Recap and Catching Up!
This has been a season of loss and gain, of saying good bye and new beginnings. As most of you know the summer began with a mad rush to the states to say goodbye to my mom, who struggled with Alzheimer's disease for several yrs. I arrived too late but the Lord in His perfect timing took her home to be with Him for her birthday. How exciting is that? Time has a way of rolling right along, the next week was my niece Kate’s wedding, celebration of new beginnings. The start of a new journey. I visited long time friends close to home, like the ladies of 1st Baptist Ironton and South Point UMC, Welcome Home Christian Fellowship and New Hope UMC. Began new relationships with the folks of Advanced Memorial UMC. I took road trips to Cambridge OH and Parkersburg WV to catch up with friends in Dresden and make new friends at Bird Run UMC and the women from “the Rock”. I shopped for wedding dresses with my daughter Alex and friend Jen. Laughed and shared meals with dear friends, “the old lady gang” as Alex has affectionately dubbed us. I spent time in FL loving the beach and the sun, building new relationships and loving old ones. As I dropped Dani at the airport for our “see ya next year” good-bye, I realized this will mark my 8th season in Africa. I began to think of what we have accomplished and the people I have met, loved and lost; of supporters come and gone; and of His steadfast love and faithfulness. In that moment I did something stupid. I prayed “God make me more appreciative and more grateful for who and what I have”. I was and am completely sincere but, I remember a similar pray “give me patience”. I have a feeling this is gonna be season of pruning and growth. Much prayer needed :)
Progress?! - Moving forward
You’ve heard the quote “ time and tide stands still for no man”? I’m sure when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote that he had never lived in Mozambique. In April the accountant had all the documents necessary for registering the business with the Minister of Finance and Labor as well as all my Documents for Temporary Residency. I got on a plane and me stood still. I arrived home in Gondola to find nothing further was done. So I rush and rant at no avail, the first of the month I will need to renew my 6mth visa. Money we could buy cement or bricks will now go to more paperwork and travel across the border. On the other hand, Charles has been diligently working at the construction site. You can see from the photos, (page 3) the drawings are complete (with a few minor adjustments), most of the foundation has been dug, and the footers be finished early next week . Charles’s wife, Myzinnia has started a prayer group with local pastors wives. They meet weekly to pray for the country, it’s leaders, the justice system, health system, families and themselves. The power of women who pray. This next month we are going to begin some simple sewing classes just to gage the interest and aptitude in the community. We will also start pray walks around the community where we are building . This is a two-fold effort : 1 To become familiar in the neighborhood and familiar with the neighbors. 2. To pray for the land, the community and the people living in the community Tucker will be joining us . He always draws a crowd, as they have never seen a dog like him. We can begin to introduce them to a God they have never known yet either.
Transitions, Trials and Travel - When will I learn?
So I prayed that prayer, “make me more appreciative, more grateful”, as soon as the words rolled off my tongue I knew what I had done. I immediately followed it up with “but I don’t want to loose everything to get there.” I have been a follower long enough to know that gold only comes after fire and growth requires pruning. So far on this road to appreciation I have lost my cell phone on an international flight; overdrawn my bank account, been stranded at an airport; been threatened jail time in Mozambique; pulled money from an ATM only to have the machine suck it back in; been granted a visa I can’t pay for; and stayed at a B&B with- out money. My phone was recovered after 10 days, just as friend of a friend was traveling through Johannesburg International. We were able to catch the overdraft before it got out of control. The shuttle driver had mercy and brought me the 3 hr drive to Nelspruit on a promise and a prayer, even loaned me a phone to arrange pick-up and payment. Stopped for speeding by a police officer who was offended that I am a white US missionary wasn’t a better example and follow the traffic laws threatened to take me to prison and call the US consulate until I asked if he had not ever made a mistake or needed the mercy of others in a situation. It was only when I humbled myself and admitted I was only thinking of myself did he show mercy and let me go. I pulled cash from the ATM to exchange to US dollars for travel to Zimbabwe for renewing my visa. I had just enough to pay for the travel over, the visa and stay over night. While using my calculator to make sure I had drawn enough the machine sucked it back in. I called my bank in the US, “it’s a completed transaction, call that bank, an official will come open the machine give you the cash.” Not in Mozambique, “it will be Monday”. It’s now a week later and not resolved yet. In faith I cross the border...No hassle!! Go to the Mozambican Consulate, the same man I spoke to before was there. He is very happy to help. Deposit $110 in this account come back it will be ready. I have $80 I think maybe they will have favor on me so I stand in line at the bank 30 min; to find it’s the wrong bank. Then I deposit all have, only to be told “sorry it’s $110 you can make other payment and pick up on Monday”. Now I’m staying 3 nights instead of one. No internet service, very limited cell service, I drive to the top of the Mountain and 1 message goes out. I won’t say it was a peaceful, restful month but I am grateful. He has worked everything out for my good. In His time.]