Well, Muputo came and went. I still haven't been able to post the blog from Swaziland, but it looks like Monday is a promising day for that. Now I have learned my lesson about having "internet access" from Swaziland. You pay money for time and it takes half of your time up to load the first page. Total rip off but you can't expect much from a developing country. I don't mean to sound spoiled or anything I just mean that I am not getting my hopes up or promising myself that the internet will be working on Monday. Its just what I have learned to do.
Any who, our time in Maputo, Mozambique was interesting. I can't say it is my favorite place in the whole world but God spoke to me a lot while I was there. As we made the drive from Swaziland to Mozambique God told me "this is not your country." I have fallen in love with every place I have been so far so I was expecting that for Maputo as well. When God told me this I thought it would be along the lines of me not wanting to leave. I later learned it takes a very special heart to reach the people of Maputo. Maputo is a city. It has buildings and public transportation. So picture a city with city people and add everything from a third world country to the mix. It was very hard to reach people here for me because, just like most cities, people are busy and very caught up in life. I am not good at this. Some personal highlights though would have to be the school ministry. We teamed up with a fellow YWAM-er from Russia to clean up a "school house." You could hardly call this a school. It was walls with spaces for windows and doors, but no doors or windows were there. The rooms were empty except for small chalk boards that had been painted on the wall. Picture an empty school house in your mind... Now take away even more of what you imagine and you might be getting closer. There is no bathroom, no crayons, no paper (except the trash that is thrown around the property), no water, not even a trash can. Nothing. Just empty rooms, one or two teachers, and hundreds of children. Heart breaking. We did our best at starting to clean up the school house and we were pretty satisfied with our work. We found out the next day that all of the trash was back. People came and in a days time had made another huge mess. We know that we can not change the people of Maputo so we decided to get them involved. We gathered a bunch of children and put them to work along side us picking up the trash. It was incredible to see the children want to help. I even talked to some older boys who spoke very little English. I'm pretty sure they only stoped to talk because I am white and they said they didn't have time to pick up trash. They were pretty funny. I made it clear that if they weren't going to pick up any trash then they were NEVER to throw it on that property ever again! They agreed.
We got to see the coast towards the end of our stay and it was fantastic. We were invited to attend a Wednesday night service of a church by the beach and it was totally Holy Spirit filled. We did our dramas and a few of my team members spoke but I think the highlight was actually at the end of the service. We got to shake hands and greet every person in the church. There was something about these people they was just so refreshing. The church blessed us greatly. After they took the offering they gave it to our team. Man, God provides.
There are things about Maputo that will never leave my memory. Like catching the chappas (taxi buses) and having people PILE on top of us. On one of our trip with the evil chappas, we were so crammed in that could hardly feel my feet touch the ground... and I wasn't sitting down. I thought to myself "wow, I think I can take my feet off the ground.." Sure enough I gave it a try and I was floating. I was so squished in that I could be held in the air off of my feet. CRAZY!!
We also got to visit a children's home for prostitutes children. These kid's had so much energy and we were able to just hang out and love on them. We brought face paint and bubbles. It was a really blessed and cherished time. Heart braking as well. We met a tiny girl by the name of Tanya. Tanya was very small and most of us assumed she was about two or maybe a small three. It turns out she is actually six years old. Because of being malnourished she is very under developed. Our hearts really went out to her.
Well I write this to you from Iris Ministry in Zimpeto, Mozambique but that will have to be a whole different blog!!