We arrived in Maputo early--unheard of in the history of LAM (Moz Airlines). Today we relax with Restricks, long time friends (sounds much better than old friends, doesn't it?) from Lisboa days. In fact, we were reminiscing last night about Dave being my ride home from the hospital when Luke was born, and Rhoda singing him the alphabet song when he was a babe in language school. Seventeen years later he is the body guard for four women on an Italy trip.
Before we head out tomorrow morning, I just wanted to share the wonderful work God is doing in Quelimane, our home for the past 15 years. The Sunday evening dinner we hosted for the provincial leaders was a milestone. Let me help you visualize the four couples and us. We started on the front verandah for a "get to know each other." Of course they knew each other, but we wanted to hear their "biographies." Phil asked them to sit as couples, not the traditional men on one side, women on the other. Hmm. Lots of giggling and hands over mouths, but they liked sitting with their other halves. We heard about previous marriages--all common law, buried babies and much past grief.
The highlight encouragement was the verbal dream of each to be married in the church. None are married yet and only two of the women are with their first husband. What a background for them all--but they are seeing God's design and they like it. After the sharing time, which was a perfect ice breaker, Phil shared the Ephesians verse from the last post and gave each couple a book by Bruce Britten, Love and Marriage. Their homework is to read the first chapter together. There is a literate member in each couple.
We ate around two tables joined together and the women ate side by side with their husbands for the first time I have ever witnessed. Usually women sit on the floor with their plates and eat with their hands while the men sit at table. What a privilege to serve them and watch them relax and enjoy. Something tells me they are very open to the working of the Lord in their lives; there is considerable pain over wayward children. The most animated conversation, however, was about the upcoming wedding ceremonies and what should be included and excluded.
That was my last supper in Quelimane. What a send-off. Phil stays there with renewed hope and enthusiasm. He and Orlando have been proactive in visiting lapsed church members. Some already showed up on Sunday. Thanks for praying for the IEM leaders.
We, the pilgrims, will rise and shine before the sun tomorrow and it will be a long day on the road and in the airport. Our plane leaves around 7 p.m. and we will arrive in Rome by 2:15 Thursday afternoon.
We'll get back to you some time after that. Thanks for every prayer. K.