H, Coffee, and Motorcycle Rides in Malta: The Perfect Day

Friends,

We serve mighty and glorious God who loves us personally and intimately. Today I was amazed again by His precious love and the way that He speaks to me so sweetly. Refusing to allow me to stay in the place I am, He urges me ever onward until He is all I desire. Today was a manifestation of the divine at work and I am more than humbled to be a part of it.

Yes, I’m learning to find the beauty of the gospel wrapped in the package of the alphabet.

My morning in the first camp was lovely. Ruhia was there on time and ready to learn. I anxiously wrote the letters A through J, as we practiced yesterday, and hoped with every ounce of my being that H was retained in the night. A through G was perfect, and when I pointed to H she said, “X. No, H!”

HORRAYYY!!!!!!!!!

Let’s be honest, this sweet woman says X for everything (which is unfortunate because it’s probably the least used letter in the English alphabet!). But she remembered!!! Before I even had a chance to respond she was correcting herself. I’m so proud of her.

This precious heart might not hear an articulate gospel presentation from me, but I am confident that she will know the alphabet by the end of the week, and I’m beginning to see the gospel in that.

While riding the bus today I was reading Shaney’s book through email on my phone, while listening to Jay’s music. I can’t help but brag about how proud I am of my precious siblings. Kelly just got a wonderful job in the city of all of our dreams (and Jason’s reality..). They are each are so amazing and I’m incredibly proud to be their sister.

The day only got better from there. Yesterday I met Kradga (pronounced Kra-dee-ja) in the afternoon camp. She is very smart and learns so quickly. She also had one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen. We had such a fun time yesterday giggling and learning the alphabet.

Armed with her pen and journal, she arrived right on time and was so excited to learn. After successfully identifying letters, their sounds, and numbers, I decided to take her outside on a walk to learn things like sky, trees, leaves, etc. She grabbed my hand and held it as we walked. I picked her a pink flower to help identify plants and colors (and because I wanted her to know she was so loved).

There was a man in the camp and Kradga started talking to him. I came to learn that he is a good friend to many in the camp. He is from Algeria and he came to Malta to play football, sought refugee status and was accepted; he speaks English very well and was very kind to talk to. Kradga was talking to him in Maltese and pointing at me. He stopped and said, “She loves you very much!” (Oh, my heart!) She kept talking. He told me that she wanted to make us coffee in her home upstairs.

We went upstairs to her sweet little home. It is smaller than my living room in Towers, and the bedroom that she shares with two other women is separated from the “kitchen” by a sheet hanging from the dresser. It was both humble and humbling. She made three cups of coffee and we sat and talked.

Muhammad is Muslim, but told me that he has been attending church for many years to learn the difference between Christianity and Islam. He asked why I was in Malta and I told him that while I wanted to teach English, I more so want them to know the love and joy that I have found in Jesus Christ and how it had changed my life. He translated that for Kradga and she smiled and nodded her head. This was right about the time that she had to attend another lesson in the camp and we all left. What a great start to conversation about Christ!

Now, my favorite thing in the world is to make a pot of coffee and enjoy conversation with old (or new) friends. How absolutely lovely was it that I not only got to share my purpose for being there, but with a cup of coffee, in my new friend’s little home, by means of a personal (Muslim!) translator.

God is good. And He is sweet. And He knows our hearts so intimately. He knows what we need and how we need it and how we can be the means of simultaneously giving others what they need. It is too beautiful. Please let Him do that in your heart and life. He will show Himself holy to you. He will meet your needs and exceed your wildest dreams.

We met up for dinner in Valletta with the rest of the team (who goes to a different camp in the afternoon). Then we went to the prayer house for a weekly meeting. The Maltese church members prayed over our team and it was powerful and moving. My heart was rid of selfish desires and prideful tendencies. Forgiveness. Restoration. Love. Grace. Mercy. So underserved. My cup overflows.

As if this day wasn’t wonderful enough, Eve (our missionary) said that one team member would have to ride home with Ben (her husband)… on his motorcycle. Naturally, I volunteered for the adventure! I now understand why folks are so set on driving those ever so dangerous forms of transportation… it was SO dang fun!!!!

Ah. The perfect day.

I lay my head to rest with a full heart, anxiously awaiting the rest of our time. And I thank you profusely for keeping up with me. It means more than words in a blog could ever express.

God bless you precious people,
Jenn

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