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S: Summer 2009 - Youth in Mission - Mozambique, Africa

BC: Youth in Mission 2009

1: The team: myself, Allyson Yost, Jerry Romasco, and Kaylee Brooks.

2: Our team with Daryl Ireland, our trainer for the week. Daryl serves as a missionary strategist for the Nazarene church. Daryl was a HUGE help in preparing us for our summer in a different culture! He and his son, Alexander were so fun to get to know! | Kirsten looking at the pretty view in New Mexico. We spent most of training camp at Bonita Park Campground. We spent the week bonding as teams, preparing for two months abroad, and worshiping God. It was cool to spend our last evening together in Gunstream chapel.

3: So much fun to hang out with Kirsten again! This was at one of our meeting times. We went through some intensive cross-cultural orientation as well as trainings about sharing testimonies, working with kids, etc. Dee Kelly also led really great devotional times!

4: On our way to the El Paso airport with teams going to India and England. In route to Huston, London, Johannesburg, and finally Maputo!

5: After flying from El Paso to Huston to London, we had a twelve hour layover. So we decided to get out and adventure in London! We were tired, but had a great time!

6: It was so exciting to see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and all the other beautiful architecture around the city.

7: All the cool sights of London! It was a beautiful day to explore the city.

8: I think we will all remember what a fun day it was, along with a few difficulties.Currency exchange, finding lunch, and agreeing on where to eat were unexpected challenges.

10: Figuring out how to ride The Tube and navigating our way around the city was definitely an experience. All of us with our carry-on luggage and travel clothes were probably an interesting sight for locals. Especially Kaylee's rolling suitcase!

11: All of us girls were getting along so well already! | We were getting the giggles so bad sitting on this little bush bench and drinking terrible coffee! | Fascinated by the little restroom signs. | Above is the awesome Heathrow Airport.

12: London, Heathrow to O.R. Tambo, South Africa

14: Meeting the kiddos who would be our main ministry of the summer! | The kids were not sure what to think of us at first.

15: The kids were all so interested in what was in my bag. Each item I took out and said the English word for, the kids would tell me the Portugese word. | The first few days were filled with being worried about the dog, Coconut, having rabies, figuring out our mosquito nets, finding lizards in our room, and most of all just enjoying time on the seminary campus.

17: It was SO amazing that we arrived in Mozambique during the time that Uncle Bob and Aunt Diane were there! They spent a week on the seminary campus holding a dental clinic for the students. | Uncle Bob worked extra hard one afternoon to fit some front teeth for this man. It was a special moment to see and gave me a real glimpse of Uncle Bob and Aunt Diane's dental ministry.. | The dental clinic was set up in the women's dorms. Dave and Rhoda helped translate through the process.

18: It hurt a little bit. | The little girls started braiding our hair. | Sticky fingers pulling on our hair. | Laughter. | Sweetness. | Cooking. | Dinner. | Juvensu and Sergio | Sweet friends.

19: The first Saturday we were in Maputo, we went to a singing competition. All the children in the district were competing. The kids from the seminary sang so well! | That night we also went to the dinner put on by the seminary students to thank the dental team. You can see Aunt Diane wearing the gifts given to her.

20: Singing competition

21: Hand games and tickle tests! We had SO much fun with the kiddos!

23: Juvensu | Murel | Victoria | Tabita | Joyce | Rebecca | Ada | Little Maria | Salina | Our house | Amaral | A's bro | School | Sergio | Terrizinia | Maria | Housing | Coconut | Tereza | T's Sis

27: Little Maria was so sweet! She was the oldest of three girls in her family, and we frequently saw her taking care of her little sisters. She would even carry her baby sister tied on her back like the women in Mozambique did. We were always surprised by how much responsibility her parents already placed on her at about 7 years old. She loved when we had our hair braided, and we matched them!

28: Beautiful girls.

30: Our first Sunday experience. We broke a bench...oops! | Sleepy after a four hour church service. However, it was a great service! The women put on a skit, and the music was beautiful as always!

31: Dave took us to see the Indian Ocean on this Sunday evening. We really enjoyed it and saw a beautiful sunset! Dave then took us to get ice cream. Such a treat!

33: We loved all of our free days because we could spend it with the kids on campus! They would get so excited about activities like coloring and bubbles. | We looked out our window one afternoon, and saw this

34: This is the house that hosted the Jesus Film showing. You can see the sweet sisters, where they lived, and where they did the wash.

35: While walking around inviting people to the film showing, we came across this sweet girl. She couldn't speak or walk. We stopped to talk to her and she was SO excited. Dave told us later that people in Mozambique usually abandon their disabled people. He said that African culture as a whole is not very compassionate. This girl was proof of that cultural attitude. She seemed so joyful just to interact with us.

36: Bochechas (cheeks)

37: We spent the afternoon walking through the town and inviting people to watch the Jesus Film that evening. It was interesting to meet people and see the community in which they lived. A few of the guys from the local churches set up the equipment. At one point the generator wasn't working, and it was amazing to see how smart and resourceful these men were. They changed a few things, cranked a lever for a while, and got it working!

38: l | These are pictures from the town where we showed the film.

39: We had a great time with the people who showed up for the Jesus Film. They were all so sweet, and the group of little boys loved our attention. We danced with them before the film, and then they sat on our laps during it. We could tell that they were loving the attention from an adult. And that little baby girl was the most cuddly baby Ever!!

40: Matola District Youth NYI singing competition. We loved hearing all the beautiful music! A very interesting outdoor restroom experience also happened here! | Nazarene pastors and church leaders.

41: We won offering. So they gave us a cake! | The singing competition was followed by a celebration and food. Always food.

42: This was another fun and interesting Sunday. You can see the drive to the church was a tight squeeze and a very bumpy ride. Rhoda told us it was culturally cool for girls to wear matching outfits...that still remains to be seen. It was also Father's Day, so the men of the church sang a special. We went to Sunday school where we were asked questions. Then during the service I was asked to pray. When I began to shout my prayer out from the back of the church, Kaylee jumped in surprise which sent me into a fit of giggles in the middle of the prayer! One of my favorite awkward memories of the summer. We then had a nice lunch at Mimos.

45: We visited this orphanage for boys one night after church. Rhoda had the idea to make blankets for the boys when Osvaldo showed us where the boys slept on the floor. They did not have mats to sleep on, and we did not see many blankets. Rhoda had quite a bit of fabric, so we made blankets that were super thick and warm! When we returned to give them the blankets, the joy in the room was palpable! We enjoyed a nice evening with them. They sang for us and rejoiced with us! Dave spoke and we thanked the Lord for the work He was doing there. Osvaldo took in these orphan boys as well as disabled boys. In Mozambique, it wasn't uncommon for people to leave disabled or deformed children on the road to die or fend for themselves. Osvaldo was working to help these kids. He fed them, clothed them, and taught them. It was truly awesome to see! They also made journals for all of us girls as a thank you gift.

46: "I want to be butterfly" - this is a lyric from a song they sang for us. We repeated it numerous times throughout the summer because it made us smile. | Some of the posters and work displayed on the walls. | The kids sang for us and showed us some of their school work.

48: We helped paint a church and then enjoyed lunch with the church people! We also had our first experience with public transportation - communal taxis.

49: Preparing crafts, materials, and dresses during our VBS planning!

50: This church was amazing! It was the biggest church in the Maputo district. We were able to spend the morning with the youth Sunday school class. They asked if we thought God could heal people from HIV/AIDS that day. We answered as best we knew, but it was a difficult situation for us. The church service was amazing! The singing, worship, and prayer was so joyous and evident of the Lord. An old woman stood up and was swinging her jacket over her head in praise. We loved being part of worship!

52: After church we went to a nice restaurant at the mall. I had pizza with bananas and Canadian bacon. It was surprisingly good! Thomas then took us to a little inlet of the Indian Ocean. We rode a little boat over to the other side and spent time on the beach!

55: We had so much fun looking at what people were selling, boats they were working on, and enjoying the beautiful day!

56: When we decided to head home, Tomas sort of disappeared...we were left waiting for his friend (we had never met) to come pick us up. When he finally showed up, we got in the car, and he was drinking the whole way back to the seminary This was a new experience. We laughed about it, but the situation was a bit scary.

57: We got cornrows - a good day. We weren't sure if they understood that we wanted our hair braided. For a scary moment, it seemed like they might cut our hair. The women at the salon were great; we had so much fun!

58: We got out nail polish one afternoon, and it ended up being so fun! We painted all the girls' fingernails. They were squealing in excitement! A few of the girls also pointed to their lips - wanting us to paint them. They wanted to wear lipstick!

61: The many faces of Ada! So joyful, adorable, and animated!

62: Our best work of the summer - VBS for the kids on the seminary campus! | For a week, we put on a VBS that included singing and games outside, followed by activities inside. We did crafts, snack, and of course, dancing! It was such a joy to watch them have fun with each activity!

64: One afternoon of VBS, we flew kites for our outdoor fun. The kids LOVED them! It kept us entertained for hours this day! Papagaios! This is the Portuguese word for kites!

67: The little girls just doing their thing one afternoon. They always made us smile with their outfits and ways of entertaining themselves.

68: Taking out our dreads....

69: On this day there seemed to be a storm rolling in. The skies looked gloomy and there was an ominous breeze. We all loved it. We went to the district youth prayer meeting, which was awesome. After church, a man named Anthony came and shook my hand and asked to kiss me. Allison and Kaylee stood back laughing of course, and then took a picture like true friends. Anthony proved to be great when he helped us ride public transportation back to the seminary. It completely lived up to the crowded bus stereotype. | Allison became our "itchy-owie" president for most bites and rashes.

71: a little patchwork

73: Afternoons of fun at the seminary!

74: VBS craft and giggle time!

75: ouch! Sticky hands | Terrizinia always made us laugh!

77: To keep us cool | Preparing for the birthday party! | Our bunk beds | Outlets | Changing room | Bathroom | Timmy | Living Room - party prep! | Our Kitchen

78: Beautiful sunsets and dress-making days! The middle picture to the right shows some of the local school boys who started to come to our VBS. They were so sweet! Juvensu and Sergio wearing macaroni necklaces we made for our craft one afternoon.

81: This was a Nazarene youth singing competition. We came to realize that these competitions were always loooong. The youth from many different churches in the Maputo and Matola districts would come together and compete with the musical pieces they put together. This evening was especially fun because our friend Donna was competing! We were just dropped off here, so we walked back home with new friends.

82: On this Sunday, there was a miscommunication about which church we were attending. Jerry ended up going to one, and the three of us girls went to another. We went to a church way outside of the city. When we arrived the women were already making lunch for us. It was a small church and the three of us were asked to sing a special. It was a good thing Kaylee, Allison, and I could sing together and feel like it wasn't too terrible! The kids were of course a lot of fun for us too. I believe it was at this church that Allison had a chicken head in her soup. Never a dull moment!

84: Driving home from the church in Mufuiane, we stopped at a fruit stand on the road. We bought those baby bananas and a guava. The little bananas were one of our favorite snacks and yummy cut up in our morning yogurt or cereal. | Oshvaldo drove us to the church and home. On the way home, we gave the guy in the second picture down a ride to Maputo. with four of us in the back seat, he kept us entertained by singing Celine Dion and touching Allison's hair.

85: Adimi and his wife had us over for dinner one night. Celeste made the most delicious meal, and we had fun dancing with Noell and Sheerly.

86: Sheerly was nervous about riding in the back of the car with three girls she didn't know. But by the end of the trip, she was warming up to us! | Noell on the other hand was putting on a show for us! We had a great time dancing and playing with him!

88: During this week, we visited different churches each day to help with their VBS programs. We led music, taught about proper hygiene,and answered questions. Adimi drove us to each church and helped translate. Car rides were always crowded and eventful. One day an open window caused all our VBS papers to fly all over the car. WIth four of us in the back seat, we couldn't stop laughing at the situation.

90: These pictures were taken during the same eventful car ride as the flying VBS papers. We started singing, "Sisters," and thought we were so funny. Kaylee took pictures of Allyson (the baby sister), herself (the middle sister), and me (the big sister). We sure felt like sisters by this point in the summer. Our experiences drew us so close together.

91: Coconuts being sold on the street. Adimi pulled over and bought us one to try! | The guy selling them cut it open for us right there.

92: None of us particularly liked our first sip of coconut water, as you can tell from the faces. But we loved trying it! Kaylee and I were also hopeful that it would get our GI systems going a little more. Ha!

94: Another church VBS day! We led songs and talked about hygiene. We stopped by KFC (one of our favorites) on the way home!

96: Finally birthday party day arrived! We brought each of the kids in to find the right dress or new shirt for them. | Pure JOY. Maria jumped into my arms after we put her dress on. All the girls were glowing. This was probably my favorite moment of the entire summer.

97: Even the boys were hugging each other and posing for pictures. The girls couldn't stop smiling and giggling. It was so so fun to see.

98: The kids all ran outside after getting their new clothes.They wanted to show them off and celebrate together! The girls especially loved matching each other.

100: All summer the moms were friendly toward us, but would just wave from afar. When they saw the kids in the new clothes, the moms ran over to see. It was a really emotional time that made us all tear up. The mothers were smiling and hugging the kids, which we didn't see much. So special.

101: We started the birthday party off by eating cupcakes! We had made them from scratch and they turned out pretty good. We sang "Happy Birthday" and the kids looked at us like we were crazy! The kids were a little hesitant to eat the cupcakes at first, but then loved them! A couple of the kids even ate it little by little and saved some for later.

102: Pin the Tail on the Donkey! Allison looked up the Portuguese translation and drew our donkey! | The kids were laughing so hard when we blindfolded and spun them around. It was so much fun! Then we played with the balloons and had a dance party!

104: On this day Adimi drove us to the Nazarene church in Namaacha. Namaacha is right on the border of South Africa and Mozambique. It was a beautiful drive and interesting to see a more rural part of the country.

105: This was our last Sunday in Africa and it was a special one. Dr. Duarte was speaking and there was a banquet afterward. Dr. Duarte had just been elected as one of the Nazarene General Superintendents! The first ever from Africa1

106: Dave and Rhoda took us to Krueger Park in Swaziland! We left early so that we could see the Nazarene hospital and schools in Manzini!

107: Animals on the African safari! We were lucky and saw the "Big Five" - rhino, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and lion.

108: Seen in the border post restroom

112: Farewells - We were invited to a farewell service with the seminary students - The church people we worked with brought KFC to us as a Thank You lunch. They knew it was our favorite! It touched our hearts so much! - The seminary families also put together a dinner and gave us T-shirts!

115: Starting our journey back to the U.S. At our quick layover in London, we found a Starbucks! It seemed like such a luxurious treat to have some iced coffee!

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