Traveling, Teaching, Eating, and Braiding
Out of the 9 Palavra Viva (Living Word) churches in the Maputo province, women from 6 of these 9 churches have accompanied P. Abel and I on ministry trips to the province of Inhambane.
These have essentially been "short-term mission trips" for these Mozambican women (something I never could have imagined or planned). I've been blessed to travel, work, teach, eat, and sleep alongside of these women as we learn and grow in Christ.
Discipleship happens as we travel together.
Teaching the Word of God is certainly a part of discipleship. Here I am teaching some of the women about the lessons we can learn from Job's wife in the Bible (...what not to do).
Here is Pastor Abel with the church planters underneath the cashew tree. He is teaching about what it means to be a worker for the Lord.
Discipleship happens as we teach.
Eating In this picture, I'm about to partake of the cashew fruit (the seed/cashew nut is on the top and the fruit is on the bottom). You can see P. Abel grinning at his fruit on the left, and Alberto wondering why in the world I would want to take a picture of a cashew fruit on the right :)
Perhaps it is clear that discipleship happens as we travel on short-term mission trips and teach the Bible...but what does eating have to do with discipleship... I believe that eating is one way to open hearts, ears, and eyes.
Eating the local food that we are offered is a way of showing our acceptance and love for the people that we are here to serve. If we were to refuse the food that is offered, it would be a way of refusing the love and reception of the people.
If people know that we love and accept them, then they are more open to listen to what we are saying and to see how we are living. In this way, I believe that eating can prepare hearts in an attitude of love to hear the Word of God and see it in action.
Discipleship happens as we eat.
I've been wondering how I could build stronger discipling relationships with the young ladies where we stay in the village of Zavala.
At the end of the first day of our discipleship training, I approached the reed mat where three young ladies were arranging eachother's hair. They asked me if I had ever braided my hair, to which I replied that I had not, with an ambiguous grin on my face...happy for the chance to bond with them, but knowing that it was going to hurt a bit :)
Here are some shots in the dark...since "Cousin Itt" couldn't see through the hair as she took the photos.
Hurt a bit...it did. But it was more than worth it for the relationships it helped to build. How is braiding hair a part of discipleship... I believe that relationships based on love and trust are the foundation for discipleship. And if these relationships can partly be built through braiding hair...then I want braids :) From traveling and teaching, to eating and braiding...discipleship is happening. Praise God for all the ways the He helps us to make disciples for Christ!