Once we got to Xicumba, we turned and headed to the river to cross over and head to Mabuzane. Notice how dry it is. It is really sad to see the river so low and to know the people are struggling to get water this year. Click here to compare the river this time last year.
William got to the other side and was waiting for the rest of us to cross. He noticed fresh elephant tracks.
|one of the elephant tracks|
|about to go to the market|
We walked through the market a few times and a few of our team bought fabric. One of our team members said she had never felt more like a tourist then now. It was true. We definitely stood out and looked the tourist part to the fullest. I do have to say it was a great day and fun to see and experience the Mozambique market. One of my favorite parts was running into people who new us from other villages. One girl came up to Julia and said hi. She was from Kunguma. Another girl came to say hi from me and she was from Dumela. I was able to greet her in Shangaan.
Luke was a little nervous to get on the train. I think he thought it was going to take off. I finally convinced him it wasn't leaving yet as people are still busy loading etc. He decided that was as far as he was going.
On the way back to Mabuzane, we stopped and stood at the border of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Pretty cool to be in two countries at once.
|one foot in Moz the other in Zim|
Tchale is only about a 30 minute drive away and we have to cross another river to get there. I can never remember the name of this river. You can see the locals are busy building a bridge.
We were pulling a loaded 2 ton trailer and didn't make it very far. We got stuck and Mark tried to get out but we were high centered. We were going to get Darren to pull us across with the Man truck but another vehicle passed him and the man insisted on helping.
We were surprised to see we caused a traffic jam. That doesn't happen often on the roads in Mozambique. The guys who pulled us out was traveling with three other vehicles to a camp on holiday.
We arrived in Tchale and spent the day setting up camp. Sean, Gena and Derrick arrived later that afternoon. Gena surprised Mark with cake and ice cream ... yup that's right we had ice cream AGAIN in the bush this season! It was so good.
His birthday meal in the bush was one of his favorites ... chili cheese dogs and coke.
|one happy birthday man!|
William and Sharyn sent Mark a gift ... a "date in a box" after two months in the bush it was a great gift if I say so myself :)
There were two pieces of Marie's carrot cake (one of the best around), two coffees and two creamers. We enjoyed his gift!
Monday, July 16th the team finally arrived. We always look forward to this day since PaulAnn is our sending church. It is always good to see our friends and meet new people from the church as well as the Grace team from Ohio that joined them this year. It was great to spend this time in Tchale encouraging and doing ministry with Pastor Highway and his wife Emmalina. The team held men's, women's and children's ministry each day as well as participating in hut to hut evangelism, and evening services. We also worked on the well we started last year by the clinic but had to stop as we were not reaching any water and the rods were taking A LONG time to go down. We do praise the Lord that the well we put in last year by the river is working well and they have even planted a garden there. Later in the outreach they went and drilled in Mabuzane and praise the Lord we found water and left them with a working well. We also made the frame for a church in Tchale. Pastor Highway and the church members will finish the church floor and roof. We are thankful that the Lord has provided the funds for a church structure for Tchale.
|hut to hut evangelism|
|well in Tchale by the clinic|
|well in Mabuzane|
|church in Tchale|
|getting water from Masango's well|
The team decided to bring all the fixings for Mexican food and kick us out of the kitchen. They made a Mexican feast for dinner one day. What a great meal!
|Luke helping a kid pop his balloon|
|Sugar and her puppies|
|Luke went on visitation one day|
|Brit and her friend Lindsey|
|look what we saw in Kruger|
We wanted to share a few highlights from some of the team members...
Allie from PaulAnn shared "Amazing would be an understatement of how my time in Mozambique was. The people of Tchale were so wonderful and seeking something so much more than them. This was so evident at one of the huts that we went to, to share the gospel. We walked up and I asked if she had been to any of the ministries. She didn't respond with a yes, she responded with I want to know more. That in and of itself was such a neat experience, to know that God is drawing them, that He is putting the curiosity in their hearts to desire an interest in Him. Needless to say I really enjoyed getting to know the women of Tchale. They all had such gentle spirits. Not only were the people of Mozambique fun to get to know but so was everyone at Samaria Mission. The team seemed unified and Spirit led. I enjoyed every bit of the trip to South Africa/ Mozambique and I hope to be back soon!"
Kenna from Grace Community, Ohio shared, "Africa seems to be a country far, far away in peoples’ minds. We may see the photos, hear of news on the television, but fail to completely grasp the reality of their lives. My coming to Mozambique totally changed my perspective, which is exactly what I wanted. God used this experience to show me that His people and His Church are everywhere, not simply in our Western world. The people of Mozambique are so different than us in many ways, but we are also the same people. Here they live to survive; in America we live to entertain. In Moz life seems simple, while in America we are consumed with our schedules. Yet we all breathe the same air; we live under the same sun; and we are all lost. That is such a simple truth that God has shown me: He seeks authentic repentance from us all. Simplicity in life does not equal unhappiness. Mozambicans are joyful; thankful; faithful. God’s love is universal and His truth is universal. As followers of Jesus we need to set aside our selfishness and comprehend this reality."
Rachael Wittich, FBC Carlsbad, who joined the PaulAnn team shared, "I cannot believe that I was able to spend a week here in Africa in the most remote area. I have seen God work in this area and it excites me to know that God is working here. It is amazing to see that something that I take for granted at home, some of these individuals are seeing for the first time ever. This experience has helped me to look at my priorities and to examine what I hold most dear in my life. One experience that meant so much to me is when several of us traveled by truck in the back of a trailer to a neighboring village to talk to the chief and others in the village about Jesus. It took us about 20 minutes to drive from our campsite to the chief’s hut. There were about 35 people who sat and listened. That day the chief along with several others accepted Christ. The next day at church by our campsite, the chief from the neighboring village along with several of the women from the village came all the way to the church service. It was a long walk for them since it took us 20 minutes by vehicle. It made me think about the fact that if I had to walk for hours to church, would I still be as faithful? It really touched my heart because they were faithful and they acted out that faith. In my time here that was one of my most memorable memories! God has also given me such a heart for the woman of this village. They are such wonderful, gracious and hard working woman. I am so grateful that God has allowed me this experience, I have grown spiritually and I will pray daily for the people of Mozambique and those precious men, children and woman that I have grown to love here"
Lindsey from PaulAnn shared, " I am still blown away that the Lord was so gracious in allowing me to spend time with the people in Tchale... The people in that village are so friendly and are full of curiosity, which is something that I believe the Lord has placed in their hearts to draw them to Himself. I had the opportunity to work with the children, and I couldn't help but stand there in awe as they would quietly sit and listen intently to the story of Jesus. Time and time again, the Lord revealed to me through that trip how big His heart is for the nations, and how He truly desires all to come to know Him intimately. It was such an amazing trip, one that has forever impacted and changed me. The goodness of Jesus is simply overwhelming... I'm so thankful that I was able to go, and I hope to some day come back again!"