Lectionary Selection: Luke 7:1-10
Prayers for Mozambique:
God of glory and grace, in whom we profess our faith, hear our prayers as we lift up our sisters and brothers in Mozambique. May their faith be encouraged and grow in the strength of humility, Lord. We know that life is difficult in Mozambique and many are feeling the oppression of violence, fear, lack of resources, and hunger. God we ask you to inspire in all of us - your faithful in this place and in Mozambique - courageous hearts to stand up for the oppressed. Inspire us toward thoughts and deeds of service across our cultural divides, O God. For it is in these acts of courage and defense that we reach beyond ourselves and open ourselves up to the glory of your love. With this love, we can change the world.
Lord, you know all our innermost beings. Help us to know one another better and to reach out with hearts of understanding. For it is in understanding that we might see that we are all one in the family of God; that we share one another’s hurts and struggles and are called to stand up for what is right and just for all people. Lord, make us all instruments of your peace and healing. Amen.
We are happy to report that the weather is getting cooler as we head into our wintertime here. GoiGoi is typically cooler than Beira, being near the mountains, and we look forward to wearing long sleeves soon and maybe even having a blanket on the bed! Work around the house and fields continue to progress well. Kim has been very busy clearing space for her new garden with the help of some church members. Erik has been working with church leaders to provide much needed Bibles and other church resources to the rural churches.Read more
Good news! We have successfully moved into the new house in GoiGoi and are in the process of settling in. We spent the month of March visiting area leaders and preparing to host the area ICUM (United Church of Christ in Mozambique) churches for Easter. It is very different living in a much more rural area like GoiGoi than it has been in Beira. There is no electrical service, so we tend to go to bed much earlier. It is quieter and the air is fresher.Read more
We have returned from our vacation to find most of southern Mozambique in the grips of a devastating drought, while in the North, flooding is causing major problems. Peoples’ crops are failing with the lack of rain and as a result, food is becoming scarce, especially in rural areas such as Goi-Goi. Our training fields have failed as well due to the lack of rain, which is quite a setback. The political situation is also becoming more tense as the government and opposition party continue to clash.Read more
Well, we are in the thick of the hot and humid season here in Mozambique. November has been an eventful month for us and our church partners in Beira. We have celebrated the National Synod of the United Church of Christ in Mozambique (UCCM) during which our friend, Pastor Lucas, was re-elected to serve another four years as denominational president. We returned to Goi-Goi to plant maize and beans in the training field and check on the progress of the new house. Interest continues to grow for the conservation agriculture training, which is very exciting. All things considered, we have much to be thankful for this year.Read more
Greetings from Mozambique! The rainy season has finally begun here and that means it is also getting hotter! It is a big difference from living in Oregon where rain equals cold. When we first arrived in Mozambique I thought it felt like it would take forever to acclimate to the weather. I think I have finally arrived at that point. I even wear long sleeves when it drops below 70°. I am starting to worry about the cold weather in Oregon when we visit family in December. My first stop will be the Goodwill to purchase a nice warm coat!Read more
September has been a busy month. We returned from our successful training trip to Zimbabwe with lots of ideas and plenty of encouragement from our new friends at the Foundations for Farming training center. Our car made the journey with no trouble even with the large load of supplies and equipment we were bringing back. We had just three short days in Beira before we were off again to the farm in Gogoi to hold a conservation agriculture training seminar and set up the training field. Nothing like living out of a suitcase for a month!Read more
We greet you this month from Zimbabwe!
Kim and I are currently visiting Zimbabwe and staying with some gracious friends as we continue to prepare for the start of the agriculture training project in Goi-Goi. We left Beira on the 20th of August to travel to Goi-Goi to participate in the church’s national youth conference being held there. There were about 300 youth present plus many adult counselors and pastors. Kim and I had a great time visiting with all the young people and seeing our friends from Goi-Goi again. It was nice to be able to tell them more about the upcoming commencement of the farming project. We were also able to meet with the builder and decide on a final location for the new house, which will be near the training garden and in a central location.Read more
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)Read more
June marks a significant milestone in our lives here in Mozambique. Kim and I have officially completed our year of language training in Portuguese! Now, you may be thinking, “Hey, haven’t they been in Mozambique more than a year?” and you would be right, we have. Though our language training started a couple weeks after our arrival last March and with the two months the school was closed for holidays and time taken off for various church events we have actually completed our 12 months of study in good time (insert applause here). We are very excited to be done with attending classes nearly every day. It is, however, a bittersweet sort of victory in that we have thoroughly enjoyed our growing relationship with our instructor, Professor Nota. He has been and, I am sure, will continue to be a significant resource for us as we navigate life in Mozambique. Now, we move forward to a new stage of our relationship, one of colleagues and friends rather than teacher and students. I guess that means I am going to have to start calling him by his first name - I wonder what it is???Read more