Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pemba at last

July 25th The curse and the blessing of today is that im very sick! Curse: it doesnt feel nice and i needed to be doing some things. Blessing: i can write a blog and get some extra rest time!  Ive been home all day with upchucking and tummy problems. Im feeling a bit better now because my roommate Sandi Nuestadt got me some sprite and crackers! Actually ....she gave me the crackers earlier and I ate about 4, but they didnt stay in my stomach. :( hopefully this last round of 3 crackers, with the help of the sprite....will work out for me.  So - enough about my stomach.... I feel like im at that point where so much has been happening that i dont know where to begin. Guess ill start with the beginning. First week I tried to slowly re-enter this crazy and amazing world. My roommate and I bought a few things for the house like trashcans, ice trays, and matches. My first  night here, I was alone and didnt have sheets for my bed yet, because they were in a bag that Nathalia was keeping for me. So I used a dirty sheet that was still in this house, and covered myself with clothes as blankets - it actually got a little cold. Haha! Pemba always makes one resourceful. It took us a few days as well, to get our water filter working. We had to buy 4 new filters and a new spout. But, hallelujah, we have filtered water now. Friendships and loved ones: But you know i dont care as much about household issues as much friends! The people here. There have been so many excited hugs and kisses and saying in makua "Mi kahoonkelia nyu chinene" (ive missed you so much!). There are so many people to see and connect with that im still running into people that i havent gotten to see yet, and excitedly greeting. There are 90 women in our two classes, so thats a lot of friends and a lot of hugs! Plus the kids i know here, the staff in the kitchen, and who can forget the white people here that are missionaries as well!? Ive gotten to be around Nick and Cate and baby Lily quite a lot, which has been the joy of my heart. They are so wonderful (hope youre reading this. right now and you can know how much i LOOOOVE you guys!!!!) And ive gotten to rconnect with Heidi a bit - she remembers me, which is really lovely. Ha! So may people com and go as short term missionaries, and ive been gone a long time, so that's a feat. She's just as amazing as ever,and again, iv been reminded of how much her obedience to the voice of the Lord and the nudges of the Holy Spirit can break through such huge barriers like culture, language, and amount of people youre leading. What an honor it is to be able to learn from her and be included in her Iris family!!! Thank you, lord. Ive instantly reconnected with my closest friends like Filomena and elena in the kitchen, and Emilda and maria from my tuesday class. Filomena continues to amaze me with the depth of friendship, trust and intimacy we can have with each other. Its always amazing and comforting to be reminded that the people you felt like you could trust are still exactly who you think they are. Do you know what i mean? Here in pemba, there can be startling things to learn about friends you think you know, all of the theyve been doing something deceitful, or have bought into some of the cultural pitfalls like taking a sick child to a witchdoctor. Or even the sexual sin that just seems so integrated into life here. There have been a few ladies who are in our program, husbandless, who end up pregnant. Im sure occasionally that is due to a horrible situation that they were victims of, but usually its because they have just had a man around for a bit. Its actually common for young girls here to be taught that its better to have more than one man, because youll have more provision. Its hard and heartbreaking to learn more and more about the deep rooted trials and issues of this culture. But God is bigger. And its amazing to see the "success stories". And there are TONS because of what Heidi and theIris family have sacrificed for all these years. I have to remind myself sometimes that these issues are why God has brought me here. The purity that God has granted to me is a gift. I know affects these beautiful ladies around me, and that is part of the thing that attracts them to me. I like to be able to love the hard ones, that arent easy to love. And isnt that the point? "if you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same...but love your enemies, and do good and lend, expecting nothing in return..." luke 6:32 Oh God, let this be said of me. It's always easier to love the ones that treat you well. jesus let me love the tough ones well!! Anyway, it is good to have someone that you feel at rest with after a long day. And im so thankful that filomena is that for me. Yesterday i sat and ate with her and we just had a huge heart to heart, intermingled with joking and learning makua. She actually opened up about something she hadn't told me before - her husband used to get drunk and has beaten her 6 times. But she threatened to divorce him and he stopped drinking. Its been 6 years since that last happened, hallelujah. Shes a strong woman. Im so glad she held her ground and didnt allow that to continue.  Thank you, lord.  She also told me that she stood up for me! I had told her the other day that, as is common, id had one of the men that works here ask me to marry him. Before he had asked me my name. HA.I told him, dont you think its a problem if youre asking me to marry you and you dont know my name yet? Filomena went and scolded that man yesterday! HA! I love it. She said," you shouldnt treat her like that, shes a missionary and a woman of God, and she deserves respect! Dont make her want to go home to the U.S! Haha! That touched me so incredbily. What a friend! Really, that meant so much to me. And she brought me some pastries on monday - her husband works in a bakery. Theyre probably really expensive for anyone who lives here. I love it when people give me little gifts - its so special. Victoria finally got the correct tests that should let them know what kind of medication she can have. Im feeling a lot of hope about it. i hqvent been ale to see her since last saturday, but im hoping to visit, just to sit with her, sing songs and love her, is weekend.  Visits!!: if youve ever rrqs my blog before, youll know that part of my ministry is visitng friends in the surrounding villages. So far ive only been on one visit, but it was wondrful. However, Ive also found one of my new favorite things: inviting my mozambican friends to MY house! I love going into the villqge, but this is so fun, because I get to treqt them like they treat me. Cook for them, bless them, allow them to see some of ,y culture. Last week i invited Emilda Fausto to my house. If youve not eard her story, ahe is a women who came to us homeless, rejected and pregnqnt after her first husband hqd sold ht another mn only to be rejected by that one when she got pregnant. Her life has so chqnge since being a part of the Jewelry class wnd her whole countenqnce is just rdiqnt and bequtiful. I invited her and kids to my house last saturday. It was so wonderful. I made some spaghetti, some cucumber salad, and cut up some apples. Its fun to think about giving them things they dntusully get to wt, like fresh apples and cucumbers. I usually dont buy apples much, myself, because they are expensive here. I wndhow often she gets them? I asked her if shed ever had them before and she said they had. The thing I love aout Emilda is that she is so kind and eet. Shes like a cild almost - and I suppose she is one of the ones that God has sent me to to mother. He has talked a lot aout beng a mother here, and I think thats prbably accurate to think she is one that Im called to mother. thank you, God! She acutally speaks mostly makua, which is anther reason I feel ale to be closer to her know thanlast year - i wouldnt have been able to converse with her as much last year. ok - so picture this sweet mozambican woman, and 4 kids sitting around a tableusing forks and spoons to eat spaghetti. HA - if youve ever seen the way they eat, youd know thats a funny and differnt sight. They usually always a with their hands, and usually use rice or xima to scoop up their food. They were all so well-mannered and polite and the kids sat the whole time without complaining. It was just beautiful. Then we played crda together. Something so uniting and Its always nice after spending a few days seeing the hardships and having requests for help from people, to just have fun with mozambicans. This is what I love. This is what Im called to do: break down barriers that make us feel like we arent both mans and sons/daughters of God. If both sides can get this, its a liberating and beautiful thhing that solves many problems in one. Sandi and I sent them home wiht some balls, a toothbrush and lipstick for momma Emilda, and some hair clips, as well as photos of them from last year. The visit was quite a succes, and shes already asking me when I can visit HER house. Jewelry Classes:  Are going well, but we are thinking that we need to overhaul everything after the Harvetschool. There are lots of little things that dont seem to be working as well as they could be, and Nathalia and I both have a heart to see the women truly owning what theyre doing and enjoying it. So i think were going to let them choose what category of jewelry making they would like to emphasize in, then get those groups really trained well on that particular technique, whether its simple beading, beadweaving, wirework, or hand sewing projects. Im excited to try and break Down more barriers and get this whole thing to be THEIRS. :) im excited. Pray for us as we are transitioning!! story of the week: Last friday as we were in class, nathallia seemed distressed and left early. She told me later ( since i was teaching class) that one of our ladies'  daughters had been taken out of their home in the night by a 70 year old witch doctor. He molested her and they found her somewhere away from the house traumatized and wounded. I teared up hearing the story and was so thankful that nathalia had gone and taken a team of visitors to pray for and comfort her and her mom and sister. This little girl is only 5 years old and when they found her, she wasnt able to pee easily for a couple of days. On sunday at church, I saw her mom, Isabel alface, one of my favorites (one of 90 favorites ;)) , and went and sat by her on the floor. Her little girls were both on her lap - the 5 year old was asleep and had tear streaks on her face. I could only imagine she was still in trauma shock. After a little while Isabel wanted to shift because her legs were hurting from the girl sleeping on them- I offered to take her, wondring if she would be too scared to be with anyone other than her mom. She let   Me take her and the girl just conked out completely at ease on my lap. I took the opportunity to love her and pray for her. The next day at our devotion time with Heidi, I did the same thing - I held her as much as I could and prayed for her. What struck me, and made me SO thankful is that she felt comfortable with me. She was completely relaxed and even peaceful. It was interesting to see that she eventually was smiling and laughing by the end of the meeting!  How do is this normal life here? The mom and even our workers seemed slightly casual about the whole scenario. Its so normal to have awful things happen here, that I think they Dont get as startled as us westerners do. Jesus, please restore and redeem her and the women here in Pemba. Other, happy, story!: Also at our devotional time, i got to see my friend Maria, and her little daughter Regina! She is definitely one of my closest friends in the class, and we call each other "npuanaga' which means friend. I call everyone that really, but there are a few who we really call each other that like a nickname and she is one of them - my best friend, Filomen is the other.  Her little dqughter is crazy but so loveable! She has an interesting personality and would wreak havoc on our classroom by pulling on everything she could reach - quite often pulling over buckets of beads onto the floor. But she also looooved the worship and would lift her arms and spin in a cute little circle in the very middle of the room while we were singing. Soooo cute. She is probably about 2 now or almost - she is speaking a little bit now. And here is the most amazing thing: she was saying my name! And saying "npuamaga Tetra" to me. It was the cutest thing in the world. She remembered me, and picked up on the fact that her mom calls me npuanaga. So cute, and made me feel quite special! Prayer requests: -pleas keep believing and expecting miracles with me for Victoria's life. And pray that I will know how to handle the changes in her and still treat her good friend. Not a "sick person". Oh, I so want to be there for her in this time!! - please pray i dont stay sick! That I get better tonight! - i find its difficult sometimes for me to take dreams, and ideas and turn them into reality. Please pray with me that God will give me the mind of Christ to know how to make simple steps to see through all the divine ideas He has given me for this time!! - so far, i havent hd a good internet conection - i want to get an internet stick, but im not sure if it works on my little Ipad, as it doesnt have a usb port. It's really really important to my heart health to be able to talk with family and friends regularly! Please pray that ill find a solution - i know my papa God has good gifts for me!  - please also pray that I will feel like I have family here on the bse in this Iris community. i still feel a bit of a lack of community here, which is discourging. Will you pray with me that I know what steps to take to build up or community? Thank you for your love, thank you for your encourgement. Thank you for bein with me while Im here. You all are, you know. Much love - tetra

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