Thursday, September 25, 2008

Teaching everyone!

"Missions is messy." The phrase is more accurate than the mind can imagine.

Today I set out to teach six people. I taught seven -- but not the ones I'd planned! I came home with melted chocolate all over my jeans, an invitation to celebrate the end of Ramadan, a tired body and a heart overflowing with joy.

At one home, my Somali friend -- I'll call her Anna -- was worn out. It's Ramadan for Muslims, which means Anna can't eat until sunset. Her baby is running a fever. Yesterday she took him to the doctor. "Injection!" she exclaimed, pointing to his chubby little leg. Her three school-aged children were home by the time I arrived. That makes seven kids in all. Anna wanted to take pictures, and I decided to go with the flow. Eventually, I wound up teaching the whole group -- mom, kids, even baby.

Here's the result of a rather messy afternoon . . .

Anna and daughter, "May," discuss proper headwear. They share clothes, like most mothers and daughters May's age.

(photo removed by request)Anna wants to pose for a portrait. I try to get her to smile. She won't. I eventually shoot. She pronounces this one, "GOOD!"
(photo removed by request)

May attempts to teach her mother how to smile.
(photo removed by request)

Cathy and Anna attempt a self-portrait. I'm holding the camera. Not so great, but at least Anna's beginning to see the humor.
(photo removed by request)

"Faith" and her big sister May, age 11.
(photo removed by request)

Anna wanted to take this photo of her children and me after our lesson. We (including mom) worked on colors, shapes, letter sounds, and vocabulary for basic kitchen items.
(photo removed by request)

May looking lovely in yet another scarf. Can you tell she's hovering on the edge of her teenage years? It won't be long before her physical appearance becomes vitally important to her.
(photo removed by request)

Anna staged a photo of me with the baby. Oldest son "Oliver" hopped into the frame just as the camera clicked.
(photo removed by request)

Anna's self portrait. Yes, she declared it, "GOOD!"
(photo removed by request)

More photos . . . May and the baby
(photo removed by request)

Oliver, the oldest boy in the family. A very important role.
(photo removed by request)

The photos tell only a short version of a long day.

My young pregnant student from the Darfur area of Sudan enjoyed looking through a photo album of my son's birth. She wrote important information about childbirth and babies as I dictated. Say, "The cord will fall off." "Change the diaper." "Burp the baby."

My Burundian friend -- a young widow with three children -- was getting ready for work at a chicken factory. Her apartment was abuzz with people gathering to ride in a van all the way to Gainsville. I'll visit her again tomorrow.

I dropped by the home of my Rwandan friends, but they were out. Last week, I helped the youngest boy at the pharmacy. He needed pain medication for a bad tooth.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. Missions is messy . . . and how I love it!


Claire said...

Hello! I'm pleased to have stumbled upon your blog while searching for a way back to "Mama Seth's" blog. I am a volunteer coordinator for a resettlement agency in Omaha. I found recently that Mama Seth has changed her blog to private and I can't gain access without an invite. Do you know how to contact her? I'd like to start featuring some of these wonderful stories in an e-newsletter we are starting up soon. Thanks! -Claire

Elle said...

Isn't it cool to see God work? I love it! Keep doing what He has called you to do and praise Him! ( :