Monday, June 6, 2011

Mozambique, in brief

Good morning!  I'm HOOOOOOOOME!  I have missed you all and wish I could have blogged while I was gone--although honestly, we were so busy that I'm not sure I would have had time anyway.  But I am so so so thankful to Patti, Jamey, and Erin for keeping you all entertained while I was gone.  I hope you enjooyed their posts and checked their blogs out as well--and if you stopped over from one of their blogs and decided to stay a while, welcome!  :-)

Mozambique was amazing.  Incredible.  Unbelievable.  Life-changing.  At times heartwarming, at others heartbreaking.  It was truly an experience that I will never forget, and one that I hope changes me for good.  I am still trying to figure out the best way to tell you all about it--there is so much to share!!!

For this morning, though, I just want to give you a little peek.  On the way home, the pastor who led our team asked if we would each write a brief summary, explaining what we think is "the big deal" there--why our church is/should continue to be involved in the villages in Mozambique.  I'd like to share with you what I wrote, and a few pics too...


“Have mercy on us!” the woman cried. “This is the water we use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and eating! Have mercy on us!”

To me, those four words sum up our entire reason for being in Mozambique. Mercy for physical needs—not wealth, not handouts, just some help with getting clean water.

The people in the village of Macalawane, where we saw this woman, are “lucky” to have a source of sweet (not salt) water… but it is dirty and full of bacteria. Cholera outbreaks and alligators are deadly predators in the drinking water throughout Mozambique. Water, one of the most basic needs of mankind, is a source of fear and desperation.

Women walking with huge jugs of water on their heads prove that they are willing to work for what they need—they just don’t have the resources to get clean water for themselves. They need a little help, a little mercy.

But they need mercy for their spiritual needs as well. Traditions, witchcraft, and ancestor worship leave them deeply fearful. They work to please their family members who have passed on, they strive to please the spirits. They need to know that Christ has set them free—that He doesn’t require their works for their salvation. They just need to accept His free gift of salvation, His mercy.

Providing sources of clean water takes hard work and money. Wells or ditches may need to be dug, tanks may need to be installed—it’s not an overnight solution. It’s the same with leading people to Christ—convincing them to let go of their time-honored traditions, that they don’t need to appease an angry God, is slow going. But the opportunity to provide someone with clean and living water is priceless.

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. –Psalm 28:2

At the end of our time in each village, they held a farewell for us and presented us with gifts.  The material wrapped around my shoulders is called capulano and is what they use for their skirts, for tying their babies on their backs, for carrying loads of stuff, and just about anything else!  The head scarf is also something that they traditionally wear.  Both of these were incredibly sacrificial gifts from a people who just DON'T HAVE extra money.

Our team!

1 comment:

erin said...

Wow. Just, wow.

I am SO glad God took you over there and I am so glad you were obedient to Him. I can't wait to hear more about it.

Love you, my friend!