19 August 2014

Memory Making Moments

Meandering through the village. The smiles and giggles of the children were distracting me, causing me to lag behind. One little girl was walking with me, holding my hand and staying close to my touch. Dirty rags for clothes and big eyes melting my heart - hungry for love and acceptance in a world of poverty that steals even the simplest of human affection. An opportunity to "touch" a life.

That's what this life in East Africa is all about.

We arrived at the Mama's house. Baptista was key in building the tiny mud hut. He had done all the mudding himself. The outside walls were smooth and straight. He had finished well and was right to be proud of his work. This once orphaned boy, raised by missionaries, is now, slowly but surely, recognizing his own original created value. Cammi has invested much time, energy and resources into this young man. She has believed in him when it seemed no else did. Others would give him money to start his own business, but no one took the time to come along to help him start. Cammi is doing just that. And in only a few weeks he is the contractor, hiring others to work for him, while building a store from which to sell small items.

That's what this life in East Africa is all about.

Our pace was slow as we gathered in the sights and smells of village life one more time. Cammi and I will both be leaving Mozambique, in the soon coming weeks ~ not knowing when we will return ~ if we will return.

These people have won our hearts, our lives are intertwined with theirs. We came here to give, and find that we have received so much more. The lump in the throat, the tear filled eyes, we are different, and she has made a marked difference in the lives of many.

I watch as my students struggle with the assignments of the day. I wonder, have I made such an impact? Will their lives be richer when this chapter comes to a close? Have I stirred a desire for something of life beyond what they knew a short eight months ago? Have I touched these young lives? Will they know the love and concern of heavenly Father because I was here?

That's what this life in East Africa is all about.

Every greeting comes with a hug - a real hug - the kind that holds on to you while you hold onto her, and the love flows like a river between you, that's Mama Aida. The hug ends with a giggle and a moment of forehead to forehead, eye to eye, connection. Neither of us is sure of the significance of that head to head moment, but it holds an indescribable value. Friendship that blossomed within the confines of a major language barrier, and yet, love in any language sounds the same.

That's what this life in East Africa is all about.

One thing is certain in this life - change always happens. Like a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, a metamorphosis has taken place. What I thought Mozambique meant in my journey has turned out to be quite different. Albeit very good, still, it is different. Holy Spirit has revealed many things that perhaps some day I will share. But in the mean time, my journey continues.

I am acutely aware that this destiny in which I am walking is unlike anyone else I know. It's a battle some days, to not succumb to the expectations of man. Relationships are very personal, and our relationship with the Lord is no exception. We read the stories of great men and women of God from years gone by and we hold them in high esteem.  How encouraging it is when we do the same, for one another, today.

Along with internet and instant messages comes global interest and immediate opinion of your walk and mine. But, we are called to examine our own work - we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel - not to please men, but God Who examines our hearts. Indeed each one of will stand or fall before our own Master, and He is able to make us stand.

This life in East Africa is not so different from your life, there. People are people are people the world over. Everyone longing for love and acceptance. Everyone needing to know they have divine purpose. Each one formed and fashioned with the Original Value that could only be assigned by the master Artist Himself. There are no copies - only original masterpieces - once bought and always owned.

We give thanks to God always for you...
knowing, beloved by God, His choice of you.
I Thessalonians 1:2 & 4

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