March 2019

After being in South Africa since 13 Jan 2019, we finally returned to Mozambique at beginning March.

As we were still awaiting our Visas, we could only stay for 30 days on the visitor’s visa. The procedure to obtain a work & residence visa is very involved and this required us to travel between Maputo and Johannesburg quite a few times during Feb. 

Finally the last of the requirements were met, documents stamped by a number of government departments in Mozambique and our applications were lodged in Johannesburg, phew. The export and import permits for my two dogs were obtained from the various authorities, and the required injections were done. There is just no chance that I could ever leave my puppies behind.

Whilst still in SA, I somehow managed to damage my ankle and had to have an operation to repair the damage.  I told the Orthopedic Surgeon that we were leaving for Mozambique on 3 March and that I cannot return to Johannesburg on the expected date to have the cast off.  I gave him a brief description of where we stay and our conditions, with no medical facilities or doctor nearby.  He was concerned that I will pick up an infection so he gave me a list of instructions, do’s and don’ts, and the cast came off the day before we left.

So, on crutches and all, we headed back to Mozambique on 3 March to continue our work there. Fortunately, my pick-up is automatic and it was my left ankle that was operated on so I had no issues with driving.

 During this time we stayed at the First Baptist Church in Ponta do Oura and commuted to Malongane everyday. How wonderful it was to be back in Mozambique. With all the commuting up and down, progress was a bit slower than anticipated. Derick and I continued with the time consuming task of clearing the bush. 

We then contracted the help of a fellow brother in Christ, who we met at First Baptist Church Ponta do Oura. We needed a caretaker who could assist with the labour as we cannot do it all by ourselves, and to look after the mission grounds when we need to make a trip back to SA.  And then there were 3 😊. Elisio is 26 and is from Quelimane, up North.

Having him with us and working with us brought new challenges our way. Our Portuguese is limited and Elisio’s English is also limited. So we got by with hand signs, motions and google translate.

You would be surprise at how quickly we started picking up words from each other’s language.

In the short 5 weeks way, the regrowth of where we cleared in January was standing 4 foot high. Luckily as it was still young, it was fairly easy for me to get it out the ground.

All 3 of us laboured every day without fail and cleared enough space for our camp (and ultimately where the church will be built), then we moved onto the area where our Casa will be built. Amazing how quickly the heap of branches grow when clearing.

Derick and Elisio continued with the heavier work and I took on the easier tasks. It was such a pleasure to stand back at the end of each day and observe our days work done. Here are a few before and after pictures:

The days are still very hot and between the sweat and the dust, we all had a temporary tan (which washed off in the shower).

Our lunch break consisted of a quick meal of boiled eggs, pao and a softdrink, with the bush being our dining room, we plonked ourselves down on the ground or wheelbarrow, said Grace and then consumed our lunch.

Sometimes we have to change our plans a little to accommodate someone else’s need. This young man from a neighbouring homestead who always pops in to see what we are up to, handed me his school bag. With his hand gestures I got the message that he needed it fixed. He ran off and appeared again a short while later with cotton and a needle. It did not take long to sew the bag together and I was rewarded with a huge smile when I handed him the bag back. Isn’t that what it is all about?

Saturday is our “off” day. We took a drive to a neaby lodge and enjoyed a a Vanilla milkshake, complete with a biodegradable straw – a bamboo straw. What a stunning view of the ocean, or God, in all His splendor, has created a beautiful world for us to live in.

On Sundays after church we usually take the long way home to do some scouting in the area, where there is NO ROAD I might add 😊. Derick enjoys a good challenge and thought it very funny …. me sitting on the end of my seat, neck long trying to look over the bonnet, eyes big like saucers each time we got on top of a hill and starting the downhill.  The scenery is just breathtaking, we are so blessed to have been called to do God’s work here.

As always, lots of little critters come to visit us and I just love watching them go about their day.