I praise God for the opportunity to travel this last week to visit, teach, and train in Inhambane!
With my two dear sisters Palmira and Jesuita
When I was studying in seminary, I once wrote a paper about discipleship, which I believe should be built upon the base of loving relationships.
If I come to serve and give, but do not allow myself to be served and given to, there is a danger of forming one-sided relationships that are weak in value, trust, dignity, and love.
In that paper, I gave one tiny concrete example of a way a server could place oneself in a position to be served...the broken flip-flop.
I said that although the one who is coming to serve might own 2 pairs of flip-flops, he/she could use just 1 pair, so that if something happens to the 1 pair, the server will need the service of those he/she has come to serve.
After being here for five years, I have never had a pair of flip-flops break...until Saturday night as I sat amongst my Mozambican brothers and sisters in Quissico. They saw my broken flip-flop and asked if I had another pair...which I did not.
One student named Zito, whom Pastor and Abel and I have been discipling for two years, stood up and starting walking around the reed house looking for pieces of wire, which are used to fasten the reed to wood. After getting two stray wires, he took out a pliers-type tool and asked for my flip-flop.
After about 5 minutes of working on it, he proudly gave it back to me, and then asked to see the other one. Sure enough, it was also just about to break. He then fixed that with two more wires and his tool, and gave it back with a huge smile.
I have been served in many ways by those I have come to serve, but at that moment I remembered the example from my paper that I wrote over 5 years ago. I thanked God for that special opportunity to be served, knowing that it gave Zito, and all the Mozambicans who were present, value, trust, dignity, and love.
High school students lining up to practice their worship songs and dances. (the guy with the big smile in red is Zito, who fixed my flip-flop :)
I've seen some of the most nonsensical and funny second hand t-shirts, and the one Mercia is wearing here is up there with the best of them. I translated it for her, but was at a loss to explain it...
"Love me Love
(then there is a teddy bear)
She married her boss"
The high school students often come with me when we visit the other church groups in Inhambane. One of the ways they have been such a blessing is in teaching kids some worship songs and dances.
I took a little video footage, and with some help (thanks Katie!) I've pasted the video below of them trying to teach a song and dance to the kids from the church group in Cala...with some laughs.
Five boys from the church group in Cala
We also visited the family of Palmira and Jesuita, who are graduating this year.
Palmira with her little cousin Eva
For two years I have been teaching Palmira in my women's Bible study group in Inhambane. As we finished up the last study before she graduates, she called me something she has never called me before..."mama."
She is a spiritual daughter who blessed my heart because this was a term of respect for someone who is my age and who is not a mother. Palmira and her sister Jesuita also gave me a very special thank you gift...a live chicken to take home and cook up!
Lord willing, this next week I will be traveling to Mocuba, Zambezia in the far north for one month. I am not sure about the electricity and internet situation where I will be, so I will update my blog when I am able. I would appreciate prayer.