Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mom Visiting

I'm so happy to have my mom here for a 3 week visit!

I took her to Khongolote
left to right - Mama Amelia, my Mama, and Irma Julia
(the two kids are Amelia's grandchildren, Euni and Merco)

My mom thanked them for being a good Mama and Sister to me here :)

Irma Julia treated us to ripe mangos from her own tree

God has been putting the people of Gaza and Inhambane provinces on my heart since traveling there with Pastor Abel and Julia in October.

My mom and I took a prayer trip to Chidenguele, which is in the province of Gaza. Overlooking the Indian Ocean, we prayed for God's will, preparation, enabling, direction, and timing.

We stayed at a lodge, and my mom ate her first barracuda and I was able to take a swim in the ocean for the first time in six months :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mozambican Advisors and...another Morcego

This last week we met with our Mozambican Advisors (to my left - Dr. Nhanale and Susan Weil, and to my right - Larry Weil, Pr. Nhabanga, and Pr. Cossa). These wise men give us counsel and advice concerning all of the work we're doing here in Mozambique.

During the meeting, I was introduced and given a chance to share about my desire to work with women in relationship building, discipleship training, and literacy instruction.

The advisors exhorted me to remember the importance of teaching women to teach others, which I very much hope to do, and they encouraged me to remember that God would take care of my needs. It was a privilege to meet with these wise men this Christmas season.

Another "Morcego"

...different bat

...same fear

...different guard

...same box

I have now designated this as my special "Bat Box"...
"Caixa para Morcegos"

E uma piadinha para os meus amigos brasileiros...

Como o Batman faz para que abram a bat-caverna?

Ele bat-palma...

(obrigada Alvinho >:)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Baby Celebration in Xipamanene

I was blessed to be part of Rosalva's baby celebration this last week in Xipamanene. Baby Cacilda, who doesn't always look so alarmed, was a being a bit the women made sounds to try and get her to smile, and instead she came out looking positively terrified...

Rosalva is part of the church in Xipamanene, and the church came to support, sing and pray for them, share from the Bible, and give some gifts.

Grandmother with Granddaughter and Daughter

"Komba n'wana wa wena ndlela ya vutomi a ha ri ntsongo, leswaku ni loko a kurile, a ta ka a nga hambuki eka yona." Swivuriso 22:6

"Raise up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Boane and My First Massala

Last weekend I went to Pastor Nelio's church in Boane. This lovely group is always very helpful in teaching me...whether it's new words, or a new fruit to eat!

During the sermon, I tried to separate and write down certain Changana words, and usually I would ask someone after the service if they could define the words for me. It seemed that P. Nelio's sister, Xica, couldn't wait to tell me what the words meant, so she leaned over during the sermon to define each word as soon as I wrote it down :)

At the end of the service we had a special time of prayer, and I was blessed to be able to pray for five women (below with P. Nelio) that want to be baptized next Sunday!

After the service, Xica said that "massala" season had arrived. When I told her that I'd never eaten that fruit, she was shocked, and then she quickly disappeared and reappeared with a fresh massala in hand (below). This fruit, which may have different names in other countries, has a round green hard shell that needs to be cracked open. Inside there are lots of lima bean sized seeds covered with the soft brown fruit. To me, it seemed to have a nice sweet spice-like flavor :)

After I finished eating, the women taught me how to say,
"Mina namazanza massala!"
(I like massala!)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Women's Meeting in Tsalala

~ This last week we had our final women's meeting before the holidays at the new church in Tsalala ~

~ After our meeting, the women from the church served a lovely meal of rice, nsima, beans, and fish in peanut curry ~

~ Pastor Abel also came since he had planted this church and was the only one who knew how to get there :)

~ Enjoying fellowship under the shade of a cashew tree with Mozambican sisters and brothers in Christ ~

Monday, November 16, 2009

Team Retreat and...Something like a Bird

What a blessing to have our team retreat this last weekend! We were joined by the director of the Maputo seminary, teachers from CAM school, and special visitors from the U.S. and South Africa. It was good to come aside to rest, reflect, and relate.

"Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

And on a slightly different note...

Something like a Bird, but not a Bird

It was late Tuesday night and I had just gotten back to my apartment after being out at an evening Bible study in Khongolote. As I got ready for bed, my peripherial vision picked up a shadowy movement in the hallway, accompanied by an irregular flapping sound. The first thing that came to my mind was a bird...

With the image of a delicate little finch in my head, I walked to the hallway and let out a bloodcurdling scream when I was met with a large dark creature flying at my face. Unlike a fluttering bird, it was a kind of sloppy ominous a bat.

I just barely ducked under it and then it flapped into my room, where sadly there was no open window by which it could escape. The first thing I thought of was to grab my electric tennis racket, which can be used for 'zapping' mosquitos. However, I feared that 'zapping' the bat would be like shooting a grizzly bear with a pellet gun - it would probably only annoy or anger it.

Then I thought of capturing it in a box...but I wasn't able to muster up the courage to do it. So with the electric tennis racket still in hand and a crazed look in my eye, I walked outside in search of help. There I found a very apprehensive looking guard, who had just heard my horrific scream.

Not knowing the Portuguese word for bat, I said, "There's something in my apartment that's like a bird, but it's not a bird. Can you help me catch it?" After some convincing, he bravely accepted the challenge to capture the strange creature.

As we approached my room, I saw that it was gruesomely clinging on to the mosquito net over my bed! The guard and I stood there stalling as we nervously talked about its features..."what a furry coat"..."and a worm-like tail"..."and look at its strange little feet"...etc... And then the guard, after taking a moment to gather his courage, bravely knocked it into the box and quickly placed the lid on top.

With the bat now safely in the box, we decided to take it out to the street and gently toss it near the stump of a tree. The bat landed with an unceremonious plop...and then quick as lightning, it took flight and flew off toward the moon like the end of a Halloween movie.

But before we let it go, I asked the guard if he could quickly open the box so I could take a's the bat...morcego in Portuguese!

Monday, November 2, 2009

International Night at C.A.M.

This last weekend I was blessed to be able to attend the Christian Academy in Mozambique International Night.

The students came dressed in the traditional clothes of their respective countries...very beautiful!

Everyone brought food from their country, which we all enjoyed afterwards...I brought mini-cheeseburgers that quickly disappeared :)

~ What a lovely evening ~

Monday, October 26, 2009

Travels to Gaza and Inhambane

This last week Pastor Abel, Julia, and I traveled north to the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane (about seven hours drive north of Maputo).

We went to encourage and teach new believers in seven different areas in these two provinces.

We met with many precious people to share with them.

Pastor Abel has been visiting these groups once a month to teach them using Chronological Bible Storytelling.

P. Abel would fasten the large picture cards on the side of a house as he taught the Bible.

Along with P. Abel and Julia, I was blessed to be able to teach and share with the different groups.

On our last day in Inhambane, twleve young people from the area of Nyadumbuque wanted to be baptized.

We fit the twelve people into the truck...fifteen with P. Abel, Julia and myself, and we began to make our way through the deep sand to a far off lake. Because we were very far from any villages, there weren't actual "roads."

Two nights before, the right rear tire on my car had been slashed through by a sharp stump of a tree hidden in the weeds. A young man had immediatley rushed out of his round canico house like an angel descending from the heavens to help us change the tire...and this time I knew exaclty what and where the "macaco" was :) (monkey...a.k.a. jack)
I thank God for that lovely young man.

So two days later, there I was driving a truck in deep sand up and down hills weighted down with fifteen people, with stumps, branches, and coconut shells scattered across the ground like an obstacle course before me...many, many, many miles from any possible form of help, and no more spare tire... I began to worry.

Then God said to my heart, "Do you trust Me?"
"Are you doing My will?"
I responded, "Yes."
He said, "Then why do you worry?"
Then He said, "You're taking a car load of My children to be baptized."

I was suddenly overcome by the tremendous privilege of what He was allowing me to do. I had the distinct feeling that I was reaping what I had not sown, that I was entering into the labors of brothers and sisters before me. Both the one who sows and the who reaps will rejoice together. I thank God for the amazing privilege of being a part of His work of love and salvation.

We arrived at the lake!

P. Abel shared about baptism as a symbol for birth into a new kind of life.

Julia and I took turns helping with the baptisms.

What a joy!

Two faithful co-workers :)

The whole group.

We then returned to share communion together.

The group in Nyadumbuque meets in the shade of this building on Sundays mornings.

Julia led the singing.

And they danced in celebration and praise!

Their joy showed in their dancing :)

The celebration attracted some of the other neighborhood kids.

Julia passed out baptism certificates to each person.

A lovely group of new believers in Nyadumbuque, Mozambique.
Would you please pray for them when they come to your mind?
Thank you. Praise God!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Learning about Literacy

A couple of weeks ago I shared about how Fatima has been such a help to me as I try to learn about language and culture here. One day she shared about the situation of many women here who have children at a very young age and are not able to continue studying at school. Because of this, as well as other reasons, many women are not able to read. Fatima said that she would like to learn how to read well (in Portuguese), so I offered to teach her once a week. It has been very good for me to begin learning about literacy training, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to help my friend Fatima :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Week in Khongolote

This last week I was able to live with Irma Julia out in Khongolote!

I was very thankful for the opportunity to live in this community so that I could begin to build relationships based on love and respect. I was able to learn more about the culture and way of life, to practice the local language, do daily chores...such as cooking, and learn more about the challenges and blessings of life here. I have so much more to understand and I hope to never stop learning...but most of all, with understanding, I hope to love Mozambicans with God's love in Jesus Christ.

~Irma Julia and I standing in front of the church and preschool in Khongolote~

Julia is the leader of the women's group at the church and she also helps out at the preschool.

~Some of the precious kids from the preschool~

I told them that I was going to be preparing their lunch this day...rice, potatoes, carrots, and...chicken!

~Julia (left) and Maria (right) in the kitchen area~

Maria is the main cook for the preschool. I was able to help her prepare to share a verse at the baby dedication we attended, and she helped me prepare the chicken for the kids at the preschool.


~Irma Julia holding the unfortunate bird~

~Mama Henriquetta and I~

It was such a blessing to begin building relationships with the women who serve at the church. As I got ready to prepare lunch that day, Mama Henriquetta helped me to tie my head scarf to keep my hair out of the way and keep my head warm. The weather this week was quite cool.

~I've eaten many chicken meals, but I've never prepared one from beginning to end...Irma Maria helped me to take the first step by killing the chicken~

~Then I plucked the feathers and cleaned the bird~

~A lovely neighbor of Julia's, Mama Amelia and her grandson, stopped by, and we posed for a rather strange and morbid picture as we grinned whilst holding onto the dead bird~

~Two plucked chickens ready to be cut up and cooked~

~Chickens cooking in the big pot with oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and carrots...almost ready~

~And finally the finished product...the blue plate special...a lovely chicken lunch!~

During my time in Khongolote, I was able to go to the local market to buy food to prepare for the week, work with the ladies doing the cooking and cleaning for the preschool children, take part in evening house groups, make home visits with the women's group to sing, pray, and console many families who were suffering from illnesses, receive lots of visitors in Julia's home, go to an early morning prayer meeting, attend a woman's baby dedication ceremony, and observe...listen...learn...and love much :) I thank God for this opportunity.