Sunday, December 10:
Imagine it’s the middle of summer in Death Valley. Now imagine you have to bake a dozen pies in the heat with no air-conditioning or cooling breeze. This would be but a fraction of how hot it’s been here in Mozambique.
We arrived last Wednesday night after fourteen hours of bad roads and one very long boarder crossing. I’d been told to bring most of our food as availability was limited. I’d also been told to bring receipts for what we brought into the country. No problem. It wasn’t as if the customs officials were going to cross check my receipts with my boxes of food.
Or so I thought.
Our first hint that there was a problem came when the man informed us that we were only allowed to bring in a total of $50 a person. My receipts were too high. So we quickly told the man that some of the items on the list we had left in South Africa. This was true, but he wanted to know which items.
So Scott and I began the tedious process of crossing off items we hadn’t brought with us. There were only a couple other people crossing the newly erected thatched boarder crossing, giving the customs people plenty of time to deal with us in their typical laidback manner.
In the end, they charged us 46% of the excess we brought in, which thankfully, was only a little over ten dollars. Finally, we were free to go. Somewhere along the pothole-filled road we managed to break one of our shocks, so about nine o’clock that Wednesday night, we limped into Maxixe (Ma-sheesh) thanking God that we’d made it.
We had picked up a fellow Christian along the way who planned to help translate for us for a few days. On Thursday we visited the Health department to make an appointment to meet with someone the next day who could help work on arrangements for the medical clinic we want to hold here next summer. We also visited the market for fresh vegetables, flip flops for Jayden who somehow managed to forget to bring shoes, and a toothbrush for Gabriel. Dozen’s of women formed an intricate maze inside the market with their wooden tables piled high with a colorful arrangement of produce. Every woman sells about the same thing. Tomatoes, onions, garlic, potatoes, cabbage, and spices. Staples to the African diet. I passed on the fish, where plump Mamas sat fanning at flies determined to land on their wares.
With our purchases in hand, Scott treated us all to a custard-filled pasty from the bakery, one of the best things you can find here. Everyday, we buy fresh bread to go with our meals of rice and sauce. Even the kids are loving the food. Because Antonio’s staying with us, I’ve been fixing curry dishes and cabbage sauces in my hot kitchen with nothing more than a tiny stove and a freezer. We keep unplugging the freezer so it will work more like a refrigerator, though it still froze my leftover salad. The heat makes it necessary for everything to be bought daily. Tomatoes will ruin in a day, along with the other items. It’s a way of life here. Buying and selling enough for one day, makes the market the heart of activity.
Friday was another day of work, as Scott met with the Heath department who is excited about our plans to help with a medical clinic in several of the surrounding villages. He also was blessed to find a recommended mechanic who fixed our shocks for under $10! Praise God for little miracles.
On Sunday, the heat seemed to intensify as we held our first house church. We studied Queen Esther and talked about how God could use us for His glory if we let Him. The family who was supposed to join us didn’t show up, but another man joined our small group. We prayed that this would be the beginning of hundreds who put on Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Last night a storm passed through, bringing cooler weather. A blessing considering our electricity ran out in the middle of the night. All five of us cram into the one air-conditioned bedroom at night, the only relief from the heat. Electricity, though, is paid up front and added in a meter box on the front porch. Our $6 of electricity we had been using all week ran out in the middle of the night. Once again, we were thankful for the rain that made sleeping bearable.
1.) Scott plans to meet with Edwardo this week for discipleship. Please pray that that time will go well.
2.) Please pray for Gabriel as well who has once again had an allergic reaction to the malaria medicine. (As of today, Thursday, he's doing much better!) This is despite the fact that we bought him a brand new drug that is not suppose to be related to the previous one that had him sick in bed for a month two years ago. We stopped giving it to him immediately, but his face is swollen and his skin is very itchy. Today he is up and playing which is a good sign. Once we get back home, we have to find out what the common denominator is that is making him so sick.
I’ll post some photos once we arrive home next week.