I read a story this week about a guy who had been in a very sorry state for so many years that he had pretty much given up all hope. Then a stranger who--unbeknownst to the suffering man was a Very Important Man--came along and asked this man if he wanted help. In the version in my head, I like to imagine that “the hopeless one” was mid sentence in his long tale of woe, having paused briefly to draw his breath, when the Very Important Man interjected and spoke life to him. And in that instant, the hopeless man’s life was completely and entirely transformed.
Later, when some people noticed that “the hopeless one’s” sad and sorry state was gone forever and asked who had helped him, he replied (my words here), “I have NO CLUE!” I love that. This guy received a gracious and life-changing gift, which he did not expect, from someone he did not even know. That’s God’s grace, and that is what God does.
He meets us right where we're at. (My paraphrase of the story: The Healing at the Pool, first part of John 5)
We were privileged last week to witness and partner with others in a similar type of scenario, albeit in a different era and in different circumstances.
Because we had very scant rainfall this summer, right when it was needed for everyone's maize to grow, there has been widespread crop failure and hunger. Areas north of us have been especially affected. Then February came, and with it, rain and more rain. Although those who wanted to replant appreciated the extra moisture, it resulted in engorged rivers and flooding of many low-lying areas.
The beautiful Zambezi river
Zambezi River and flooded areas
Requests for help with food started to come in and as we shared of the need with others, resources were given to help meet that need.
What follows is just the nutshell/photo version of the guys’ trip north to deliver food and meet with remote communities to address the often repeated cycle of food shortages. (Photos compliments of Rick)
Matthias and local pastors unload maize.
A local church service: the Women's section
Thatched village huts
Pastor Ricardo, Rick and local pastors catch a bit of shade in the heat.
Dwight greeting local pastors and community leaders (check his update)
One of my favorite kinds of photo
Kids leaning into a church service.
Two days later, the guys returned and landed right on the mission farm.
Next morning, it was time for the chopper to load up and take off again to return to Mercy Air, South Africa. Keren's family were able to get in on a chopper ride to Beira. From there they caught their flight to return home (Canada).
I rather like the bits of flying grass in this photo :)
Otherwise this week:
Malaria has been bad this season. So bad in fact that it's tough keeping enough antimalarials stocked in the clinic. Here, Andy is spraying insecticide to try to keep mosquito populations down.
This week we were able to meet with the District Health Director to discuss a few things like progress on Chitundo Health post and plans to expand the Mucombeze Health Post to a larger Health Centre which would provide better services to the community. It was a good meeting and we rejoice that there's a good spirit of cooperation between the mission and the Mozambican health authorities.
Also this week, a group photo shoot of the mission staff right after devotions. Dwight and I are working on promotion materials for a quick trip to Canada in April & May, so updating photos for brochures is one of the things we need to focus on right now.