Today was one of my best days ever. Well actually, it was just one of those days that had so many special moments...
It started out at 6am as I pressed the snooze alarm many times, finally getting out of bed about 20 mins before I had to leave... As I was pressing the snooze alarm I could hear Christina, our cleaning lady coming in the door and greeting my room mate in makua, the local tribal language
(side note- my room mate is one of the most incredible women in the world. She truly and genuinely loves the makuan community who we are privileged to live and do life with, and not only does she love them but she is crazy amazing and gifted at picking up the language... Honestly she can have whole conversations in makua when most of us are still trying to improve our Portuguese. She's even starting to write new worship songs in makua (because translating some of the songs that already exist just don't even work with all the syllables that can be in even just one word!) my room mate is amazing. Side note ended).
So, we walked out the door at about quarter past seven along with a couple of other friends on my base. One, an American who did the harvest school in October 2011 and has come to teach preschool and art lessons. The other, a Mozambican friend from Maputo who is a teacher in the bible school and also a worship leader here in Pemba. The 20 min walk by the ocean was interrupted by rain and all the Moz bible students walking near us started running for the other base! We broke out in "let it rain" in Portuguese, then as it started to get heavier changed it to "espera! Espera deis minutos por favor! Espera Señor!" (wait! Wait 10 minutes please! Wait lord!" God slowed down the rain enough so that we didn't get soaked and the dirt didn't turn to full on mud, yet.
I was aiming to get to the prayer house early for our 8am set with the Iris older girls. Someone else had already opened it up as some boys had one of the prayer room guitars and was playing it outside. A couple of older Iris girls were also in the prayer hut early reading their bibles and journaling, along with some mission school students visiting from around the world. It was so precious to see them really wanting to read His word and know His love... I decided that even though it was supposed to be a time for the older girls, I couldn't just close the door to the iris boys who were hanging around! So after hanging out with them for a few minutes, we all went inside the prayer house to worship and seek His face together. I was originally supposed to be teaching on some principles to worship, but we ended up just praying and worshipping, passing the lead to each other... Today was one of the most flowing, amazing prayer times I've been in with the kids yet... The kids would just break out in spontaneous prayer and songs as myself and an iris boy played the guitar. They were passionate, they were genuine, and it blessed my heart so incredibly... It is on my heart to start spending more time with them even outside the prayer house, training them a bit more in music and learning more Portuguese!
All of this was before 9am... I could go on about all the amazing stuff that happened, but will condense it for you.
Myself and the other missionary who was there then cleaned out the prayers house completely, taking everything out and sweeping, mopping... (this of course drew a small crowd of children- some iris kids and some village kids, who promptly proceeded to grab the guitars and strum chords that aren't in existence, and when they started to get a bit rowdy and we started to ask them to be a bit more careful, one of my village friends (Fogas) proceeded to promptly grab a broom and sweep everything in sight to help us, and the other one grabbed a baby wipe we had used to wipe the whiteboard, and used it to wipe everything in sight! The keyboard, my guitar case, everything! Once all was done and dried and locked away, Fogas asked to try on my flip flops and I would try on his. Then he said that I can borrow his til tomorrow! He insisted that we do this as he leapt in the air and laughed with my (slightly too small) brown $2 Walmart over-a-year-old worn-almost-every-day-in-15-different-countries-moulded-to-fit-even-my-toes-and-worn-almost-all-the-way-through flip flops on his feet... I looked down at his definitely-too-large-purple-flip-flops-with-pretty-flowers-on-them that felt like thick mattresses after wearing mine... And worried about him walking on the road and feeling every bump and getting thorns stuck in his feet... And worried that mine might break while he was borrowing them and then he might feel bad! I asked if he was sure? "Yes!!! Amanya!Amanya! (tomorrow, tomorrow)" well... Okay then!
So for the rest of the day, while working on organising practical missions for the harvest school; tutoring my friends fun, energetic 5year old and attending a baby shower for the base director with most of the female part of our base staff family... I would randomly look down and notice my friends purple flowery too large flip flops adorning my feet... And I would laugh. At the personality of my friend Fogas that he would convince me to swop for a day. At the fact that a teenage boy has purple flowery flip flops (TIA- this is Africa!). And my heart would get slightly melted at the thought that he would wear my almost broken, brown so worn flip flops and God would decide to have me wear purple (color of royalty! and my fav colour) flowery (makes me feel special!) flip flops that belong to a village boy who is from a very poor village family... Our God is so upside down... I love Him so much!
Now it is 1am and I am typing this from the safety of my mosquito net, with the familiar sounds of barraca (streetside shops) music coming through my glass less windows... (which I am so thankful for as it keeps the houses so much cooler!) I can feel each of the slats through my mattress, and frequently sink down in places where the slats have shifted all to one side or the slats themselves are just not flat! But I have a bed and I have a pillow. I have freshly washed sheets and a net and an amazing roommate. I have a family here in Pemba who loves to do life together, not just work. And I have my village friend's purple flowery flip flops to remind me who I am. Loved. Royalty. Trusted (enough to borrow his flip flops!). Most of all they remind me of my God who is the one who loves to give me these precious moments!
Love to you all, and thank you for sharing in some moments from one of the days from my life here in Mozambique!