Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Celebrating my innards and outards

Starting with our review on how we interact and then a song about what we believe about ourselves, the 3 hour meeting started with joy. We moved right into celebrating our bodies by dancing to a Hausa song, and, with a LOT of energetic encouragement, we got everyone dancing, hands in the air, freezing and declaring to their frozen neighbor, "WOW, You are beautiful!"

 We started by celebrating our innards, with a skit split into four parts.  Each part represented a kind of personality and all the ladies decided which one they were and went to that side of the room, shouting across to each other.  "God made you well!" With each pair of personalities, it was clear that one personality was preferred over the other culturally, but we rejoiced as they realized that both were well made!

After celebrating our innards, we went to our outards, our bodies...our cycle and reproductive system! This is something that few talk about and few understand so, armored with a reproductive cake (pictured below), prayer, practice, and internet resources, I explained why us ladies have a cycle and how their bodies are changing now. The highlight?...a clip from a documentery my mom gave me called, "Nine months that made you."  Eyes were glued, there were "Oh's" and "Wow's" and lively conversation on the little one in the womb that came out right in front of their eyes.  The miracle of life in the womb, of how God knit them, was seen and explained in hopes to grasp a fraction of the wonder in this miraculous weaving together that God does in the womb. 

Going clockwise in the front starting from Daso: Daso, Lyop, Happy (1) , Precious, Miracle, Mama, Charity, Nandir, Happy (2), Jane, Asebe, Josephine, Ritanan
These are the 13 girls in the Beautiful Me program!  Yes, they ALL came with their mamas! 

  Lyop and Mumsy are a unique pair as Mumsy is an older widow and Lyop has been brought from the village to help her in her business. Out of all the mother-daughter couples, they have the most one-on-one time!  May God use them to bless each other as they grow in His love.

This dynamic duo is learning a lot.  Shopping, preparing meals, and Daso returning home from school has become an connecting event  and a time for asking a lot of questions and listening.  "Why do you think that boy acted that way?" or "What do you think we could put in this soup to make it really yummy?" or "Why do you think that about her?" It is a chance for me to learn to be creative in new ways, love my daughter in tangible ways, and also learn about me!

Each pair went on a "date" to their own private salon where they soaked, painted nails, and told stories. Please pray that these mothers and daughters (the term mother here is more inclusive than in the West.  It is any woman who feeds into your life, has more experience, cares for you, or is older than you) continue to take opportunities to connect.  

Jane is quiet and gorgeous. She also has come from a village to live with this mother and her 5 children.  Jane and Mama did not come to the last Beautiful Me, but to see the joy overflowing on Jane's face this week was more than worth the effort to get them here this week!  Please pray that Maman Jane will enjoy this little gem and build her up in Christ's love.

The girls headed home with the necessities: Homemade deodorant, new panties, sanitary napkins, knowledge, a healthier self-awareness, and a greater appreciation for their own beauty that will help them face the changes that are surely coming!

 A preview to next month...

On December 10, we will:
Visit a museum to understand better how God has "signed" us, his masterpieces
Shop for a new outfit
Go get ice cream (Some of them maybe for the first time)
And watch a short movie that is being created by a local male artist with a message to young women about their worth.  (Please pray for him as he prepares and us as we record.)

Thank you all for praying for us...we need it.  We are in a war.  These girls are fighting an enemy they have not yet identified in order to remain pure, confident, and close to the women in their lives.  Our team of four, battles to remain encouraged and have strength to carry on when we know that some of those we are pouring ourselves into will ignore, reject, and despise what is happening.  We are fully aware that we are four voices in a sea of people telling them opposite messages, and we need you to pray for us, and pray for the mother's that we will all be on the same team.  Also pray that the mamas believe these things about themselves so they can speak out of what they have, a love for God and for the way he created them, uniquely and beautifully.

From the couch of a woman who is also learning the power, beauty, and strength God has given to change the world

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