Day 6: Family of Friends…

It’s 6:03 pm. We’re finishing up a long day, eating grilled chicken and doodling in our notebooks while the kids take turns spouting off knock knock jokes while we offer “courtesy chuckles” in response.

I started the day under a giant mango tree reading my bible and looking out over the ocean.

By the time I came inside, the house had begun to stir. Rebecca was in the shower and Amanda and Nunu we’re getting things ready for the day. Indiana soon emerged with a sour look on his face. He staggered over to me, shirtless with his pajama legs pulled up to his thighs so that they looked like very short, shorts. “I’m soo thirsty and I think I might wanna throw up.” I handed him a Batman cup full of water which he turned up like a cowboy in a saloon after a long dry ride, drinking every drop. Before he could even utter a word, all 12 ounces of it came flying back up and onto the floor at my feet. I guess I should’ve heeded his warning.

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He and Rebecca stayed behind as the rest of us loaded up and headed off to Church. We arrived timely at 10:30 just as things were getting going. There were about 30 people in all sitting in plastic chairs under a large beautiful cover patio overlooking the ocean. A man was tinkering with the laptop, projector and sound while we were introduced to several people. Most of the folks that gather for this monthly “Celebration Service” are foriegners in Mozambique for some type of missionary work. There was an overwhelming sense of family among them, they talked warmly and deeply with one another, showing genuine interest in the struggles and victories in each others lives. We sang a few songs together to start things off and then a man named Auri (spelling probably wrong) shared with us regarding faith hope and love. He perfectly articulated the definitions and also the differences of each using passages from scripture Finally he showed us a video that featured a non-profit in South Africa. This group is changing lives and thereby the world, by teaching job skills, helping them out of addiction and all sorts of other things. The point Auri was using the video to make is that the Gospel of Jesus is shared most effectively through action. I couldn’t agree more. Once Auri was finished, we took communion and prayed for the meal. The food was awesome, it was a potluck anchored by grilled bone in chicken. Even the desserts looked good although I had chicken for dessert:)

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Auri and his wife have three kids around the age of my boys so Eli was in heaven. They played and explored along the rocks on the ocean shore from the moment lunch was over until it was time to go home a couple hours later. Decker decided to take a much needed nap out on a hammock overlooking the beach so he won as well.

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John and Mary Lou are an awesome couple who by the way are celebrating 50 years of marriage in a couple months WOO WOO!! They host these monthly gatherings at their home. It’s one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been, right on the ocean. Everything is just so, every plant, every tree, every stone seems to have placed or grown thoughtfully over time. Additionally, every door, window, piece of furniture, floor, even the staircase in the house was crafted by John over the last nine years. I wish I would’ve taken a couple pictures but here is one I found of the staircase prior to it’s completion.

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I sat by a man named David and his wife Mary. We were fast friends. We talked about our respective reasons for being and Pemba and even wandered off into some truly challenging conversational territory such as the wealth gap in Moz,  and the difference between the idea of poverty in places like Pemba compared to “poverty” in the states. They have an incredible love for both God, and the people of Moz. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know them.

About 4 hours after arriving, we said our goodbyes and hit the road. On the way we stopped for the only “fast” food available…grilled chicken, and I mean holy moly delicious grilled chicken. Nunu pulled over to the little shanty and we hopped out to do a deal with the chicken guy then we took it home to eat with Rebecca and Indiana.

About 2 miles from home, we came upon a man that Nunu knew. He was carrying two 40 pound bags of some type of cornmeal. We pulled over and made his day by giving him a lift to the village.

When we pulled up at the house, I was happy to see Rebecca and Ind in the yard playing catch. He was feeling himself again and they actually had a really nice day together.

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Another great day, thanks for joining me.

 

See you tomorrow:)

 

John

 

 

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