I’m going to start out and just say I wasn’t prepared for today. While the last few days have been busy, today will be difficult to beat as far as things done in a day.
Ezy and I left Maputo around 7AM, which was later than we hoped and we arrived at our hotel at 9:45PM. We headed toward Maxixe with lots of business to do on the way. We’ve created a plaque to be placed on our wells to identify that they belong to the United Methodist Church in Mozambique, have verse John 4:14, and that it was done in partnership with the Mozambique Initiative. So, now we have the task of placing them on the wells.
On the way to Maxixe, we stopped briefly at Chongoene (Bethel Wildwood’s partner), Mavila (Grace UMC in Osceola’s partner, and N’kadine (Warwaw UMC’s partner) to place the placards on the wells.
We then stopped at Inharrime UMC. Inharrime doesn’t have a Missouri partner currently. We stopped here because between local contributions and a GBGM grant, their new chapel is close to completion but is approximately $4,500 from being done. My ASK of my readers is to prayerfully consider helping this church finish. As you pray, if God is calling you in this way, when I return – I will share more photos. They are a congregation that is in desperate need of this completed chapel. Why? Because they don’t have enough space in their current chapel for worship! What better reason is there? This new chapel will hold comfortably the average attendance of 104 people (512 members). What’s needed? The floor needs paved, window sills and windows in addition to the finishing work like painting. My prayer is that someone who reads this blog will listen to God’s call and help finish this chapel.
We had lunch with Isidro, our biggest safe water well driller. He’s the owner, a Christian (not United Methodist), but does truly phenomenal work. We also got to spend a good portion of the day with one of his employees, Selso, who was headed back to work and hitched a ride with us. I’ll get to experience the drilling of a well as-it’s-done on Friday! His rigs are in the Massinga area.
Lastly, we visited Jangamo UMC. This is Huffman Memorial UMC’s new partner. Gosh this was overwhelming. We had nearly a full worship experience (hymns, offering, sermon, etc) that began at dusk and ended in the complete darkness, only lit by a handful of weak cell phone lights (not iPhone 6 or 7 phone lights). From a heavenly choir of young adults to the retelling of the Christmas story by children that they had memorized -- this was just a special experience. I know Rev. Larry Williams is interested in visiting here and my comment would be to say: YES! My eyes welled up when the packed fully thatched chapel (walls and roof) burst into song during my time of introduction celebrating the news that Rev. Williams has been active in Mozambique since the beginning of our partnership.
The hospitality continued afterwards, even when we were exhausted. We went to Pastor Sergio’s house and had a wonderful Mozambican meal that included fish, rice, matapa, chicken, pork steaks, tomato/cucumber salad, sodas, wine, and more.
Words just don’t describe how awestruck something like this leaves you. The church literally waited all day and we were almost as physically late as possible to still squeeze in this visit. Their pastor was out of cell phone contact most of the day, so we couldn’t tell him until almost just an hour before our arrival (which was around 5PM). The wait didn’t matter to the people of Jangamo, who worshiped like it was 10AM on Sunday morning. That said, I have a picture of a few of the children who fell asleep laying inside the church by the time we left.
We’re now checked into my “home” for the rest of the trip. It’s worshipping in pure darkness that makes me realize how blessed, selfish, and Western I am to have air conditioning, wifi at my hotel in public places (but not my room, woe is me, right?), running water (hot/cold), and enough light to fill probably a dozen homes if you divided up the light. All this to say I’m left speechless, but have tried to put words to it. I’m humbled at the humility and generous nature of these, our brothers and sisters in Christ.
During the worship service at Jangamo, the pastor used Acts 2: 42-47. Here, he discussed this doesn’t just apply to the apostles, but he said this applies to our partnership with Missouri. Check it out. Let me know what you think. I leave you with a humbled, meek heart of the experiences of today. As you reflect and are in prayer today, I ask that you open your hearts to helping Inharrime. As I left Inharrime, I prayed for his family, Inharrime’s church’s continued growth, and for God to provide the resources to finish this chapel. I ask that you do the same. Boa Noite.