You read that correct. I left home at 3AM (Missouri time) Thursday morning and we didn’t arrive in the town of Cuamba until about 10AM Saturday morning (Missouri time), 5PM local. Our travels went smoothly with no major hiccups, but yet, it still took 55 hours. That’s with no stops other than literally a 6-hour stop at a Maputo hotel before our flight the next morning.
I’m back in Mozambique. Last time I was here was in June with Bishop Farr and a leadership team. This time, I’m with two people from Morning Star UMC and my parents. Two unique trips in a row. Why Morning Star and my parents? Well, I’ve never visited Cuamba and the churches in the Niassa district of Mozambique and it’s long overdue. Morning Star has raised funds over the past few years for a chapel—so Pastor Jennifer Long and Paul Fensterman were interested in tagging along. Why my parents? I wanted to visit Africa University on this trip—and to do so, we would pass right through Munene, Rolla’s covenant partner who has just finished raising funds for a new chapel. My parents have never been to Mozambique before. So, this trip has lots of good lenses that I'll likely post some of their insight/thoughts on over the next two weeks.
Last night, I was perusing through scripture and came across the pretty easily recognizable verses in Hebrews 11—living by faith. This text provides a definition of faith but then contextual examples of those in the Old Testament who had faith. I appreciated this because getting through to the next journey or even answering the question posed by my dad, “Ezy will be at the airport, right?” takes me and them having some sort of faith – the reality of hope for that we don’t yet currently see. It struck me because of the long, journey to get here takes faith. Faith in yourself to mentally push through it. Faith in others (will Ezy be there?) and faith in God to keep our hearts open.
Today, we visited the Malema Primary School being provided in partnership with The Gathering. At the school, I was thinking about how this school with hardly any homes in sight would still (even with few homes in sight) cut down on walking time and provide educational opportunities previously unseen to women and children. In fact, we saw homes that were new to the area because of the school’s construction. Those people moved having faith in what they had not seen (the school is in the final stages of construction, but no students are there yet).
I’m always struck with the “why” question in Mozambique. Yes, there’s the “why” do we do things one way and in Mozambique, things are done differently. More importantly, the question that always comes to mind is: Why am I in the USA amongst luxuries that 95% of the world does not have? I believe God wants to use each of us (whether in Mozambique with limited resources and in a rural area or in Missouri with limited resources in a rural area) for something greater. My prayer today is about encouraging you to find that something greater. I’m in search for what that is in my life and believe it is constantly evolving. What’s the “something greater” in your life that God is pushing you toward?
Tomorrow’s Teaser: Worship service at Cuamba. I’m. So. Excited!
In a moment of just being real with you: I’ve got two foster kiddos at home that we’ve had with us since early May, and this is already the hardest trip away from Brittney and the kiddos. I miss them dearly (even though I have family, my parents, with me on this trip). I would be grateful for a prayer of strength and perseverance for me. Missing a spouse is one thing. Adding children on top of that is just brutal.