Arriving at the beautiful new ministry house in Quissico, Inhambane!
Along with Belarmino, a smiling Marcos Zito, who did the painting, was there to welcome us.
I was accompanied by my dear OMS colleagues, Paulo and Fernanda, my sister from church, Luisa, and my mom.
They were such a huge help with all the unpacking, organizing, cleaning, putting things away... and even planting a tropical almond tree for shade in the future.
Belarmino (far left), from the church, and his workers sang a song of blessing before they left. They did an amazing job on a difficult house, which has both Mozambican and Western aspects, with the hope that both Mozambicans and Westerners will all feel welcome here.
What a blessing it was to have my mom here for the last 3 months to help me with this major transition.
The surprise my mom got in her shoe one morning.
Since moving to the village of Quissico, I have spent many days with a local pastor from the Nazarene church to be formally presented to the local chiefs, municipal and district authorities, government officials, and the religious affairs offices.
I praise God that the leaders have received me well and have formally recognized my presence in the community. I want to show love and respect as I live here, and I thank God for His help in these important first steps.
I was also presented at the local hospital (above), the radio station, and the police and military squadrons.
Although it has been tiring to make many culturally appropriate visits for introductions in my first days here, this will be a help with my own security, my relationships in the community, and for partnership possibilities in the future.
I attended the final 2015 meeting of the Evangelical Alliance of Brothers in Christ (held at the Pentecostal church above). It is a group made up of 5 different church denominations, including Palavra Viva church, which I have served with in Maputo for the past 8 years.
Papa Tomas presented me to the group, who gave me a lovely welcome.
In partnership with my Mozambican brothers from the Palavra Viva church in Maputo, in the future we hope to provide a Biblical leadership training course for church leaders from a variety of denominations in this area.
This time of transition has been challenging, but as it has always been, it is hard and good to live for Christ.
"The most deeply compelled action is also the freest action...I chose, yet it really did not seem possible to do the opposite"