Friday, November 2, 2007

3 Angels in one day

I have had a wonderful experience this past almost half a year in Mozambique Africa. Again God has taken me to another level with Him and I have had time to bask in times of prayer knowing that only God would be capable of pulling this situation off.
One short story I will share is this..

Janine and I have three trucks...2 Toyota Surfs and a small white truck maybe a Nissan I can't remember right now. Anyway the little white truck was causing us some problems and it would die on us at the most inconvenient times so we decided to take it into Beria to have our mechanic look at it. Since one of our other trucks was already there and ready to be picked up this sounded like a great idea, take this one in, pick the other one up.

So we take off for Beria and about 10klm out of Dondo the truck starts acting up so I pull over and lift the hood, make a small adjustment to the carburetor and we go on. Then about another 2klm the truck starts jerking again and so I stop again and make an even larger more aggressive adjustment to the carburetor and we go on. Then pretty soon the truck starts acting up again and finally I cannot get the truck to run any more. So we are sitting along a very busy road, and I am under the hood of the truck and a beer truck pulls over and this young man comes up and asks me what the problem is and I tell him I don't speak Portuguese. He says, "What?!? You don' speak Portuguese?" I said, "No" He rolls his eyes and then Janine gets out of the truck and they start speaking Portuguese and trying to figure out a plan to get us to where we are going. Then an older gentleman with white hair gets out of his truck and he tries a few things to get it going. I might add here he did nothing more than what I did but the darn thing started! I think it needed a rest quite frankly. He said, "We will follow you into town to make sure you get to where you are going." So off I went and left him in the dust and we never saw him again. He was our first angel of the day.

On down the road another 5-7klm the truck wanted to die and Janine is telling me...we can't stop here it is too dangerous...keep going..keep going...I don't care what you have to do...keep going. I just flatly told her, "If the truck stops I can't help it." It did, but just for a moment. I was able to get it going again and off we went.
On down the road and at last we are on the outskirts of Beria about ready to make our last turn to go to our mechanics garage. And around the corner we go and you know what happened. The truck stopped and there was no way it was going to start now. It was done and we were sitting in a very busy two lane road and we are stalling traffic and cars and trucks on both sides of the street are honking at me to get a move on it. Janine is praying at this point and I am trying to figure out the next move. All of a sudden a group of about 6-8 young men in their late teens or early twenties came up and started pushing me out of the way of traffic to a safe place. They came to the window and said put the hood up we will fix your truck. At this point I was willing to have anybody fix it! I was laughing because this was funny by now. We were not in a good place and we did not know any of these people so what could I do? I had to laugh because this was a God only situation. We had a large amount of money on us because we were going to pay the mechanic for our other car's work and buy food for the next team that day. So up the hood went and they all drove into it trying their best to fix the problem. In the meantime Janine called our mechanic and he came within about a 15 minute period of time. When he pulled up got out of his truck walked over to our truck all of the young men stepped aside. There is a humbleness given to older people in this culture. Guess that makes me look good here too! Anyway he did something and the truck started again and we drove to the garage. But before we left the young guys we gave them a coin that would buy them some bottled water. They were thankful and so were we. Thankful no one knew how much money we had in our purses! Then at last we drove into the drive of the garage and I jumped out of the truck and ran away from it. I think someone cursed it......not really we found out it had a cracked distributor cap.

At the end of that day we laughed and laughed and were thankful again for the Lord's protection over us. Thank you if you were one who prayed for us that day.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baptist Women's Conference of Mozambique

The excitement and tension began to build as the days were approaching the Baptist Women’s Conference in Dondo, The food for the most part arrived in the back of a pick-up truck and each women brought with them either a bag of sugar, flour, some oil. The cost for the event was $2.00 in American dollars, or 50 Metacash in Mozambiquian money. In the end every woman who wanted to, had the chance to come and join in on the jubilation.

The first group of women I met were from Myuchunda. There were about 8 ladies, all with children. I sat and introduced myself and begged for mercy because I can’t speak much Portuguese and they were all laughing because they didn’t speak much either, their tribal language was Sena, which is common around here. Whenever I think that Portuguese is difficult all I have to do is think about Sena and Portuguese is easy. Oh my gosh! These women were beautiful, as I would find all of the women who would pass through the gates of the courtyard into the Baptista Church of Dondo.

There are many stories to share about this event of a lifetime for me and other Americans who would come to serve the African women of Mozambique. The work of the Americans from Denver was a time of serving and getting to know how hard the work is here in Mozambique.

Each day the women from Denver would begin their day by getting to the church site by 7am to begin making breakfast for 350 women plus children. Buttering bread and making cha’. Now it doesn’t sound like such a big deal huh? Well there is a certain way that the women here do this job and they wanted to train the Americans to do the job correctly. What we find in our American culture is that we do our jobs quickly and sometimes without much care for the result, just so we get 700 breads buttered before they want them. Oh I need to mention that each woman would get two breads. And those who had children had to share with their children what they received. Is buttering bread a big deal? No, but they like a lot of butter so, we Americans are not used to using this much butter because we are always so weight conscious☺ But here, butter is part of the meal, and with lots of it. And the cha’ which is tea, has tons and I mean tons of sugar in it too. So why are the women here all so skinny? Because they work like we would never in our wildest dreams think of doing. And they walk everywhere, unless they take a bus and if they don’t have the money they walk. For hours and hours everyday just for the smallest of needs.

After breakfast came the beginning of each morning session where we began with singing and dancing from different churches. Each church was represented by who could come, or who could afford the trip and they danced and sang what they had prepared for the Conference, all dressed in wonderful matching African attire. One church only had 4 women who came a long journey to be here and the women just sang their hearts out. The room was a blaze with encouragement from the other women for their spectacular performance. We were all on our feet singing and dancing at that moment praising the Lord for even the smallest of all things.

Then would come the special event of the morning. A special speaker to encourage the women with stories and scripture. Words of encouragement were given for their walk with the Lord and a word of encouragement to memorize scripture when it was available. Many many many women here can not read, not to mention have bibles. Especially the women from farther out, away from the road in the bush.

The small church that I minister at in Centro Emissior there is only one bible and it is in Sena and belongs to the wife of the leader. The Sena bible is the New Testament because of the translation difficulties.

Then again, a meal was served. Rice, chicken, and one potatoe. It didn’t matter the size of the chicken or potatoe, each plate received two cups of rice, one potatoe and one piece of chicken. Fortunately for me there was always a Fanta orange to drink. Each day we would sell every bottle of pop we had. One night a woman came by and said, “I’m not drinking pop, I don’t want to have to pea in the night.” We all laughed!

We laughed because at the church were 5 sleeping places where the women and children slept on the floor on their capalanas. The rooms were covered from front to back with mats, sheets, capalanas and bags. When it came time to go to bed, you would find yourself walking around, jumping over and tip toeing by to get from one place to the next. In the middle of the night, in the dark, that would be a challenge. Unless of course you had a place right next to the door. One late night before bedtime, I went into the room where the women from Centro Emissior were sleeping and laid down on the floor besides them and just watched the room of women interact and have fun with each other as they prepared for sleep. I was amazed at the similarities of Americans and Mozambiquians in our fun moments. I must admit though, we more than likely could not find 350 women who would sleep on the floor for 3 nights at a women’s conference and eat rice and chicken, with no showers.

Friday afternoon a nurse from Denver gave a short session on health, sanitation and dental hygiene. It was well received and many questions were asked. It is amazing that the simplest of information is coveted here. As Tania the nurse spoke and then translated into two different languages, the voices were a stir, talking about how could they do what she was asking. Tooth brushes, and using soap, bathing at least once a day. Cleaning their nipples before nursing, wearing clean clothes each day, this was new to many of these ladies. We felt like the session was successful and understood of it’s importance.

After the afternoon sessions, it was time for dancing and singing from more of the visiting churches. It was fantastic! Unbelievable! And the greatest thing of all was that it was all to honor God. The scriptures talk about the singing of praises never stop, this was another piece of evidence to me that while you are in bed in America, we are praising God here, and while we are in bed you all are praising there. It is so cool to see the revelation of the scriptures take place before our eyes.

Again the women of Denver would assist the ladies here to prepare for the evening meal and serve it with some help from some teenagers in the church. Rice and fish and one potatoe, same deal, different meat. Have you ever eaten 2 cups of rice at one setting? It is a lot! The fish, I could leave behind, no thanks. But always always the Fanta orange. I had to have my pop fix for the day.

The evening session was dancing and singing and some preaching one night by Pastor Jeronimo. Pastor Jeronimo is the leader of the Baptist convention, the pastor of the Dondo Baptist church and the leader of the Ray of light project that I am connected with here in Dondo. I have had the honor of becoming friends with this fine man and seeing how God is using him and moving his vision to change a generation of children by offering them an education and giving them God’s word for hope of change.

My most favorite part of the whole convention was this, each night after all of the hoopla. The real fun started when everyone who had any energy left, danced in the court yard. Different churches would teach other’s new steps and teach new songs and they all were preparing for the last day of events. On Sunday a group of women, some from each church would dance for the Sunday service to show the community of believers what they had come for.

Different women would pull us Americans in to try to do their steps and we would all end up in a laughing fit. There is just no way a white woman from America could keep up with the steps of an African tribal woman who dances day and night. These women just dance for everything here, it is amazing to watch and even more amazing to be a part of. I love the culture here. When they laughed, it wasn’t to criticize, we were having fun and they would encourage us to do more, to stay in there until we would get it and then they would all clap and praise us for being able to end at the same time they did. What a wonderful time of praising the Lord with our sisters across the world. We would dance until almost midnight each night. It is not a wonder I was pooped at the end of the week.

All in all the end result was that God was glorified. I made some new friends that I will again dance one day with, maybe not on this side of heaven but certainly there.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Today was a difficult day

Today was a difficult day in Dondo.
July 15, 2007

This morning I woke up early and started to prepare my heart for the day. I knew coming into this morning that we would be going to a funeral of a small child who passed to be with Jesus just yesterday. The child had some kind of illness that gave him diarrhea and he became dehydrated.

As we drove to the home where the village people were gathering, I looked around and the streets were somewhat empty this morning. We found a place to leave our cars and started to walk deep into the village where we would find Felix and his family.

The home was small and already there were many women inside singing. The men sat outside at the house next door also owned by a family member. When we walked in, mats were laid on the floor and in all three rooms of this small home. There were women sitting, there to encourage and support the family mourning. All seven of us walked in to pray and to pay our respect to the family. We sat and joined in on the singing as much as we could. I have learned to hum the tune even when I don’t know the words and just pray.

Janine had gone into the room where the mother and child were to meet with them. After a few moments she came out and asked to me to come in as well. I got up and walked around and through the crowd of women to where the women of the family sat in grief.
There lying on the floor covered with a cloth was the baby and the mother lying beside him. A candle was burning to give light to the room and the grandmother sitting in the corner grieving. I spent several minutes praying and asking God to encourage them. For His mercy and grace to be their strength during this time. After a few more minutes I stepped outside so more of the other women could come in a pay their respects.

I left the house and two young women were outside crying so I sat with them to comfort them and pray. The mother of the baby came outside with her Auntie while they prepared the baby for burial. At this time the church leader and some of the remaining men went inside and took the boy and placed him in the casket. The child’s casket was made of wood and covered with a white cloth that had been nailed to the sides. The men carried the casket out and placed it on a chair while the grandfather and uncle took a wooden cross and wrote the boy’s name on it with a pen. FELIX and the length of his days.

Many women were crying and grief surrounded the grounds. The Pastor then gave a short meditation and then we all walked through the village to where a truck was parked for the family and the casket. The remainder of the people walked to the cemetery where the services would be held.

The walk was only about a ½ of mile to the cemetery. The road would wind back to the grave sight where the baby had already been placed by the time we arrived. The services began with the Pastor sharing words from scripture followed by encouragement and asking others to consider their lives and their need for Jesus. The service ended with the grandfather placing all of the child’s clothes in the grave. The last thing was,
everyone taking a plant twig and placing it on the grave. All of the surrounding graves had the same appearance as though twigs had been placed on them as well.

Walking back to where our cars were parked there was evidence of a device that a witch doctor used. I prayed for protection for all of us walking through this path and trusted God protection.

We walked into church late but yet in time to be with the church family for a few minutes before leaving to go to the prison to visit with a young man from church.

Our friend Alberto found himself in jail and a story too long to tell but our visit was an encouragement for him. The prison system here in Dondo is not the same as any I have seen or heard about in America. This is a place that one would not want to be. The visitation room is a building outside of the jail entrance. When we arrived Alberto was there with his sister. He didn’t know we were coming so it was a nice surprise for him to see all of us. We sat and talked for a few moments and prayed for a lengthy time with him. Shortly after a friend from the school where he works came to visit. It was so sweet to see them embrace and his friend keep his arm around him while they prayed together.

This culture is so different, and I love how people love each other here. There is always a kiss on the cheek and a hug from your friends and a handshake from everyone you meet with a tone of respect. There are many things about this culture that are difficult too. There are people who are in extreme need, the sick, the dying and with no help. I wish I could do something to help more than I am. I pray for God’s mercy to be on these people.

Life here is hard.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

This is a short one:)

Yesterday Edna and I and two other ladies were coming home from Centro Emissoir and we were just
entering into Dondo. I could hear a train..and I kept looking around but I couldn't see it. I thought, "well I
know that there is a train track here somewhere but I think I have already passed it." The train was blowing
it's horn and I started to slow down but it kept getting louder and louder so I started to speed up and Edna
starting yelling, “Katch, stop please!” There ahead of me was a man with a green lantern, and the one and only
barricade arm was down. I stopped, we were all laughing. There it came, the train and the man and the
light with a bell and the arm down. It was a sight that one would only see in Mozambique. One man, one
light, one bell, one barricade arm. The train went by and he walked across the track with his light and bell
and lifted the barricade and waved us on. Oh my gosh........ life here is hard. Everyday it is something
new... everyday I learn something more about the life of Americans and how tremendously blessed we are.
A railroad crossing.... one man's job.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Gorongosa Park

While we were traveling to Gorongosa Wild Life Reserve, the roads were absolutely unbelievable!! There is no way I can explain what I was traveling on. Passing by the villages young girls and boys would come up to the car and want to sell you wood items and food. Sometimes shrimp the size of your hand! They are unbelieveably big here.

Driving up into higher ground the roads are terrible with holes the size of 5 gallon buckets. The main road travel took about 1 1/2 hours and then it took almost an hour to travel about 8 miles! Between the dust and the holes and the washed out road, I thought that the truck was going to fall apart. Of course I was much more fearful with the travel to the park than I was with the drive home. I knew what to expect on the way home.

At one point I met another truck in the road and so I passed to the side of the road as much as I could and the sand was soft and it pulled me right into the ditch. I was able to get the truck out but with the speed of the tires turning it only threw us into the other side of the road into the ditch. I slammed on the breaks just before we went totally down the side of the ditch. I was able to back out much easier. Then on to another several miles of the road continually worsening. Finally we reached the entrance of the park and I felt a sense of relief only to find there was still another 6 or so miles to go before reaching our sleeping destination.

Once we reached the actual grounds where we would stay, the campground was absolutely breathtaking!! I don't have any pictures yet but the team we took will have some so I will eventually. It was so peaceful and tranquil, just as God has created it. The birds there were amazingly astounding. The brilliant colors and sounds were like none other that I have ever experienced. The sleeping quarters that Janine my team leader and I had were great! We had electricity from 5pm to 8am and hot water with a shower. It was great! There also was a place where we were served good food. A couple from Wisconsin lives there and the wife works for the park in the park shop and the husband is a scientist who is doing research on the environment and wild animals, lovely couple.

We got up early the next morning to go out on a drive through the park to see if we could capture any sights of wild animals, I had a flat tire. What a blessing that the tire did not blow out while we were on the road while traveling. The rangers advised us not to drive in the park without a spare tire, and I was under their authority at this point!! No way Jose was I going in there without a backup! The park maintenance men took care of everything, changing the tire, fixing it and at no cost. It was a God thing totally.

About 8:30 we were on our way into the park so capture any sights of animals we could find. Gazelle, water buffalo, storks, really cool looking spiders webs that were enormous, wild bores, baboons, lots of really cool looking birds. No lions, no elephants, no zebras. Lots of poop! So we know they are there. We also found elephant prints in the mud and fresh poop:) hehehe I couldn't smell it but everyone else was complaining. I said, "what the heck, at least we know they are here!" There was a truck we met along the road and they said they saw the back end of an elephant going into the jungle.

There have been fires in the park and that has driven many of the animals back into the jungle on the north side where there are not any roads that travel into the area. We were also told that during the war three army's fed off of the animals in the park so the numbers are down considerably as to what they were in the 70's. Mozambique is trying to rebuild the park numbers and adding more animals.

The week before we were there, a couple driving through the park got stuck in a mud hole and their cell phone would not work from the area that they were in. Because of the hour of day the rest of the visitors were already in for the night. 6pm is closing time because it is winter here and it gets dark. They slept in the truck and could hear lions all night long roaring and roaming in the area where they were stuck. YIKES!!!! The next morning they started their walk back to camp, they said they ran most of the last leg to try to get to safety.

On the way home along side of the main road there was a man and his son who had built some furniture and because my house doesn't have anything yet, we stopped and bought a loveseat, two chairs and a lamp table. The last team had left 60.00 for something nice for the house and guess how much the furniture costs? That's right 60.00! A God thing. As people visit they are helping me make my house a home. A God thing, He provides.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Mutondo Church Plant

This has been a very interesting last three weeks. And I have many many stories already to share. The most recent story I think has come the closest to piercing my heart as any thus far these last few weeks.

Our intentions were to leave home for Mutondo around noon on Saturday morning so by about 1:30pm we started on our African trek into the bush. We drove West which seems south to me here, I am totally screwed up with directions it is so weird. 60 miles up the road then stopping in a small village with tons of action and really cool jewelry, we bought some goods and bought everyone on the team a soda. This would be the last of a cold drink for the next 2 days.
The road to the north was dirt and not so bad just dusty and traveled lightly by other automobiles, mostly people on bikes and foot. The scenery was beautiful as we looked across the horizon in hopes of seeing a zebra or anything likely to be found in Africa. Ahhhh, Africa! It is beautiful. I am thinking, “I’m in Africa this road isn’t so bad, how far are we going into the bush anyway?” We were all amazed at the sights and nature at it’s best. Soon we drove over a slight hill and we come upon a small river were there were children playing in the water, women doing the daily washing of their clothes, some bathing and others drawing water for their water cans. And then a sight that was somewhat frightening, there was the bridge. Yes the bridge, this wasn’t like anything that I had ever seen before. When I was a kid there used to be a bridge on the west side of Marengo that crossed the Iowa river that was similar, but this one that I was analyzing was even a bit more of a challenge in terms of, ‘how in the world are we going to cross this alive!” Actually I was relieved to think that I was not the first truck that was going over this work of art, Pastor Jeronimo was in the lead. I would just wait until he was completely over then I would go and drive on exactly the same boards as he. I watched very intently, then drove where he did and found myself pressing on the pedal to speed up the closer I got to the other side. WooHoo! We made it and took a turn to the left to follow the river bank. The road all of a sudden turned into a one lane path that was not like any other road that I had yet traveled during my driving experience here in Mozambique, Africa. Tall grass on both sides not allowing any vision of what may come out of the bush, and people and bikes trying to make their way to their destinations as well. Dust flying all over the place it was hard to see where we were going and the wind had died down so Pastor’s dirt was flying straight into our faces. We laughed about the roads we were on and our journey into the bush when all of sudden a black pig ran out in front of the truck and I’m thinking, “if I run over this pig, I’m going to get killed for killing the fatted pig.” Fortunately, he was a quick little guy, and by the way, there are no fat pigs here. It is really unreal how they get any meat off of these pigs. The road kept getting smaller and smaller and we kept laughing saying at any moment we were going to just come to a point and then we would be there. Well, we weren’t too far off because the road narrowed to a foot path and we traveled on that for about 2 miles and finally we came to a bend and children started running out of the bush and yelling, “ta ta! ta ta!” then one more turn to the right and down the path. You could see the top of the church and as we drove just a few more yards. At first I couldn’t tell what was happening and I could barely see. As my eyes were better able to focus what I saw pierced my heart, men and women lined up on both sides of the road dancing and singing and dancing and singing, “praising God for our safe trip and a welcoming!” It was a sight to behold, we were the honored guests. This was only the beginning of what we experienced in dance and singing and praising to the King of Kings. The men gathered together for some fellowshipping and a time of learning more about Jesus from Pastor Jeronimo. The women and babies had a baby check where the children were weighed and measured and checked for any simple problems. Everything was documented so that the next visit would be a follow-up check and watch the growth of this community of children. Children between the ages of 5-15 played games and had a wild time playing what we think are western games, duck duck goose, I’m not sure what they called it in their language. Then bible stories were told and salvation bead necklaces were handed out and it was craft time. I made about 50 necklaces myself and had the honor of tying them on each child that I helped and prayed for them as I did. This was such a joy for me, they had no idea was I was saying but they always knew they were being prayed for because the name of Jesus is the same in all languages. Oh it was a “Sweet sweet” time. After sunset the church men brought out glass bottles with petro in them and a wick and made some light. They had three lights for inside the church and when we walked through the door it was like walking into a holy place, It was a holy place, it was Mutundo’s holy place. A building of about 20 by 30 foot made of mud with a good roof, tree limbs trimmed for support with two windows on each side and two doors, one in front and one on the side. Looking straight back from the front door was the alter and upon it were two vases of flowers perfectly placed on each side with a white table cloth covering and a glass bottle in the middle with a flame. What a sight to behold. This was their sanctuary, a place where they came to praise, and worship, and repent, and give their lives to Jesus. The younger men brought in chairs for their visitors to sit on and the village women brought in their mats. But before we would sit we would dance and sing and prepare our hearts for the message. The language this tribe speaks is Senna and this is a language that is spoken also in Dondo and around the area where I live so I know some songs in Senna. “A Kuna wa ta ya se Deus, (there’s no one like Jesus).” Over and over singing there’s no one like Jesus, I looked all over the world, and there is no one like Jesus, I look all around and I can not find anyone like Jesus, it is a beautiful song. We danced and sang until late. Then it was time for the guests to be served the meal. For a second time this day my heart was pierced again. We were led into a straw building with two rooms, one being the dining room for guests. There was before us the most beautiful sight! The table was set, the candles were lit with bowls heaping of traditional Mozambiquian foods. We all took pictures as this was something that we would want to look at over and over forever.
We sat and the Pastor gave thanks for the guests and the food. After about an hour of eating and sharing stories it was time for the evening service and testimonies of the visiting Americans. Our simple testimony of gratefulness to God for bringing us to Mozambique to see what He has created for His pleasure was enough to encourage them. Traveling this far into the bush took us to another level of poverty that we had not yet experienced in Dondo and the surrounding area. These people have no real use for currency as we know it, as they grow their own food and barter for other goods. A simple life. It makes life in America seem so difficult, we are obsessed with things and entitlement.

It was late into the night before we finished and we were off to bed. We slept in the car and truck. But before going to bed we all had to look at the stars one last time as it is such an amazing sight. To think about the promise that God had given to Abraham that his decendants would be more than the stars in the sky! Abraham always had the stars to look at to be reminded of how important it was that he be obedient to God.

About 2am I was awakened by rumbling in my stomach and a fever. I thought that I had eaten something that my body was not in agreement with. The fever kept me down for the rest of our trip. I did manage to muster up enough strength to go to the baptism in the river. This was the reason for the whole trip! 30 people from the Mutondo church were being baptized and this was a celebration. We walked to the near-by river and Pastor Jeronimo and Pastor Domingo baptized all 30 as we set on the banks and took pictures and sang and clapped. The sun was about all I could take for the day and when we returned to the church site I slept the remainder of the day until it was time to go home. I had to drive. God provides that is all I can say, God provides. He provided enough strength for me to drive the 2 hour trek back to Dondo where when home at last I collapsed into bed. Dr. Neves was called and determined that I had malaria rather than an intestinal virus. For the next 3 days I lay asleep. It has now been almost a week since we ventured into the bush. My prayer is that the people of Mutondo were blessed by our gifts and visit as much as we were. But most of all, that God was glorified.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

In Just Less Than Three Weeks

Have you ever been somewhere and because of what you experienced your life was forever changed? Wanna go to Africa? In less than 3 weeks I will be on a plane for 24 hours traveling back to Dondo Mozambique. I am so excited to see my friends and kind of anxious to see if I remember everyone's name:) Getting older ya know and I don't remember things like I used to. I surely will remember your face but not so much your name.

I do remember my friend Rita. Rita was the woman in her 30-40's who cooked and cleaned in the house where I stayed. We couldn't hardly speak a word to one another but I would sing to her each morning. rita...ra ra ra rita, (the Lola song with a different twist) she loved the attention and that was my delight of the day to see her smile and love it. Living in Dondo for about 3 weeks I discovered what a wonderful country we live in here in the USA, with freedom and great opportunitites. I also discovered that no matter where I go, even half way around the world, my God is there too. He really never leaves me nor will forsake me. Isn't God awesome!

Keep in touch I will be writing more while I am in Africa! Yippppppiiiiieeeee! I'm going to Africa, I'm going to Africa, I'm going to Africa!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Forgive or not Forgive?

What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin. By not forgiving you have put the blood of Jesus on trial. So, does it wash away sin or not? Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely, then it cannot cleanse us completely. If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! End of case!!!!
"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee, He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Talking in Tongues

That title ought to get some quick attention! I chuckle at the thought of speaking in another tongue. If I think back in my life I can remember speaking different tongues all of my life, There was first baby-talk, and then the rebellion talk, "I"m not going to do anything you ask me to" talk to my parents. The cool talk to my peers while in high school and college, dirty talk, cursing talk, gossip talk, factory talk, music talk, guitar talk, pleading talk, praying talk, the Christian talk. We go through all kinds of talk through out our lives speaking a tongue that others do not understand. Remember when the word "bad" was good? Life is funny, I'm glad that I enjoy it. What I am learning now is how to speak the language of one of the many tongues of Dondo. Portuguese, it is a difficult langugage. I am learning just like a child, one word at a time. There is power in the spoken word. Be careful with the words that you use. Always use tact when speaking to one another. Boa Noite!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Finding our way Part ll

Finding our Way. I must have stared at this line of words for hours. Finding our way. Isn't that what we seem to attempt to do all of our lives? I leave the house and I am finding my way to work, or the grocery store, or to practice music, or church, or somewhere for a good cup of coffee. Finding our way. A friend once told me not too long ago. "I think I have finally figured it out, what this thing is that is inside of all of us! We want to go home, we are all looking for our way home. Eternity, with Christ in heaven, home" My heart and my soul long to be near God, to sit at His feet and listen to His voice. Finding our way. When we know someone who is lost, their souls unsure of where they might spend eternity, looking for a way. We have to take their hand and walk along side of them, encourage them, pray for them, speak the truth to them, to love on them. Finding our Way. We will dance and dance and sing in heaven. Finding our way will lead to finding His way.
Finding our way to His way

Friday, March 2, 2007

Finding our way

Dondo dancer
Dondo dancing! Dancing to the offering box to give to the Lord! Dancing! Imagine if Americans would dance to the offering box and give beyond past their abundance! There's a story of a woman who gave her mite. That was a mighty thing to do. Dancing when we sing. Dancing for hours unto the Lord. Dancing when there is a birth. The whole village dancing! Dancing, singing. praising, practicing while on our journey.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


I must say that staying home to cozy in is a good thing for the soul. Even if it is the weather that makes me stay here. I wish I would have done it more when my children were growing up. Now the days have come that when I am home, it's just me and MacGyver and Magpie my cats. The weather is and has been so nasty that I don't think I would even go out for a soda. Well, maybe, I don't know, I made sure I had some. I know that I would more than likely go for coffee if it were morning!

I have been studing the book of Daniel with some friends and we have been having a blast learning about the life of this man who made up his mind before hand to be obedient to God. Yup, that's who I want to be when I grow up (the female version) a Daniel. Would that make me Danelle? I guess I'll just stay Big Mamma. You just have to know who you are these days. A child of the King!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

March 1st 2007 In the Beginning

Hey All,

The time has come for me to begin the blogging process for practice so when I get to Africa I might have an idea of what I am doing.

What will I do while I am there? Good question! Well, I am going to teach music and help a missionary by the name of Janine with short term mission teams as they come to help the Ray Of Light project in Dondo. I have so much to learn and so much to pray about before I go. Not to mention I have a lot of money to raise for support for while I am there. My plan is to stay for around 4 months. It doesn't seem like it is so long right now but I know that there will be times that it will seem like forever being away from my kids and Grandkids. I love them so much! And I will have a new grandchild by the time I get home. My daughter is due to have a baby, #4 in June while I am gone. I am thankful for the internet so I will be able to see this little guy soon after he is born. Well, this is it! This is my first time! God bless you all who read this. May God show His supernatural favor on you.