Ahh. Worship in Mozambique. What describes it? Collective voices. Unity in Christ. Energy. Hot. Hard to understand. Fairly liturgical. All generations.
Morning Star UMC has provided a permanent chapel for their partners, Cuamba UMC that we were able to dedicate today. Hebrews 3 tells us that reminds that…”Every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything…” (verse 4). God is the builder of our partnership together.
The morning was filled with joy as pastor Jennifer Long was given the opportunity (and only 12 hours notice) to both cut the ribbon of the new chapel but to be the first preacher after dedication to preach. The celebration included the arrival of the mayor of Cuamba (a city of 130,000) and his entourage. There were representatives from other denominations (Church of Christ, Presbyterian), and a community leader who joined in the celebration.
Today’s worship included about 20 children under the age of 5 sitting for more than two hours. It was about 90 degrees in the new concrete structure. It was both an exhilarating and exhausting experience.
After worship, we enjoyed lunch as a congregation in fellowship. My mom passed out stickers to the children and they loved getting their photos taken and being shown. Then, we visited with the administrative board to learn about the life of the community and congregation.
We heard needs, challenges, aspirations, and even brainstormed ways of mutual struggles such how to best reach new generations. This good discussion concluded with no hard end results, but we did think about the future partnership between Cuamba and MI.
At about 2:30PM or so, we arrived back at the guest house. I neglected to mention that the electricity went out somewhere between 3AM-5AM and was off all day until nearly 4:30PM. After getting some soft serve ice cream at the local market which was being run by a generator, we capped off a busy day.
We’re a bit jet-lagged and tomorrow will feature a long day of travel up to Marrupa (partner of Zion UMC in St. Louis Lemay) and then a drive to Lichinga.
Thank you for your prayers. We are grateful and look forward to continuing to share our journey!