Thursday, March 31, 2011

11th Trip to Inhambane

Discipleship and traveling, teaching, eating...and braiding

Irma Sandra from the church in Tsalala came with Pastor Abel and I on this ministry trip to Inhambane.

Out of the 9 Palavra Viva churches in the Maputo province, women from 6 of the churches have accompanied P. Abel and I on ministry trips to the province of Inhambane!

These really have 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, cook, eat, and sleep alongside of these women as we learn and grow in Christ.

Discipleship happens as we travel together.

Teaching the women's group in Quissico about Job's wife, and how we can learn from her example in the Bible (...what not to do).

Pastor Abel, under the cashew tree, teaching the church planters about being a servant.

Discipleship happens as we teach.

The cashew fruit 
(the seed/cashew nut is on the top, and the fruit is on the bottom). 

Pastor Abel is grinning at his fruit on the left, and Alberto is wondering why in the world I would want to take a picture of a cashew fruit on the right :)

The inside of the cashew fruit.

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, in a way, like 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 seeds can be planted even as we eat.

I've been wondering how I could build stronger relationships with the young ladies where we stay in the village of Quissico.

At the end of the first day of our discipleship training, I approached the reed mat where three young ladies were arranging each other's hair. 

They asked me if I had ever braided my hair, and I replied that I had not, with an ambiguous grin on my face...happy for the chance to get to know them better, 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 did. But it was more than worth it.

Relationships based on love and trust are the foundation for discipleship, and if these relationships can start to be built through braiding hair...then I want braids. 

From traveling and teaching, to eating and braiding, discipleship seeds for Christ are being planted. Praise God!