Today is not Sister's birthday...it was early last month. But we celebrated anyway.
With my parents and some good family friends who had met Sister last year, we sang Happy Birthday and presented her with her very own birthday cake. She was so excited she blew out the candles before we were even done singing.
Then, because a birthday party should have games, we played Pictionary using a large dry erase board...the children vs. the adults. Even Sister played, searching through the cards until she found some easy things to draw (the equator, a snake, a computer).
The kids took turns playing the keyboard and guitar, and then sister sang a song for us: swaying and waving her arms, she sang about Mungu (God) being present in the east, the west, the south, and the north. Mungu is everywhere.
At one point she whispered to me that she had something to say, so I shushed everyone so she could speak. She rose, and in her soft-spoken voice addressed everyone by name as she thanked us for honoring her birthday. She spoke for several minutes about love and how, despite being so far away from Tanzania, she feels at home with us and will always think of us as family.
There was not a dry eye in the room.
And I marveled how this nun, with her quiet voice and broken English, with her beautiful songs and humble manner, with her ready laughter and adventuresome spirit...how all these things about her have touched us in so many ways.
Yes, Mungu is everywhere...and Mungu is here, shining through this quiet Sister from a small village in eastern Africa.