“And let the glorious majesty of the Lord our God be upon us…”
“Salama!” This is a greeting from the local Makuwa language.
After approximately 36-40 hours of travel, I finally arrived in beautiful Pemba, Mozambique! Exiting the plane, I was instantly greeted by African weather; hot and sunny! Dr. Don Kantel (founder of SSU), met me at the airport. He and his wife Elizabeth are the base directors here at Iris’ Pemba location. I am also blessed to have him as my internship supervisor.
Setting out for Iris was a short drive, but the lack of time did not hinder African culture from revealing itself. Women dressed in colorful attire, usually a parcel on their head, balancing it oh so well. Men and boys walking to and fro as well, some sell things, others are just going places. Fish is a fairly hot item on the markets here; you see lots of it for sale along the main ocean drag to Iris. Cars, trucks (with an over-load of people in them) and motor bikes cruise the narrow roads. And palm trees and baobabs (big trunked trees) root themselves in the country side.
When Don picked me up, he had a young girl with him – Talma. Let me tell you a little about her, it will help you understand a little about Iris Ministries….
She was born in Tanzania but her parents had sent her away to her aunt’s house in Pemba; they didn’t want her. In Pemba, she was abused severely and her aunt used her as cleaning aid. She eventually ran away and came to Iris looking for help. And it was here that she found help. But recently she has been in danger of returning to her family in Tanzania; her aunt’s crooked desires. Don and others have been trying to stop this. As of yesterday, I found out that after prayer and practical effort, the mother of this little girl has allowed her to stay with Iris! Praise God. Talma is very happy. Like Talma many of the kids here at Iris (approx 170) have disturbing pasts, but God is restoring them. Amen.
Thank you to all of those who made this trip possible; especially Dr. Kantel, Dr. Gregg Finley, the Kadatz’s, and my very supportive and loving parents. I would also like to thank Jesus, the Great Shepherd, for loving me and leading me here.
Also, thanks to all those who wrote in my send off journal – reflecting on your words of encouragement has been valuable.