Friday, July 2, 2010

Our time on Outreach

Here on the center every weekend of few of our pastors take visitors out into the community on outreach. What does that mean you might be asking? Well it's something a bit different every time. To define "the community" for you first...we use the term community to refer to anywhere outside of the center. Basically neighborhoods in Moz. But don't think paved roads, nicely manicured front yards, and nice brick houses filled with cute families. Instead they are wandering dirt paths (usually not big enough for cars to pass through),sand covered front yards with thorny bushes to divide up who's land is who's, and reed or cinder block houses with kids being raised by whoever is around. As for is a term that to me brings up sharing the gospel with many, praying over the sick, and forming relationships with whoever come to hear the good news. Our experience was in the community for sure but a bit different from how I imagined it to be.
We headed out on a Saturday morning with Pastor Paulo. We all jumped in the back of a truck with out backpacks packed and our tents and sleeping bags in hand. We jumped out of the truck only to get into a CRAMMED chapa (read this about chapas if you haven't already). We finally arrived about 30 minutes later in a small town where Pastor Paulo lives. We started on our trudge through the community wide eyed. It was just as I described it above. Once we got to Paulo's house he told us to pitch our tents and hang out for a bit. Thanks to Mom who had brought me a bunch of beads we made necklaces with all the community kids. Ladies from the community came by for the next day asking if we had any necklaces left and if they could have one. They absolutely LOVED it!The boys helped a bit but they also took some time to learn just how to eat sugar cane!I decided to help out the lady who was cooking for us by watching her baby. You know how I've always loved the little ones! All was well until his diaper soaked through...yuck!Once Pastor Paulo got back we all sat down to eat before we headed off again. We ate fish and rice or sheema (a traditional substitute for rice that looks like mashed potatoes but tastes like rice and is gummy). Here's the outdoor kitchen where everything was prepared for us. And here's our tasty fish lunch!Next we walked over to a church where a young member of the community had invited us to attend there Saturday night youth service. "Youth" in Moz refers to anyone who is not married so it's a bit different than what you would think of as youth group in the US. I quickly became out group's translator, which is funny to say the I'm pretty sure no one really understood what the preacher was saying. By the time the service was over it was dark. We got back to Paulo's house where we had salad, bread, and tea for dinner. It was amazing! Seriously! Then we played UNO late into the night by lamp light. And I just saw Paulo the other day, and he is still playing UNO every night with friends!
Then we all laid down for a restful night of sleep...NOT! Paulo's amazing neighbors who have electricity played the radio ALL night long LOUDLY! I spent the entire night laying in our tent trying to sleep, not actually sleeping. Then about 4am the roosters started crowing.Sunday morning the girls helped out by washing all of our dishes from the night before. I have a new appreciation for how hard Mozambican women work day in and day out. We look happy but it was hard work!Next we all went to church with the same youth who had invited us the night before. It was a long service and by the time it was complete we had lunch back at Paulo's and then were back on the chapa to the center.
I couldn't close up this recap without telling you just a bit about the bathroom and about how we learned to kill a chicken. First, the bathroom and shower look like this.The bathroom is behind the left curtain and the shower behind the right. The shower room is just an open room with a basin. The bathroom is a hole......quite the experience for us. Second, yes, you read that right. We learned to kill a chicken. Paulo came back Sunday morning with a chicken in hand. He let it go in the yard, but we all knew it would be lunch later. Soon he had picked up a knife and was holding the chicken like this...Next we learned that pouring boiling water on it makes it simpler to pluck. We were all a bit shocked that he used the same surface where we put the clean dishes earlier to pluck our soon to be lunch. And he used the same dish that we rinsed the clean dishes in to wash off the chicken. But praise God no one got sick and lunch was amazing!
Altogether it was an eye-opening and wonderful adventure into the community that I got to share with Wilder!

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