Tuesday June 11, 2013
This morning we got up early to got to a village visit with Alan for the first time in several days. This Bible study was a little different because it was not a church of Christ planted by the Makua team, but rather a seminar series in conjunction with a well-established “Pentecostal” congregation led by Alan’s neighbor, Domingos. (I say “Pentecostal” because this denomination doesn’t have an American equivalent, but is most like Pentecostal.) Domingos is a great man of God and it was a blessing to worship with his congregation.
Both Domingos and Alan spoke, then Bailey and I were called upon to give a few words of encouragement. Since I had been reading Ezekiel the whole time I decided to talk about the prophet’s calling. Unfortunately once I started talking I realized that a fiery bejeweled chariot being pulled by elaborate celestial beings carrying the glory of God might be a little difficult to translate in Makua. After some nervous laughter Alan finally came up with something similar. Before I went up I prayed that God would give me the words to speak. I should have prayed that he give Alan the words too. But I do think that he answered my prayer because Domingos stopped me in the middle to tell the congregation that they needed to listen because this was an important message that they really needed to hear – and I desperately needed it too.
We went outside to look at the goat purchased for youth day. Unfortunately Yoder, the Howells’ dog discovered him as well and for a few minutes we thought the goat would be slaughtered a little early. Bailey pulled the wild dog off the squealing goat and we went back inside, a little shaken. We ate some rice and beans before heading back for culture studies with Raqman. Each of us picked a topic and came up with some interview questions to ask people in the villages tomorrow. After culture study we walked the boys back to Chad’s, then ended up staying to do Just Dance 3 with Amy until it was time to walk back for dinner. Upon returning to the Howells’ a very large man staying with Domingos’s family approached me, held my hand, spoke to me in Makua/Portuguese/Spanish/English, invited me over to his house for the night, and wrote “I love you in the sand.” Unfortunately, I had to decline. While Rachel prepared some delicious pizza I played outside with the girls and their Mozambican friends Priscilla, Ruthie, and Alfonso. Soon we ate pizza, had worship time, and put the girls to bed before talking for a while before Kara came over to eat cookies and watch The Help. After the movie Celeste, Katie, and I stayed up until 2:00 talking about Africa and our lives before we all fell asleep in the big guest bed.
Wednesday June 12, 2013
Cultural studies began at 8:00, so Raqman walked us around the village to interview random people on their way to whatever they were doing. Our topics included childcare, agriculture, construction, and herbal medicine. My topic, herbal medicine, was especially interesting because it so often crossed over into witchcraft, demonic activity, and religion. We visited one elderly Christian lady who recently lost her last child, leaving her completely alone. It was a blessing to not only hear her perspective, but also pray with her after the interviews (and of course, receive some peanuts).
When we got back to the Howells’ it was time to kill the goat. Papa Tajou and Shina walked the goat to its final resting place. Shina held the goat down while Papa Tajou dealt the final blow. 3 interns cried. After the goat was thoroughly dead the men hung the goat from the car port and began to skin it, remove its organs, and remove the meat. I sat and watched with the neighbor’s daughter Miriam in my lap.
After we were done with the goat we headed to the Lanchonette for “intern sharing time.” After lunch we went to the market for a while to buy some kapalanas and chocolate. After we got back we didn’t do much of anything – just thoroughly enjoyed our lazy day. We went over to the Westerholm construction site with Amy to look at their beautiful soon-to-be house, enjoyed some chicken & greens, and got caught up on some reading & journaling. After the girls went to bed we played Up the River, Down the River with Rachel and Alan over coffee and cookies. We got done pretty late, then headed to bed.
Thursday June 13, 2013
Today began with another couple hours of cultural study before our intern meeting. This week’s meeting was about folk Islam and the animistic influence that enslaves people to fear and irresponsibility. While they see the power of Allah is distant and unreachable, the forces of evil are present and hostile in their daily lives – and they must face them alone.
We also talked about our survey trip – which makes me so excited. First we’ll be going to Mueda to see a site the the Makua team would like to put another team because of the lack of missionaries there and their spiritual receptivity. On the way we’ll be stopping in a village of a different people group, the Ngoni, which is completely unreached. After staying the night in Mueda we’ll be going north into Tanzania to see the Metto people of Masasi to assess the spiritual climate there. For lunch we’ll stop to see a couple working for Pioneer Bible translators, which is something I’m really excited about seeing on-site. Then we’ll be heading to Mtwara to stay with the Makonde team which has been one of the things I’ve been anticipating the whole trip so that I can A) see Andrew & Sarah, and B) check out the prospects of interning there next summer. I’m also excited about the fact that we’ll be “roughing it” for the week, staying in Mozambican hotels and living off peanut butter & popcorn. We’ll see if my excitement lasts through the week.
After the meeting we came back for rice & beans and had some chill tiem before going to the women’s Bible study. Rachel had a sinus infection so she stayed at home while Kara took us to the study with fingers crossed that there wouldn’t be any major translation issues. We waited for a while, but after an hour and a half we began the study with only 3 women. Cara & I did the lesson in Makua, taking turns reading through their Bible study booklet and attempting to pronounce words like “wowaavayaca” correctly. I think we did pretty well. After we read the story a few times through we asked, “What did you hear?” and the three women went around and reported what they learned. Kara spent most of the time translating what Cara and I learned, which she did very well given her limited Makua vocabulary. Right after she was done all of the missing women arrived.
As we shared what we had learned one woman jokingly said, “I heard a couple people followed Jesus, but I don’t know where they followed him to.” I so badly wanted to speak Makua at that moment. Most of the time we don’t know where God is taking us – that’s what most of our intern team is struggling with now. But when we follow Christ we have to trust that he will lead us in the best way – the way that most glorifies his holy name – and that ultimately we will end up in Heaven with him for all eternity.
We walked back from the study and helped Rachel make fajitas. Will, the Peace Corps worker who has been working on finding a pedestrian bridge construction site, and Kara joined us for dinner. After dinner we talked for a while and tried to come up with a strategy for tomorrow’s youth day preparations. After Alan and Rachel went to bed we made tea, watched Pride & Prejudice, and talked lovingly in British accents for the rest of the night.
Friday June 14, 2013
“Since therefore the children share in the flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver all those who through the fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”