Monday, December 08, 2008

Mozabique Mission post 2

We arrived hot, sweaty and very dusty in Angoche, though the others in the other cars obviously had air-con so felt cool and relaxed!!! Our first view of Angoche thanks to John were of the harbour...Angoche used to be the Worlds exporter of Cashew Nuts, until a virus hit the trees and the factories went bust. There are about a dozen boats moored up at the harbour...they never moved when we were there.

Angoche is now a subsistence town, people fish, sell the fish so they can survive if they don't sell the fish they eat the fish. Obviously this isn't everyone but it does seem to count for a lot of the people especially on the islands. Some will be farmers, goats and chickens seem to be feral but will belong some people, how they can tell who's are who's is a thing I have wondered about as they have no markings or tags?

Anyhooo back to my Mission Trip. The next morning we were up at 5am!!! I know arghhhh.....But as it gets light at about 3:30am and when it gets light it gets even hotter you tend to wake early. This was the first dedication and was on the mainland It was about 25 minutes away near the beach. The village was called Thamoole (pron Tamooley). This dedication affected me the most, it was biggest culture shock I guess.

Arriving at the village I was blown away buy how simple the village was, grass and mud huts, children looking after children. Then I heard the singing coming from the Church, it was beautiful. We weren't actually having the dedication service in the Church as the Church would not be big enough, so they had erected a temporary Church for this occasion.

In the Church, after taking our shoes off!!! Chris had forgotten tell us this little gem, they had found us some chairs (that wouldn't happen again!!)

We were all introduced, then all of the other visitors were introduced, people from other Churches, from different districts etc. This was just wonderful and would mean so much more after a few more dedication services to see how far some of these fellow Christians had actually travelled!!!!

we then went into a time of worship, I was moved to complete speechlessness!!! I know me... this lasted for about 30-50 minutes??? not really sure (the worship not my speechlessness) Then 3 of the team gave testimony or a prepared sermon, then the dedication of Kithaarpu, then 4 sermons, then communion, communion was really special, unless I could hear a translation of what was going I was a little lost sometimes, but having communion was a united Christian act. Then we had a little worship, then prayer, lunch was prayed for and then the service was over. During the sermons, Ian asked if I would fetch the water container he had in his car.... I was passed the keys and off I went, and burnt my feet in the sand I ran much laughter from some children sat in shade outside. Put on my shoes and fetched the water.

Water was the largest part of our lives. The house we were in only had running water from about 5am to 5pm. That water was brown and needed to filtered so water so we could drink it!!! in the heat and humidity of Mozambique you needed a lot of water, and coke (isotonic drinks replace the salts and sugars lost) We also needed to wash.... There were two large water buts in the bathroom for washing and flushing the toilet. (more about this in a later blog...back to Thamoole)

I had brought some modelling balloons to make stuff for the kids...I started to do this and ended up mobbed not just by kids but by adults and it was ugly. I stopped after 20 minutes. (again more about this in a later Blog) We were asked into the Church, it was laid out with mats and some large cooking pots of food. I walked in and burst into tears. The generosity of the village was so overwhelming. I don't think the basics of Christianity had ever been shown to me in such a way. I left the Church to try and compose myself and bumped into Chris, I thanked him for letting come to this amazing place and just cried. The love and compassion of Christ is an amazing thing, I believe I glimpsed a tiny part of it that day. We sat on the mats in circles and a man came round and washed mour hands, again I just cried, it was all scriptural and so amazing. I have been a Christian 22 years I like to think I am a fairly nice guy and an OK Christian, Thamoole showed me I have so much to learn, even the basics are so important. Sharing and serving each other.

We had lunch of Coconut rice, chicken in a wonderful sauce and beans. (also it contained a bit of sand, well more than a bit) I loved every mouthful. To be honest I would have eaten and loved anything served to me I felt so honoured and humbled by the Thamoole/Angoche people.

After dinner we had our hands washed again. Then a few of us were shown shown around Vitor's house. a small Hut with a small kitchen, livingroom and a tiny bedroom. 8 people live in Vitors house...I left speechless again.

Vitor is the leader of Tarikki ya Hakki (this is probably spelt wrong sorry) which is a group of 5 Churches where the dedications will be taking place. Well 4 dedications. Vitor is an amazing man, and a very good pastor. Whislt in his house I made his children some balloon swords....this seemed to go down very well.