Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Mozambique!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Soccer Boys, Beach Camping, Gnarly Creatures

Soccer Boys
During these past months, I've had the privilege of sharing Bible lessons with 11-14 yr. old boys who come to play soccer/football each week for the kids program in Machava.
 Libas, above, is their faithful trainer and coach.
 After attending the graduation for Child Evangelism Fellowship this last September in Maputo, Fernanda and I met with three young graduates whom we invited to come help teach at this bi-weekly kids program.
Florencio, Joshua, and Benny have come to help out the past couple months and have done a wonderful job!
 ~ The boys praying in a circle after the lesson ~ 

Would you pray for these future men of Mozambique?

Beach Camping

After a very busy time, I was very grateful to take a four-day weekend off to go beach camping with two fun missionary families, the Blanks and the Hulseys.


As it heats up for the summer here, I was hoping to do a little surfing, however the waves were a bit too small...but they were just the perfect size for teaching some new little surfers...
First, we practiced on the sand...

...then into the water we went. 


Each one got a chance.
 Marian riding a wave...while Hayden and I cheered in the background!

Judah's awesome wipeout!
 Four gnarly new surfers!
And one gnarly insect!

This insect turned out to be perfect for a practical joke on my prankster colleague, Don.

He had thrown a long green rope over the wall into the camp bathroom where I was, calling out, "green mambas have been spotted in the area!"

(The green mamba is a highly venomous snake found in Mozambique.)  

So I caught the large insect (in first picture) and put him in a little plastic tub that was the same size as the sugar container.

I then offered sugar for tea, of course switching containers before I got to Don. 

I approached his chair from the back and leaned over his shoulder offering the "sugar" a mere 2 inches from his face.

When I popped open the container, there was the large creature perched on a pile of sand. The result was a wonderful flinch and a priceless look, that I wish I had a picture of...    

And one more gnarly creature...
 My new dog, Ajur!

A retiring missionary couple offered her to me, and she is a great guard dog, which is what I wanted to get before moving to Inhambane.

At the last Bible study for the year in Kongoloti, the women presented me with a beautiful new kapulana :) 
The pink folder I'm holding much these days has the Inhambane land/construction plans and paperwork. I've been having meetings with construction supervisors and workers from the churches.
Would you please pray for God's direction in this Inhambane process as I prepare, Lord willing, to move at some point this next year.
Thank you! 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November Celebrations!

It was lovely to have Bruce and Mabel Callender, who served here in Mozambique for 10 years, visit during this month of many celebrations!

Bruce, Mabel, and Milca
Two Graduations...a Wedding and...a Consecration

After 4 years of studying, the first class of Mozambicans graduated from the Maputo Biblical and Theological Seminary.

1st Graduation Ceremony!

With Angela, one of the seminary graduates. 

Another graduation was for the 3 year Ministry Course in partnership with the national church we work with, Igreja Evangelica Palavra Viva (Living Word Evangelical Church). 

I was blessed to share a welcoming message at the ceremony. 

Five of the happy Palavra Viva students and the two professors with their wives.

And then the Wedding of my dear friend Fatima!

Fatima was nervous about how to write her new name on the wedding certificate, so I printed a sample from the internet...

...and we practiced...

...then she did it!

Eduardo and Fatima 
(it's not customary to smile at a serious event such as a wedding) 

...but Fatima was caught smiling :) 

Along with her local church, I visited Eduardo and Fatima's new house to pray for them. 

Tall pastor Jorge couldn't believe how short the ceilings were!

Eduardo, Fatima's husband, didn't see any problem and just laughed :)
And finally, we celebrated a Pastoral Consecration Service... 

Luisa and I read the from the Scripture in Portuguese and Changana.

And Vitoria and I gave the Bibles to the new pastors and wrapped their wives in capulanas. 

Fransisco, who serves at the church in Intaka, was consecrated as a pastor.

Nelio, who serves at the church in Picoco, was also consecrated as a pastor.

The new pastors and their wives.
(serious events require serious faces, but I convinced the two new pastors to smile :)
What a joy it is to invest in the lives of Mozambicans and to celebrate with them as they follow Jesus Christ!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Different Views

Some Different Views...

Car View
(driving in Nyadumbuque - Inhambane)
Meeting View
(praying and studying the Bible with church leaders and missionaries at Maputo Biblical and Theological Seminary - Maputo)
Kitchen view
(preparing breakfast - Inhambane)
Sunday Morning View
(kids singing and entering into church - Inhambane)
Carlos' Corner Office View
(church leader, Carlos Njango, studying in his outdoor office - Maputo :)
Tina and Aimee taking over the office
(studying the Bible with Tina, Carlos' wife)
Photographer's View
(Church Leadership Conference with Pastors Jaco and Sandro from Brazil - Maputo) 
Kids' View
(enjoying balloons - Inhambane)
My View
(smiling eyes - Inhambane)
And finally, a view that I never want to see in person...
(the Chewbacca Bat spotted during an expedition in...Mozambique - enlarge the photo to fully appreciate this view!)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First House Project

I traveled to Inhambane this last week to work on the first construction project for the house where I will live!   

A lovely family from the Palavra Viva church in Intaka (Maputo) came with me. (above - Mama Alda with daughters, Olginha and Crisney)
Dad, Juliao, is a faithful worker in the church and is also a student of the ministry course on Saturdays at the seminary. 
He has experience in construction and has been looking for work, so he did the first project in Inhambane...a water tank!

 Juliao started to work on the tank and sent me off to buy materials and tools... knowledge of Portuguese vocabulary in construction materials and tools is weak at best.
When Juliao said he would need a "colher" (spoon in Portuguese), I wondered what he would need a spoon for...I found out there's a construction meaning of "colher" which made much more sense...a spade.  
I searched the village for tools such as a "kucha-kucha" not knowing what it was, and when I found it, not knowing whether it would be the size of peanut or a lawnmower. (It turns out it is a medium sized tool used to smooth out cement.)  
By the second day, I found myself negotiating for rocks because I learned that the sellers beat in the 20 liter cans used for measuring so that they hold fewer rocks. After shaking my head and saying that the can had clearly been beaten and did not hold 20 liters worth, I was happy to get a "basela" (a word in the Changana and Chope languages meaning an extra amount on top of what one pays for - in this case a whole extra can of rocks!)   

 Rufino (above - mixing cement), is from Papa Tomas' church in Cala and also came to work with us.

 When Juliao had almost finished with the cement walls of the water tank, he said he would need a "batemassa." 
Seeing the blank look on my face, he said Rufino should come along to help find the mysterious tool. So we set off for the village.
After 20 minutes, 3 stops, and no "batemassa", we met a man who said he might know where we could borrow one.
Off we went together with our new friend, and 2 more stops and 30 minutes later we arrived at a small house with a family sitting outside on their mat. 
Traditional Chope greetings were exchanged, health and family was asked about, and then came the big question, "Can we borrow your batemassa?" 
The answer was yes and smiles all around, then out of the house came the illusive instrument... a stick stuck in a can filled with hardened concrete used for beating down the foundation of a water tank. 
I always have much to learn.

  One day Alda and the girls came to see what their Dad was up to.

Meanwhile Alda had been cooking the meals back at the house where we stayed.
It was a blessing to be able to do a Bible study one evening with Alda about Eunice and how to be a godly mother.   

 Alda's daughter Olginha was practicing her mothering skills by tying her yellow stuffed elephant onto her back as Mozambican women do with their babies.

 Baby elephant safely tucked into her capulana.

Happy little elephant mom :) 
When we began to fill the water tank on the final day of this first project, I was reminded of God's promise to me in 2009 when He specifically called me to serve Him in Inhambane...

"When the poor and needy seek water,
and there is none,

    and their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the Lord will answer them;

    I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
and fountains in the midst of the valleys.
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
and the dry land springs of water."
Isaiah 41:17-18
God wants to bring Jesus Christ, like water, to those who are parched with thirst. This is my ultimate desire.
I praise God for this promise and this start.