Pembe, Day 1 (Tuesday)
It was an early morning-- we left Ezy's house at 7:00 for the airport to fly to Pemba. Pemba is a great town with it looks like a booming economy. There's lots of new buildings going up including a pretty large condominum.
We picked up, first thing, the DS (District Superintendent) for the area. He's joining us on our whole trip in his district, which is the entire Cabo Delgado province. DS's in Missouri, you think you have it bad to travel to your churches sometimes....it looks like he's got it worse. Alfa for short, is his name. Great guy, knows a little English.
We visited Mutuge for a few hours. We saw their church, pastor, and then went to the other property that the church has which includes an elementary school. The church/chapel and elementary school are in dire need of assistance. A thunderstorm literally blew down the front of the church (the wall) and the wind damage was so extensive that the tin roof came off of about 1/4 of the roof! The same storm took out a wall at the elementary school -- which was temporarily rebuilt. Termites are in the trusses of the roof, bamboo covered with mud are the walls. The amount of support the Church has in this area is awesome. Hundreds of church members, hundreds of school age children in the area - this is a true evangelical church. Churches back home, let's take note! They don't need a beautiful building that will attract people. They need relationships with people to discuss the Good News.
Before we leave each site, we pray with the church family and those who are there for the visit. This was our biggest crowd yet.
Did I mention it was 97 degrees? A whole new respect for a lot of things takes place when you see these things in this heat.
On our way back, the Jeep we are renting had an 'oops' moment. The muffler became unwelded. This culture is amazing and stuns me everytime. On this random dirt road, not a sole goes by without asking and trying to help. A couple of guys used branches of some shrub to temporarily tie it up. When it fell down a few kilometers away, a new group of guys got some spare wire to fix it better. No questions asked, it didn't matter who we were. They helped. Ezy and I had a long conversation on the drive yesterday about hospitality on the road. Would you see that back home? I'm ashamed to admit I've only helped two people along side the road who are broken down in my adult life, and I knew one of them -- so really, I've only helped one.
Then we had dinner with the DS and we got to meet James Guambe, Naftal Massela's brother in law, Ilda's brother! He grew up with Ezy. Super small world. We ate beachside at Pemba's beach. I think just like back home in the silence of my back yard -- when you're around it 24/7, it loses the excitement to some degree. Still, these super clean, building and cruise tanker free shores are gorgeous.
We will see where tomorrow leads. It may be my most "bush-like" adventure yet!