Friday, May 28, 2010

4th Trip to Gaza and Inhambane

 Together with Pastor Abel, and this time with my dear friend Mama Isabel, we've just come back from another week serving in the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane.

Me and Mama Isabel 

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 very long distances.

After the two days of training sessions, we visited the different church groups in their areas.

In Bangusa, as we were visiting the lady who has the church in her house, several women from a neighboring area happened to come by selling peanuts (above). 

We all 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 the robe or "capulana" of Jesus. 

The women asked for prayer and expressed the desire to come again to hear the Word of God. What a joy!

Some of the young students from Bangusa.

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 going to and from school. 

As we were driving back that day, I was shocked to hear a group of young students on the road shout out, "Irma Aimee!" We found out that they were part of the church group. What a blessing :) 

Two precious children of Bangusa

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Julia's Engagement and Family Presentation

This last weekend, Julia 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, on the left, discussed food preparations with her sister, in the middle, and Maria, from the church in Kongoloti, on the right.

Maria peeled the garlic

I seasoned the chickens

Zinha did her work with her baby on her back.

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.

Then the groom, Sergio,  arrived with his family and friends.

Julia changed her clothes one more time for the evening meal and presentation ceremony. Julia's parents were presented to Sergio, Julia, and Sergio's family.

The whole group at the end of the night, a very special event in Julia's life.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Learning, Leading, and Laughing Together

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

We read the Bible story and discuss it, and then 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, lead, and laugh together :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

3rd Trip to Gaza and Inhambane

Together with Pastor Abel and his wife Victoria, we went back to the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane!

Part of the church group in Maculuva, Inhambane.

Two strong women of Maculuva.

Two strong men of Maculuva.

The Mozambican government works with an organization that loans two oxen to a family for a period of 3 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 3 years, the government comes to collect the original two oxen.

Before leaving, they gave us some large mushrooms to cook for dinner that night!

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

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

I found some beautiful beans.

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 cassava season, so we harvested some!

Hard working Pastor Abel

Cassava (Mandioca in Portuguese)

Hardworking Mama Victoria

They taught me how to do one on my own!

Cutting the trunk off for re-planting

Mama Victoria and I re-planted the trunk, which will grow into another full cassava 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.