Our Amazing Race… Through History and History in the Making

When I was at school, many years ago, I found the subject of history totally boring. That all changed once I had left school and discovered I was living within the moment that history was being made. Suddenly past events became fascinating as I lined them with where we are now and how the now affects not only the immediate moment, but also affects the future… forever! Every day is a gift. Not only a gift to us, but a gift to others. What we give today can change a tomorrow.

MASSACRE DE INHAMINGA 

August (3 of 3)

This sign ‘MASSACRE DE INHAMINGA’ stands at the crossroads of Inhaminga Vila (Town). Three kilometres West of the sign, lies the Inhaminga airstrip we used for so many years. It is now overgrown with tall grass and termite mounds are rising up from the ground. The government, in its paranoia of things that fly, closed it eight years ago. Just 500 metre further on, Afrika wa Yesu Bible School nestles in the bush, an oasis of green grass, trees and blazing colours, welcoming people from all over Mozambique and from across the nations. Less than a kilometre further on, the mass graves scar the underground, detectable from the surface only by the eye that knows what is hidden beneath. If not previously informed, one would not know the graves are there. Unless one visited during the time of extreme drought when all the grass has died and long mounds of dry earth are clearly visible, and a few human skulls and bleached bones are exposed to the searing wind.

It was at such a time in the early 1990’s that we first visited these graves. I clearly remember the intense pressure on my heart squeezing hot tears from my eyes onto the parched earth. That was before our oasis, at the time that we prophesied to starving, half-naked people, “You shall not die, you shall surely live! Inhaminga will rise from the dust. You shall once more see buildings restored, vehicles travelling on the road, and even the trains will run again through this town.” It seemed impossible at the time but when God says ‘Prophesy to these dry bones and they shall live’, He means to bring it to pass and He has. We prophesied peace and it came through great struggles that led to the signing of the Rome Peace Accord. The war ended, though unfulfilled expectations and promises continued to cause rumblings.

Inhaminga is still no model town due to political restraints, but Inhaminga has indeed come back to life. Vehicles truck through in spite of the road being possibly the worst in Mozambique, and at least 12 trains a day pass through. Wow!

Deep memories cause me to digress. Today Mozambique balances on the precipice of yet another peace signing after two years of hostilities and sporadic fighting between the same two parties. Almost there, uncertain parties are caught between the moment of vacillation and imminent breakthrough that will once more bring peace and amnesty, or a greater destruction.

Captured in the maelstrom of history repeating itself as we look over the past forty years, a thousand thoughts run through our mind. The internet gives quick access to newspapers printed forty years ago. Fascinating reports and stories that tell of missionaries trapped between different sides. Pictures of mass graves full of corpses, not yet covered over. The very same that we found in 1991, the ‘Massacre de Inhaminga’ graves not far from our campus. Then there is the recent action of the last two years, and an event shared in an earlier blog this year when an attack was launched from within 500 metres of our Bible School. These matters we shall leave for the moment while we look at the present situation in the nation.

PRESENT SITUATION IN THE NATION.

When two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt.

In spite of much excitement and hugs all round last week when the two parties Frelimo and Renamo signed a peace accord with agreement of amnesty, Afonso Dhlakama is not out of the woods yet. He is still in his base camp, apparently in the forested Gorongosa mountain region.

August (1 of 1)

RENAMO LEADER ‘NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET’.

Right now the two elephants have called off their herds from the fight, but they are not looking each other in the eye nor joining their trunks to formalise a law of peace and amnesty.

Taken from “Canalmoz” What is under discussion at the moment is the date on which Dhlakama and Armando Guebuza must sign the “Memorandum of Understanding” in negotiations. Armando Guebuza has expressed intention to meet Dhlakama, but Renamo still faces concerns about the unpredictability of Armando Guebuza, who ordered the arrest of Antonio Muchanga, member of the State Council, bypassing the law, so that, according to Renamo, there is no guarantee that the same Guebuza, who broke the law in arresting António Muchanga, would not ignore the amnesty itself, to perform some similar action on Dhlakama. Renamo says that Dhlakama is not effectively out of the woods.

Maputo (Canalmoz) – Until yesterday, August 17, the Amnesty Law had not yet been published in the Government Gazette. As is known, a law takes effect after its publication only.

The lack of publication of the law in the Government Gazette as a matter of urgency, strictly following the script that the same law was not being well-regarded by Renamo judging it to be a trap. Incidentally, in the last four days, the government has been insisting on the need for Dhlakama to be out of the woods, but the fact is that the law is not yet in force.

Regarding his departure from the unknown place where he is, Dhlakama said he will only do so after the ceasefire was signed, because, according to his words, amnesty if not legal, does not prevent someone in bad faith to be a “trickster”, unleashing shots against him. “I would be a child, if he got out of here without a ceasefire. “We are waiting for the document to be signed and submitted to Parliament for its approval,” said Dhlakama. (Editorial)

ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE “NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET”

DON’T SHOUT UNTIL YOU’RE OUT OF THE WOODS – “Don’t feel safe until you are out of danger. The proverb originated in the United States and has been traced back to ‘Papers of Benjamin Franklin’ . It was used by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) in a letter dated November 13, 1800. First attested in England in ‘Hereward the Wake’ by Charles Kingsley (1819-75). The proverb is found in varying forms.” From “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).

CHANGE IS NOT A CHANGE UNTIL THERE’S A CHANGE.

  1. Twenty years ago the Mozambique Government agreed to take down all communist symbols.August (2 of 3)

Till today these monuments are not only standing, but receiving fresh coats of paint.

  1. Even new ones are going up.August (1 of 3)
  1. The national flag was to be changed; still the nation displays its identity through the communist star and a weapon of war and bloodshed. Flag_of_Mozambique_svg

FLAG OF MOZAMBIQUE: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The flag of Mozambique was adopted on 1 May 1983. It includes the image of an AK-47 with a bayonet attached to the barrel and is the only national flag in the world to feature such a modern rifle. The flag is based on the flag of the Mozambican Liberation Front (FRELIMO), the leading political party in Mozambique. The FRELIMO flag, used for a brief period after the country gained its independence from Portugal, looks like the current flag but lacking the emblem, with green, black, and yellow horizontal stripes separated by white fimbriations and a red triangle in the hoist. On independence the colors were rearranged to form the national flag, in diagonals emanating from the upper hoist. Over this was a white cogwheel containing the hoe, rifle, book, and star that appear on the present flag. The flag was altered in 1983; the colors were arranged in horizontal stripes, and the star of Marxism was made larger. Proposals for a new, non-partisan flag have been introduced. Green stands for the riches of the land, the white fimbriations signify peace, black represents the African continent, yellow symbolizes the country’s minerals, and red represents the struggle for independence. The rifle stands for defence and vigilance, the open book symbolizes the importance of education, the hoe represents the country’s agriculture, and the star symbolizes Marxism and internationalism.

In 2005, a competition was held to design a new flag for Mozambique. 119 entries were received and a winning flag was selected, but to this day the flag remains the same. This came in the context of a drive to create a new crest and anthem for the country. Mozambique’s parliamentary opposition would specifically like to see removed from the flag the image of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, which symbolizes the nation’s struggle for independence, according to press reports.[1]

The proposition of a new flag was rejected by the FRELIMO-led parliament in December 2005. 169 proposed flags were turned down, including the current flag without the rifle.[2]

CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR MOZAMBIQUE………. WE ARE ALMOST THERE!

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