Sunday, March 28, 2010

Trip North to Zambezia

I praise God for the trip farther north that I was able to take these last two weeks with my colleagues, Dave and Ann.

"Welcome to Mocuba
Where all roads cross and
Mozambique embraces itself"

We visited with Mozambican missionaries who came from our national church in the Maputo province, Pastor Juka and Elina Fernando. On our first Sunday, we visited a church planted by a leader that Juka had been discipling.

Church in Erua, Zambezia

After church, we spent precious time with Juka and Elina, who live and serve in the northern province of Zambezia

Elina and Albertina let me help them to make our Sunday dinner, while Elina's husband, Juka, documented everything on film!

Stirring the xima

Making corvina fish curry

Learning from my two teachers...

and having fun with my two sisters :)

At one point I had control of both pots...a dangerous situation.

Women's Meeting

The next morning we had a women's meeting where God allowed me to share about servant leadership. To impress this lesson on our hearts, we followed Jesus' example and washed one another's feet...

"You call me, Jesus, 'Teacher and Lord', and you are right to say this, for so I am."

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

"For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you."

After our Bible study and sharing time, the women walked to the front of the church.

They sang beautiful praise songs in Elomwe, the native language in this area.

The children played outside.

Looking right at the camera in the middle of this picture is bright shining Elina...national missionary to her people.

The women's group

Staying with the Vasco da Gama Family

While in Mocuba, we stayed with a local pastor and his family - Pastor Antonio and Maria Vasco da Gama, and their four daughters.

Mama Maria let me help her prepare might get the impression that I would be a good Mozambican cook after all the time I spend preparing food with Mozambican women...I'm not. However, as I'm "cooking", I do learn a lot about the experiences, challenges, and blessings in the lives of precious Mozambican women.

Little Naira and Yanni

Rex the dog :)

Mocuba Training Center Land

This is the plot of land for the Mocuba Training Center, which we hope would be used for teaching and preparing church leaders in this area in the future.

My tour guides and travel companions - Dave and Ann.

The men prayed over the land and the beginning of the construction project - Belarmino, third from the right, is in charge of this work.

The local work team

We were also able drive a couple hours out of Mocuba to visit Quelimane. We met, shared, and prayed with local Pastor Arcanjo, who leads a church there.

P. Arcanjo's first wife, with whom he had five children, passed away. And now he is remarried...with five more children. His wife is holding the baby and his eldest son is on the left.


We then took a two-day trip to the city of Nampula.

On the way, we visited and encouraged one of Pastor Mario's church plants. Pastor Mario is on the far right and Pastor Juka, is on the far left.

Also on the way, we stopped to see three men who are doing a wonderful work of translating the Old Testament, and some Chronological Bible story materials into the language of Elomwe. Ann was so happy to see the work that these translators are doing. The new local churches are anxiously waiting for the Old Testament books of the Bible in their language!

Another stop we made on the way to Nampula was Ile, where Pastor Dinis and his family live and serve. P. Dinis has trained many local pastors in the north. Dave had a special prayer time for Dinis and his family.

We shared a lovely meal together.

When we got to Nampula, I met with a woman who showed me some wonderful Bible study booklets that I bought. There are fifteen studies about women of the Bible that have been translated into Portuguese and put into the African context...I look forward to learning about them and using them in the future!

On the way back to Mocuba, we visited P. Dinis while he was doing a church planter's training session in area called Naritete.

The trainees in Naritete

Members of the local church

They gave us some of their crops as offerings of gratitude.

I ate my first raw piece of cassava.

Church in Naritete

Back in Mocuba

On our last night in Mocuba, Ann and I sang a song and wrapped the women in new capulanas.

From left to right - Ermelinda, me, Elina with daughter Milca, Ana (Elina's sister), Ann, and Albertina with baby Belarmino.

What a special trip this was, and I thank God for allowing me to be a part of it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Planting Peanuts

These last few months I've had the new experience of planting peanuts in Kongoloti!

I discovered that the enxada is the tool of choice for peanut planting.

Mama Henriquetta took me under her wing and showed me how it was done.

She dug shallow holes with the enxada, and then dropped one peanut into each hole.

A very true African proverb says,

"Working in the fields is hard, but hunger is harder."

The work is hard indeed.

After Mama Henriquetta showed me how to do it, I was able to plant my own crop of peanuts.

"Unless a grain of wheat (or peanut) falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain (or many peanuts)." John 12:24

The Changana word for a plot of ground that is used for farming is, machamba.

This last week when I was with the women in Kongoloti, someone had pulled some peanuts out of the ground, and I asked if they came from the ones I had planted. Mama Henriquetta said nonchalantly, "No, no, those aren't from Aimee's machamba."
I don't think she'll ever know how thrilled I was to hear her call it, "Aimee's machamba" Even though it's's my very own machamba!

One peanut fell into the ground and died, and it produced many more peanuts.

May we be like peanuts that die, that many more may be produced...