Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Church with Girls and Eid ul Hajj

My prayer last week was to go to a girls school. I came home one day a little discouraged, after a game with the boys, and just craving to hang out with a group of girls. I prayed about it and even told Kelvin my desire. I absolutely LOVE hanging out with fiery, sweet, girly girls. It's rather ironic because I am totally not that kind of girl. But I love girls who are. 

On friday, I went to my regular bible study/youth service meeting that Word of Life puts on. At the beginning of the service, I overheard some people talking about how they are going to lead the service at Mama Ngina girls school this sunday. I didn't show it, but I SO wanted to go. Mama Ngina girls are so much fun, full of energy and zeal for God, and have hearts focused on pleasing Him. Anyways, throughout the service, I kept telling God how much I would love to go but only if He allowed it.

At the end of the service, my old boss from Word of Life pulled me aside and mentioned that they needed more girls to go and someone to do a testimony. Not wanting to show my sheer excitement, I said, "Sure. I would love to. Be there at 8am sunday."

The Mama Ngina girls didn't disappoint. 3 hours of song, dance, laughter, encouragement, love, testimonies, the Word of God and so much more. My heart was full that's for sure. After the service, Kelvin and I stayed behind and had some time to chat with a few of the girls. I value sweet conversations with young ladies who are putting God first in their lives. 

 Boy, can they ever sing and dance! I will try upload some videos I took of the service. The choir had come and sang an incredible song that sent goosebumps up my spine.

After the service, we headed for lunch in Kongowea. Sunday was a Muslim holiday which celebrated the end of Hajj, the 10 day pilgrimage every muslim is suppose to make to Mecca. With any Muslim holiday, you know there is going to be GOOD food.

And I was not disappointed. The family we went to eat with made amazing goat biryani, probably the best I have ever eaten before. And I am not usually a big fan of goat meat. 

However, the meal was about the only thing I like about the situation. It was rather uncomfortable for me. After the eating, everyone started pulling  out the alcohol, cigarettes, and miraa. Hmm, not my fancy. Kelvin and I were about the only ones who were participating. However, Kelvin had an advantage as he could speak swahili. He could connect. As for me, I struggled to connect. I don't drink, smoke, chew drugs, or speak swahili so I was a fish out of water. What made it worse was that a cousin of Kelvin's had brought along her much older, european fiance. He was a nice man but, in the midst of all this, the man was handing out money and supplying all the drinks for everyone. Again, not my style. The people were lovin' being showered with cheap pleasures while I sat in the corner, struggling to connect. 

I think was surprised me the most was that we were celebrating a muslim holiday and yet they were doing the most 'unholy' of things. I was chatting with one, who had just come from filling up on the local brew, about how he has to stop drinking, wait 40 days, and then go to a mosque because right now he is 'unclean'. He kept telling me how much work it is to stay 'clean' for allah. I took this opportunity to talk about Jesus and how He can make us 'clean'. The guy insisted he could do it himself. I then decided not to continue trying to reason with him, especially as I smelt the alcohol on his breath. 

It was tough for sure. Kelvin noticed I was struggling and suggested we leave. My heart hurt as these are the people I so desire to reach and yet we are so disconnected. Afterwards, Kelvin and I went to a local resort to listen to a live band. While sitting there, I burst into tears.  The fact is that this week has been hard. More  than usual, I have felt out of place and like I really just don't fit in. I have made various mistakes, had people laugh and mock me, and get heckled wherever I went. After a tough week, the tears overflowed Sunday night. I didn't need to be encouraged. I just needed to cry. 

Kelvin was great and listened to my cries. Soon, we started talking about ministry, work, Jesus, how to really help the poor, how to really follow Jesus, and how, most times, following Jesus means that life will be tough. It turned out to be a pretty awesome evening as we poured our hearts out to each other, listened to the local music, and allowed the breeze from the ocean cool us down. 

This is a brand new mosque that was right next to Mama Ngina girls school. Because it was a holiday, the mosques were full. On our way to church, Muslims were outside praying. Mosques were so full that people were praying on the streets.

Goats lined the streets. 

Everyone is suppose to kill a goat and I think they are suppose to give some of it away to the poor. I am not sure how many actually do that but its good in theory.

It was an overwhelming Sunday. I am thankful for a new week!!

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