It’s December 8 already? Word from home is that it’s pretty chilly back home? It was another hot day here. Right at 90 degrees with a heat index of 96. It seems like just yesterday that we had those temperatures in Missouri but it’s easy for me to say that….when I’m 9,000 miles from home.
This morning we took care of issues with our tires. We had a screw in one and another leak in another. $4 to fix the tire and we were on our way to Cambine by 9:30AM.
Upon arrival at the Annual Conference, the Bishop was giving her report and preparing the committees for their work. They will continue their work this afternoon. I spent the morning with the financial guys, confirming our MI donation amounts. We had a good discussion on the need of having healthy fund balances in Mozambique is due to submitting funds on a quarterly basis from Missouri.
At noon, we met with Julio Vilanculos, director of the Cambine Mission Station. We discussed the status and how our partnership with sponsoring seminary students is going. During this 4th quarter, due to not having a change in their MZN (local currency) to USD conversion since 2012. With massive inflation – I agreed to update the conversion to MZN to current USD conversion. This was met with open arms and benefits our students directly.
We also discussed the future growth of the United Methodist University at Cambine that is working through approval processes with the government. Possible partnering with Missouri and/or other conferences includes sponsorships of theology students (who are not seminary students pursuing ordination) and housing infrastructure needs for other degree programs.
I had wonderful conversations with Naftal Guambe, who is the microfinance project coordinator but also an ordained pastor. We discussed the political culture and climate of the USA. This isn’t the first conversation. Our brothers and sisters here (the rest of the world included) care deeply about the USA and our stability. Our conversation varied from how our government works with our separation of powers (aka how much domestic vs. international power does President-elect Trump have) to discussing what happens if and when China’s economic and political power is larger than the USA. Fascinating conversation for this political junkie.
After leaving Cambine, we headed to Maxixe. We ran a few errands and I got fitted for a tunic – a Mozambican shirt. As I visit churches, I only have one shirt – which is insufficient! So, my measurements were taken and I picked a few capulanas to get these made. I’m thrilled for this.
We concluded our day by spending it with David and Elizabeth McCormick and their family (along with guest David Scott from GBGM). They are the new hospital directors at Chicuque. It was wonderful to spend the evening with them and I look forward to working closely with them to increase our partnership together. Over the years, many teams have been blessed by their time at Chicuque including me (my first trip helped dig the trench for the wall back in 2006!).
This evening, I’m reflecting on the work of the Chicuque Rural Hospital and all health workers of Mozambique, specifically Luke 8:43-48. Conditions, availability (I learned there are only 68 pediatricians in the entire country, and the median age of Mozambique is 15 years old), and lack of specialties (eye care) make me thankful for the health care workers who are providing a faith for patients that I can only hope is a tiny bit like the woman that touched Jesus.
Tomorrow is an early day – we will be leaving the hotel at 6AM to make it to the drilling location in time. It will be fun day! Boa Noite!
PS: I said I would list the agenda for today’s annual conference session. Instead, I’ll post the whole document when I get home. A few notes: they were behind schedule by 3 ½ hours at lunch time, which was finally served at 3:30PM. I heard that the conference meetings continued until 1AM this morning. Dedication to the church and the direction – God is good. And the people at Annual Conference are prayerfully learning from the past and planning for the next quadrennium.
PPS: No pictures today. I’m going to bed as early as possible tonight. Thanks to everyone for reading and praying for me during this wonderful journey!