Friday, August 23, 2013
Living in a cloud of dust...
Sometimes I wonder what "ministry" means here in Mozambique. Sometimes you feel like you are just an exhibit and people only listen to you or want to know you because of the white skin. Like the picture of Karis above. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by people (mostly kids). They don't really care about you or what you have to say, they just want to watch you or get a hand out of some sort. Then you have people like Emisio (see picture of his family with Tim's brother and family). Emisio came to us one day to ask if we would help him learn English and in return he would help us with our dogs. He is the local "vet". He works for the government and goes around giving vaccines and treating sick animals. Tim began meeting with him to help him with English and they have really grown into close friends. When he found out Tim's brother was visiting, he decided he wanted to have us all over to his house for dinner. He planned this for months and because their houses are so small, he built an entire outdoor dining area in order to house our big group (our family of 6 and Jeff's family of 5, plus their own family of 4). He had an incredible meal and really sacrificed a lot of time and money in order to welcome us into his home. He regularly brings us vegetable from his garden and even brought us a pig leg one day. It is a friendship of mutual giving and receiving and he and his family have been a huge blessing to us. We are not sure if Emisio is a Christian or not, but he has a catholic background and Tim and him have had many good conversations about God and what it means to be a Christian. We continue to pray for him and his family.
On another note, it is the dry season here, and the cool of winter is warming into spring, which quickly jumps into summer. We are beginning the worst time of the year here for me, dust, wind, and heat--not a good combination in my mind. We live continually in a cloud of dust. Dust that fills your nose, eyes and lungs to the point where you constantly feel like you have a cold. It also covers the table, the counters, and the floor. Everything, from trees to people are an orangy brown color. From this day until the first rains in November, I increasingly become more and more homesick. I love the fall in Michigan. It is my favorite time of year there. I love the colors, the coolness, the smells, football...Luckily here we stay really busy this time of year with ministry. Tim is, as I write this, making his way to Mechaneles, a village about 8 hours from here. He will be doing a marriage and family seminar there. I normally like to do the marriage seminars with him, but these far away village seminars are difficult. Besides the long drives, we have to stay in a tent and eat local food and use pit latrines and bathe in rivers or with buckets. It is very difficult with all the kids and almost impossible to do school, so I am staying back. Tim will then come home on Monday. Then next Thursday we will be heading to Malawi for some days of rest, and then some days of car repairs and doctors appointments. After we get back, it will be some crazy weeks of meetings and organizing for the Yao conference on the 16th of September. On the 12th, we are welcoming a family friend, who is interested in full time missions. She will helping out at the conference and here with homeschooling. Then the end of the month one of our supporting churches are sending a couple people to visit and see what we do here. They will be here from the 27th until the 30th. Then Oct. 1st, we leave for Mocimboa de Praia, where Tim will be teaching a 2 week class on Bible survey at a leadership training program, run by some Kenyan missionaries. I and the kids will probably stay with some colleagues in another village 2 hrs from where Tim will be. In November, Tim will be going to a personnel training workshop in Kenya for a week, which is a requirement for his new role as Administrator. Then the very next week, I am hosting a home school conference for all the homeschooling moms in the area. We have some ladies from England coming to run it for us. By that time, it should be raining regularly and everything goes back to being green and beautiful! We can enjoy the holidays with rain and thunderstorms, our favorite time of the year here.
Please keep our upcoming busy schedule in prayer. We need prayers for safety in travelling, wisdom in planning and organizing. Pray for the people involved, that God would soften their hearts and prepare them for the teaching and training. Also, pray for our perseverance through these busy and dreary days of the next couple months. Thanks for all your encouragement, love, and support!