Sometimes people ask us, “Describe a normal day in your life.”
Follow us on our amazingrace, and you will see that there is nothing as normal as the unexpected. Directing a ministry needs strategizing and planning in advance, yet life happens upon us and here in Mozambique there is a lot of happening that needs rapid response.
We do not run alone. Everything we do is woven into the lives of Team members and field workers. What we throw out they catch and what we drop they pick up. Thank you Afrika wa Yesu Team….you are the BEST!
We leave Nacala at 04.00, allowing the dawn to slumber on before awakening her an hour later half way to Nampula. Our hamper is packed with cold chicken, sandwiches and fruit; tea basket well prepared for the long African road home to Inhaminga. Fighting has escalated, we are eager to get home.
Seven hours later we reach Zambezia province. We pass the burned down huts at Nhampevo where we had chatted to some of the people on our way up North some weeks ago. We are ‘inside story’ people, getting our news straight from the lips of the people who live in these zones, not from the state news. Wide-eyed babies holding tightly onto mothers, men with darting eyes watching all around as the words began to spill out. They tell us what happened, and who it was that razed their homes to the ground. Angry and hungry, they have lost everything. So this is civil war, where uncivilised acts are carried out on one’s own people. We give them what we have, telling them we are sorry, we care. Now on the return journey we see a great increase of burned huts further on. The Central Provinces are at war.
It is late afternoon when we cross the Zambezi river. Here the police stop us at a roadblock and the soldiers peer into the vehicle. It is the only roadblock on the entire thirteen-hour journey. Time was when we were constantly stopped and attempts at ridiculous fines were made to get what they could out of us. Now they are too afraid to be on the road because of the Resistance Forces, many of whom have families among the burned down huts. We remind ourselves that these men too are people and we see past what we know and find the person behind the gun, ammunition and uniform. This is where a frightened policeman had told us some months before, “You better pray for us, we are in trouble here.”
I had put out my hand and we gripped wrist to forearm as I began to pray for him.
So this is civil war, where we go beyond being simply civil at road blocks and we look into the eyes of the person and we pray for him, no matter what side he is on, and we mean it.
Just before dark we reach Inhaminga. People who ran away to sleep in the bush at night after the visit of the death squad are back in town. When our Team returned after Nacala Conference, the people said, “You have come back! Now we will come back too.” We are a city on the hill. When our lights are on, the people find comfort. We pray we will never have to turn off the lights in Inhaminga.
A sudden burst of life and hope. It is hot and dry, and bush fires fill the air with smoke. These flowers Rod would often find when landing in the bush and bring them home for me in our plane.
The sawn off log we carried out the bush more than 20 years ago as a momento. Those working on the Peace Accord in 1992 often sat on it and discussed around it. Note the old tea pot I found in the forest, always welcoming me home for a pot of tea.
Pray for the Peace of Mozambique.
Peace cannot come through a revolution, only through a resolution.
AmazinGrace on our AmazingRace.