We just got back from a week of traveling. The first couple days we went to Lichinga which is in a different province. Montepuez is in Cabo Delgado, Lichinga is in Niassa. All that to say, it was a 14 hour drive. Granted, the main reason it was 14 hours was because we often were driving at an earth shattering speed of 3 km per hour. (The "roads" were rather treacherous.)
Anyway, in Lichinga we got to see a lot of development work going on with the Holtons and Caldwells. They are doing amazing things. For instance, there is a plant called Artimesia (sp?) that cures milaria. Another plant called meringua (sp?) basically has every vitamin known to man and can purify water. I'm going to put a link to the Holton's blog on the group wall. Overall, it was a really good experience.
One of my favorite things I heard was when Kyle Holton told us what development meant to him. He said development is not going into a village and telling people how we can make their life better. It's not saying we have all the answers. That's just another form of oppression. We have to come in appreciating that these people have things to teach us. And together we can learn to better our lives with the resources God has given us. Development is letting these people be the author's of their own lives. (I didn't put quotes around that because I obviously was paraphrasing, but that's the gist.)
So we spent a couple days in Lichinga seeing other ways God is working in Mozambique and then we did a survey trip in Marupa. A survey trip is where you travel around a specific area getting information that would be useful for missionaries who are considering moving there. For instance, we tried to learn about education and health care and religions. Also, we collected a lot of logistics like... how much a coke costs, or where is the closest gas station.
I really enjoyed going out into the nearby villages and talking to the village chiefs. Sometimes a village has a chief and sometimes a village has a king. Sometimes they have both. It's sort of confusing to me, but my best conclusion is that a king can be in charge of multiple villages and a chief is just in charge of one. So we would sit down with these men and talk about their village and how often they go into town and whether they have a well and whether elephants are a problem (they often are.) There are a lot of reasons I enjoyed this part of the survey, but mostly I just liked the men we sat and talked with.
There are a lot of reasons why I liked the trip overall too. God continues to show me how big He is when I see Him in the little town of Nagir outside of Marupa. I have seen Him in His people and His creation. (Lichinga looks and feels a lot like Colorado.)
Also, I really enjoyed seeing three different missionary families. (We stayed with the Talbott family in Marupa.) Mission work is different for everybody, but it was very beneficial, I think, to see some of that diversity.
Also, the more time I spend with the Smiths and Howells... the better. They are two outstanding families and long car rides make for great learning opportunities. They have a lot of wisdom.
Ok, well it's amazing that I've written this much and still feel like I haven't scratched the surface!
Mon, July 6, 2009
by Harrison Dell