Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mozambique, my old friend

Hello non-Pemba world! You are quite far away now! But I hope to make you feel closer.

Oh wow – I’m so thankful to be bringing news from my new home on the coast of Mozambique! God is good!! Aaalll the tiiiimmme!

I’ve only just arrived and barely gotten started with the things I’ve come for, but, wow, life is so completely different here and I feel as if I've been here quite a while already.


Things are quite different as a non-Harvest School Student (what I did here last year which prepared me for this (and the rest of my life)), and I am definitely still adjusting to that. I am living on another base which is down the road about 10 minutes walk from where all the Harvest students and the Iris Children live called “Aldea de Gloria”, meaning “village of Glory”= YES!! The Mozambican Bible students stay on this base, as well as other long-term Missionaries, which believe it or not, I AM. HA! I’ve been realizing what an honor it is to be a Missionary beside people that have worked here with Heidi and Rolland for years (or months) fulfilling the heart of Iris and furthering along the revival. It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I know for sure that I am so blessed and am going to be growing under the best example of how to serve/love the poor and lost that I have ever seen. Wow, it’s overwhelming.

I have a cute little house – I love it. My roommate is the amazing Catherine Restiau from Belguim who was in my school last year as well. She is a doctor of sorts and works in the clinic as well as hospitality. There are hundreds of visitors on the base all year round, and we have dorms and rides etc. for them - this is one of the ministries of Iris. We are both so laid-back that it's an amazing environment living together.

Seeing Friends!

So far I have had many many happy reunions. I’ll share a handful but you can imagine the rest of them. The night I got here I came to one of the Harvest School meetings; Randy Clark was speaking (he was also on my plane to get here. I love the way this place brings the “giants” and the people like me together at the same level of experience. It’s a bit of a rough journey to get here, and even harder to live here. But we all experience it together and learn from one another.)

The first Mozambican friend that I saw on the base was a little boy named JUMA!!! And He gave me a big hug – and then I saw someone running up to me and it was MESSIAJSE, my 12 year old very best friend out of the children here!! I picked him up and twirled him around laughing so joyfully and he was so happy too and he didn’t hide it!! Oh it was one of the happiest moments in my life! Then I was surrounded by familiar little boys faces and I kept breaking the no hug rule and getting so excited and telling them how much I missed them and love them and how I cant express how much I love them and am happy to be back here ( I had learned most of those phrases particularly on the plane before I came, knowing how I wouldt want to express so much to them when I saw them). And I got to tell them that im a missionary here now! Messiajse couldn’t hold his smile back, and I was holding his hand as we were standing just as I used to! And I told them about how much Elena (Ruth Atkins, one of my very closest friends from the Harvest School last year who had a similar heart to me and would go with me into the village with our Mozy friends as you aren’t supposed to go alone) misses them and told me to hug them every day! There were so many that would remember my name that I didn’t remember; they are amazing like that. Then jalia, my other really good friend from last year came up running too and we had many hugs. I saw another boy that I was close to, Javier, later that night. He usually plays it tough but, it was amazing, he couldn’t keep his face from smiling really big though you could tell he was trying. He was so happy to see me and it was such a blessing to my heart.

The Harvest School Session with Randy Clark was such an awesome time. I felt so immediately at home!! I walked into a crowd of people wholeheartedly worshipping the Lord, full of joy, no restraint, hunger for greater things written all over their faces. I saw my fellow classmates from last year who are staffing the school this time praying for each other and going a bit crazy with God’s presence was kind of hitting them in the face with a pie (ha), and they of course jumped on me when they saw me with partial hugs, and partially getting me shnonkered (a term coined by Mama Heidi for when you feel pretty silly in the presence of God) in the Holy Spirit. Ha it’s amazing; I just immediately felt God and I could barely stand and Joy was making me want to explode. I have missed this environment SO MUCH!!!!! I love how there are no restraints – everyone wants God’s love whatever it makes them looks like!! And that is an amazing place to be…the best place to be! God filled me with a peace and took away some of the striving that I was already feeling in realizing that the job placed before me here was somewhat intimidating. Thank you, Jesus. Yay – it’s good to be home.

Jewelry making Class

The next day I had my first classes with the ladies, and widows. It’s not just widows, but also the very poor women from the area. There are actually over 200 of them (I thought it only 90) broken up into different groups for each day. I went into the class and was greeted with the surprise of having TWO of my favorite ladies that I met last year in the class; Rita, the wife of Phillipe who is head of the kitchen (you can read stories about her from this blog – mainly she blessed me by dressing me like a local Mozambican when I left here last year), and Geti, who is the mother of Anna who I spent many times with at their house last year. I am actually going to be working WITH Geti, as she is one of the Mozambicans that Iris has put in charge of the class, along with another woman named filomena. Filomena is also the sister of the lady that taught me basket weaving last year. I am surrounded by friends!! Simpwanaka!! This means “my friends” in Makua, and I use this phrase all of the time.

Can I just tell you all how much this class is PERFECT for me? The more I find out what it is, the more I realize it’s what I was unofficially doing last year. I am basically hanging out with all of the widows and ladies, loving them and making friends with them as well as teaching the jewelry. But as the teaching doesn’t take too long, we sit together during the class and chat in Portuguese and Makua. AH! These are the ladies that I would come hang out with when I wasn’t in classes last year, and I can’t believe that this is why I am here now. And let me tell you, the ladies sing worship songs at the beginning of class; you’ve never seen or heard something more awesome and beautiful. They sing A capella with a song leader and a call and response style. They add rhythmic clapping and do fun dances as well. One of the ladies had tears streaming down her face during prayer – a beautiful sight of her receiving the Father’s love. Oh how I love sitting with the ladies, taking their hands to pray together, and learning their songs!!! It’s awesome guys – God is good alllll the tiiiime!

The woman I am working with, Nathalia, is amazing. Her heart for the ladies is obvious and amazing. We are really going to grow together, I can tell and learn a lot through being with these ladies.

Our classes are Monday through Friday 8 - 10:30 am and then we work on putting all of their jewelry into its packages and write the names of the woman that made them on tags. In my free time, which I'm not sure if I'll have much, I get to hang out with the other ladies in the kitchen or play cards with the kids.

I am out of time, but there is never enough time to share everything. Please pray that I will continue to walk with the holy Spirit, no striving, fully adjusting, fully loving from Him, and tghat He will use this time in ALL the ways He wants to.

Blessings my friends

1 comment:

  1. you're doing exactly what you were made to be doing. WHOOOOWEE! I'm so excited for your life and your experiences. I love you Tet! My family says hi and they are proud of you too! I can't wait to see what comes of this. Oh, and no pressure, but I'd love to see the jewelry and baskets if you can get pictures!