friends as much as possible, and helped the Russians clean and pack. The next day I would be heading to Tete, Mozambique, a supposed 3 day journey from Pemba by Landrover.
- I woke up at 4:30 or 5 a.m. and Ruth and I went on our last walk together down to the beach. I was packed and ready to go, and so we went to say goodbye to the Russian team who we thought we wouldn’t be seeing again for at least a year or two. I said goodbye to my good friend Eugenya. She is one of the younger people on the team, about 30, and was one of the 3 translators for the team. She and I became very close. She affected me very deeply, and I knew I would miss her terribly, which I do. She used to be in the Russian ballet, and we showed each other some moves; I showed her some breakdance steps, and she showed me ballet moves ha!! I love her so very much! I also connected so deeply to many of the amazing prayer warriors and tender hearted women on the team – Arianna, larissa, Iriana – all of them were so wonderful!!!
-Top: Ruth and I trying to get a picture with the amazing sunrise that we so enjoyed together every day, and are trying not to think about how our ministry time together was about to end! we were trying to take the picture ourselves and couldnt quite get the sunrise in it! haha
- Katia and Eugenia: two of my wonderful friends from Russia. - The Russian team waving goodbye to us as we are driving off to Tete.
Then it was time for me to leave! I tearfully said goodbye to all of my housemates, and friends and squeezed into the back of the Landrover with 7 other people, who I barely knew, and grew to know oh so well!! Haha – to compare the way we held our general personal space for the first couple of hours compared to the way all of our limbs were sprawled throughout the car by the end up the trip is pretty ridiculous!! And we began our journey with a prayer, a big one because we realized quickly how much of our comfort we were saying goodbye to. We didn’t quite know how much, and I laugh thinking about the imminent adventures and KILLING OF OUR FLESH we faced!!!!- Our very small living space for the next 5 days!!! - This is how we started, and eventually we had our legs and arms dispersed throughout the small space trying to keep our bums from killing us and legs from cramping and falling asleep! What an adventure we had in that little Landrover!
You’ll find out soon as well. I’m breaking up the post by a few days, unfortunately. But now you have a cliffhanger to look forward to the resolving of!!