Final Photos from Mozambique

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Final Reflections on Mozambique

We are so grateful for the hospitality extended to us during our travels in Mozambique. We have such fond memories of those who were the body of Christ welcoming us with open arms. From Naftal, who helped with the planning and arranged many details, to the Bishop graciously spending time with us when she was surely exhausted after the women’s conference, to our hero Telmo our driver and faithful companion. With joy and humor he served Christ by shepherding us through the week.

We have some memories we want to archive for ourselves and will save here…

“Moo aqui”

You can buy mcell phone minutes from the guys wearing yellow shirts selling scratch off cards through your window on the bus.

There is are fruitas and liquid frutas.

Capulanas are beautiful…and addicting to collect!

Personal space.

Tin can cars!

Finally, you’ll see the pictures of the folks who welcomed us during our time in Mozambique. Telmo, Naftal, Vitoria, Betty, and more. Each encounter with them brought us closer to God in a different way. For Telmo’s great joy of life and faithful guidance and protection during our trip, to Naftal’s observation of the need for theological thought native to the African context and culture, to Vitoria’s pastoral wisdom about the issues faced by so many in her care, to Betty’s hospitality and simple kindness in the guest house.

Along our journey there moments of great joy and laughter, moments of sadness and weeping with others in pain, a few moments of trepidation and uncertainty, and yet through it all the continually presence of God guiding our journey and gushing for the Living Water from which we drank deeply.

Thanks be to God!

~ Sarah

Photos Day 8

Traveling to the beach in Tofo for some cooler air! Enjoyed a beautiful hotel, and got to check out the KFC in Xaixai.

Journal Entry Day 8

Last night we left Jerusalem Guest House after the conclusion of our fantastic seminar. We were melting at night, even after moving to a room with a window so we took the opportunity to head to Tofo Beach for the night to get some cooler air.

We asked Orlando, our translator, to help us arrange a place to stay. We had two houses to look at renting. The first had no guard and we were not entirely comfortable in that space so we asked to see the second house, which had a guard. The second house is located on top of a sand dune. We learned that in Africa when something is located at the top of a sand dune, it is not wise to attempt to go there in a bus (or “chapa”). If you’re wondering what could possibly go wrong I invite to you check out our photos from Day 8…and you’ll be able to see our faithful driver Telmo contemplating how best to extricate our bus from the sand. We got stuck not once but twice, and thanks to the efforts of our driver Telmo, our interpreter Orlando, Orlando’s friend and three other kind men from the neighborhood who came with shovels and planks of wood within 90 minutes of hard work and lots of prayers we were safely headed away from the sand dune and back to the tourist part of Tofo. We stopped at a hotel and were extremely pleased to find rooms available to rent at a very reasonable price given the late hour.

We enjoyed a delicious meal at a restaurant that included some local “King Prawns” – jumbo shrimp served with their heads on!

Telmo is truly our hero for working hard with the other men to free our bus from the sand, and also for driving them back to their home towns for the night before he was able to return to the hotel to get some much needed sleep. I hope he enjoyed his rest, and I was pleased to greet him in the hotel lobby the next morning when he returned from the beach where he gathered some seashells for his family.

Our journey from Tofo back to Maputo included a trip to the Xaixai KFC. Yup, the hardest meal of my trip to find Gluten Free food was the one fast food restaurant! Rice with some kind of protein at every other meal suited me just find. We also learned on that car trip that we should expect a “Bano publico” to be nasty…although the bathrooms at the gas station might indeed be much  nicer and cleaner than the ones at the restaurants…

Alas, we did not get any photos of the “Mozambican road flairs” but we did witness a truck broken down by the side of the road. This accident was clearly marked with palm fronds and branches. This works well in the daylight, but not so well after dark.

We enjoyed the trucks filled with goats – we captured our photo of one that was barely full, but did see one filled with three layers of goats!

– Sarah

Photos Day 7

Chicuque Rural Hospital

Journal Entry Day 7

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012

This morning before our seminar began we went to the Chicuque Rural Hospital to distribute baby hats and blankets (knit by the women of Burke UMC).

There were twins and also a mama who had lost her baby. I wept with her.

There were 6 beds in a room in the maternity. There were only 4 in the NICU. There was no incubators, but they did have one baby on oxygen. They were having to use and adult NC tube

We also visited the pediatric unit and prayed with them. There is a mosque nearby in the town of Maxixie. One of the patients we met was Muslim and preferred for us not to pray for him because if he prayed with us and said Amen it would feel for him like he was agreeing with Christianity and not Islam. We said we understood and respected his wishes and hoped that his child would heal soon.

Next month will be a year since the hospital employees have gotten paid. Yet, the still come to work everyday. Sarah asked the hospital director, “How do the employees feed their families?” His answer was, “I can only imagine. This is my greatest headache every day.”

I saw a child with a wound dressing that appear to be a combination of newspaper and gauze. The viles of medication are in glass vials with snap off caps. The surgical rooms are open air rooms with plastic sheeting hanging around the operating table. There is no air conditioning in the hospital. They also experience a lack of electricity when the town has no electricity because they no longer can use their generator.

We joined the ladies for the last day of our seminar and were able to listen as each woman shared a challenge from their ministry that God helped them to overcome. It was a blessing to hear them share with one another because some women had overcome the very challenge that others were currently struggling with in their setting. Getting water and electricity for their ministry setting, or being rejected from their congregation for some reason. We all found strength and encouragement from hearing how God helped other women overcome some of the challenges in their ministry.

We closed our time together with a time of prayer and blessing for one another as we remembered our baptism which connects us to Christ and to one another.

After the time of sharing for our seminar was over we welcomed a speaker from the Chicuque Rural Hospital. The District Superintendent had requested we allow some time for him to speak to the gathered women. We sat in a small cluster with our interpreter and observed the speaker. It was a fascinating discussion to see him sharing information about health and helping the pastors understand what can be considered “normal.” In some of the communities the pastors shared that when a person is never ill they are considered to be abnormal. There was some back and forth about the information he was sharing because the lived experienced of the pastors in their communities didn’t always line up with what he was hoping they would be able to do and say in their parishes.

-Lisa & Sarah

Videos Day 6

Clergywomen singing songs of praise to God!