Today I woke up at 7 am, I could have slept at least another hour! But I knew today would be busy and I wanted to be still for a bit.
Last night I shared my testimony with the girls on my team who were staying with me, and I had the priviledge of hearing Whitney's.
When sharing your life story, the good the bad & the ugly, you become aware of what makes each of us who we are. I feel much closer to Whitney now & I hope that relationship will continue to flourish.
After we woke up Whitney & I (the two coffee drinkers) made Kenyan coffee (so good!!) and we all had peanut butter toast. We then got dressed and ready for church.
At 9am, Johnson, our driver pulled up in the bus.
We gathered all of our belongings and prepared to rough it for a few days at the school. We then went to pick up the other half of our team from Chris and Lisa's. Once there, we stuffed all of their luggage onto the bus along with the mattresses we would be sleeping on, which btw are 4 in. thick foam!
We then headed to Mbewau church. Mbewau is absolutely beautiful! Driving up there are mud huts and cows and goats! But once thru the gates...wow! Chris & Lisa have done a fantastic job building this place. We immediately took our luggage off the bus, placed it in the empty classrooms we would be staying in, and headed to church. Church is held in an open room, kind of a pavillion, this pavillion doubles as a feeding center for the children and staff during the week. As church began the choir began to sing and you could see worship in their expressions. They began clapping and dancing and yelling AMEN!! I couldn't help but think, why don't we get this excited when singing praises to our Lord?! It is such a different culture, one where expression thru music and dancing is not only the norm but a way of life.
Once the choir was done they began a short message, we of course didn't understand as it was in Swahilli. I do know however we read from 1 Chronicles 22:11-13 "Now, my son, may the Lord be with you! May you succeed and build a temple for the Lord your God, just as he announced you would. Only may the Lord give you insight and understanding when he places you in charge of Israel, so you may obey the law of the Lord your God. Then you will succeed, if you carefully obey the rules and regulations which the Lord ordered Moses to give to Israel. Be strong and brave! Don't be afraid and don't panic!"
To me these verses are so relevant to where we are at, at what Chris and Lisa have done with the ministry the Lord has given them.
Chris then came up on stage, he welcomed the "Mazoongos" (white people aka the team!)
He had them compete for who could clap the loudest for the team, it was great!
Then he asked each of us to stand and say who we were. But as our side began to go, Chris looked at me and whispered "come here". So I got up and went to him and then he said..."I want you to give a short testimony to the church....oh, and I want you to sing, you don't mind singing a praise song in front of 150 Africans right?"
WHAT!!!! I had a lump in my throat and started panicking!! My sister is the performer NOT ME!!
So back track to the night before a bit, when we were eating "Baby Baby" by Amy Grant came on the radio, if you knew me when I was younger, I loved her! So under my breath I was singing it, I know every word. He happened to hear me and said "you have a good voice!" I thanked him and thought that was the end of it...I THOUGHT WRONG!! LOL! So he didn't give me a song he just said sing, at this point my heart was pounding! I could feel my face turn red! And the only song I could think about was Amazing Grace. So, I got up in front of 150 Africans, our team and Chris & Lisa, and I told a short version (very short) of my testimony thru a translator. This part was such a blessing, just to be able to thank God for what He has done in my life and how far He has brought me in the past 5 years even!
Then, I started to turn to walk away thinking, he won't really make me do it.. wrong again! Chris looked at me and said "Oh no! You are gonna sing!! They will love it!"
So, I sang the only song I could think of, and it truly was appropriate. I feel I could have done 10X better, but I was super nervous! I did it though!
Chris then got up and said "I know most of you think Americans live a perfect life. That they don't have struggles. But that isn't true, we deal with heartbreaking situations every day, and the Lord is good to deliver us from this. The song she sang talks about the Grace God extends to us, about how we were sinners and now are saved."
It was beautiful. It began a journey that isn't over yet, but one that had scarred my heart forever. Africa is forever going to be a place I dream about, I hope for, and I pray for.
I will be working on pictures tonight and as soon as I have uploaded some we will add a link to think blog so you can check them out!
May God bless you! Amen!