Saturday, November 3, 2012

First Trip back to Inhambane!

I praise God for the opportunity to travel this last week to visit, teach, and train in Quissico, Inhambane! 

 With two dear friends, 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 remember giving one little example of a way a server could place oneself in a position to be served...a 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 among 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 Isildro, whom Pastor and Abel and I have been discipling for the last two years, stood up and starting walking around the reed house looking for pieces of wire, which are used to fasten the reed to the pieces of wood in the house structure. 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 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 Isildro, 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 Isildro, who fixed my flip-flop :) 

I've seen some strange second hand t-shirts over the years, and the one Mercia is wearing is up there with the best of them. I translated it for her, but was at a loss to explain it... 

The shirt says,

"Love me Love

(then there is a teddy bear)

She married her boss"

The high school students from Quissico often join Pastor Abel and I when we visit the other church groups in Inhambane. Sometimes they teach the kids some worship songs and dances. 

I've put the video below of them trying to teach a song and dance to the kids from the church group in Cala...with some laughs.

 Boys from the church group in Cala

We visited the family of Palmira and Jesuita, who are graduating from high school this year.
Palmira, with her little friend, Eva.