Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Just want to let everyone know, we wish you a Merry Christmas! What a wonderful time of year, and one we will surely be impacted by in a whole new kind of way - anticipating the arrival of our new son. Thank you for all your thoughts and (especially) your prayers as we expand the family. To you and yours, be blessed! Hopefully the next post will be about the baby coming (soon)!

XOXO
Darryl & Mimi

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This Is The Month


As we close in on the end of the pregnancy we also close in on Christmas. It's been very interesting for me to spend this time of gestation thinking about how it must have been for Mary. So controversial was her pregnancy, and still is to this day. However, she was so thankful and honored to carry the favor of God for that nine months and give birth to the servant of all. Often I’ve imagined what it must have been like traveling that distance in those circumstances this late in pregnancy. It was difficult enough for me driving an hour and a half away with still a month to go. Then also to imagine what it must have been like to have no choice but to give birth in the most unsterile environment - an animal shed. Wow. Having this baby at home may not be the most sterile place either, but it is the right thing for us (and what hospital is “sterile” really?). I’ve been very encouraged by both Mary and other mothers from third world nations who give birth in mere moments. It is a part of this life, not to be messed with by science in normal circumstances. Our bodies were created for this very event. Giving birth. I can’t wait. We’ve got the baby’s room all set up and the midwife comes this week to set up the water tank. Soon I’ll be posting the birth story of our son. My only concern has been this - what if the ultrasound was wrong and it is a girl? Oops! We’ll make do either way. And we’re all looking forward to it in every way.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BUMP update

BUMP = Baby Under Manufacturing Process. Ha!

So yesterday I felt the baby having hiccups. That was weird. It felt like a strong heartbeat in my belly. I wasn't sure how to scare it out of him, but he managed to get rid of them on his own.

My mom's friends are throwing me a baby shower this week in Winston-Salem. I'm excited to celebrate this lil boy. Still looking at names. Feel free to share ideas!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Two months to go....


Well the baby's room is painted (shimmering bronze) beautifully and ready for furnishings. Haven't decided on them yet. Getting ready to have a few baby showers too which is a blessing in so many ways. So a lot of my free time lately has been studying up on natural childbirthing. I'm getting psyched and preparing my body as well. This experience is not without discouragement from others, but I know I'm making the right decision for our son and myself and it will be awesome! I'm thrilled to be using my body the way God intended. I'm believing that the curse has been broken because Jesus is King. That has been spoken over me more than once and I'm holding onto it with both hands. Amazing how great my pregnancy has been thus far - no morning sickness or other complications. :)


God has been doing the most amazing stuff with us and our church lately. We've been seeking out opportunities to put our teaching from this summer into action. We went to minister with another close church family who put on a feast for the homeless and we loved on them and invited them to the wedding feast with Jesus! And we went to the highways and byways where virtually no one is ministering, and we're speaking words of life over people prophetically and talking to them about Jesus. At one New Age music and dance festival, Darryl painted "Free Healing, Just Ask" on his jacket. It was amazing the comments he got - even there! But one did ask, and received! Our friend Katy went to Uganda this summer and prayed for the dead to raise - and they did. So she went along with us. This weekend some missionary friends from Sudan are coming to share at our church and we're hitting the streets of Aberdeen for some "spiritual readings." It's challenging, but so rewarding knowing you're stepping out of the boat and walking on the water with Jesus! This past weekend we went to visit some friends in Asheville and ministered to some homeless and destitute as well as visiting one of our friends we met in Mozambique this summer. It was so refreshing and good to reconnect and energize each other. We made a connection with her and someone else we know up there so they can get together in Christ and encourage each other as well. We are hoping to go to various cities in NC and do some serious street ministry with some friends. God is doing something! Stay tuned for more.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Photos and various things...

We're getting things together to share with Mosaic our trip to Africa. They've been gracious and patient enough to let us settle back in before getting everything prepared. I'm going to try a link to see if you can view the pictures from there.. http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=732488309&ref=name#/profile.php?id=732488309&v=photos&viewas=732488309 is my facebook page with lots of pictures including ones I was in of others.. http://www.new.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730585904&ref=ts#/profile.php?id=730585904&v=photos&viewas=732488309 and this one is Darryl's. If you're near by and interested, we'll be sharing at 4pm next Sunday October 4th. Whoa! It's already October. The next Harvest School of Missions is about to begin! Well, we've been working hard at getting back into the groove and yet, not losing anything we learned. We literally have to go back over our notes and review what we learned! But a lot of it is written on our hearts. Like the big life lessons we learned: love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. That's what Jesus said was the greatest of all commandments. Love. We long to reach out and love those around us and are learning to just simply "stop for the one" in front of us, as Heidi says. Church isn't just a building, it's US. We are not IN that building but once a week, so what happens the rest of the time is really what the world sees of Jesus. No wonder people don't believe and don't understand and don't choose to love Jesus. Yet, as easy as it sounds, loving those around us AS ourselves, is not easy - and some more so than others. It's a daily dying to self. Unless the seed falls to the ground and dies, it can not bring forth life and produce fruit. Wow. So true.

So here is what we've been up to since Africa. We're trying this stuff out and taking it to the streets of Carthage. Going to the rest home and singing hymns and reading scripture to the alzheimer's patients. What they love the most is the interaction we have with them afterward. Love. We've been trying to get into the jail next door and things are starting to work out in that direction so stay tuned for that update. We're also going to various churches in the community and sharing what God has done with us and through us in the past couple years. We're more bold on our jobs than before, and more aware of the need in this hour. We miss Mozambique a LOT. All that we experienced, and our friends, and the super charged Holy Spirit atmosphere. It went by so fast, I can't believe it.

I just watched a movie - you can buy it online or watch it on Google video - it's called Finger of God. It shows miracles on film, crazy miraculous stuff God is doing all over the world. This guy filmed it more or less to get a glimpse of it himself and figure out what is going on... what he filmed is simply astonishing. Anyway, watch it if you have time: Finger of God by Darren Wilson

As far as baby goes... we're just into the first trimester! Amazing. And Darryl JUST finished painting the baby room last night. So our registries are all filled out and ready to go. Some dear friends and family are putting on some baby showers for us and then we can really start to prepare for him to come in December! I'm glad, we're all excited, and looking forward to each step. Our midwife says everything is looking and blooming great and the baby is getting bigger every day it seems. He's really kicking me in the side(s) now. I think he's getting less and less room and feeling his boundaries. No more laid back relaxing! Time to sqeeze in and huddle up! If you want to understand a little more about home birth and midwifery, check out this movie... it's VERY informative. www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com

We will try to post regularly and keep this up as best as we can remember. Getting used to a different schedule threw me off a bit but I'm getting back used to things now.

Love You All,

Darryl & Mimi

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Settling Back In

Well we have been back stateside for a few weeks now. We're adjusting at different levels. Mainly just trying to juggle the things we juggled before we left for Africa this past May. [How did we do it all? Why did we do all that?] We want to keep this blog to update others on our lives as they unfold. Right now we are processing everything we learned and experienced in Mozambique, missing our new friends from there, and asking God what he wants us to do now that we're back.

On a side note, it just dawned on us that... this pregnancy is well into it's sixth month! *gasp* We have some things to do! So we're making a mad rush to get things done around the house in preparation, not only for somewhere for baby to sleep, but some other things as well to 'get the nest in order' before the baby arrives. By the way, it's a boy! We had an ultrasound this past week and it confirmed without a doubt, the gender of the baby. No names will be disclosed at this time. :) They have gone to a panel (Darryl and me) for review and will be revealed more than likely at the time of birth. Sorry! I can answer one thing for sure... YES, I'm going to carry HIM around in a capulana! :D We are excited, and Jordan is ellated.

Back to Africa... I have almost finished gathering photos to prepare a nice little slide show on flickr.com to share with you all. I will include some ultrasound pics in this (only separate from that category).

Much Love Always,

Darryl & Mimi

Friday, August 8, 2008

Final Post

NINTH WEEK
What a delight to have Stephen with us in Pemba! It was like having a friend to school, we showed him around and he got to sit in on a class with us as Rolland taught about faith and missions. We finished off the last week with some good practical information on taking all of this home - to the mission field. Mel Tari from Indonesia came and spoke and Darryl and I had the honor of going out to lunch with him which was a real delight. It was amazing to finish strong and sad to leave all of that behind. Graduation was incredible as Heidi preached on her commissioning sermon on Isaiah 6, "Here I am, Lord, send me!" We went out to eat and packed up the next day to leave in droves. It happened so fast we didn't really realize it until we arrived in Zimpeto. We can't wait to get home now though and spend time with our familes and friends and going over in greater detail our experience this Summer.

ZIMPETO
It's nice to be in a familiar place now. Although Pemba was starting to feel like home. We are all just so overjoyed to see these ones again and pick up right where we left off. They have grown so much! We feel at home here with these kids. Some things have changed but the kids are still the same rascals we met last year. Pinto says hello Chris! And we have a suprise for you when we get home.

So one week from today we will be on our way back to America. We are really just spending time with the Lord and with ourselves and with the children just decompressing now. It's a good thing because it would have been too much of a shock to come right back to America - this place seems affluent enough compared to where we were! See you all soon. After this, we will use this blog to keep updates on the baby! We're at the halfway mark now and I'm feeling little kicks ever day. It's exciting! Get your name recommendations ready.....

xoxo,
Darryl & Mimi

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Outreach & Eighth Week

OUTREACH
Last weekend we went on an amazing journey into the bush. We joined Heidi in a village that had never heard of Jesus before and shared His love and healing power. Amazing healings took place as we prayed for people, and a lot of people gave their lives to the Lord for the first time. Heidi bought a piece of property there and we prayed over it, built a fence with the Mozambiquans. She plans on living there a few days a week and getting to know the people and the culture and language. After she left we had a great time just getting to know the villagers and see them in their element. This little village is way out where there is really no road nearby. They are self  sufficient and we even had duck and shrimp for dinner one night! We had a blast and hope to return to it one day.
EIGHTH WEEK
This week has been a realization that this school is soon coming to an end. We have not finished yet however, and have a lot to learn still. One day we learned from one of the missionary couples who separated us in gender and we talked about sex. It was a great time of honesty and insight as far as what God intended for us in relationships and why we behave the way we do. We listened to a podcast by Kris Valatton from Bethel Church in Redding, CA and I highly recommend you check it out. It’s on purity. Just a few notes:
-The top 3 reasons for divorce are 1. Sex, 2. Money, and 3. Communication. All the things we DON’T talk about in church.
-The church as 1% higher divorce rate than the world – most likely because we don’t talk about it.
-70% of 18 and over don’t have their virginity when they’re married.
We have been meeting with the Mozambiquan bible school students and asking them questions and them asking us questions and here are some more things we learned about the culture:
-They don’t emote when healed by prayer because when they experience healing by witchdoctors (traditional medicine), they pay more the better the healing they receive.
-The men choose a ‘woman’ to live with for 3 years and they even have children. After the 3 years if they decide she behaves the way they hope, they will get married.
-Moslem men have an average of 5 wives that all live in different huts and they live with a different wife every week.
-Here it is common to pay for things or give tithe/offering with chickens, rice, and peanuts.
Heidi taught on Luke 1:26 about how Mary found out the news of her ‘favor’ that she was carrying and how it mirrors normal pregnancy. She shared the news and not everyone was sharing in her delight. She had a choice to carry it or get rid of it. It took time and cost to carry the favor. Heidi was showing us that when God puts something in us, like a mission or a call (which we all have), we choose to keep it or abort it. If we choose to keep it, it will be uncomfortable and take a while to show and probably make life hard for a while, but when we birth this thing, we will forget all of that just like a mother does when she sees her baby for the first time.
Heidi also preached on Matthew 6:9-10 about us being a “sent out lover.” She asked the questions, ‘What does the kingdom of Heaven look like where you live and where you are going?’ That is something for us all seek an answer to.
Since the Solemn Assembly is going on as I type, some international leaders of The Call have come to organize and put it on. Stacy Campbell is one of them. She has been teaching us this past week also and I have so enjoyed it! She is very practical and logical and just overall normal. She is a housewife from Canada and on the side her and her husband do ministry. She talked to us about getting our hearts right for today’s event and learning to live and walk in the greatest commandments which are to love God with all your soul, mind, heart, and strength. She also taught on praying the bible, which is the title of her book. She said she started doing this and started to see God move. I didn’t realize this, but Jesus only prayed once on his own behalf. John 17:24 where he asked that all people would be with him where he was. This was also the prayer of David which is why we call him a man after God’s own heart. So she shared how things started to change in their town/country when they started having solemn assemblies (Joel 2) and that is why we are having one here.  She gave 7 steps for building a prayer life and they are below.
1.     You must learn to pray
a.     Practice
2.     Determine to work at prayer
a.     It is aggressive, not passive
b.     You have to work at it
c.      You are heard by the attitude of your heart
d.     Laying down is the worst prayer posture
3.     Set a time and a place
a.     You’ll never do it if you don’t schedule it in
4.     Pray to God
a.     Put yourself before God as he is, see what the bible lexicons saw before the throne
5.     Learn the language of the spirit
6.     Pray out loud
a.     Any relationship you’re building is started with language
b.     After a long time you can quietly relate (pray)
c.      So you know when you stop
d.     It is hard to think about something else when you’re talking aloud
7.     Silence
a.     Allow time at the end of your prayer to listen
So there is more to it, but I thought that was interesting and certainly helpful! The other thing she taught on was prophecy. More specifically she taught on ecstatic prophecy and it’s roots in the bible and translations from Hebrew words in scripture. She said she got saved in a regular church and when her husband and her planted a church they always preached against people (like her now) who prophecy and manifest in the spirit. However, it suddenly came on her one day and she has since researched it and found all this valuable information confirming what she has experienced. Then she prophecied over some of the students. She has many resources available, I highly recommend checking them out.
So that’s pretty much it. We’ve all been working on our prayer lives and focusing on Jesus and preparing for today. I’m taking a little break to write you this, but this is an all day event. We’re starting to get ready to come home. We have a one more week here and a 10 day visit to Maputo and we’re then looking forward to coming home. The baby is getting big and so am I!! Love you all.
XOXO,
Darryl & Mimi

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Seventh Week


This week started out with a call for repentance. We had a breakthrough with unity amongst each other but it was time to now repent of offense so we could go further with the Lord. We all felt something was holding us back in the past. So we went to those who had offended us or we held negative thoughts towards and asked for forgiveness and blessed that person. It was powerful and challenging. As Shara  said, “the one to the cross first wins.” This is true. Often we wait thinking it’s the other person’s responsibility or shrug it off, but this will really mess up the church. Honestly, this has been really eye opening and one of the most interesting things we have learned at this school. Not only are we learning how to live in unity with a different culture, race, religion, but also with other people from other nations that carry all kinds of others along with them.  Jesus calls us to have a pure thought life.  As he taught that not only should you not murder, but any who hate their brother in their heart have committed murder already – in this light, we need to have more consideration of how we think. Our thoughts determine our actions. From the overflow of the inside, the outside expresses. It was hard, humbling, and wonderful all at the same time. We also learned that when you are involved with others in Christ, there is this spiritual warfare. The bible says in Proverbs, ‘where there is strife, there is pride,’ and that is what we had to do, put down our pride and get right. One of our friends shared with us how this preacher is a hunter and once out in the wilderness he happened upon a bear family. All he had with him at the time was a gun and knew it wouldn’t be enough so he just emptied the gun into the male bear and ran. However, once he did that the male bear thought the female bear was attacking him and he started attacking her. This is a great metaphor for how it is as Christians. One of us gets attacked (spiritually) and we then attack our wife, husband, brother, sister, friend, etc rather than the thing shooting us. So it’s something to work on. Instead of drinking from the fountain of the enemy, when negative thoughts come into your mind, fire good thoughts and blessings for that person right back into the barrel. It’s a great practice that we are learning better late than never!

We didn’t get much teaching from Heidi this week because we had village feeding and then outreach during her teaching days. However we did learn from this guy named Charles Stock who is the head pastor the Life Center. He taught us a lot about the spiritual realm. I’m about to run out of battery on my friends lap top so I have to post this. Will write more later. Love you all! It will include the most amazing outreach experiences of this past weekend. 

Sixth Week

Sixth Week

Adjusting to the culture and climate of Mozambique, we have enculturated quite well. However, we miss our family, our friends, our home, and American food.  Last week we ended with our 4th of July feast with our home group which included a Scot and a Canadian. It was a blast, but we all realized just how much we missed home.

This week Heidi was having a hard time. Having just returned from the Middle East, she had endured quite a bit of persecution. So she skipped a few verses in her series on the Beatitudes and went right for Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are those who are persecuted…” She shared about many times in her journey about how she has been persecuted and God has brought her through. It encouraged her to remember those things, and it encouraged us not to give up when things get hard.

The second time she taught us she went back to where she left off at verse 8, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” She shared stories from the children she has cared for over the years. One of them was about a little boy who had no family to take care of him because they all died. He came to live and go to school at Iris but he was intent on staying true to his roots as a Moslem. He insisted to them quite beligerantly about how he refused to convert. Heidi took him aside and told him he didn’t have to become a Christian to live here and go to school here, that they would all love him just the way he is regardless of his religion. She went on to say that almost instantly once she revealed to him that he had a choice and it was his choice to make, he told her, “OK then, I really want this Jesus, pray for me!” Heidi encouraged us to look for Jesus in the children, the bible school students, the villagers, etc. Here are a few other points that I took down in my notes but that don’t necessarily go with the theme, as we get off topic quite a bit at times:

-                    Not one of the students or staff present raised their hand when asked if anyone received Jesus in an evangelism meeting.

-                    The hungry always get fed, but not always as soon as they ask. This is a spiritual metaphor for dry times.

-                    Spend time with the broken in hospitals, mental institutions, nursing homes, the homeless, the poor… not to teach them anything or to fix their problems, just to spend time with them and love them.

We also learned from a guy named Paul Black, from Fredricksburg, VA. He taught on the difference between the soul and the spirit. He talked about how once we became followers of Christ, we were predestined to become more like him. That is our destiny. Basically, the difference between the soul and the spirit is that the soul is focused on me, and the spirit is focused on Christ. It’s up to us to discern between the two. He also taught on slavery verses sonship. This was some amazing teaching and he teaches a program called the School of Enoch. He said if anyone was interested  in having him come teach this to their church to contact him. The website is www.cornerstonefellowship.net - we should do this Stephen!  

XOXO,

Darryl & Mimi

P.S. Thank you for all your comments! It blesses us to know you are reading and how it is blessing you to experience with us. I know some of you have had trouble with posting comments, but I know you're reading - thank you. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Personal Update

Now Im really going to throw everyone off schedule - I forgot to bring my notebook on the half mile walk to the internet cafe in the near by hotel. Right outside the window, there is a guy litteraly cutting the grass with loppers. Thats how they do it here. Just a little cultural insight for you today. SO, the update for the Sixth Week will have to wait. We are going on outreach this weekend, leaving Thursday and returning Saturday. Keep us in your prayers as we will be venturing into unchartered territory, with Heidi as our guide and the Holy Spirit as our leader. We wont be traveling far from Pemba (some of the outreach teams have gone as far as 10 hours away!), but this is somewhere Iris has never been and the name Jesus has never been spoken. It is exciting to be on this trip! Heidi goes with one group every weekend and weŕe blessed that she will be guiding us this weekend. Yay! So there will be a lot of stuff to share about that trip as well as the Sixth and Seventh week updates next Tuesday.

Before we came we were told in essence that the first half of the school is the busiest, and it cools down after that. Weŕe still waiting for the cool down part! It seems to get busier and busier every week. Now we are in preparation for the first ever solemn assembly of national Mozambiquanos July 26th in preparation for The Call Africa - which I dont know when that will happen. Weve really been connecting with people, students, leaders, and children this past few weeks. There is so much to share, I am honestly a little overwhelmed at the moment just trying to think of something.

This trip has been amazing. We have learned so much about ourselves. A lot of inner healing and spiritual imparation has taken place in us and the Lord is revealing more and more to us about our lives and our futures. We cant wait to come home and share everything with our church family, and our families and friends.

I want to share what I can remember about last week but then I will just end up typing more later when I bring my notebook. Sorry! Youll just have to wait. In the mean time, I can give you our latest assignment to chew on and/or do for yourself: Write about someone in the bible that you most relate to (how, why, etc) and describe their heavenly visitations. Describe your heavenly visitations (visions, dreams, etc). List eight promises from God for your destiny. List eight promises from God for you for 2008. Now take this assignment and ask God to give you the answers (except the personal heavenly visitations) for someone else. Pretty heavy stuff huh? Thatś what we are currently working on. Its not about what you write or how you write it, but the ultimate goal is an experience with God and greater intimacy seeking after his gifts and visions for you and your life as well as using you to speak to someone else on the same things.

Work on that until we get a new update for you.

Also: look into everyoneś eyes and see Jesus in them. Absolutely everyone. Jesus said, whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me.

XOXOX,
Darryl & Mimi

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Update...

FYI, the little boy that died last week, his name was Jamito and he was 7 years old. He lived in a near by village and went to school at Iris. He had an older sister who saw the whole incident and ran home terrified. Jamito's grandmother is involved with some programs at Iris and comes here everyday. Something they shared with us about the culture here is that when a family member dies, the entire extended family comes from all over and stays with the immediate family to grieve for an entire month. Imagine putting up your family, feeding them, and cleaning up after them during a time such as that. It would be great to have them near by during that process to comfort you but that would be difficult. We're really learning a lot about the culture here and about Incarnational Love - love that crosses cultural boundaries. (I'll write more about this below.)
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Well, we didn't go on outreach after all - which is a blessing! We've been learning a lot. Getting a lot more preaching than teaching but it's still good and we're blessed to have it. Rather than get into what we've been learning in the Sixth Week - which I'll post next week, I'd like to just share some stuff that we've been experiencing, more or less a personal update.

We're getting a lot of good information, but what we are learning most is not something that can be taught - it's something that has to be experienced. Like Heidi says, if this school was anywhere else, it wouldn't be the same. Learning about missions, while being IN a mission field is simply brilliant, challenging, and beautiful all at the same time. Learning other languages, even other etiquette with food, greetings, clothing, interaction, use of language, and even facial expression are all a big part of enculturation to a different environment to love those you're ministering to. Jesus did this, Paul did this and all the other apostles did this as well because they left their town and went into foreign lands to minister and share the gospel of Jesus Christ's resurrection and life. The thing is, a lot of missionaries go to foreign lands, ignore the differences or give up after having difficulty learning language or just disassociate all together and close themselves off in their houses and do things their way. Then they try to go out and teach those people they're living amongst something. Really, we are here to learn from the Makua. An interesting fact we just learned yesterday is that they don't even have a word for selfishness, and that when we were talking with them, it had to be explained. Chew on that for a minute. They don’t even have a word for selfishness. They barely grasp the concept. That’s hard to imagine, a culture without some sort of selfishness. What’s more is that in realizing this, we automatically impose that concept on them when we are outside the gate waiting to hitch a ride on a truck or catch a taxi and some random Mozambiquano insists on catching the ride for us. We assume it’s because he expects something in return – not so. And there are many more situations just like that. These people are so generous and yet they have nothing. They enjoy giving of their selves to teach, to share, to love. Of course there are banditos and violence and things of that nature, but it’s not the culture, it’s the poverty. We have much to learn from them.

Aside from that, we’ve been enjoying the cusine, although there are some things that we miss very much and hope are in our kitchen when we return *wink*wink* like Gramma Cameron’s sweet pickles and beets, pickled baby corn, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, ketchup, organic milk, and just about anything else we don’t have here. Some of the things we can get like the hamburgers, pizza and fries but they are not the same. For instance, the pizza is very thin and has very little toppings. The hamburgers have an interesting flavor and the patty is not much meat at all, plus they put a fried egg on it! Weird. The fries (chips) are usually like home fries, cut and fried from potatoes that were just peeled – very yummy. But the ketchup is often vinegary. They do have hot sauce, Peri Peri, which is VERY HOT and good, but again… HOT. We love the food at the center, but there are times we have gone to near by restaurants for dates, or meetings with our house group, and such. Some students eat out quite frequently, and we planned to eat what the Mozambiquans eat. However, I’ve been having cravings and needing to supplement with some groceries – and we cook together as a house once a week (taking turns). We can make a lot of things, but some ingredients are hard to find, or are just different when you get them like pickles. L Difficult to not have those during pregnancy! Speaking of that, we’re doing great and baby is doing great. Not feeling him/her just yet, but I’m getting less and less tired every day and handling the heat a lot better, and just feeling better all around. Oh, I’ve dreamed about eating red meat lately, so yeah.. I’ll probably get some today! We get some meat with the children, but it’s just not enough for me right now. I’m eating other protein like peanuts, eggs, and chicken. There is a little restaurant at the corner of the center outside the gate we call the chicken shack. It’s literally made out of bamboo walls with little windows and a metal roof. We get a quarter chicken (which are smaller than at home), chips (fries) and a small salad, a roll and a soda all for about the equivalent of $2.50. Amazing! Thanks to this baby, I go there a couple times a week “for the protein.” Yay! Ordering food here at restaurants is different than at home too because you do a lot of waiting. Many times in most every where we have been, you order, and they make what you order right then – there is no fast food here. When we go out to eat, it usually takes a few hours.

Well we’re having technical difficulties on the internet so I’m going to stop here and post this. Will post more later.

Be Blessed!

Darryl & Mimi

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fifth Week

Corrections/Additions:
1. The verses about spiritual armor are from Ephesians 6, not 10.
2. Read Matthew 24 (can’t remember verse and don’t have bible with me) in it there is a verse that says something like this, “In the last days many people will lose their faith because of the bad stuff they see happening around them in the world, bun to their faith despite those things, will be saved.” I’d like to add that to preface the story about the little boy being killed this past Friday.
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FIFTH WEEK – Week of the Supernatural
Well I don’t have much time to write today and it’s a bit early because we were informed just this morning that we will be leaving Thursday for outreach. We were originally scheduled to go next weekend. So I won’t have time to post a regular long update. This update is going to be very brief so my apologies but if you are especially interested in the topic, I would be more than happy to share the information in detail with you from our notes when we return home.

We basically were putting learning to action and learning how to pray for the sick and doing it, learning how to prophesy and doing it. Our teachers included Pastor Jose from Maputo, Supresa Sithole, Bob Johnson from San Francisco, Denise from Las Vegas, Shara, and of course Heidi.

Heidi taught about Luke 14 and the parable of the wedding supper and how we lived that out the previous weekend by serving the lame, the blind, the poor and putting them at the head of the table. Every time they have a wedding they do this, it was glorious.
Wednesday we went to a private beach that the long termers deem as their territory, and rightly so! It was gorgeous! We will have pictures of that when we get back.

We ended the week with a “Day of Repentance” for the sins of our nation. It was powerful. Often as Americans we display our patriotism as “pride.” We realized how negative it really is being in another nation and with people from all over the world and yes, we are blessed as Americans, but we need to remember why that is and where that blessing came from. Independence Day will forever be a day of recognizing my dependence on God.

So a lot of students got a stomach bug from having so many guests around and having to feed them and wash their plates and so forth, almost everyone has had it or is having it even now. A few people got Malaria but are recovering gracefully.

We will be on outreach or “out in the bush” from Thursday to Saturday. We could use your prayers immensely! This will be our second and final trip for the school. We’ll have tons of great stories when we return. Love you all.

XOXO
Darryl & Mimi

P.S. The children look different now. They are much more precious than before.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth Week

Before I begin the update for the fourth week of harvest school I just want to let you know what just happened. Right after class today we were all about to go eat lunch, go to town, take naps, do whatever it is we do on Friday afternoons, and we got news that a little boy from a nearby village was hit by a car right outside the center. We all rushed out to pray over him. Apparently no one saw the accident, although that seems unlikely since people are always around and children are rarely alone. Just a little bit ago they took his lifeless body to the hospital probably an hour after it happened. This kind of thing is not a stranger to this land, in fact we hear of it happening quite frequently – although not right outside the gate. I’m pretty sure some of the Mozambiquano staff from here went with the boy’s body and family members so they are praying there and we’re continuing to intercede. You can pray for the family. It’s something to think about though. Just how blessed are we that these things are foreign to most of us – however, of those who tragedy has not been far-off there was more than likely some form of help near by. This unpleasant incident was made even more difficult to observe with no one calling 911, no sounds of ambulance coming, no paramedics arriving on the scene to offer what little they could have for this broken child. Who then do we turn to? This day we celebrate independence as a nation. As we all stood around in the dirt weeping and travailing for this innocent life to be made new, I couldn’t help but feel utterly dependant on God our Father – the creator of life. It pushes us even further in the darkness if we look at something like this and try to blame God somehow. God is good, the enemy is bad – that’s all there is to it. Why did the little boy die? Why has God not raise him from the dead yet like he has others? Well that is not for me to answer but it would be an even greater tragedy if I instead blamed God for the loss of life. He knows all things, I don’t. What I do know is that God can use every bad for good. So this is still very fresh as it only just happened within the last two hours. I just wanted to share that with you. Life is precious. Therefore, love those around you like it were so.

FOURTH WEEK – Gift Activation
This week was very interrupted, busy, fun, and exciting. This week we were visited by over 4,000 guests as far (I heard) as seven hours away that came to attend the wedding supper and the conference where Pastor Jose from Maputo and Surprise (pronounced Supresa) Sithole preached along with Heidi. During all of that the students, visitors, and bible school students were all busy serving in the kitchens for hours, cleaning latrines, baking cakes (8 per house!) and doing various other tasks. I got to cut some hair believe it or not, which has been funny to do in Africa – probably the last thing I thought I would do here! And I also helped sew some of the bridesmaid’s dresses with some other girls who were much better seamstresses than I, but I did what I could (Mom, you would have loved it!). During the conference, it wasn’t interpreted so we came and went as we could, with 4,000 people it was challenging constantly, and I needed to rest a lot from all the extra work but I got the nurses’ recommendation about half way through that I shouldn’t be doing so much so that was a nice break – that’s when the hair and sewing came in, so I contributed what I could while Darryl did the real hard work. The meetings were amazing though – to be in that atmosphere is unexplainable, it has to be experienced. Everyone dancing, singing, all for Jesus! I think I wrote about it already though. But often as I was resting, Darryl would go with some others into the meetings and pray for people there. They saw malaria healed, fevers disappear instantly, and many other things including a deaf baby’s ears opened right before them. Speaking of signs and wonders, did I share about when Darryl prayed with a couple other guys in the mud hut while we were in the bush? About the man who hadn’t spoken in over 10 years? If not, I will next time.

So we were moved out of the church building and into the prayer hut which is up on the hill. It was quite a climb for me, but much cooler than in the church building. Shara said this was the week of gift activation and putting legs to our words. She taught on the power of the tongue and we prayed for healing on each other and the visiting Mozambiquanos, and we also prophesied over each other and over the visitors. Other people we hadn’t heard of who are long termers here shared as well. Our visiting speaker was Bob Johnson – Bill Johnson’s brother. He is still here and we are learning from him still this week. However, last week he just gave us an into to his ministry and how that works. They go out on the streets of San Francisco and treat “hell’s trash like Heaven’s treasures” and love the kids. He said that was the two things God told him to do to win the city. He shared about how we don’t have to clean the fish, Jesus just told us to catch them – the Holy Spirit does the cleaning. This guy is really funny and I enjoy listening to him. He tells some great stories of what they have experienced and one in particular that I loved was about this homeless guy that they had been ministering to and then he decided to give his life to Christ and as they turned to pray for someone else on the street, the homeless guy came up and said, “Hey, lemme do that thang,” which he meant to pray for the person, then asking, “What was that guy’s name again? That we’re prayin too?” So that just goes to show you we don’t have to be so wise or full of God to walk in His light.

This week with Heidi was short because of the conference but she was continuing her teaching on the Beatitudes with “Blessed are the merciful.” She shared about giving yourself away for love and love alone. Someone was telling me about a guy they knew who went to work with Mother Teresa but didn’t know the Lord and couldn’t handle the poverty. I don’t think I could handle being here and seeing what we see here, especially after today, without love.


INDEPENDENCE DAY
We’re getting some stuff from town today to celebrate July 4th with you via Africa. Today though, in class we spent time really declaring out dependence on God and repenting for national sins as more than 10 nations were represented today. Revival starts with repentance. So anyway today as a house we will have chicken, potato salad, and cucumber salad - that's the best we can do. Eat all your yummy food on our behalf! Especially the burgers and hot dogs and other traditional July 4th stuff.

So it has been mostly learning by doing this past week and even up to now. We’re really getting into the meat of the school and it is amazing. We also are starting to really really miss you all. Know that we think and talk about you often.

Love In Abundance,

Darryl & Mimi

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Third Week

First of all, WHOA – what an exciting time we are having right now! It’s difficult for me to even write about last week because of what is going on this week – but I’ll try my best. Just to give you a little preview of next week’s update, we are sharing the base with 3,000 visitors from surrounding village churches that have been coming in since Tuesday. We’ve been running out of water and food, cleaning latrines (except me, don’t worry!), and serving food to the multitudes for hours each day and it’s just wonderful! There are so many people everywhere! Last night was the first day of the conference (which is why everyone is here) and tomorrow is Rolland and Heidi’s daughter’s wedding. We’ve all been baking cakes and getting ready for the wedding feast! The Mozambiquanos (Makua tribe) are some of the nicest most welcoming people I’ve ever met. Last night we danced for what felt like hours, and very well could have been. The women would grab me by the arm and pull me into a train that was parading around the room or into a dance line showing me the steps and giving me the thumbs up when I did it correctly. Men were all around wildly dancing in groups and even making little dance circles where they could display their fanciest steps (kind of like breakdancing), and kids running around, loud music, smiling faces, and just wild crazy fun exciting worship! It was a huge party! So, we have class this afternoon instead of this morning and tomorrow will be amazingly wild so I’m updating early.

By the way, I’m in my second trimester now! Doing great, feeling great, sleeping great, eating great – I think I’m actually gaining weight and so are my housemates… they all have sympathy cravings and excessively snack along with me! It’s funny. We figured out that there is a “sign” of pregnancy where you wear a capulana (cloth used for a skirt and/or carrying babies) across your shoulder as if a baby were in it, as a sign of preparation for the baby. So, now I can let everyone know without trying to explain why I can’t lift the humungous pan of rice and beans.



THIRD WEEK – Theology
Last week was difficult in a lot of ways. We had just finished two amazing weeks with several amazing speakers. Then we jumped into the dryness of theology. It was great information and some of it I will share, but it was difficult to swallow and stay awake at the same time. It gets pretty warm after 9am so being tired from increasing duties and responsibilities, classes, and workshops made for a good nap environment, bad school environment. Plus it has been on again off again with the water situation. Apparently the whole town is out of water and Iris has been hauling (buying) truck loads into the center. We’re all conserving as much as possible: taking showers every third day or so, washing clothes when really really dirty, saving sink water to flush toilets with, and so on. It’s difficult for Darryl and I to really rationalize doing things like mopping, cleaning, and bathing when the very water we use to do those things is what the rest of the center depends on for drink – this wakes you up a bit to your blessing – at least we have money to buy bottled water to drink.
Some of the added activities that were overwhelming at first and seem like nothing now that all this conference/wedding stuff is in play involve things like doing art classes with the children, helping with horse riding lessons (yes they had horses donated too!), hanging out with the construction crew (which Darryl is doing), and infant playtime (which both Darryl and I are doing). There are other activities but I can’t remember them. The little ones are just precious. They haven’t really learned how to manipulate and ask you for things with a sad face, holding food behind their back and telling you how hungry they are. I mean, it’s understandable why they are that way, but we came to bring them love and attention which they can’t buy or steal. Anyway, the little ones just want it all – they want to be held and want to play and pull your hair and pee on your lap and most of them have scabies or ringworm among other things. But we love on them anyway. They’ve stolen our hearts! And they LOVE when Darryl and I come in there together. One time they were getting him to kiss their hand and bringing it to me to kiss, as if it were Darryl I was kissing. So we figured out what they were doing and just kissed each other in front of them. Well, they went nuts! They loved it! Screaming and jumping around wildly and begging us to do it again. We imagine they haven’t ever or rarely have seen that, being that most or all of them don’t have or know their parents, and they are taken care of by Tias which are like Aunties. And they all ask me over a dozen times, “You have baby? Where?” and I point to my belly. Not all of the children are delightful, and a lot of them are not delightful all the time. But we still love on them and often, you see a change in them with that unconditional display. A lot of these activities are really tiring so taking naps every day has been a must. Especially with night class sessions.
OH yeah, we went out to a hotel restaurant near by called the Nautilus. It was nice. We go there some times and check our email in the lobby, but we have to wait for hours because there are only a few machines. So after our last message we went and had this amazing meal overlooking the bay of Pemba as the sun set – it was gorgeous, but we couldn’t help but feel like we were doing something bad or wrong. It really felt like vacation, and we’ve been here sitting, eating, and living with the poor so it was strange eating a fancy meal in a fancy place in fancy (best we could do) clothes. But Darryl had some good chicken and chips (fries) a salad, and a Coke and I had a mixed meat kabob that was about a foot and a half long! It was SO good. Oh, and chips and a salad with that too. I’ve since been craving those chips with salt and vinegar, mmmmm!

Now to the teaching: ((It’s been interesting learning from people with such different views on things and even contrasting views and ideas at times. It shows us that we don’t have to conform to a mold or agree with everyone – we are all one body and it’s really important for us to function in unity and with love.)) We learned from Don Cantell who has been here at Iris for over 10 years. He taught us about the Kingdom of God. He was showing us how this is the most important subject in the bible (Matt 13, Luke 8). He pointed out how the church is only mentioned twice in the bible gospels and the kingdom is mentioned 120 times. Also, that the Great Commission is for believer – not when you go, but as you are going, wherever you are going – to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them. He defined disciples as followers, to reproduce the original in a disciplined, obedient, and strategic way, to replicate his example, teaching life and that Jesus was a disciple of God. Another day he taught us that discipleship results from harvest, and harvest results from understanding the kingdom. Most churches don’t teach the kingdom, but that should be our primary concern because that was Jesus’ primary concern. A stunning statement he made that felt painfully true was that “never before have so many Americans called themselves Christians (born-again) and it made so little difference.” Authentic Christianity should be centered in a kingdom priority in everything we do (tv, recreation, time, relationships, etc). A lot of believers and missionaries think that the gospel is to be preached unto all the earth before the coming of Christ, but it’s the good news of the kingdom that is to be preached unto all the earth before the coming of Christ.
We also learned from a guy named Bob Eckbald who wrote a book called A New Christian Manifesto. He was interesting and controversial at times with is liberal background and invited many questions and debates. He preaches in prisons near the border in California (I think).
Another couple who has been here for five years shared and it was just what we needed. It’s probably something that should have been taught at the beginning, but it was well received and right on time. The husband was from Wilmington, NC and the wife from Brazil. They met here in Mozabmique and were the first foreign marriage here – they had to create the papers! They shared about their experience and how they stepped into the offering plate and gave not just their money (since God doesn’t really need that) but their time – which everyone has equal portion. The wife shared about how unforgiveness and dissention between believers is actually the enemy’s greatest weapon against us. If we have drama between believers, we create problems in the church and keep unbelievers at bay.

This was my previous email that I’m posting now (thank the Lord it was still on the computer I left it on!) and the wedding/conference was a blast. There were actually over 4,000 visitors we found out today and most of them are in the process of leaving so things are returning to “normalcy.” We are going to have an ‘off’ day tomorrow as a school and they are taking us to a real nice private beach for the day, yay! There are some islands near by that you can see from the shore across the street from the center and some hotels near by host boating out to them to snorkel the coral reefs. We may do that this weekend so my next post may be later than Saturday – hopefully not, there is a lot we’d like to share about the week and the weekend and so on. Until then, know that you are blessed and highly favored! We love you and miss you and can’t wait to show pictures!


XOXO
Darryl & Mimi

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What a half way mark!

Sorry we dont have up our usual weekly update. I had it all typed up after how ever long it took to do and by the time I was ready to post it, the internet was down - which happens here, so Iĺl have to go back to town to retrieve it from the computer I saved it on, and post it then. Blerg! Anyway, here is a little about what we have been doing LATELY.

Rolland has returned home (here) and we have been joined by 3,000 or so visitors from surrounding villages (yes, Africans) sleeping, eating, and pooping on base with us during this weekends conference. Although the conference started Thursday and ends today, they mostly arrived last Tuesday and will probably stay until this next Thursday. Its been interesting and challenging getting into that low place of service and still exemplifying the fruits of the spirit during exhaustion from working in the hot kitchens for hours every day serving food and washing dishes, and cleaning latrines (which Im thankfully exempt from). Yesterday was the wedding of the Bakers daughter and we had a big wedding feast afterward where we invited the lame, the crippled, and the dying to sit at the head of the table and it was HOLY CHAOS for about 4 hours of chicken dinner, cake and soda for everyone and dancing on the dirty food spilled floor. No, you can not imagine - Ill just go on and tell you that. So weve been pretty busy to say the least. Hopefully Ill have up the update by Tuesday so you can still get in on what weve been learning. This weekend has really been practical application time. Just to give you an idea though - the Third Week update is about Theology and the Fourth Week is, like I said, practical application and gift activation. Those updates will come soon - practice patience in the mean time - we sure are having to! As they say, T.I.A., for This Is Africa. It sounds great I know, but we are really truly enjoying every minute. It was a real honor to serve last night and to see how many people gave their lives to Jesus today at church followed by an immediate baptism service in the Indian Ocean. I DID manage to get pictures of that, although well see how they come out. Well, we are almost half way through now. Its been amazing and Im sure it will continue this way until the very end. Love you all and post more very very soon!

Oh yeah, and I made it successfully into the second trimester with no morning sickness! Yay! Baby is 3 1/2 inches long and starting to make facial expressions. Aw!!! Not feeling baby yet, but will be soon Im sure.

xoxo
Darryl & Meg

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Second Week

By the way: the apostrophe symbol doesnt work on these computers because they arent a part of the Portuguese language and I cant figure out how to change that – so just FYI, please bear with us!

PRAYER REQUESTS

Sachi and Laura are out in the bush this weekend. Sachi comes back this evening and Laura tomorrow evening. Were eager to hear about how they went. Before leaving, Sachis group was in a little vehicle accident before even leaving the grounds. Apparently an unruly child got into the four ton truck full of people and equiptment and attempted to drive it. He didnt make it very far before jumping the enormous roots of one of the elephant trees and smashing into the overhang/porch of the church. A Mozambiquan bible school student fell out of the truck and was taken to the hospital. A few other Mozambiquans were hurt as well. Keep them in your prayers, but especially pray for the unruly child. His name is Titos (prounounced Tee-toosh) and apparently this isnt the first episode of his as he was deserted purposefully from his parents knowingly, and taken to Iris. They later found out his parents were in fact alive when they were told he would have to attend his fathers funeral. So he is going through some things and is in much need of prayer and deliverance – Heidi asks that we pray for the spirit of adoption to come on him in a very real way.

PRAISE REPORT

Rolland is doing much better and will be returning home soon to attend his daughters wedding here in Pemba!

SECOND WEEK

So last week was all about intimacy with the Lord and how vital that is in our life as Christians. I forgot to mention that we studied Matthew 25 and its relevance to this topic as the parable of the 10 virgins; 5 were wise and had oil for their lamps, 5 were foolish and did not bring oil. The 5 who were wise counseled the 5 who were foolish to go buy oil because they could not give to them their oil. When the bridegroom came to join the 10 virgins, the 5 who were wise had enough oil to keep their lamps lit. The 5 who where foolish had no oil and the bridegroom closed the door to them and would not let them in because he did not know them. Jesus is talking about intimacy with him in this parable. The oil is the time we spend with him getting to know his voice and his heart. The 5 who were wise did this. The 5 who were foolish did not because they were busy with other things, ministries, church activities, and other good things. Read that scripture, and ask God to give you revelation to what that means for you. When Jesus (the bridegroom) comes, even though you go to church, and do good things, if you dont know him he will tell you to depart from him because he doesnt know you. Its wise counsel for us all to spend time in intimacy with Jesus – quiet time alone with the Lord every day.

Getting back to the Second Week Update: this week was all about Heart Surgery. Shara talked about God giving us Beauty for Ashes. A missionary from Zimbabwe talked to us about Getting Filled at Gods Table and calling the Last the Least and the Lost and how vital it is for us to bring those into the Kingdom. She had a heavenly visitation where she was at Gods table in Heaven and there were people there that she knew that she had brought to Christ. As she went down the table there were empty seats. She asked why there were empty seats and Jesus told her it was seats reserved for people she was too cowardly to share the Gospel with – because of selfishness. Another missionary from Australia shared about Ungodly Beliefs that we allow ourselves to believe that if you buy into, can become strongholds in your life. An example of one is when we say, Im a failure, worthless, and cant do anything because Im a victim of my circumstances. When the truth that God has for us is, You can do all things through I who strengthens you. She challenged us to pray that God would reveal more ungodly beliefs in our hearts so Gods truth could come in its place. Another lady shared on 2 Peter 1 which says, His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. The enemy has three tools: fear (future), offense/division (present), and shame (past). But we have virtues to fight back with: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.

Heidi continued her series on the Beatitudes with Blessed are those who morn and Blessed are the meek. She is giving us these to digest one by one through the lense of missions because they are the very self portrait of Jesus, and as one of my housemates put it – the code of ethics for Christians. As far as those who morn, missions is all about finding the mourning and comforting them and not giving up when it gets hard. How does God do that? Well, since God is a Heavenly Spirit, he uses US. So he is looking for those he can put on like a glove, a yielded vessel that he can use, and all who are called into his light are called to do this – to be like Jesus. When she talked about meekness, she said God will reveal more of himself to you the lower and lower you go. She uses the word kinosis a lot which is the Greek word (?) for emptying of self. She also shared with us Pastor Jose from Maputo s testimony and how even though he had nothing, he gave everything away – his house, his car, his clothes, and how to her that was the image of meekness. This fell in line with our next homework assignment, which I extend as a challenge to you: Who in your life exemplifies the Beatitudes and how?

We had a guest speaker this week and this is the most exciting thing for me to write about thus far. As intriguing and challenging every class and every speaker has been, this couple from Holland were by far the more interesting. Mateus and Rebekah Vinderstein shared a lot on the Holy Spirit. They are very hip and real and down to earth. His main theme was if you see the invisible, God can do the impossible. He also shared on how it is most important for Character and Anointing to be in balance, and how the biggest warfare is between our two ears. He shared his testimony and then his wife shared hers. WHOA! This is still provoking my thoughts. You can look her up and probably watch a video from Patricia King s show, Extreme Prophetic, of her giving her testimony but basically she was in satanism from a young age, raped over 200 times since age four, and could open doors with her mind and saw people walk through walls, be sacrificed and all kinds of crazy things we are so sheltered from (thank God!). But then watching her friend get beaten to death before her eyes because her friend decided she wanted out of the coven, she decided she wanted out too. But she was at a Benny Hinn conference and was wayyyy up in the top back corner with two other girls – they were there to put curses on him. He called them out and told them to stop cursing him and that the one in the middle (Rebekah) was going to be saved soon. She was delivered not long after and has since been living for Jesus! The testimony of how they met romantically was amazing too as she had a vision of them married with a child learning to walk in Africa – which happened just last year! So she can still see in the spiritual realm very clearly and has to really focus to turn it off when just talking with people. She sees angels and the demonic all the time. Oh, and she said when they were at the Benny Hinn conference that he was covered with a white light and what they called a White Wizard – someone they couldnt touch with their curses. She said every Christian has this white light that is made stronger by intimacy with Jesus and intercession/prayer from others. This is yet another reason why it is so important to have both a close relationship with Jesus and to pray for others! She also said we have both a guardian and warring angel assigned to us at birth. She told us of how if we have unclean spirits and cast them out, that they can return later to see if you are still keeping yourself clean, and if not, they will come back seven fold. So this is why she recommends we put on the armor of God and pray Ephesians 10: 8-13 every day and at times more than that if necessary, to release angels (we have not because we ask not), and to speak life over others because in our mouth we have the power to curse or give life. So it was very very interesting and I have many questions Im going to email her with so Ill share those answers when they come.

The rest of the week weve been learning Portuguese songs, prepareing for the Solemn Assembly on July 26th (24/7 House of Prayer), doing color activities like village feeding which is about 2 hours of organized chaos, followed by our eating off the dirtied plates the children ate off of that were blessed and rinsed in the dirty soap water they washed their hands in. :) We ended the week with snorkeling in the incredibly salty but clear Indian Ocean, and Darryl was invited to go spear fishing with one of the guards who he has been building a relationship with since weve been here. However, we just found out his son was killed in the road so please pray for his family in this hard time. These people see this happen all the time and weve heard of it a lot just since weve been here – we are truly blessed beyond our imagination. Our biggest challenge has been finding that quiet alone time with the Lord – building intimacy with Jesus. We can not make it here without that. Pray for us in that way, although we are contending for it and have to daily.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Anniversary to US!

Well, not much time to post about the second week at this time, but that will come hopefully Saturday. In the mean time we are celebrating our fourth year of marriage by going out to dinner for the first time since weve been here. Weve been learning a lot and going through a serious spiritual enema! Thats what Im calling it. Last week was all about heart surgery week they said, and it was. We had a guest speaker from Holland and I can not wait to share about them!! And Heidi continued her series on the Beatitudes. We also took a snorkeling date on the week end which was great for us to get alone in the Indian Ocean with the tropical fish and seaweed. The water here is so salty you can float right in it (Dad you would love it). We miss everyone and just want you to know we are thinking about you all the time. Sometimes we even think we see you in the sillohettes of other westerners after the sun sets. Weŕe still doing fantastic and getting our hearts broken for the people here - so much to learn from them and this culture. Like this nugget I realized today: I now know why some cultures shake hands with just the right hand or just bow to greet each other, why they carry their food covered at all times, and why they take their shoes off at the door rather than wear them inside... because of latrines! Once youve gone in them and used them, you want to follow those standards too and hope everyone else does! By the way, and Iĺl put this in the Second Week update, we have water again (finally!) after a few days of rain, believe it or not, during the dry season. It has taught us a lot about necessity and need and our dependance on the Lord. He provided rain enough to fill up our dry sisterns and now we can take showers, flush the toilet, USE the toilet, wash dishes, and brush our teeth. Try to imagine life like that. What if America was like that? Hmm.. write more Saturday - Love you much!
xoxo
Darryl & Meg

Saturday, June 14, 2008

First Week

We’d like to share every detail of what we’re experiencing here but obviously that isn’t feasible. So instead I’d like to give a basic overview of what we learn each week. We’ll hopefully have some pictures up soon too – as I’ve found a way to get them on the computer without a cord. So, it’s been a busy first couple of weeks and we’re SO excited to have this, our first, day off.

FIRST WEEK:
A lot happened the first week, although most of it involved introductions and adjustments to living, culture, and climate. Classes started on Tuesday so we were able to have at least a couple days to get settled in to our new little mud brick home for the Summer. The first week of classes involved a lot of introductions of long term missionaries here, and we got started on our Portuguese classes. Here is some basic Portuguese we learned:
Hello/Good Morning = Bom Dia
Good Afternoon = Boa Tarde
Good Night = Boa Noite
How are you? = Como esta?
I’m well, thanks. = Estou bem, obrigado/a
See you later. = Ate logo.
Bye = Chao
So that’s been fun using that around with the kids, the guards, the Mozambiquan workers, and the other students. They also have a language called Makua, which is the name of the tribe here. That language is a little more difficult. All we know so far is how to say hi and thanks. And when ever we do use that language, the people light up, but then giggle a little at our efforts. Here is an example of that:
Hello = Salama
Thanks = Gooshukooroo
(I tried to spell that phonetically. The r’s roll by the way.)
We’ve also been getting our schedules and our first assignment, which I’ll share in a moment, and trying to make sense of all the activities and places and times we need to be each week, as it differs for every one.


Shara, Heidi’s assistant, has been teaching us a lot. She grew up in a Jewish/Indian home that didn’t believe in Jesus. She got saved at 13 and spent a lot of time hiding in her closet praying and reading the bible. She said she would go to “babysit” or “study at the library” and really be doing to church and prayer meetings. Her family thought they would get her out of Christianity by sending her to an Ivy League school but that only fueled the fire for her as she organized events and evangelized on the campus of Princeton. She heard about the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and moved down there living in her car for months. From there she went on a missions trip to Africa with Todd Bentley (the guy who is being used in the revival in Florida right now) and there met Heidi. There the Lord told her she would become Heidi’s assistant and soon after that, it came to be so.
This week she taught us about the three gardens in the bible: the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden of Paradise. She broke down how each garden represented a time and a place not only in the stories in the bible but as a depiction of relationship with God. The one that blew me away the most was the Garden of Gethsemane and how it mirrored a Jewish wedding ceremony. “The son is given a cup to drink and he then gives it to his love. If she then drinks of the cup then they are betrothed.” (It’s interested about how the bible begins and ends with the metaphor of marriage, but that’s a whole other blog.) Then she shared with us how in Song of Solomon it writes about being a garden enclosed, a locked garden and how Kings used to build these gardens for their wives that where measures of their nobility by how large they were. They would delight in their Queens in those gardens, those secret places created only for them. This is how it is with our relationship with Christ, as we are to be that garden enclosed and he is to dwell within us and he delights in us. That’s just a little taste of that 2+ hour class. (I can post the scripture references on it, and will do that in the future, so you can look up more on these topics if you choose.)
Another day Heidi started her series on the Beatitudes. Her first lesson was “Blessed are the Poor in Spirit” and just what that means. Mark Muirhead says of the handicapped children they minister to in Jamaica every year that they are “handicapped on the outside, but we are handicapped on the inside,” and the same is with this topic. Compared to the rest of the world, the west is rich. Guy Chevereu said if you own more than one pair of clothes and eat more than one meal a day you are richer than the majority of the world. I think we are very blind to these facts in the west, and it’s a very real separation of the have’s and the have not’s here. So, back to the statement made by Mark Muirhead, in relation to this, these people may be poor monetarily, but are rich in spirit. They know what the spirit world is all about and see it, hear it, feel it, live it. Witchdoctors have a big presence in their lives and demonic spirits, curses, and other spiritual manifestations are part of their every day reality. However, in the west, we have to a great degree taken the Holy Spirit out of the equation of church and replaced it with a religious spirit. So in those respects we are poor in spirit. The bible says, blessed are those who are poor for they will inherit the kingdom. (In describing the events of the weekend of this week, you’ll see more of what I mean here.) So in being poor in spirit, I think we often don’t realize it or accept that, and some of you may even be offended at those statements. But the thing that I’m realizing is that we have to be poor in spirit. If we think we know it all or have it all under control or feel we’re doing a good job of handling our lives and our churches and our ministries etc etc, then we are not dependant on God. To be a child is to be dependant. One lady here had a vision of heaven and when she walked up to the gate, it was really small, all the doors were small, and everything around was small – child sized. I think we forget what it’s like to be dependant as adults because so much of our lives are centered on independence. So Heidi closed asking this question, and we found out later it was our first assignment – to write a one page paper on this topic. I challenge you to think about this and try to answer it for yourself: “What is good news to the poor?” How to you take good news to the poor? What does that look like? How can you approach a poor and dying person and tell them that God loves them and has great plans for their life and that he wants them to live a life of abundance? How do you bring this good news to a paralyzed person who has come to receive healing but is still paralyzed?

The week ended with a surprise schedule change for our team (Open Heaven Blue) to go on outreach. We packed up and drove about 4 hours in the back of a flat bed truck with about 30 others (students, visitors, and Mozambiquans) with all our stuff and sound equipment to a little village outside of Nampula. This is what they call ‘the bush.’ We got there, set up our tents and then made some beans and rice and showed the Jesus film in Makua (a pretty interesting thing to hear!). Then we had a time of testimony sharing and called for prayer. We saw all kinds of healings happen right before our eyes: stomach pains, headaches, limb pain, and more. It was like a chaotic mob of people begging for prayer and then you’re faced with what little language you know to ask, “where is the pain?” and “is it still there?” Then we played African music on the loud speakers and danced into the night. It was awesome! The next morning we handed out little bags of candy and cookies (which are so not sweet according to western standards, they are more like crackers) to the kids – talk about chaotic! Some of them would get back in line and we’d be saying, “OK, I know I saw that power ranger shirt with the two holes in the shoulder once or twice before.” Then we packed up again and headed to another village, and did the same thing. It is weird for these Mozambiquans to see our little tent villages I’m sure, all these instant homes with bright colors amongst their mud and bamboo huts. During the day we had church services by the way – which are so delightful and energetic! We sing and dance and sing and dance and sing and dance, and them a few groups will get up and lead a sing and dance and another sing and dance, all in this tiny little four walled mud and bamboo hut with ants and spiders and some grass mats on the floor. I think in K.P. Yohannan’s book it talked about someone saying “it’s hot in here, the AC isn’t working, I’m uncomfortable” at a church and an Indian woman who was used to sitting on the floor with no AC packed in with other people responding with, “what does comfort have to do with church?” After church had ended some guys stayed behind to pray for this man that wobbled into the church hunched over and eyes and mouth pursed shut. He hadn’t spoken in over 10 years. After about 45 mintues of prayer, he walked out of the church standing upright, eyes open and telling everyone his story. He accepted Christ and they told the Pastors to really disciple him. We’ll share more of this story when we return, because Darryl was there and he can tell you what he saw. Later that evening we went to a school, which was more like a picnic shelter at a park in the west, to show the Jesus film in Makua again. This time it was a little different. There was a much more Muslim presence and a lot of drunks and it was SO DARK outside, but you could see the stars even on the horizon and the milky way looked like clouds it was so clear! Some boys set up a little ‘store’ near where Darryl and I were sitting that was used liquor bottles filled with sweet tea (Southern sweet tea has nothing on their sweet tea by the way! Whew! *pucker*) and people would buy a swig of the tea and afterward, return the bottle that the boy would dip in a bucket of water and refill, tipping off to an even balance by taking a swig himself. This is Africa! When we did the alter call it was a little scary I’ll be honest. There were so many people, but they were seriously hungry for the Lord. Around 250 people accepted Christ eagerly, and again we saw so many healings right before our eyes; a lot of the same things, stomach and head pains (probably from eating what they can find, and carrying things on their heads and not drinking enough water). And a guy’s eyes were healed from partial blindness. It was amazing, and good to get back to what seemed like civilization to us! What with having to use the latrines (a hole in the ground, often without walls), and being outside constantly, we ended the weekend with a nice visit to Pemba beach. Remind me to tell about the gas station in the bush sometime!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Settling In

Well in the middle of week two we are getting quite settled in to life here in Pemba. We have literally been going non-stop though since we arrived. We started the first week of school with an amazing mind blowing learning experience from speakers from Global Awakening, language learning, Heidi Baker, and her team. Then we were zoomed off to outreach on Friday through Sunday. We were scheduled to go next week but got to go early. It was good because we got to set the bar for the others and bond with our team early. We do outreach activities with a pre-set color group. Ours is Open Heaven Blue! And all we get along great. We saw almost everyone we prayed for healed and about 250 people come to Christ in one night! Amen! I want to post a lot more especially about what we have learned from the speakers, but I forgot to bring my notes to this beautiful internet cafe by the turquoise Indian Ocean beach and weŕe off for an ice cream date. So Saturday we are resting in the Lord, snorkeling, and will come by and share more then. FYI - weŕe doing fantastic and growing!

LOVE YOU ALL,

Darryl & Meg

Monday, June 2, 2008

Beginnings in Pemba

Ola! Como estaa?

We've been in Pemba for a few days now. Today we ventured off the base to some shops and to post a new blog. Pemba is nice, much nicer and cleaner and seems to have a better economy than Maputo. But it's HOT! I don't know the actual degrees, but it feels like midsummer in the sandhills and it's only 9am! We don't even need a sheet as a blanket to cover us at night! I'm trying to stay hydrated and not overheat so the rest of the group is off about town going from little shop to little shop and I'm in the internet cafe that looks like a grass hut from the outside! We took a taxi in with a 'tour guide' (someone who's been into town before). It's very tropical here. And the Indian Ocean is right across the street from the Iris base, it's beautiful! I haven't been to see it upclose yet. I wish I could show you pictures, maybe I can if I find a cord for the camera.

Yesterday was a national holiday - Children's Day. A great initiation into the school! There were 3,000 people from the surrounding town all at Iris. Heidi preached, and we fed the kids, gave them presents, and played games with them. It was "Holy Chaos" as she calls it. [Rolland is apparently in the hospital, although we're not sure why - the entire service yesterday was in Portuguese and Makua. Keep him in your prayers.] We had this spiced rice and some of the best chicken I've had in a long time! We're really longing for some fruit so we're getting that while in town today.

Barely any of the kids speak English here so we're really getting a chance to learn some Portuguese! In fact, the Mozambiquan Bible School students (who are in training to become pastors), love to trade language lessons. We met a guy named Powa who is teaching us Portuguese in exchange for some English. They really emphasize relationship building here so they encourage that exact thing, and to eat lunch with the national students every day. Mondays are their fasting days for breakfast and lunch so they encourage us to join in on that as well (Don't worry - me and baby are getting plenty of food!). Today is our day off school though - thank goodness! We start class tomorrow and we'll be more ready then, as it has been a whirlwind adventure already with travel and disorientation to new surroundings.

There is a student compound within the Iris base with about 15 little houses, and then and off base sight with about 5 houses. Each house is cynderblock with red mud stucko, a few small windows with screens and bars, and broken marble 'tile' floors. We have a tin roof and grass porch overhang. There is a front and back porch with banana and papaya trees around - it's beautiful to watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean there! And excellent for quiet time with the Lord. On the on-base site, Darryl and I are in a house with Sachi, Laura, and three other ladies. Darryl and I have our own room and bathroom, and the other ladies are on the other side of the house - we share a small common area or kitchen. We have minimal running water that can 'run out' if we use too much - plus it's cold so easy to take short showers when necessary. The sinks are leaking so Darryl is finding something in town to fix them with. He's come in quite handy to the base - with all his skills! Darryl and I are the "house parents" and we organize house meetings and worship/devtionals. So that works out geat for our Sunday evening prayer meetings we planned to do, linking times with the prayer they have at Mosaic! We are all split up into different color groups/teams though that will do various activities like go on outreach and various class assignments, etc.

Tthe other ladies in our house are from different countries, one is a missionary from Cambodia one is American and one is Scotish. I think we have the most Americans in one house. There are some other Africans from other countries here as well. Other nations represented are Korea, South Africa, Germany, Israel, England, and that's all I can remember right now. There are lots of doctors and nurses here as students also. And two midwives! So that's good to know.

We're starting to get on the time schedule. The sun goes down and comes up early early, so it's different, but we're adjusting quickly and fairly easily. I think it's the temperature mostly that is taking longer to get used to. Especially since us women have to keep so covered up (nothing above or showing the knees). It's pretty warm in our house too, although Darryl and mine's room is the coolest temperature wise. Lots of multicolored lizards around. I've seen a few crazy looking bugs, but nothing scary or dangerous. The most dangerous things so far is all the sandspurs! They stick to the bottom of our shoes and come in the house and then fall off, so when we walk barefoot - ouch!

We're looking forward to jumping into our busy school schedule and getting to know Heidi and the rest of the Iris team. This will truly be the greatest experience of our lives and we're filled with great expectation spiritually. The kids and the Iris staff, Bible School (Pastor) students, and Mozambiquan staff are very friendly and we're enjoying every moment. We'll post more as we experience it in the next week or so. Stay tuned and feel free to leave us a post of your comments and or updates on what's going on.

Pray for me in dealing with the heat. I find it a lot harder to deal with pregnant. I know God is my strength though! And again, pray for Rolland Baker as well as he is in the hospital.

Much Love Always,

Darryl & Meg

Friday, May 30, 2008

In South Africa [Jo'berg]

Well, we've made it. It's about 11pm here right now and all of you are eating supper right now. We had an awesome flight(s). God gave us tremendous favor on the long plane rides. On both presumed full flights we were blessed with an empty seat between Darryl and I and were able to stretch out. Let me type that again, we had an empty seat, not once, but twice!! It was a BIG blessing, after all we are traveling with three so it seems only right! Also, on each flight we were able to get right on the plane and get the guitar in a stow away space without worry of having to check it. We flew over Canada from Detroit, and into Amsterdam where we couldn't see anything because of rainy weather. Then we were able to see Italy and northern Africa and a lot a lot a lot of desert on the way down before the sun set this evening. We've met a lot of others who are on their way to the same place along the way as well. It's been great, and we're ready to stretch out in our beds! We have a nights rest until the morning when we return to the airport for transit to Pemba. Thank you for all your prayers, just wanted to let you all know we arrived safe and sound and in great spirits! No worries, grace grace grace, favor favor favor, all the way. Thank you Jesus! Our next post will probably be after our first week or so of school so until then, be blessed!

MUCH Love in Him,

Darryl & Meg (and baby - who, is doing great by the way)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Leaving Day.....

Here we go! In the next few hours we will be flying high in the sky on our way across the world. I can not express enough in these words the love and affection we have for our family and friends. We'll be thinking of you often, and praying for you always. We hope to make a post in our overnight stay in Jo'berg, South Africa - our last stop pre-Pemba. We love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxox

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Getting Ready to Leave

In two days we'll be leaving for Africa for 11 weeks. We're excited, tired, and a little anxious. We've been getting things together, making last minute preparations, spending time with family and friends, and trying to finish up our requirements pre-arrival. So, it's been hectic to say the least. But we're looking forward to what God has in store for us and sharing that with you.

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone for their love and support through these past few months of preparation. I know it's been difficult and we appreciate every concern, meal, guidance, warning, financial blessing, service, and everything in between. Most of all we appreciate your prayers, and we are honored and blessed to know that you'll be lifting us up while we are away from our home, family, and country of origin. Know that we are in God's hands and we will be recieving much training while there as well as giving our all and laying down more and more of our lives to the Lord each day. Feel free to leave us messages of encouragement here as comments to our posts. We hope to share what is going on with us weekly or every other week. We're not really sure how frequent we will have and how the connection will be so no promises, that is Africa.

We'll miss you and be thinking about you and more importantly, we'll be praying for you all the time and especially as a small group on Sunday afternoons 2pm EST. Our time zone will be 6 hours ahead by the way, so it will be 8pm for us. We love you and may God bless you for all you've given in our support.

XOXOXO
Darryl, Meg, and baby

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Welcome to our life of blog.

From Meg:

We officially have a blog for you to periodically check on us and see how we are doing and what we are doing. Here's the latest: things are calming down for us self-employers after the busy holiday season and slow new year which was mostly made up of catch-up and tax preparation. We are getting to feel like we can finally breathe. It's interesting, no matter how much you try to simplify, you will still feel busy. We all have the same amount of time in this world - it's what we do with it that matters. After returning from Africa we felt a deep desire to simplify our lives, home, jobs, etc. Darryl is still working a lot, but I've slowed my client load and tried my very best to keep school at the office and not bring it home too. It was too much! We have really found that the time we do have at home is so valuable, especially when focused on Jordan. So that's where we are right now.

This warm weather has us getting a bad case of spring fever! And that means, it's getting closer to time to return to Africa. We hope to go with Mosaic August 1-21, although with school starting the 18th of August... that is a bit of a concern. On a side note, we applied for the school in Pemba - so depending on our acceptance, we may be there for longer (June5-Aug1?) and return home after a short visit to Zimpeto. We'll see. It's SO in God's hands at this point because either way we have no idea how we would finance it. We're just being obedient and trusting Him to see it through.

Jordan is doing great. He got straight A's, and all 'Satisfactory' on his latest report card (which is the most exciting to me), and one 'Outstanding' behavior! No 'Needs Improvement' or 'Unsatisfactory' this time around! No siree! We are so proud. Can you tell? He's really growing up and really starting to turn into a little man. It's strange and wonderful to see all at the same time. I can't wait to see what he does with his life. God has such amazing plans for him.

Well that's about it for the first blog. We'll keep you updated periodically - so check in!