Sunday, March 28, 2010

North to Mocuba

I praise God for the trip north 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"

On our first Sunday, we visited a church planted by locally trained pastor, Antonio Nacuatiana

Church in Erua, Zambezia

Visiting with Juka and Elina
After church, we spent precious time with Juka and Elina Fernando, who are Mozambican missionaries from the southern province of Maputo now living and serving in the northern province of Zambezia

I was able to help Irma Elina and Irma Albertina make our Sunday dinner, while Elina's husband, Juka, documented everything on film :)

Stirring the nshima

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 of servanthood 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 children played outside

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

All of us

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 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 would be used for teaching and preparing church leaders in the north

My lovely 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

A great group of guys :)


One day we were 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 Juka, Elina's husband, 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 asked to have a special prayer time for Dinis and his family.

We then shared a lovely meal together

When we got to Nampula, I was able to meet with a woman who showed me some wonderful Bible study booklets that I was able to buy. 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!

Dave and Ann in front of the house where we stayed in Nampula

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 thanked us for coming and gave us some of their crops

I ate my first raw piece of mandioca

Church in Naritete

Back in Mocuba

On our last night in Mocuba, Ann and I sang a song in Changana and wrapped the women in new capulanas :)
From left to right - Ermelinda (who helps in the home), me, Elina with daughter Milca, Ana (Elina's sister), Ann, and Irma 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

I've been blessed these last few months to have the experience of planting peanuts in Khongolote!
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 Khongolote, 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...