We have one full day left in Mozambique, which is basically going to be just a travel day back to Maputo and running a few errands (tomorrow/Monday). Let’s focus on today, though!
After leaving Africa University by 7:45AM, we had no difficulties crossing and entering Mozambique.
I told Paul Fensterman that days like today are so difficult to explain because of the overwhelming nature of them. We were a few minutes late (we got lost trying to find the local church of Munene where they were having worship) and so it had already begun.
The very small local church chapel crammed between 70-85 people in it, with about 15-20 children. The service was full and included me and my parents presenting gifts from the First UMC Rolla congregation including paraments for the altar, Bibles, Hymnals, notes from the parishoners in English and in Portuguese and a Communion Set. They were overwhelmed with joy to receive these gifts.
The service lasted approximately 2 hours and included a sermon from a lay member, a monologue of how blessed they were to have partners such as us (First UMC Rolla) which was spoken in English. The choir had wonderful harmonies and voices, and the offering which included 5 rotations is always a blessing to watch. During our offering, they sang a song “We need Jesus (leader), responded with (by everyone) “Yes, Yes—Noone can say no.”
After the service we drove to the new church location and were led by about half of the congregation who rode in chapas (public transportation) to spend more time with us and share in the joy of the new sanctuary together. The new chapel will be beautiful and large --- 20x10 meters, or about 26 normal steps for me x 13 normal steps. We saw the renovations done to the parsonage and shared with everyone some freshly cut papaya—YUM!
After service and the celebration, we drove to Chimoio and stopped by Chimoio UMC—partner church to First UMC in Jefferson City. This quick visit included a tour of the church that will house Annual Conference this week for the North Annual Conference.
We enjoyed a great dinner and called it a night. It is worth noting that meals (eating out) take much longer than in Missouri. Our dinners in restaurants have consistently been solidly 2 hours long, tonight's being 2 hours 45 minutes. Tomorrow, will be mostly observations and thoughts on this busy, trip. We are thankful for your prayers and to God for our safe journey thus far. Our God is doing great things with the Christians in Mozambique.