Calm. Rushed. Rushed. Rushed. Calm. That describes today in 5 words. Our day started in Beira as Ezy picked up the rental car and we headed toward Chimoio. On our way to Chimoio, we were to stop at Inchope and Gondola UMC’s main location.
Calm: I was at the hotel in Beira starting to catch up on emails and items until close to 9:45, when we left.
Rushed: The road to Chimoio is rough. And that’s putting it lightly. Some of the roughest “roads” you’ll find that are actually paved. While in Maputo last week, Ezy and I were listening to the BBC on the radio. One commentator said “There are more potholes in Africa than atoms in the universe.” He said it with his African accident and with such affliction and certainty that it was hilarious. I’m a witness to thinking that may be true. These are huge potholes. I cringe for what I consider big ones. Ezy and any passengers we may have with us don’t flinch, blink an eye, or even slow down. I just think about my Prius. There’s no way they it would survive in Mozambique, even in the city.
Rushed: We arrived at Inchope, the local church to Gondola UMC. With more than 130 members, they are on their way to eventually becoming a church on their own in the coming years. They’ll need a parsonage, but they are on their way. Inchope is a part of Gondola UMC (partners to Nelson Memorial UMC in Boonville) and is more than 50 kilometers (35+ miles) from the main church. We had a good visit followed by refreshments.
Nelson Memorial raised funds and is waiting for me to send photos of the well. Unfortunately, we’re encountering driller issues in this area. Long story, but we expect that it’s resolved in the next 60 days. The people need water in this area. It was identified about 6 months ago during The Gathering’s visit. Nelson Memorial responded. It’s always a highlight to give gifts from their partners. I gave the cross necklaces that were sent to me at the Inchope local church to the pastor, who was with us.
Rushed: Then, we hurried to Gondola UMC’s main site. The pastor and his wife had lunch (2:30PM lunch) ready for us after our visit with the members. It’s a gracious and loving act to hear that the members we saw where waiting for us since 9AM. It shows how much they care about the partnership. If I expected someone to show up at 9AM and they showed up at 1:30, I would be so mad. Not in Mozambique. The crowd was less due to work and needing to get things done, but people still greeted us in song, dance, and love.
We are joined in this trip to Manica district by the Lay Leader of the district. The District Superintendent is at an ecumenical conference in Beira, so we are accompanied by the lay leader. He’s a businessman, super nice and passionate man. He told a story to the Gondola UMC church of how our guests (Ezy and me) and related us to an old cat tale. I can’t retell it effectively, but it was funny and got a great laugh from all of us.
Calm. This evening, we checked into our (very nice) hotel in Chimoio around 6:00PM. Last night was a long night and today’s driving was stressful – so Ezy and I took it slow this evening, relaxing in our respective rooms. I was able to catch up on emails and get this posted before 2:00AM central time.
The scripture for today that I’m focusing on is Psalm 98. Please check this out. When I visit churches here, I often express the similarities and differences in our worship experiences. I describe how we (Westerners) do not sing as joyfully (jubilantly; verse 4) or dance (let the rivers clap; verse 8) as they do. I wonder what they think when I say this. I often follow by saying hearing their full singing brings and makes me full. When I belt the wrong pronunciations to their songs as I have the words in front of me, I feel the presence of God with the people of Mozambique when they sing. It’s indescribable and something I wish we could duplicate.
My random observations continued are below: