Sunday, December 11, 2011

Other parts of life...

I do realize that children are a huge part of my life here, in fact they are a huge part of my life all together. But you should know that I do work with more than just children here in Quelimane. This morning I got the amazing opportunity to witness the young lady that I won to the Lord (through Jesus and not of my own power AT ALL) be baptized. We went thinking that she was not going to be baptized today but she changed her mind and now she is a public Christian! I have seen her through her entire walk with Christ and I have been blessed to be her friend as well. Her name is Zelda and here is a beautiful picture of us on the beach this morning where she was baptized.

Also I have been teaching English to a few ladies including the one above. I have been blessed to get to know them and just be able to spend time with them. Everytime I am with them they always make me laugh and we have a great time. Their names are Elsa and Yonna. Elsa was baptized this morning as well!! What a fun time on the beach together! 

After the baptism we returned to church to a huge crowd of children. Today I did not teach Sunday School because we were so late getting back from the beach... but I did still sit with them and I have determined that God put a special place in my heart for children. Hearing a child say my name for the first time, and hug me...  touches my heart in a way that nothing else does. I do work with many people here in Quelimane, but daily I grow to see that children have a special place in my life! 

Beto and I... <3 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Small acts of love

I am always so very grateful for the support I receive from all over the world. Whether it be sending gifts to help out with my ministry, encouraging words, or prayer.... all of it has amazed me since I have been here! People can change the world (in my opinion) by just being nice, and giving from what the Lord has given them. I have received many craft supplies and toys from my friends in Gaffney, South Carolina and the smiles that they have brought to the children's faces here is wonderful to see! My previous blogs you have seen the results of many craft items sent from the states, this blog I will show you precious pictures of the results of a fun package that was sent to me recently.... children's toy sunglasses and necklaces. Little acts of love really do make a big difference in peoples lives... especially children's lives.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today we studied Colors of Salvation again. I got the kids to make salvation bracelets and little minibooks that go along with the colors!! They loved it!! These kids have all stolen my heart and I am blessed every time I am with them! Please continue to pray for their little hearts to understand and accept Jesus!!! I can see the love of Jesus in all of them! : ) 

These two are Dalila (the top picture) and Agi (the bottom picture).
They are sister and brother and have been coming to church for a while now. 
I have been blessed by their presence and I am so excited God brought them into my life. 
Pray for them as they continue to hear about Jesus, that they would know Him! 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Colors of Salvation..... This Sunday (November 20, 2011) I used a flower diagram to represent the colors of salvation! The children loved the activity, and they all turned out beautifully! : )

These kids have been pretty faithful in attending church, keep them all in your prayers! : ) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For God so loved the World, that He gave His only son.... <3

This is what we studied in Sunday School this week! : ) God loves children so much! What precious gifts they are from God!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sure... go ahead... pick your nose!

I always find it funny how the things that are inappropriate in the US are just fine and dandy here! It is not uncommon to have a conversation with someone while they are picking their nose in front of you! Its also not uncommon for breastfeeding to happen anywhere, anytime..... but show your knees in pubic and we have a problem! Anyway that goes to say that there are little things here that you just have to get used to. Everyday there is something else that creeps up on you that you don't understand. I have continually had to adjust to this culture but also it is a beautiful culture as well. I also have to adjust to changes that come my way. I had been struggling with why the Lord had even sent me here some days. I wondered why I was doing student ministry and not working with kids. My frustration continued for a while until the Lord allowed me an opportunity to teach some kids in my church neighborhood how to read Portuguese. I LOVE this so much... and it has been a huge ministry for the community and for me as well... I love getting to know these children, knowing about their lives, trying to meet some of their families. It has just been overall FUN! When my mother and sister came into visit they even got to participate with me and they taught 2 kids that day! Without knowing ANY portuguese at all... they helped in my ministry and that made me super excited! Below is a photo of the morning and afternoon groups of reading kids.... HOWEVER.... the group always changes even though we have a good many constant attenders! : )
Morning Group 

Afternoon Group 

So.... after this opportunity arose.. I found myself really trying to pour into these children. I started a lot more work with the Sunday School class at my church. Usually an average day in Sunday School is singing, a story, then an activity!... The activities go along with the story and being able to experience giving children this type of art experience for the first time, is amazing! We do things like coloring, making a paper plate snake, folding a piece of cardstock to make it into a basket, lacing hearts with yarn! It has all been super fun for me and I do believe that the children like it! : ) This last week we learned about a new heart in Jesus... and they designed their own hearts.... one side had the word for sin on it, representing our hearts without Jesus, i told them to design that side dirty, that they could even put dirt on it... also the heart had holes around the edges... representing that we have holes in our hearts without Jesus. Then we flipped the heart over and had the bible verse, "I will give you a new heart." and I told them to design that side BEAUTIFUL and clean... then we laced the heart with yarn, representing how when we ask Jesus into our hearts He fills our holes and gives us a new heart! : ) It was wonderful!! Here is a picture of them working on that.... 

Working on their hearts... 

Putting dirt on the sin side of their hearts. 

So for now... those are two newer things going on in my life! : ) Im pretty excited about them both... I am still have bible study with two wonderful girls here that have been such a blessing to me! : ) There are some exciting new changes coming my way soon.... i will write more about that later! : )) 

And also coming up... we are headed to a Game Park (Safari park) after Thanksgiving so I'm pretty excited about that too!! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's been a while....

So I realize I havent written in so very long. Please forgive me. Life gets so crazy here, and I just forget to remind everyone what is going on! Everyday I wake up and can't believe I live here... and then I go outside and I can never believe half the things I see... haha.. in the sense that things are so different here. I try to just go with it. So any way I have found that God gives you things JUST when you need them... not when we think we need them but when He knows we need them. In March (yes this was a long time ago) I went to a mission retreat PRAYING God would open a door, an opportunity for me... well... He did. He is so good. I got a offer to go teach some missionary children in Zambia for a month. So this "out of nowhere" offer... was for a training that new missionaries coming to Africa have to participate in when they get here. I had already been to one as a participant but this time I would go as staff. As most of you know I adore hanging out and teaching children. I love it... it always seems to bring the best out in me, so i was pretty excited about this experience. So I went in mid April to mid May... and well.. God changed my whole outlook on my life here. I met some of the most wonderful people I have ever met who encouraged me and who will forever be great friends of mine. I got to hang out and teach the COOLEST kids! They became some of my best friends. We got to experience so many new experiences together like our first African waterpark... were jeans or underwear are the main outfits you see! haha We went to a Crocodile Farm and held snakes together, we built fires, made dirt bullets, shot slingshots, learned how to cut grass the African way (with a HUGE knife slasher thing), lived with no electricity and running water for 2 weeks, and just spend time together! I love every single one of them and I could never say enough about how each one of them gave me a new outlook on Africa. I could not have been more blessed. NOT to mention the missionaries I worked with and me became so close through the month too! I found some of my best friends at that training!  I thank God so much for that experience and hope and pray that next year I can go back and help out again!! With all that said... below is a picture of me and just the kids as well as the whole group that was at the training!

By the way... I also got to see three movies (in a theatre), get a pedicure, and dye my hair with red streaks in it in Zambia as well!!! It's really the little things that matter here! : )) 

So when I returned... God had already opened some other doors for our ministry here! We had gotten four girls who were ready to help us with our ministry! So once a week each one of them comes for a bible study.. I study with two of the girls and Jessica studies with the other two. This has been fun for me. I like studying The Word with the two girls I teach. I love how they love to discuss things, and they ask you deep questions or real questions without ever being embarassed or scared to do so! They are both incredible girls and I am super blessed to have them in my life! 
Flora, Gilda, and Me!!! : ))

Also doors to our ministry within the schools have opened as well. Starting June 30th... we will be teaching True Love Waits once a week in two different schools here. One is a university for teacher education, and the other is a high school! We have a LOT of girls that our going to be in our class. I ask that you would pray that these girls would enjoy and accept our teachings. It is going to be tough but we are ready to start and see what God brings of this new opportunity!

Another thing that I have been doing is having a bible study with a girl who was a non-believer.  I meet with her every Monday morning... her name is Zelda and she is super sweet and super awesome! During our third bible study, Zelda accepted Christ into her heart! I was super excited. Many prayers for many years have gone up for this girl My supervisor new her way before she even knew I existed and to know that i played even a little tiny part in her salvation is so neat! Pray that our bible studies continue to go well, and that she will begin to tell others! 
This is Zelda and Me! 
The last thing that is going to start happening pretty soon... I am super pumped about! I have been asked to help teach children here how to read. So of course I was excited about this! My friend Wanne and I are going to teach children at our church and put up flyers in the neighborhood to invite kids to come! We hope that this will also bring families and children to church on Sunday! A lot of children here struggle with reading and we want to help as much as we can. So this starts on July 5th! : )

Last I will just say how much I love going to the beach as well. The beach has always been one of my favorite places and well I live pretty close to one! We got the opportunity to take one of our friends and her family to the beach the other day and it was so much fun! She has triplets and it was there first time at the beach! It was a great and fun experience!  :)) 

So the first picture is Suzanna and Alicia. Then me and Alda... then Tome not wanting to touch the water, and Alda playing in the water! : ) 

So I say things are going pretty well here! Just living life in Africa and making friends! Also I am awaiting soon my family who will arrive on August 8th or 7th... : ) We are going to Cape Town, Kruger, and Victory Falls... then they will come visit my lovely town of Quelimane! My mom and sister are going to get to stay for a week later than my brother and father and I am SUPER excited! : )) 

That is all for now... i will leave you with a picture of the marginal in my town when the sun has almost set... it is the most beautiful place in my town (in my opinion). Thanks for reading! 

Quelimane, Mozambique 

Monday, February 21, 2011

February times.

Hello all. I am so very sorry that I dont write out what is going on more! I will try to do better. So I dont have too much on my mind at the moment but I will tell you what has been going on around here! 
First off language class is still in session 5 hours a day and I am trying my hardest to soak up all I can before classes end (which I have no clue when that will be). I have learned a lot since I have been here including a ton of language. I have learned how to give my testimony in Portuguese which I got to give in church a couple Sundays ago. I have also learned better how to read and formulate sentences in Portuguese these tools helped me when I got to teach Sunday School for the children this past Sunday. Although my language is not super well enough that I could ask tons of questions, so my wonderful friend Wanne helped me out in the area. However about Sunday School, what an amazing experience. I got to teach children the story of the Paralyzed man who was healed by Jesus. The church they were at is a new church and most likely none of them have ever heard this story. Humbling isnt it, How many times have we heard this story? I think without ever looking it up most of the people I know could tell me the general idea. But these children have never heard this wonderfully amazing Bible stories. Their eyes were glued to the book and it was a really neat experience. I plan on helping with that class every week that I can! So keep that in your prayers! These kids are hearing about the life of Jesus for the first time. This will impact their lives for eternity. 

Also I got to see the Jesus Film for the first time this past week. We went out to a place where there was no road really, and I could never get back there even if I tried. The film was set up and lots of people made their way to see the film that told about Jesus' Life. Incredible. This one film has been made into many different languages and here in Mozambique is used quite frequently to share the Gospel with people! It was a neat thing to see. 

Also Valentine's Day was this week and man am I blessed to have people that love me here. I got flowers and chocolate and we went to a fancy dinner (which if you lived here you would see that that is almost impossible). But there is one place that is nicer than the others. It is in one of the tallest buildings in Quelimane and so we got to look out over the whole town and the water. It was so nice. I am blessed to live here with these people. 

Other than those things life is pretty calm here for now. We are making more friends slowly and learning new things, like how to drive (I havent really taken a chance at that yet, but my roommate Jessica drives so we now have a car to use!). Everyday I find new things to like about Quelimane. Its not too bad of a place really! : ) I do know that I can not wait until we get to dive into University Ministry. We have no idea what that looks like at the moment but soon hopefully we will! 

Keep in prayer Suzanna and her beautiful daughters as well as Carla and her family! These women have already made such a huge impact on my life and I am blessed that God allows me to be a part of their lives daily! Also we have two men in March coming to do a leadership teaching for some of the pastors, so keep that in your prayers as well! 

Everything is well... so I will write later! : ) Thank you everyone for your prayer and support! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nosso Deus nunca falhará!

So its probably not news to many people that learning a new language is difficult. Especially when you are like me and are used to having a lot of friends around to talk to. Here... its is different. To make friends I have to think so hard about what I am going to say and then try to say it in the best portuguese I can muster up. Then after that I have to pretend that I understood all the words the person said back to me and try to respond. Sometimes it just ends in "Im sorry, I am learning portuguese and only know a little." But despite this I have managed to try and connect with this one young lady who works at a supermarket (minus the super part) that I frequently go to. I started with hello, then the next week I started with I like your shirt where did you get it? I did this kind of thing for this whole month every time I would see her. Until one day she asked me to go shopping with her! I was in shock that she would want to be my friend when we could barely speak to each other. Well the bad news is I never got to go shopping with her, and yes I was sad but God still had a plan for us. I got her phone number one day and began to text her messages of hello, how are you and have a good day! And then one day she sent me a message saying the same kind of thing. I was so happy... although it did take me about 2 hours to figure out what the whole message said because our internet was down! haha. So the morning she sent me that was this past Sunday and this Sunday being the first Sunday that I did not go to church in the morning. We were planning on going to a church in the evening. Well what I awesome opportunity to invite her. How remarkable it is to me that God planned this out that we would not be in church when she text me but that we would be going to church later. So I decided I would try to figure out how to invite her to church! I did... and well... GOOD NEWS... She said yes!  :) I was overjoyed. This was our first time at this church but when we got there it was mostly college age men and women and it was a church that was evidently on fire for Christ. I wanted to cry. I was so happy that there was a place here like that, catering to the young generation of believers. I was in awe of what God put together...and all he asked of me was to invite her to church. Thats all. And the rest He took care of on his own. 
This reminds me of the two stories in the bible. The first being of Joshua when they are crossing the Jordan river and all God asks in order for them to get across is to put their feet in the water. And also the story of Peter walking on the water and Jesus only asked him to take that first step. God doesn't ask too much of us. He asks that by faith we follow Him, that we trust and obey Him in what He asks of us. It is amazing how God shows Himself so amazingly when we just do what He asks of us. We serve a big God who never fails. 
Praise God! 

So... Jamila is the girls name that I have befriended. She is muslim and it was her first time in this church. So continually keep her in your prayers as I continue that relationship! 

Also another prayer request is for Suzanna who has triplet girls who just turned ONE! They are all three a little under the weather, one of them has malaria so please keep them in your prayers! Their names are Alicia, Tomme, and Alda (im not positive that is how they are spelled). Here is a beautiful picture of them! 

Alicia is up top... then Tomme is bottom left, and Alda bottom right.  

Here is their cute birthday cakes... they all three blew out the candles at the same time! : )