I’ve begun the long journey back to Mozambique! For many of you, this may be a surprise – I hadn’t mentioned it on Facebook or on this blog. It’s been a busy several weeks from both a MI perspective and a personal perspective. I will depart Mozambique on May 2nd, arriving back in Missouri on May 3rd.
Before I get into where/what/when I’ll be doing in Mozambique, I want to share a few of the happenings from the MI and personal perspective in this post because I do think my current mindset will impact this trip’s tones, influences, and observations. The last 3 months have been a whirlwind from the MI perspective. I’ll start there.
February, March, and April, brought several things around MI.
February Highlights: I interviewed and hired a fantastic intern (THANK YOU, Amanda!) who has been crafting Annual Conference and doing outreach to churches and their covenant partners that hadn’t been done in years. I experienced and got the affirmation from the MidState dCOM to continue pursuing ordained ministry. Ezy and Naftal arrived on February 19 and were in Missouri until March 5.
March Highlights: I began researching issues for future MI growth and impact such as participating in disaster relief grants in partnership with Mozambique and really beginning the application process to Asbury. I also worked on the Giving Kits that we’ll debut at Annual Conference.
April highlights: We expanded conversations with ICM Ministry to partner when we build chapels in Mozambique. This could be another growth idea with more to come in the future. I also outreached to partner churches who I’ll be visiting in Mozambique to see if I could carry a message to them and began preparing for this trip.
Of course, this doesn’t count the routine items including the financial accountability upkeep, responding to requests, and others items. Since February, I have had the opportunity to participate in worship at Hillsboro, Kirkwood, The Gathering, Manchester, Ashland, Belgrade, Rolla, and Waynesville.
Personally, things have arguably been even crazier. Please bear with me, remember, this is for context for the blogs while in Mozambique. Brittney and I trained for, ran in the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon. Brittney and I found out in February that we were going to be welcoming our first child in October.
This news began the planning for transitioning our foster son to continuing his move toward self-sustaining and living on his own. He is eligible today (yes, today) to get his driver’s license, is antsy to purchase a car, and takes the HiSET exam next week. Of course, with any teenager, major life changes require lots of attention both from parents as details need to be worked out and transition anxiety sets in. Our household hasn’t been immune to this.
We told both of our parents of us expecting during the Easter weekend, which was filled with mixed emotions because Brittney’s grandmother passed away on Good Friday. Then, one week ago from today, as we hoped to see a heartbeat of our child, we found out that Brittney was miscarrying and the baby was gone.
Horrific. Disappointing. Feeling of Guilt. Sadness. Angry. Devastation. We are experiencing it all. We are incredibly blessed to have friends, family, and colleagues who have been supportive and loved on us through this process. Amidst the sadness, I have experienced people saying the perfect words but not realize the meaning of what they are saying to me, am working to listen listening, spent time in prayer, and reading “What Was Lost.”
I won’t bore you with details of how we’re working to cope and see God amidst transitions and a hard time. This isn’t the place for that. However, I felt that I owed it to you, to know my mindset going in. I’m raw. I’m grieving still. I’m in a place of knowing how precious life can be and is. I’m in a place of noting the importance of relationships in our lives. I’m sure these will be tones you’ll hear in my writing over the next two weeks. Honestly, I need to write. I need to reflect. I hope it connects with you in some way.
My schedule over the next two weeks looks something like this – these are the big highlights.
April 21: Visit Queme UMC (No Missouri partner) Center of Hope
April 22: Ngongane Dedication primary school (Manchester UMC)
April 24: Worship at Tete UMC – Men’s Conference occurring
April 25/26: Church Visits in Tete province
April 27: Dondo UMC
April 28/29: Churches of Messica, Munene, Makhate, Chimoio
May 1: Gondola Training Center Graduation/Worship
May 2: Depart for USA
Thank you for your prayers for safe travels, commitment to our partnership in Mozambique, and for participating in my journey with me.
One final reminder – I write these free flowing and relatively quick – so please excuse my poor grammar and/or spelling. :)