Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fatima and the American Mosquito

When I was growing up, my older sister, whom I dearly love, nicknamed me, "The Gnat" because I buzzed around her and bothered her so much. (Of course, I believe she really did love The Gnat, even though it was a bit annoying :) As I try to continue to learn Changana, a Mozambican woman named Fatima, has been my wonderful helper! I buzz around her asking, "How do I say that?" "What does this mean?" "Can you say that again?" One day as I was bugging Fatima with questions, I thought about my old nickname, and I decided to give myself a new nickname based on my nationality and an equally annoying local creature...I call myself..."The American Mosquito." Fatima smiles at that...I'm so thankful for her help.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eating and Loving

Last week there was a special meeting in Picoco, where women from five of the Palavra Viva (Living Word) churches gathered together.

There was singing, prayer, teaching, fellowship, and...eating. I've been thinking about the importance of eating in relation to showing love and building relationships.

I heard a story about a foreign missionary in western Africa many years ago. An African man once said to him, "You may love our souls, but you don't love us as people." When the missionary asked why the man felt this way, he said, "because you don't eat our food."

Of course there are many ways to show love and we should love through our actions, words, things, and time...but I think we can also show love through eating.

During the meal at the meeting, I noticed that many of the women were watching me as I ate my bowl of xima. When I smiled at them with my mouth full of food, I was met with huge grins and lots of thumbs up :)

I'm doing much listening and observing, and I'm beginning to understand a little and talk a bit, and I'm trying to be helpful and encouraging. But if I'm not yet showing love in any other least I can eat!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Christian Academy in Mozambique

It was a privilege to speak at the chapel service of Christian Academy in Mozambique this last week, where I had taught from 2002-2004! I asked the students (k-12) what they wanted to be "when they grow up", and there was a nice mix of responses...from princesses and conversationalists, singers and lawyers, to doctors and journalists. We talked about being open to God's leading and His plans, knowing that He has the best in mind for each of us!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sao Damaso

This past Sunday, I went to encourage a small church in an area called Sao Damaso. An American teacher named Chris, who is serving for a couple months at the Christian Academy in Mozambique, joined me :)

 With church leader, Tomas and two of his children, and Chris outside the church.

Chris and I sang a little song in English, Portuguese, and Changana!