Wow! It's been two weeks! Time has flown by!
My trip to Pemba was absolutely perfect and included an exciting stay in Nairobi that gave my traveling companion and I the opportunity to get up close to baby elephants!
My time here at Iris has been absolutely incredible. There have been a few amazing moments that I am so excited to share with y'all!
First day was children's day. In Mozambique, children's day is a national holiday to celebrate children. It was a really big deal for us here at iris and we were expecting children to come from all the surrounding villages to join in celebration with us. Which sounds super exciting and it definitely was, but it was also a lot of work! For days we stuffed bags of candy to give to the children as gifts and each child that attended was given a meal of chicken, rice and a soda! In the end of things we had fed, loved and given candy to 5000 children from the poorest neighborhoods in Pemba. I had the privilege of being apart of a special gift giving process with the girls that live on base in the village of joy and see their reactions to the wonderful gifts that had been donated from around the world for these special ones. To see the genuine joy and happiness on these girls faces was more than amazing!
The program I am apart of is only one entity of iris as there are Mozambicans here as well for training and equipping to spread the gospel in Africa. We are placed into groups and will be involved in ministry with the students in our program as well as the Mozambican 'emy emys' (Mozambican missionaries). Part of team unification has involved games and also special moments like today. We have been taught how to honor one another and to make ourselves not only teachers of the bible but also learners of the culture we have chosen to immerse ourselves in. So today we washed the Mozambicans feet and they washed our feet as a sign of honor and value. Water is a precious resource here and becomes even more valuable when it's not been running for almost two weeks as it has been here now! So to take the time and wash one another's feet and use such a valuable commodity shows honor to one another. As I washed the feet of a Mozambican pastor I felt such pleasure from The Lord and joy at the privilege to serve them as they have walked a hard road to share Jesus with their nation. And what a privilege it was to be served and feel the honor and acceptance from these amazing people I cannot begin to express. There was such a sweet presence of The Lord in that building it covered the room. It was such a beautiful cross cultural exchange.
Life here in Mozambique has truly been amazing! Even in the midst of not having water for about 2 weeks and being covered in dirt! I'm so excited to get to start serving those who serve here long term. I get to spend my Friday nights in the city spending time with girls who are vulnerable to exploitation and speak into their lives and pray for them. My heart is so alive and this place feels like my home!
The verse that has been stuck in my head for days is from Romans 10:
"How beautiful are the feet of them who being glad tiding of good things!"
How beautiful are our feet when we step onto foreign soil and who step into what The Lord is calling them to with hands wide open, fully surrendered and available to go exactly where we're supposed to go!!! Living all for His glory! Nothing else matters!
All I can do is be excited about living in His will!
See you all soon!