I Don’t Just Believe in Miracles-I Have Seen Them

I can’t count how many miracles I have experienced. Some are wild and others are more chill, but they are all miraculous. Here’s one I’ve been meaning to share: 

When we arrived back in Mozambique after having Cypress we had to say A LOT of goodbyes. In all my processing of us moving our lives to Africa, I never once imagined the “byes” we would have on this side of the world. 

I bawled as soon as the door clicked shut the night Tiane’s mom came by telling me the news that they were moving out of our apartment building. Tiane and Cedar played together weekly for over a year and he was the perfect little friend. You may remember seeing his sweet face here.

I cried, and then I promptly asked God for another friend Cedar’s age to show up in our building. 

Right around this time Cedar started coming home from his little pre-school that he goes to a couple of days a week. We started him there so he could socialize and learn more Portuguese, but for the longest time he never mentioned any friends by name--that is, until Martin.

Fast forward a week. 

Cedar and I are walking up to our apartment building when all of the sudden Cedar takes off sprinting (can 2 year olds sprint or am I just really out of shape?) and screaming, “Martin!” 

I realize that the lady who lives across the hall from us is entering the building with what looks to be her son and two-ish year old grandson. 

Cedar continues to scream, "MARTIN! MOMMA!!! MAARRRRTTTTIIIINNNN!!!" and "He's so fluffy I'm going to die." Ok maybe he didn't say that last part. 

I explain, all while they are looking at me bewildered, that Cedar goes to school with a little boy named Martin and he thinks this is his little friend. 

Then they both smile widely. “This is Martine! Does your son got to Xicoração?” (Ok, actually all this happened in Portuguese, but you get that it would take a way from the flow if I put a bunch of unnecessary text in…like I’m doing right now.) Cue the GOD YOU ARE SOOO WILD DANCE. Except for I’m lame and didn’t dance because I can’t dance. 

Ok, so listen to this. 

The school Cedar goes to is not in our neighborhood; it’s on the other side of the city. 

Our city has a population of 4 million and the majority of that population is children. 

Out of all the kids that God could have sent to be a friend for Cedar, he sent the only other friend Cedar already has! 

AND, out of the 48 apartments in our building, Martin’s grandmother lives across the hall from us. We can literally hear through our door when he arrives to visit!

I just kept goofy grinning as Martin’s dad told me they would be around more often and would love for the boys to play. 

We now see him all the time. (I had the cutest picture of the two of them I was going to share, but my phone just bit the dust so...I need another miracle.)

Isn’t that incredible?

I believe in miracles. I believe in the God that does the miraculous, even for a two year old. 

Matt and I have so many stories like this that we don’t always tell because of time or flat-out fear someone will think we are nuts. We are going to try to start telling more of these testimonies because Jesus is worth it. 

What is the last miraculous thing you experienced? PLEASE share!

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In case you didn't get our recent email about a modern day Legion, the new space is up and running!  After over two years of looking, we have a training center, which is another miracle! Worship Night (above) has to my favorite thing we do there. Thank you to all who gave for renovation costs, bought chairs, and sacrifice monthly to cover rent. (Based on my choice in photos you would think Cedar lives on Matt's shoulder.)

We'll Be Home for Christmas, but Not Really.

As most of you know, we are having a baby girl in January. What you may not know is that we can't have Cypress here in Mozambique. It's complicated; I won't bore you with details. We have two options. She can be born in South Africa, where Cedar was born, or we can go to the States. Either way, we have to leave Maputo at least 4 weeks before my due date of January 20 because NO BABIES BORN MID-TRAVEL PLEASE! We prayed about this decision a lot, but we still had to make a pros and cons list because sometimes we are 16. Here's a peak at our musings...

It is an interesting thing planning which country your child is to be born in, and as you can see from our super-professional list, it's not just choosing the hospital or picking a doctor. Our conversations are more like, "Hey babe, are you thinking rent a place in Joburg, SA, or fly to the States?" and "…might be pretty boring to be alone on Christmas." Of course, our ideal would be to have our bundle be born in Mozambique without crazy time/environment changes for us and Cedar, BUT we really enjoy our life and all the adventures that come along with it. These challenges are just the nature of the call.

Both our options mean a time away from our students (who are amazing people; you guys would love them) and what God is doing here (even more amazing, but we know God can hold down the fort). Those are THE hardest parts of making any decision to leave Mozambique, but some of the stress this time is alleviated a little by the fact that our weeks away line up exactly with the summer break for all the universities here. That's right: It's summer right now in the southern hemisphere, so we won't miss any of the school year! Isn't God the best planner?

Both options also equal us being away from home and away from our ministry, but only one option allows for us to be with family over the holidays and for the birth. DRUM ROLLLLLLLL! We have decided to have Cypress in Arkansas. [Side note: We are coming for you Panera….And no, this is not most important, but I am pregnant and I haven't had access to any of my cravings so my priorities are slightly skewed. Family, we are coming for you too.]

 Cedar hanging out with his bestie for the last time for a while.

Cedar hanging out with his bestie for the last time for a while.

The craziest part? It feels weird to say "I'll be home for Christmas," because Mozambique is now home. This place I once couldn't picture myself living no matter how hard I tried, where they speak a language I couldn't utter a word in correctly, where I knew no one is now not just where I live, but HOME. God is so good to not just call us, but to lead us and to settle us. And this doesn't just apply to missionaries; it's for everyone in every situation. It's for you.

Are you trying to feel at home in a new job, city, stage of life? With the holidays around the corner, are feeling alone and isolated? Comment below or email us at xamarlin@me.com. We'd love to pray for you. 

P.S. Now to just decide on where exactly Cypress will be born and who will deliver her!!! Can you say a prayer with us about those details?