Monday, December 20, 2010

Looking on the bright side...

This town is crazy when I think about it sometimes. But it is nice, and when people get to know you they are super nice and do super nice things for you! Man the other day, I was really searching the town for some coke zero and i was just sure that the entire town had run out, sad! So the last store we went to was called Jumbo and they didn't have any but I proceeded to ask the guy that worked there if he ever got any in and he said no. Then I must have looked pretty sad (playing the Shoney's card)  because he then said, hold on..... he got on his phone called someone and said come back this afternoon and I will have a case for you! WHAT??? REALLY?? that was my response. If people do that in America then I have already forgotten, but I was so shocked and excited! So wonderful... its really the little things that make me most happy over here! 
So anyways little things like finding coke zero, and dove body wash just can make your day here. The people here make this town not so bad. They are so kind and I can tell that when I actually learn more of the language there will be many friends to be made! : ) 
Also I know it is almost Christmas and everyone may be wondering how I feel about spending Christmas in Africa? I will say this, the heat... helps in not thinking that it is actually Christmas. So I don't think it will be too tough this year. Yes I will miss all the traditions but it is also an experience I would never want to change! : ) Plus who wouldn't want to go to the beach two days before Christmas? 

Everything is going well here. Its hot, everyone pray for rain to cool it down. 

I love you all! Miss you all! and hope that everyone has the best Christmas! 


Church in Mozambique is quite a different experience. First make sure you don’t forget your water or your handheld fan… then when you get there make sure you sit on the correct side (women and men). Next sit down on, what in most cases for me has been, a cut down palm tree.  Then wait for Sunday school to start, try to understand what is being said in Portuguese,   try to figure out when you are supposed to stand and sit, try to keep flies off of you, try not to pass out from the heat,  and make sure you drink lots of water! But while being exhausted from all this,  you find the most beautiful singing,  a wonderful message, the whole congregation memorizing bible verses as a body,  children memorizing a verse and reciting it for the congregation and above all else, a lot of Love and passion for Christ…….
How many of you have ever attended a church service, not feeling so well or being upset and having the whole church stop the service and immediately pray for you?
I would say never until I got to Africa. I had it happen to me once in West Africa, when I was homesick, a young lady got up during the service and dedicated a song to me and a prayer. Then in Mozambique I was feeling sick during the service and had to leave and when my friend came out to take me home she informed me that they stopped to pray for me and that’s why it took her a little longer to get outside.
Wow.  For me? Why? But then I realized it had nothing really to do with me but with God’s love shown through the church and the body being one, when one part of the body is hurting or sick  it effects the others. Right? I think so. I am amazed here at the amount of Godly servants who truly do everything they can to serve the Lord and others.  It is incredible to feel that kind of Godly love from a church that you have only been to once! Their concern and love for people overflows through the doors! How many of us including myself would ever think to get up and dedicate a song or pray for someone without it being in the bulletin? When someone is hurting in the congregation shouldn’t the rest of the body feel it?  I have learned so much already from Africans. Yes its hot, its hard, and very frustrating but when I stop looking at the hard things the good things just jump out at me! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lets learn Portuguese...

So as anyone could guess... language learning is difficult. Not always super difficult but when you talk to someone not only do you have to translate what you want to say into words... but you have to actually know what they are saying to you. That is a LOT to think about just for a simple "How are you?" conversation! Shew. After one conversation you are mentally exhausted. However getting down and thinking you can not do it is not the way to go. During my first week of language study God used two different devotionals to speak to me. The first being from Oswald Chambers... "The way we continually talk about our own inability is an insult to the Creator."Wow. How true though, that when we even begin to believe or even think that we are incapable, what does that say about the God who created us in His image. Everyday shouldnt we wake up and believe that we are created in the likeness of God and whatever we face today we can conquer because we are made by the most excellent Creator! : ) How encouraging to read this during my first few days here. I would just challenge everyone who reads this to think about a place in your own life where you feel incapable.. and just trust that God can do all things, so through Him you can do all things! : ) Along these same lines I am reading a book by Beth Moore written with missionaries all around the world! I was reading one of the devotions and it was about a family learning language. (of course) and the verse to go along with it was this... "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus... and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross." Phillipians 2: 5, 8
This verse also spoke greatly to me. Not only should I not say, "I cant do this," but I should also have an attitude of Christ all the time. Granted this is very difficult for the flesh, but God will help you if you ask!

I have found language to be frustrating but also very rewarding when you can say things such as, "Do you know Jesus?" (Voce conhece a Jesus Cristo?) and Jesus gives me hope, strength, peace, and eternal life! (Jesus me da esperanca, forca, paz, e vida eterna!) Being able to talk about the things that are most important... and the things God wants me to tell people while I am here, is very rewarding to have learned these things already and I can already attempt to tell others about Jesus! : )

Praise God! Gloria a Deus!

Here is a picture of my other language professor Carla!

What I know so far

So I wanted to finally write and let everyone know how this place is... what I am up to and such! So first off I got here and was so happy to finally be in a place I could call home! My house is wonderful. It is in the middle of the city and in walking distance to pretty much everything I need. It is nice to live here with the wonderful tropical breeze everyday.... however that doesnt mean it isnt super hot! Everyday it is so so hot. The breeze helps however. So my town is like a small city, with palm trees. I walk out my front door and there is the main street through town! We have a bakery right beside the house so every morning and evening it begins to smell like fresh bread! YUM! Everyone who knows me, KNOWS that bread is definitely my favorite food! Needless to say the guys in the bakery know me well, and every time I leave they say see you tomorrow! haha. I also like to go in there because they help me with my portuguese! God has certainly put some amazing people in my path so far! I will tell you about a few of them....

First off the missionaries that are already here have been nothing but wonderful since we have arrived! They take care of us, and if we have a problem with the house, they immediately come to help! It is pretty incredible the amount of time they spend serving us!

Next is our wonderful language converser, Suzanna. She comes in the morning and just helps us with conversational portuguese! She helps us also get around town and get things we need! It is so nice to have someone who knows the town, knows the prices, and knows the people! It has been neat to learn about her and her family as well! She is a wonderful mother to 4 children... three of them being newborn triplet girls! Two of them are identical. I found this interesting also bc several people know that my cousin Ansley has triplet boys with two being identical! So thats cool! Today with Suzanna we took her babies to be weighed at the hospital! That was interesting to see. It was also interesting to walk from her house to the clinic with each of us carrying one baby plus we each had an umbrella... not to mention it is over 80 degrees. haha. Not many strollers here, plus if they had one the roads arent quite made for them. : ) However we made it, and I probably lost a few pounds getting there. haha. All that to say this, it is so interesting to be part of a culture that has not found the easiest way to do everything. They do what they have to and it is beautiful actually. Also keep Suzanna in your prayers. Having triplets is tough, especially here, plus she is studying the bible frequently with one of the missionaries here so just pray for continual growth with her relationship with the Lord.. and for her children to follow Christ as well! Here are some pictures of two of the triplets plus Suzanna!

Also we have been teaching Suzanna how to play Uno! She asks us to play everyday now! : ) 

So we also have this incredible neighbor who cooks for us and sends us snacks a lot! She makes chamussas which are the BEST and pizza, and man what an incredible woman! Her family is muslim, so I hope and pray that God would use us in her life as a strong witness! 

So in a small town, you start to see the same people! They recognize you and you begin to make connections! I like living here, although its a challenge, I can see it being a good place to call home for the next two years! 

<3 You should come visit! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coming soon....

Hey everyone!! I am finally at home in Quelimane. I will be blogging soon! I have been super busy and I am in language school 5 hours a day! However I promise I will give more information as soon as possible! Check back in a few days!! : ) Love to all! 

Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement! It has been so great to hear from people and know that people back home are praying for me! Thank you again! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What just happened??

Well... I am finally back in South Africa and I feel as though I just went through a spinning dust cloud (which I literally kind of did)! Training was difficult. I wont lie. It was the furthest thing thing glorious and it was a struggle everyday. Some mornings when I would take walks I would recharge myself, but it was a different world in West Africa. I will say, it made me EXTREMELY grateful for where I came from and for everything that God has given me. The people I met survive daily on less than most Americans would during a two day camping trip. It is a very hard thing to be around everyday. But with that said... if you look at my pictures on Facebook, you will see that there is beauty there, you just have to see it through God's eyes and not your own. That in itself is a struggle.

To not have the world's perspective is a hard thing to try and do when you are in the middle of something so new. It becomes hard to understand the differences. I had a friend tell me while we were there, "You know you come to Africa from America with a big educational background, and when you get here they have to reteach you how to use the bathroom." Its hard. Its frustrating. and Its sad. It was a crazy experience.

Most of the time I was physically sick because of the changes but I will say this. It is a great thing to learn the gospel and be able to say it out loud to someone who have never heard the name of Jesus. I learned how to do that in a way that most Africans understand and respond to. I also thought it was neat to see that my job, my goal daily is to tell people about Jesus, and actually do it! It was pretty incredible.

it was a good experience... im glad it is finished and I am ready to go to Mozambique FINALLY on TUESDAY!!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

West Africa ....Here I come!

Hey everyone!
Well South Africa has been fun.... but I have to head up to a training tomorrow in West Africa! I will not have my computer so I may not be able to blog or skype for a while.... sad... but also good too!

Well... I love you all and I will blog as soon as I can!!!

: )

Saturday, October 16, 2010

a little more of Africa! : )

I wanted to show some pictures of where I am right now..... so lets starts with the Guest House... So this is where I am staying for now! It is very nice!

There is a view from this place that is gorgeous of the city skyline so that is what the next picture is....
That is what I saw when I walked out my door this morning...and I loved it!
Also.... today I got to go to a mall (YES!) And here is a picture of that...

It was a big mall!!! It has been fun to just hang out and be in the city!
The final picture is of some wonderful friends I have here! I am so grateful that God has put people here already for me to have good times with! I got to have dinner with them and just have great fellowship! There names are Suzanne, Kristin (back seat brown hair) and Jessica (blonde hair back seat)! You can keep them on your prayer lists as well! It has been a good day! : )

 GOOD NIGHT... I will blog soon! : )

I have Arrived... well to Africa at least! : )

Well... I have arrived in South Africa! It is most beautiful here, and pretty cold. But it is nice! I will be here for only about 4 days and then I am heading off to West Africa to do a training there! I am so grateful for all the thoughts and prayers that my friends and family have been giving me! You all are incredible! I will miss you all so very much!!! And I love every one of you! 

Okay so lets see... When I first got to Charlotte to leave... they took everything out of one of my bags of course! Fun times but that is the only real trouble I had baggage wise. I am impressed and grateful that every one of my bags showed up in South Africa! YES! I got to meet up with my team mates in Atlanta and then we all flew together on a 14 hr. flight to South Africa! 

When we arrived... we dropped our bags off at BIMS (its like a Baptist guest house) and then headed to dinner! Um I could pretty much live here ( but I dont get to) because it is amazing! We went to an italian place... and this is what I found... 

Yes.. that is correct! my love... coke zero...they had it at the restaurant! I just wanted to show this so that all of you who said I would never have it again (mom) you were incorrect! : ) haha 
it was a beautiful thing! 

So after dinner... I got to experience a south african grocery store... it was pretty much the same as America... with katy perry playing over the radio. I found peanut butter here... and they have peanut butter with chocolate chips. YUM. 

After the grocery store I headed over to visit my wonderful friend Kristin Glaze! It was so awesome to see her apartment ( for all of you who dont know she is one of my friends from training in Richmond). It is just great to be here! Although I am tired, it's good! 

Thank you again for all the prayers and support! I will continue to post as much as I can! 


Sunday, August 15, 2010

My First Post Ever

So, I have never had a blog, but I am starting one as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family and to let people know what God is doing wherever I am! I am excited to go to Africa in October but until then I am a student learning what God has for me, and learning about my people group! 
I have started learning the important of immersing myself into the culture where I will be. To do that, language is a HUGE priority! I have to learn portuguese, and it will not be the same as the types of portuguese I could find on Rosetta Stone or other programs I could use to help me study before I go. Mostly I will have to learn it there, when I have moved to Mozambique. This is a scary thought but also God is teaching me through this to trust Him fully to learn the culture and the language of the people I am going to live with! I am excited to be a learner in a new culture! 
Please pray for me as I begin my journey and keep reading my blog and giving me input about what I write and what you would like to hear!