Sunday, December 9, 2012

Graduation Day!!!!!!


Wednesday, December 5th

It is here!!!!!

Today, we have our graduation ceremony with our Mozambican brothers who are graduating from Bible School!  Everyone is in great spirits and full of joy!  We have finished!  These last nine weeks have gone by so fast!  I remember being here for the first few weeks and feeling like I was walking around in a daze.  Not really knowing anyone, or what is happening or going on.  Now we really have become family.  Great friendships have been formed, amazing times have been had, laughter has filled the air and tears have flowed.  We really have been very blessed!

I know I have really only spoken of the things that I have done here in Mozambique, like events that have taken place, but so much more has taken place.  Honestly, I don't really know how to put them down on paper to share, which is why you have not heard of them.  God has done some great, great things in me!  He has spoken over and over.  He has showered me with His love!  I have been filled with Joy and Love for Him more than I have known before.  I feel as if I have just been taking so much in.  Like I am a cup that has been being filled up over the last two months.  Honestly, I feel as if I am being poured in so much, that it is hard to possess it all.  I have been doing a lot of soaking ... Just resting in His presence.  I am so thankful that it is not up to me to understand it all and to figure everything out.  That is why I just rest in my Jesus, and let Him do the work.

One of the first things God showed me was that I just need to rest in Him and give him control over my life.  He gave me this picture of me, riding a horse wildly through the fields.  Jesus was sitting on the horse behind me, with his arms around me, holding onto the reins.  Jesus was saying, "Esther, just lean back on my chest, and let me guide the horse."  This picture has been a constant reminder to me throughout the whole school.  Just resting on Him, and letting Him guide me and take me where He wants plans.  

This has been quite the journey!  It has been hard!  It has been good.  It's been a constant struggle with my flesh.  It has been an amazing time with my Jesus!  It has been both really good, and really hard.  Fun times and honestly, terrible times.  I am sad that it is over but at the same time, i am glad.  I think I am more happy that these nine weeks are over - it has been great, but I am ready to start living again!  Ha ha ha - I honestly don't really know how to put down how I am feeling.  It truly is a mixture of feelings! 

I have been very blessed, I have stretched so much and I would not trade any of it for the world! 



Happy Thanksgiving! And, Christmas with Sunscreen?

Friday, November 23rd

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  I am thinking of you all and how lots of you are out shopping today. :0)  I joked with my sisters that we should go shopping this morning!

Thanksgiving was so much fun here yesterday.  We had a great, big Thanksgiving party, potluck style!  I made a pot of mashed potatoes.  The spread of food was crazy!  We had everything from fish and chicken, to fruit salad, bread rolls, and stuffing.  What an amazing meal!!!  Not only was the food great, but there were so many people eating!  I honestly was praying God would multiply the food!!! Really!  I just kept thinking, This is crazy.  This is crazy!  Ha ha ha.  The great Thanksgiving feast was followed up with a dance party and the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie.  Yesterday was such a great day!!! I had so much fun!!!

It is now Christmastime!!!  Ha ha ha it definitely does not feel like Christmas here - well, Christmas as I know it.  I feel like I am living in a great, long, hot summer!!!  Sunscreen, sunglasses, swimming, sitting in the shade, and eating fresh mango are part of the Christmas season here.  Different, but just as great!

Sorry this post is short and sweet.  I honestly have been having so much fun doing other things than sit on my computer!  So you're just getting a little taste for now.



Immersion: An Overnight Stay in the Village

Saturday, November 17th

Today I got back from immersion.  This is where I spent the night with a mama and her family in the village.  I really had the most wonderful time.  So we (me and three other girls) met our mama on Friday afternoon at 2PM.  Because our mama did not live really close to the base, we got a ride to her house.  It was so beautiful when we arrived.  She lived on a steep hill leading down to the ocean.  The hill was covered in houses and she lived halfway down the hill.  The hill was so steep that the roof of her house was in line with the foundation of the house above her.  And the base of her house was in line with the rooftop of the house below her.  This being said, she had the most amazing view of the ocean!

I will tell you a little bit of her story.  (We know her story because she works for Iris a few days of the week and one of the staff she works with is my group leader.)  She has two kids of her own who are now in their late teens, but while she was living with her husband one of her sisters died so she took in her two children.  The only issue was that her husband was not too happy about the kids so he told her it was either them or him, but she could have have both.  So she left, taking the kids with her.  Iris was there to help her.  They built the house we stayed in.  And just a few week ago another one of her sisters passed away so she brought her four little children to live with her.  Her family was so welcoming and wonderful.  Of course, the little kids are quick to fall in love with you while the older ones hold back a bit more.  By the end, we were good friends (even though we could not speak the same language!).

We arrived a bit after 3PM to her house and after she showed us around we took a trip to the well.  I got to carry the bucket of water on my head ... ha ha ha this was so hard.  Not only to keep the bucket on my head, but also keep the water in the bucket.  All the mamas and the villagers were watching, cheering and laughing me on.  It took me a bit of time to get back to the house but I made it.  And yes, my neck and back hurt, though thankfully once I stretched out a bit I was great!

We spent the evening relaxing in the shade of her house, visiting with her neighbors, and painting the girls' nails.  We ate an amazing meal and went to bed.  I slept with one other girl on a daybed.  It's like a wooden frame with ropes woven across it.  Though I did not sleep the most amazing I ever have, I was happy that I got quite a lot of sleep.  There was a chicken in their house but it was in the other room, as were the mice we heard running around.

Of course, one gets up with the sun, which is at 4:30 AM.  This is really not that early being that you go to bed with the sun as well.  Well, not quite with the sun for it goes down at 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening, but we go to bed a few hours later.  We took a trip in to the village market to get some bread and sugar for breakfast.  Let me tell you, they put so much sugar in their coffee and tea!  It is like drinking a cup of sugar!!!  Ha ha ha.  Again we spent the morning relaxing in the shade of her house.  I braided one of her daughters' hair, African style.  Well, there is really no other way to braid it!  I was so proud of my ability; it turned out so good!  Ha ha ha.

We taught them some worship songs in English and they taught us some songs in Makua.  We prayed with them and blessed them.  After lunch we had to go, for our ride was there to pick us up.  The Mama invited us to come to their church on Sunday, but sadly we are not.  I would love to come, and go [to their church], but it is not going to work out.  Anyways ... That was my wonderful overnighter in the village.