Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Here's the ultimate "pole dada"... lol! Sorry Sister! :P I'm home safe now! Ive seen the beautiful golden gate for 3 days in a row now with no fog! Although its rained for 30 days strait in this part of the bay... folks are starting to get depressed and stuff! :( Oh well, I'm not! I'm thrilled ot be home... I even started a nerts clan.... Ive already got Mayra addicted and John, David, Court and the twins all know how to play now! Woop woop!
Moral of the story.... I hope every one else arrived back in the states safely. Congrats HB. I miss you Scotty! I love you Besty! Everyone in Tanz keep me posted in the haps! I turn 21 this Sunday! I'm getting old... pole dada... :P
Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers for safe journey. Thanks Zoe for the hilarious Kodak moment.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Why was I in the most amazing place in the world last week? I don't know, but I do know this: you must all join me next time! The island of "Zanzibar", now known to me as Nirvana, was where the interns had their final times together before I take off this upcoming Friday, March 31. It's a sad thing but the trip was amazing. We enjoyed every moment of the beautiful and historical Stonetown and the white sands off the coast of the Indian ocean here in Tanzania.
Mind you, it was quite the adventure to get there... but an 8 hour bus ride, a night in an Italian hostel and ferry boat later we stepped foot onto God's icing. I can honestly say it was the most incredible water I've ever seen... even miles out into it it was still blue like a swimming pool. The fish were like Finding Nemo! And the star fish looked like cookies with red icing... they were beautiful... nice descriptions huh? :P Well , my camera doesnt work under water so you'll have to come for yourself or just google it...
The whole trip was awesome. We took our long bus ride to Dar... it was like that Suntrips flight to Oahu that one time but tighter... Maples insider for that one. Then in Dar we stayed at this cool little hostel called the Cefa... Its an Italiano run place and it was real special... :P The owners kids, Kiara and Francesco, were incredibly beautiful. Their Father: Italian, Mother: Tanzanian, them: gorgeous... and they spoke fluent English, Swahili, Italian and are learning French... 10 and 7 years old! What the heck!?!?! I was just hopin' that one day my kids would do the unthinkable and pass Algebra! But now I've raised my standards. Once again... I wish I coulda took pics of these amzing kids who shared their stories and songs with me while hanging out in the tv room but some may find that kinda creepy so I didnt capture the Kodak moments... Mary preached in these 2 cool churches that Sunday and some of the interns did an incredible drama. The word was good, the ministry was good... God moved.
Not only was our trip to Zanz beautiful... but the town we stayed in on the first night was one of the first hubs for slave trading. They call it Stonetown to this day... probably because most of it is made of stone... :P (pic above and right here)... This pic which looks kinda like a stadium is where they would barter slaves on the platform and the next pic after that is a monument of how they used to keep the Africans while in waiting to be traded. We even sat in a real dungeon that slaves were held in. It ws a sad and powerful reality... and the most educaitonal thing Ive done since the fall!
More Stonetown/Zanz moments...
Zanz is 96% Arab so yes all the kids are these beautiful... It's sad though that the island is run by an Islamic faith... hmm? Maybe I can move there and be a tropical missionary???
This is the view from our sail boat on the sunset cruise we took on our first night at the beach resort.... yes the beach resort!!! AWE-freaking-SOME!!!
Here's our African Sailor man chillin in the sunset thunder... :P
This ones for my Alex... I miss you and seeing this acrobat show on the beach of the Indian ocean didnt help! But these acrobats were awesome though... I have more pics for when I see you in a million months... oh yeah sorry Buckys heads in the way.
The busy streets of Zanz...
Heres the American team... e're missing our African thunder the beautfiul Goudy but shes comin up next! R2L: Me, Dennae, Heather, Bucky, Christian aka Naitwa, John, and Scott... we;re sitting in frnt of our Italian hostel the CEFA! whoop whoop...
How many ways can me and Gaudy wear a wrap? Here's us before dinner and the acrobat show in Zanz...
Johnny, Naero and I pre-snorkel...
Then there's me and my nappy roots... post-snorkel...
"Oh uh-oh... we in Oakland now..." Here's our wonderful team leader Mary who put the whole sha bang together... and J, Buck, HB, Gaudy and Huse standing in the middle of the street in Dar Es Salaam about to get hit by a bus... Whoops!
So overall, this trip was amazing. I saw a side of this awesome God that we serve that Ive neevr seen before. Gaudy said it best... "how can anyone see such beauty and not see God?"... We saw some of the most beaustiful parts of our world this week. I fell in love witht he creator all over again... the ocean was warm like bath water and the sun was hot like fire... lol.. we got the burns to prove but in all reality... this life is way too amzing to let the oppurtunity to explore Gods beauty pass us by. Even the islamic songs and chants heard through out the city severl times a day were beautiful... it was very sad because with all of our hearts we wanted to ehar the angels singing praises to the Lord for all the great stuff he's done... but still beautiful. This was the perfect end to an incredible season in my life...
Don't worry it's not over yet... I'll be bloggin about the aftermath when I return home to the U.S. this upcoming Friday... until then... I'm going to soak in as much Africa and as much of my Mary, Jill, Gaudy, HB, Besty's, Huse, Naitwa, John and the Emma Center kids as possible! Peace easy! A-town! (Africa-town... lol... I dont know why... I just do....) :P
Monday, March 20, 2006
To go home i'll have to come down from the mountain but I won't have to come down from the mountain... that makes sense I hope. My attitude and heart have forever been completly changed. The Lord has completly uprooted my entire being... not like "I went on another week long missions trip to Mexico and saw some poor people, built a house then came home and went back to my same routine..." although ive been on some POWERFUL week longs to Mexico... but more so like being taken away from my comfort zone and everything and everyone I know... like right now i'm sitting on the computer in my hostel on the island of Zanzibar off the coast of the Indian Ocean with a naitonal sitting next to me watching The Breakfast club with Arabic subtitles... who does that?
I don't believe you will truly, completly appreciate your life for what it is until you come to a place where you are willing to change and grow and move forward and be stretched and be flexible... to give God all you are... all the time...
One of my biggest battles has been to lay down this sin nature... this flesh.... this being human if you will... :) selfish thinking- the me, mine, I mentality that I've perpetuated with selfcenteredness since I could make decisions... oh yes, i'm still selfish, but now aware in that attitude and pursuing change and growth daily.
This is my prayer for every person I know... and not even that... every person I dont know... but even more so every YOUNG person I know. Today i met a woman that said the more languages you learn before your 35, the more likely you are to become fluent in those languages... and let me tell you, being selfless, thinking of others higher than myslef and more than myself is a language nearly foreign to almost everyone I know... especially me. So my proposal is that we start young, people! e step outside of our flesh (ie: selfish thinking, shallowness and yes even foolishness at times)outside of our comfort zone and our own plans... let go and venture out!You will never I mean NEVER regret it! I can't imagine my life without these people... my circle of friends without these friends is incomplete.
Think about it... it's this bubble... this ocmfort zone... this safety net of having every second of our lives planned after highschool. Graduate, go to school, work your butt off, get a job, work your butt off, fail a class, take it agian, pick a life plan, change the life plan, work your butt off, graduate school, do the plan, tolerate the plan, change the plan, go back to school, work your butt off, fail some more classes and the cycle continues til we're 30 and/or too old to changh the plan again... and in the midst of it all... we stand in church every Sunday telling Him "I want to do what you want me to!!" HMM??? Of course much of this scenario can be inevitable even for those of us completly walking in obedience... life is full of things we don't really want to do but need to to get closer to what God has for us... but... what if? Just what if there was something bigger than everything we thought we knew??? Something more to life than just following the status quo of the 18-28 year old American. Suppose you gave God a period of time where He had your UNDIVIDED attention. What if we were truly missional in every area of our lives... walking servant minded... not "socially acclimated to our cultures image for youth" minded.
Let's say you took a semester/trimester or by gosh a year off of school (gasp! "A whole year?!?!? but then I'll graduate when I'm 24 instead of 23!!!" you may say... "hakuna matata" I say... "one less year of being a grownup in the real world"... lol... i know, someone slap me later) but let's justr pretend for one minute... you took this time and got away... NYC, Japan, Tanzania, the Philipines, Oahu, San Francisco, Puerto Rico... and the list of amazing places goes on. You go: you spend your time learing about a new culture and a new language, eating new food, meeting new friends from all around the world, adapting to new personalities, learning how to work on a team, learning to be humble and selfess, falling in love with a people you would have never imagined even knowing... hot summer nights in January...
Not going to the movies! talking on a cellphone!!! watching MTV or vh1 or having starbucks everymorning and In-n-out every weekend... listening to Sunday sermons 2 deep in translations... serving expecting nothing in return and loving most if not all of every moment. Meeting people with similar vision, passion, and heart for ministry as you but nothing else besides that similar and walking away with a best friend... Diving into the word of God during our spare time!!!??? Spare time? Yes, it's awesome. And last but not least... seeing the good the bad and the ugly of your own heart and waking up every moring in pursuit of refinement, understanding the hear tof God more because when you're not in your bubble... your comfort zone... your "home church" with your homies.. the only way to look is up.
What if we really did "go out to the world"?. God shouldn't have to call us up on our night time minutes and tell us exactly when where and ow to go here or there... he's given us His word to obey, a heart to feel compassion, ears to hear a peoples cry, hands to work and serve with, and eyes to see the need, and feet to go! We have God senses... are we using them to the best of our ability? Are our eyes open? Or are we waiting for "One new message" with A-Z details... God never "called" me to Africa... but I asked for his eyes, ears and heart and He opened up the dorrs of oppurtunities to put my misisonal foot forward and go to the need.
mom shouldn't have to tell us to do the dishes... if we see dishes in the sink shouldn't we just do them? Hasn't she raised us up well enough to recognize and just do it?
I'm sure you can't imagine the "mountain" you'll be on when you enter into a realm of obedeince... yes, you'll still be human; selfish and prideful and daily battling to exit that flesh but yes you'll be transformed form the inside out and constantly refined by this awesome God and blessed by the oppurtinity to be on his frontlines.
...You must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the good news you will find true life...
and how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than the soul?
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
" How many interns does it take to set up a one man tent?"John asked. So far it had taken all of them!
They later saw that one tent for all seven interns and a national would never work! So Rebecca to the rescue!
Bucky came and saved the day! She put up all the other tents and we would be able to sleep in peace! (not based on factual events)
So the boys had their space...
So we played with the kids... jump rope has become the popular favorite. And the kids had a blast... and so did the interns. We had also done our ministry presentation earlier in the day. (David and Goliath and the "you are able with God's strength" message)
And then... Pastor Longita (the host pastor in the village we stayed at) led a group of children in a Massai kid v.s. Moshi Kid tug-o-war contest! It was awesome!!!! :P
Then me and Christian aka Naitwa eloped in a tribal hut outside the water hole and adopted a Massai child... and we all lived happily ever after. Pole mom! (lol no, not really, I could never elope on the internship!)
Random Cool Moments!
"We don't play... We quit school cuz of recess..."
and Heaven came down... here's the view from our tents right before sunset... hecka awesome.
Becky on time out... pole dada (poe-lay dah dah: too bad... so sorry)... :P
and then... the dala broke down on the side of the road!!! shoulda been a... lol... thought you knew!
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Ha Ha! Well that's what it may seem to be... but yes we are coverd from head to toe in mud... why you may be asking? Because yesterday God opened up the heavens and after being in a drout wiht no consistet electircity or water in our wells for weeks now... the storm has come... and we danced in it like mad savages then played tug-a-war and almost died! Well, we didnt almost died but Husereau decided to pull so hard that fell backwards and injured my spacula?? (The bone right under your shoulder blade?) but that wasnt till after all of me went down hard and hit my head first in the muddy but still firm grounds... Buckys hand was almost ripped into many peices from the rope and we both almost blinded Scott with the whole mud in the face move... nevertheless... it was probably one of the most fun things any one could ever do on a rainy day in AFRICA!!
Me and Huse... straight gangstas... lol
Carrie II? No wait it's the girl form The Ring??? Oh... it's just Bucky making her "Dusty" face... :P
Mud-ducks R Us?? Shoulda been an A-G missionary! Send us some money for showers please... :P
Please pray for the rains to continute to come... the rains are about as close to a shower as we get these days with empty wells and all... and the electricity being out really suckshowever we're so used to it now that we get along just fine playing nerts (nerts: (n) funnest, fastest, most intense crazy addicting card game ever; synonym: grits: what the germans here in tanz keep calling it by mistake) by candle light.
On a more serious note... not having rains is affecting our entire country. There are several villages around Tanz that are dying and crops arent coming, livestock not getting fed and its not a good thing. So pleas pray for the rains!
Thursday, March 02, 2006
So many things have happend since my last report to all of you... Let's back track. Last week a friend of Dennaes, Pastor Don nd his daughter flew out from Rhode Island. Don and Renee were so much fun to be with. We taught them our addiction nerts and they just flew with it. We all went on Safari together... Don had a few speaking engagements while he was here as well and the Lord really moved in truth through the word. Us girls had so much fun with Renee... I think God totally blessed her heart while she hung out with the interns all week... she's now our official mini-intern.. aka "mintern". They went home already... pole... :(
But God's still stirring up some awesome thing with our crew. The 20 something's Engish fellowship that Scotts been leading is going really well. Last Friday we had 18 internationals at our fave restuarant Sals Salinero. We packed up Sals and Husereau gave a word on not havin the fear of man in your life... it was awesome and I know God really blessed these people... There were internationals from all over including various parts of England, Switzerland and all over the states. It was awesome and Im juiced aboutt his Friday... Scotts doing a great job leading this whole thing up. We've all seen this incredible leader inside of him pop out his little head and speak up... it's been really cool.
As for village minstry... we're going outt o the Massai (pictured above) next week for a 2 night camping trip. it should be interesting... It's the real Africn bush out there. I'm super scared... but I'm way excited. I know the Lord goes before us and these peoples hearts are really opened to hear what we want to say to them through loving them and their children and spending time just getting to know them. God really works miracles through just those simple things.
Speaking of spending time... Gaudy, John and I went to the KCMC hospital today and visited the kids in the childrens ward... it was so heart breaking o see these kids squished in rooms 5 or 6 beds in rooms the same size or smaller than the single or doubles in the states... but they have hope... and they still smile. We played witht hem and prayed with them and just visited and talked with them.Many of them with this stomach disorder- the one that causes the bloated belly- they won't make it through their teenage years... but they still smile. How unbeleivably crazy is that... its such a reality check for those of us who take advantge of our lives and waste the moments that God has blessed us with. It broke my heart but brough me so much joy all at the same time... in all reality Im not really "called" to hospital ministry... honestly... I wasn't really "called" to Africa... but I was called to be used and to bless and to teach and to learn and have my life flippd upside down... God's word "CALLS" all of us to feed the poor and care for the sick... that's not to say my life is any more valuable and special because I'm in n African hospital or whatever... but it is to say that my heart has been radically shook up... my life totally invaded by the voice of God in this season. My prayer for allof you is that you hear that 'call' in your life and answer with a flexible mind and open spirit.
I met a really awesome bubbly fellow yesterday at the coffee shop with Huse. His names Manuel and he's traveling around Tanzania and then to other parts of Africa on just well... I dont know why.... I think hes just back packing and trecking around. Either way.... he was an awesome guy. He just becme a Christian a month ago at this big gathering in France thats apparenty known about world wide called Taize. Sounds exciting... I taught Manuel how to play speed and he whooped me... we had all sorts of interesting converstion about life and God and it was just awesome to pick up form no where with a random foreign stranger and make a new friend... thats what you get when you just kick a convo. :)
We're down to the last stretch of the internship and the mods even gettin a bit solemn. We know the chances of the 7 of us being a team together ever again are slim to none. Of course we'll probably all keep in touch through emil and xanga or whatever but it won't ever be like this again... theres a season for everything... this has been one of the best if no thee best season of my life as a Christian. I've walked in so much faith and have gone through and am still going through so much refinement as a woman of God, a friend, team mate, daughter, sister, besty :P and just in my character in general. I can't wait to go home and share this joys which is overfowing from inside me right now. Although Im sad to leave my team... its even sad because Chrsitian and Dennae are climbing the mountain this week and they'll be gone for 6 days. Pole... (too bad) but how awesome is that ... thy're climbing the freaking mountain!!! Mt. Kilamanjaro! ?Mt. Kilafreakinjaro!!!! LOL more Later gotta go teach the njoro kids how to double dutch... ha ha ha... I love my life... :)
Friday, February 24, 2006
All is well in Tanzania! I even got to go on a Safari this week. Check out the pics below ... Im missin home alot these days but I received a package from my parents with a little taste from home so I will survive.
The team has been bonding more than ever these days and our ministries in the secondary and primary schools have been so effective. Today we spoke at a secondary school in a local village about abstinece/stds/hiv/aids.... and then mary shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and about the healing and restoration god gives us... it was powerful. Their lives were touched and many if not all gave their hearts to the Lord. Scott shared his testimony andwe did some awesome dramas and illustrstions on the heart and keeping it whole and pure...
Its only getting better and better here. Please continue to pray for the following things for our team:
1.That everything will go smoothly with Jills adoption of Noela and Enoch as far as paeprwork, finances etc.
2. Marys vehicle fundraising. Shes been working at raising the money for nearly a year now and shes only got 5,000 USD but we need 16, 000 USD for a decent used vehicle to get us around in ministry (going to schools to speak and villages to evangelize and to get interns and uests around as well as regular errands) for one day of ministry we spent 70,000 schillings (about $67 USD) for our 2 taxis. Unbelieveable! but thats the cost of ministering around here... everythings on the outskirts so we gotta do what we gotta do. so pray that God inspires her sponsors to send in the cash flow for a vehicle.
3. Continued favor with administration in the secondary schools and with the students as well tat their hearts would be receptive and open to the knoweldge and truth we're trying to plant in them about their hearts minds and bodies.
4. Our Pastors Brian and Janine leave next week for the states. After 7 years of minstry Gods claled them back to America. Pray for their flight as well as their new season of ministry and their new life in Charlotte NC. Also pray for our nationals who are also our church leaders that will be taking over services and church business.
5. International ministry: Through out our stay here we've been reaching out to several misisoanry kids as well as just internationals that are here teaching or who are kids of teachers. Pray that the heart of God will shine through us and that they'll find something mroe to their lives. They all love it here but many are still searching for a place to call home as well as meaning to their lives and direction from the Lord. Scott started a 20 somethings fellowship for the internationals and it was effective last week.. hopefully this week it will be as well.
Thats all for now! God bless you all! I miss you so much!
God of wonders beyond our galaxy... you are holy! Holy! The universe declares your majesty.... you are holy..... holy!!! Lord of heaven and earth.... Isn't this sunset beautiful. It's the view from the lobby at our hotel on Safari. John and Scott are doin their best silouhettes... hott stuff??? Maybe not ;P but the sunset is bad!! I I I love my life... I I I love my life... :)
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Yes so I'm glad I got it out of my system because I will NEVER, I repeat never drive on them bumpy roads for 3 hours at a time again! LOL... but let me tell you it was worth every single second... Yes we saw a kill... I even got a movie of it for those sick freaks of you who want to join me when I get home and show it off... I was like 3 feet from the lion and 15 feet from the kill... They tore thsoe buffalos apart! We stayed at the Ngorongoro Sopa lodge which is like the nicest lodge you can stay in and it was amazing... We took in every second of it. It as beautfiul the sunset was AMAZING (there's pic just for you Sara!) and we all had such a good time with one another... The pictures say it all. Oh yeah, as you cna see those are girl lions.... doing all the work tryin to get the bacon for the fam! Independent women!!! :)
This sunset is for SARA! I love you cousin!
Here's a Massai Kid... how awesome.
Yes, it's an elephant! Hey!
Look how close I was to this Zebra!!! I can count his bi racial stripes... diverse-city whoop whoop. :)
Monday, February 20, 2006
Saturday, February 18, 2006
If you have all been praying for this ministry here in Tanz to be effective... it's working! The children in the different villgae here are totally getting touch. God has totally given us favor with the people and they welcome us with open arms. Today we went back to Njoro to do a mini crusade for the children. we taught them songs and did a puppet show. They loved it... having lighter skin really affects how you are recieved. The kids are totally fascinated with us because we're "wazungu" (white people) I even had to have a little conversation with a kid today and explain to him what being half and half is. Gaudy ended up helping me and now they call me "chotara" which means mixed girl. I wasn't too thrilled about just being called white person all the time so I had to educate the generations!! ;) Well now they know... and maybe one day they too can marry a person with light skin and continue the legacy of "chotaras" around the world... :)
God totally moved today with these kids.They heard about a little boy named Samuel who had ears for the voice of God... it was an awesome Bible story recievd very well from them all... then we had the nationals from our church do a really hilarious puppet show for them. They were so excited! Then we made the mistake of throwing out candy in the end and caused an uproar and many were stampeded including all the interns giving out candy. Christian actually was chased around the Saconey (market) by about 50 kids... it went by so fast I couldnt even capture the Kodak moment. :) But I'm sure the few that I did capture will suffice. :)
Here's Scott and his Njoro childrens entourage... it's so awesome that they follow us all the way out of town...
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Yes, same shirt, same day, different kids. :Below are me and the Njoro kids and to the right is the view of Mt Kilamanjaro from their market area. This is the village we went into today to evangelize to. Me and Christian were teamed up with our Rwandan refugee friend from church Valentina. She was our interpreter. We ended not even leaving the spot we started at because the children just swarmed us and loved on us and actually faught over who could hold my hand... we defintly dont get that kind of attention at home. It was so awesome. The mountain was beautiful and the kids were so awesome. They taught us songs and dances and games and Christian and I just ran around with them for two hours... that's the life... I bet there was at least a hundred kids there today. We're having an outreach there on Saturdy so I'm glad we were able to "plant some seeds" if you will. :)
Here's Christian in the song circle... he makes it look so intense. :)
Here are the Njoro kids teaching us how to sing their songs and run around like crazy in a circle.
Aren't these girls beautiful?
Just a reminder: Oh yeah, anyone who looks at my blogs online... please feel free to comment! I love hearing about how much you all enjoy these pics and stories... it makes my day! You don't have to join blogspot or anything... just go ahead and drop me a line! ;)