July is always a special month for Kim and I. This year, we celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary on the twenty-first! We had a nice dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant in Beira. It was made even better since for most of the month Kim had been struggling with some stomach issues and they were resolved just in time for our anniversary dinner. I think the prospect of having her favorite soup really helped her mind and body heal. We were very thankful to have our friend Isac to help us navigate the maze of the central hospital and get Kim the help she needed. Please continue to keep her in your prayers as she adjusts to a slightly modified diet. She was aghast to hear from the doctor that she would need to severely cut her coffee intake and since then has been dealing with regular caffeine headaches. Speaking of which, feel free to include me in those prayers. No-coffee Kim is sometimes really-grumpy Kim. (I can say that since we have survived 8 years of teasing one another relentlessly and still like each other and if you are reading this it means that Kim said it was OK to leave it in the update)
Other areas of life in Mozambique have been progressing well. I continue to teach weekly Bible studies and English classes at the Munhava congregation. I was very pleased last week to finally get to the point in the teacher-student relationship where we are making jokes and laughing together. A fun class is always a good class. We have a strong core group of about ten students currently. Many of the women in the church have asked Kim to start a Monday morning class as well since they can’t make the evening classes on Thursdays. She hopes to be able to start that soon.
As we share our joys with our Mozambican friends we have also come to a place where we are sharing our sorrows as well. This last week I was honored to be invited to participate in the funeral for one of the female elders of our local church in Munhava. Her name was Rebecca and she had been very active in the women’s ministry for many years. We honored her life with prayers, songs, stories, and scripture. She was laid to rest in the local cemetery on a Tuesday. It was a long day full of tears and cries and even some smiles as Rebecca’s life was fondly remembered. Part of living life together is dealing with death together. I have a clear sense that having shared this experience together has brought me and the church in Beira closer in relationship.
Kim has been working hard to prepare plans for our trip to Zimbabwe next month for farming training. There are many logistical details to organize; everything from having the correct currency and documents to putting the correct reflective tape on the back of our car. We will be travelling there right after the national church youth conference that is being held in Gogoi this year. We are looking forward to both events very much. It will be exciting to have so many people visit Gogoi and be able to share the plans that have been made for that place.
Thank you all so much for your continued support!
Kim and Erik Free serve with the United Church of Christ in Mozambique.