Friday, May 28, 2010

4th Trip to Gaza and Inhambane

I've just come back from another week serving in the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane with Pastor Abel...and this time with Mama Isabel (below).

Mama Isabel is truly like a "Mama" to me, and it was such a blessing to serve alongside of her.

Pastor Abel taught the Chronological Bible Storytelling, and I led a Bible study for new believers called Nova Vida (New Life).

Fifteen local church leaders participated, some coming from long distances.

After the two days of training sessions, we visited the different church groups.
In Bangusa, as we were visiting the lady who holds the church in her house, several women from a neighboring area happened to come by with some peanuts (above). So we had a time of singing, and I was able to share about the woman who was healed after she reached out in faith to touch Jesus' 'capulana.' The women asked for prayer and expressed the desire to come again to hear the Word of God.

Some of the young students joined in too.

There's a very long dirt road that goes through Bangusa and since there are some village schools in this area, the road is often filled with students. As we were driving back that day, I was shocked to hear a group of young students shout out, "Irma Aimee!!" We found out that they were part of the church group there...I was touched with the privilege of building relationships based on God's love with these precious people.

Two precious children of Bangusa :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Julia's Engagement and Family Presentation

This last weekend, Julia from Khongolote, celebrated her marriage engagement, and I was blessed to be a part of this special event. The family of the future groom, Sergio, was invited to meet the family of the future bride, Julia.

Julia, on the left, discussed food preparations with her sister, in the middle, and Maria, from the church in Khongolote, on the right.

Maria peeled the garlic

I seasoned the chickens

Zinha worked with her baby on the back

Julia's sister was one of the cooks

Julia had asked me if I would take pictures of this special event, so after I helped with some of the food preparation, there was a mad rush to "get Aimee presentable" so that I could be the "photographer" for the ceremonies.

Julia's family entered the house to present themselves to Sergio's family.

Julia changed into a beautiful dress

After the presentations, the two families then ate together. An uncle of the future groom insisted that the "photographer" be in one of the pictures. And even though I didn't eat inside with the core family members, the uncle said that a plate of food should be put on my lap for the here's the "photographer" with someone else's food :)

After the meal, groups of family and friends sang and danced while presenting gifts to the future bride.

Some of them gave gifts of food.

Julia and her future sister-in-law were wrapped in capulanas.

Finally, the groom arrived with more family and friends.

Julia changed her clothes one more time for the evening meal and presentation ceremony. Here are Julia's parents being presented to Sergio, Julia, and Sergio's best man.

I actually couldn't see anything when I took this picture since it was so dark...but here's the whole group at the end of the night.
I was blessed to be a part of this special event in Julia's life :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning and Leading Together

Fatima and I have been meeting on Tuesdays to prepare for the Chronological Bible study we're doing with women in Chamanculo.

During the afternoon, we read the Bible story and discuss it, and in the evening we go to the church in Chamanculo to sing, tell the story, memorize a Bible verse, and pray together.

As Fatima continues to learn how to read, I continue to learn how to speak...

We've had some laughs at some of my Portuguese linguistic errors...

While telling Fatima the story of Noah and the flood, I said that, "God sent a great smell upon the earth!"

flood - cheia
smell - cheira

While telling Fatima the story of Abraham's obedience to God, even being willing to sacrifice his son Isaac, I said that, "as Abraham lifted the big fork to slay his son, God called out for him to stop."

knife - faca
fork - garfu
I praise God for Fatima's faithfulness and grace as we learn and lead together :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

3rd Trip to Gaza and Inhambane

This last week I traveled north with Pastor Abel and his wife Victoria to the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane for the third time.
It is such a blessing to encourage the different church groups that are meeting in these areas.
Part of the church group in Maculuva, Inhambane

Two Strong Women of Maculuva

Two Strong Men and One Strong Ox

The Mozambican government has a program in which they loan two oxen to a family for a period of three years. The family can use the oxen to work their fields, and if the oxen produce young, the family can keep them. At the end of the three years the government comes to collect the original two oxen.

Before leaving, this group gave us some rather large mushrooms to cook for dinner that night. Pastor Abel and his wife Victoria are standing in the back with the Maculuva Mushrooms :)

Mama Victoria and I sorted the beans that we would eat for lunch the next day when we would do our church leader training.

We picked out all the pebbles, debris, little beasts, and bad beans.

In the process, I found some of the most beautiful beans!

Irmao Alberto lives at the house where Pastor Abel stays when he's in Inhambane. Alberto is a high school student and has started a meeting at the house twice a week with about 15 students who meet together to sing, pray, and have a short Bible study. It's been wonderful to get to know these students better each time I come to visit.

While we were in the province of Gaza, we were able to visit Mama Victoria's field. It was mandioca season, so we harvested some mandioca!

Pastor Abel pulling it out


Hardworking Mama Victoria

Hardworking Aimee Hacking Away

Cutting the trunk off for re-planting

Mama Victoria and I re-planted the trunk, which will grow into another full mandioca plant.
It was such a blessing to travel again to Gaza and Inhambane as I seek to build loving relationships with these beloved people - and I'm always learning so much in the process!