Going Deeper Still
I have quite a few stories to share this week! Hope you enjoy them all and feel like you are here with me!
Pt1. Building Friendships
This past week I have gone to several Mozambiquen homes and really begin friendships with them. One of the women’s names was Anna (different one than before) and she has 3 kids. One of her children was born three months premature, and she named her Miracle because it’s a miracle that she’s alive. She is now almost one, praise the Lord. We bought Anna some rice and other supplies to make food for her family. Anna is a strong single mother that is doing the best she can for her family. After visiting her once on Thursday, we visited her again on Sunday. She made us these rainbow colored bracelets because she loves rainbows and wanted to give us something to remember her by once we left. After church she served us a lunch of matapa and sheema (it gets better every single time I have it! Haha I’m obsessed!) with her family. Anna has a real desire to learn English. She has two paper-bound notebooks full of words and phrases that she’s learning. Unfortunately she doesn’t have enough time to go to school because she is busy raising her kids. Then, one of my friends had an idea: we gave her a solar light so that she can study English during the night while her children are sleeping! When she got the lamp she was so ecstatic and could hardly contain her excitement! It honestly was such a joy being there and seeing her happiness. As we were leaving her home, her neighbors asked us to pray for them. One of them had severe back pain and when we prayed over her she was completely healed, praise God! After we left we made a plan to visit her home again this coming weekend to celebrate her birthday. I’ll keep you updated about her and her family. I’m super excited to see what God will be doing through her family and the friendship we are creating with her.
Another mama’s house I went to was so small that she literally had to sleep on her front porch. Her name is Avila. She has 7 children and the small hut that she personally slept in recently collapsed. She had no money and no food and yet she opened us into her home with outstretched arms. We brought bread and cookies and ate it with her and some of her children. Then we gave Avila some fish and rice from the market so that she wouldn’t be hungry. She was so humbled that she began to start cooking because she wanted to make us lunch with the food that we gave her. We told her it was a blessing and that she needed to keep the food for her and her family. Avila was so thankful. When we left a few hours later, one of her daughters ran after us to give us some of her own personal cookies. It was the very end of the package and there may have been at most 4 cookies left. She literally took the cookies, something that was a treat for her and some of the only food that she had, and gave them to us. I personally was super humbled by that. I couldn’t believe that this little girl who had essentially nothing gave something to us that was worth so much to her. It was such a humbling moment to be apart of. Oh and then the next day the mama saw us and gave us a bag of peanuts! Avila wants us to come again to visit very soon :)
We also visited a girl that Heidi actually adopted. Her name is Amina and she lives on base. She invited us into her studio and even though she doesn’t have much she shared her snacks and treats with us. She also made us dinner. We got to hear all these stories of her time growing up, which was super neat to hear. I honestly really enjoyed my time with her and my friends and I already plan on visiting with her again. We are going to teach her how to make banana bread!
God has been allowing me to build so many friendships with women here, it’s been amazing. I can’t wait to continue these friendships and see where they head in my remaining time here!
A few days ago I gave my testimony. Here’s a few words on how that went for me and what an amazing experience it was.
Pt2. The Power of a Testimony
For the first time in my life I gave a full testimony of my life. All details included. Before I gave it, I was terrified. I didn’t know how people would take it or if it would be “good enough.” Often times I feel like there is an image that the story shared needs to be powerful and move people in a dramatic way. That a testimony is a story of someone’s life where they fall into a downward spiral and then at some point the individual lets God save them from it and they become completely restored. For me, I never had that pivotal moment because I grew up knowing God and believing in Him. I never didn’t know Him. He was always beside me through everything that I went through, and yes, I did make mistakes, but I knew that whatever I did wrong God would forgive me of it. He is my Redeemer.
While I was giving my testimony I felt a strange peace. The words just came flowing out naturally. Everything went smoothly and it was super easy for me to just be open and share my whole life with the people in front of me. It was such a wild experience because I was able to fully sum up my life and what I’ve learned through the process in an hour or so. By sharing my story I was able to reflect on everything that I’ve gone through and see Jesus through it all.
After I shared my story, the group of people prophesied over me and for the first time ever I fully absorbed everything that they were saying to me. Often times I begin to start thinking about other unimportant things, but this time was different. I actually had the ability to hear everything and remember it and really take it to heart. Everything that they said was spot on and I can honestly say that I am excited for the future that God has for me. I can already see the direction that it is going and right now I’m only scratching the surface of what’s going to happen. My time here in Africa is a pivotal moment in my life where there is a noticeable shift occurring. God has so much planned for my life and right now I only have a tiny glimpse of what He is going to do through my life. The best is yet to come. I will embrace whatever that is coming my way wholeheartedly. Let’s do this!!