An Organic Day.
After getting the best night’s rest so far (7 hours!), Ezy and I hit the road around 8:30AM for Mangumo. Ezy and I thought maybe we would be back at the hotel around 2PM to rest up and do some work. At 9:45PM, we pulled into the hotel and had not eaten dinner yet.
Manumo is First Sedalia’s covenant partner in Mozambique. They are working to reestablish a relationship with them, and I offered to visit. They are located in the Massinga District, about 2 1/2 hours from Maxixe. It’s the most rural church I’ve visited thus far in my tenure. It is 24 kilometers (15 miles) of dirt road. For perspective, it took us 55 minutes to drive that 15 miles.
After a wonderful singing greeting, introductions, and brief discussion of the church history I was presented with a goat! This is my second goat that I’ve received. Saying that I am “humbled” by this action doesn’t do justice how I feel, accepting this wonderful gift. Then, the church women had prepared lunch of rice, matapa and chicken for us. Generosity and fellowship.
A few highlights include: Mangumo began as an evangelistic district in 1999 with 6 families, and has grown to 96 members and 27 children. Prior to MI drilling our well, their nearest well was more than 15 kilometers away from Manguo (9 MILES!). Concerns include the nearest health clinic being even longer to walk. The nearest “shop” to purchase goods that cannot be grown is more than 28 kilometers (17 miles) away. This is a very poor community and if it can’t be grown or made organically, it is likely not there. I ate my first cashew-nut fruit here, which was very tasty!
On our way, Ezy and the District Superintendent discussed what time they thought we would be back at Massinga. Their prediction? 2PM. We didn’t arrive into Massinga until after 6PM. What I thought was interesting about their discussion was that it truly shows how organic these visits truly are. Sometimes, I wonder (skeptically) if there are discussions to “perform” or “showcase” for me or other Missourians. Today, Mangumo proved these visits are organic and that is what makes them unique and wonderful. We had a wonderful time and I look forward to sharing all of my photos, video, and notes with Pastors Downing and Cassidy. It was a joyous experience that touched me in ways that are difficult to describe.
After we left Mangumo, stopped in unannounced at Hunguana (Unguana) UMC to deliver a sign to their well. Hunguana’s partner in Missouri is Broadway UMC in Plattsburg. These unannounced stops are super cool because of the low-key nature but yet still, the pastors show hospitality. We were given a gift of cashews since that’s all that he had to offer.
We also visited Nhachengue (Tiane) UMC which is Bishop Farr’s covenant partner. The pastor wasn’t there and we visited the well that is under repair. This was a very brief stop since nobody was around.
After dropping off the superintendent and Mangumo pastor in Massinga, Ezy and I met with a solar panel company. Panga (Phanga) UMC has submitted a water microfinance project but because of the levels of the land – to do this, it needs a pump. No electricity is present at Phanga. So, there is a company that has connected solar panels to well pumps. We will be giving the approval in the coming weeks for a trial. Then, in January, I hope to visit this completed project.
If successful as the solar panel workers believe, this could be a well game-changer. In some areas, the water table is much deeper (200 meters) than the rest of the country. Due to that depth, hand pumps are not effective. If this pump works at Phanga, we will try the larger pumps in these deep wells and be able to provide water in places where wells have not been able to be placed. The solar panel business owners are United Methodists in the Massinga area.
Finally, our day concluded by dropping off the goat at Ezy’s brother. Unlike my previous gift, I will get to enjoy (as the Mangumo community expected) this goat as a meal, likely on Sunday. I’m excited to live out this wish by the people of Mangumo and will say a special blessing for the people who sacrificed so much to give me something that in our culture is not a really big deal. For a church whose weekly offering is approximately 20 MTZ (27 cents) – to give me a gift worth $13.50 and provide me a meal as I visited them….I’m so blessed.
It’s been a wonderful day. Tomorrow afternoon begins the Annual Conference in Cambine. It will be great to see old friends and make new ones. For the church-policy nerd in me, I’m excited for the processes and discernment that will take place in the coming days.