I don’t know why I continue to believe that I can make a seamless transition from the Western world to here. This place is changing daily and growing and amazing things are happening in this nation, but it is still so very different. I am excited to be home and am back where I belong and I am certain the life of living in someone else’s house by the sea and walking the streets of Simon’s Town would have eventually gotten old. It was the perfect amount of time and a glorious rest.
I had time to sit and think and quiet my mind and spirit. As I listened to myself talk and I felt the bone tiredness of my mind, body and spirit I realized that I could not continue at this pace. As I looked back over the past few years that now all seem to be a little blurred together, I realize how drastically my life has changed in really a short period of time. I have been running full speed. It is hard not to catch the vision, see the need and run with it. During my quiet time I asked myself just how I planned to continue at this fast pace. I sat across the table from a wise man at dinner who already knew the answer when he asked me if I worked too hard and took on too much and planned to just run myself to the ground for the next year and then crash and spend a year in recovery. His question and the other voices I had been hearing woke me up to the truth. I cannot solve every problem. I cannot make everything happen in a day or a week. I can’t create something new overnight. And I am of no good tired, ragged, worn out and exhausted. I need to slow down. I need to live out of a place of peace and rest. I don’t need to spend my life constantly reacting to all that is being thrown at me. I don’t want to lose my peace.
My kids were excited to see me and I them. Two asked me for money. They applauded after my English lesson. I think this means they missed me. We had our last Alpha course class on Saturday. I took the students to the hotel down the street for refrescas. The lesson had been on knowing what is sin, right from wrong. So we had a discussion on discernment and Holy Spirit. I asked them about how they are tempted and if it is difficult to be a Christian in a Muslim town. They told me everyone believes in God but most people don’t believe in Jesus and they scoff at Him and don’t want Him. 2000 years ago. Today. America. Mozambique. So the boys got out their tiny little New Testaments and showed me scripture about being salt of the earth and the light of the world. I see them as being set apart, so blessed and so different than others around them, full of joy and life, trustworthy and honorable. I envision them studying their New Testaments while the Mosques broadcast chanting prayers throughout the night. I ask Sebastian how he knows that Jesus is God. He tells me he has seen the lame walk because he prayed for them in Jesus’ name. He prayed for a guy in the hospital who could not stand up and now he can run. 2000 years ago. Today. America. Mozambique. One boy starts to tell me the story of Zaccheus. I am not sure where that fit in and only understood about 50% but I went with it. We talked about how the Kingdom is upside down and how to die is to gain. I felt my little lessons and testimonies paled in comparison to what these boys know about dying and sacrifice. The boys gawked at the hotel and its’ beauty and the stuffed wild game hanging in the bar. I took them on a tour of the hotel and told them that everything belongs to God and everything belongs to us, His children. I want them to take dominion over this nation and ownership of what belongs to them as Mozambicans. I want them to see in the spirit who they are in Christ. Princes not paupers.
Afterwards, I went to the beach with friends. I only go about once a month and want that to change. We sat in a clear tide pool and laughed, little wooden d’hows and children gathering mussels and fish surround us. Every time I see this vast expanse of Indian Ocean I remind myself to soak it in and soak it in good. I know I won’t be here forever and I want to drink it in. I got pink on my thighs and tops of my feet and shoulders. We pulled out sandwiches from our bags we have left with a guard. I ate and watched this massive scene in front of me. Mozambicans unaware of my presence comb the beach, women carrying baskets on their heads. No one stakes an umbrella in the sand and opens a cooler. They are all working. They are going from one place to another or gathering food to eat or sell. No one applies sunscreen or pulls out an In Style Magazine. A few women rested in the tide pools as we had, with their catch in baskets beside them. They chattered. I wondered what about.
I “scooted” home to a cold shower, excited to have running water. A few hours later I discover Scoot had a flat tire. The following day and $20 later, it is kinda sorta fixed.
I got to see whales on Sunday, slapping their tales over and over on the surface of the water and spraying way off in the distance. I just stood and watched for a very long time as they played and I shook my head at how huge they are. There was more than one and they continued to flap their massive tails over and over. In class this morning we read a book about Jonah and the Whale. We only have 4 books so we don’t have a lot of choices. We talked about how crazy that would be, to be swallowed by a whale and vomited onto dry land. We have made that story such a story for children. A parable almost. But surely it is true and someone somewhere has researched this and Jonah's whereabouts where marked in some form or another. I am glad God chose a different route for me. God loved Ninevah and really wanted someone to go and tell them so. God loves Mozambique. America. 2000 years ago. Today.