In June we traveled to Mozambique to participate in a leadership conference there. The week before the conference they hosted a workshop on church planting. Since we were going we were able to benefit from them both.
I will share a few highlights for you about our time, but first a God story. There is no Mozambique embassy in Senegal so we needed to get our visas in the airport on arrival. We had come with everything we thought we needed and we were supposed to be able to get them at the airport. However when we got there they were telling us the papers had weren’t enough. We didn’t speak Portuguese and so the conversation was not long or detailed. We had a flight leaving in a few hours and so we were feeling the pressure of it all. I had saved an email in on my phone that I thought had the phone numbers we needed, but it wasn’t in that email and all the other emails weren’t loading as we didn’t have internet in the airport. I have never felt so stuck, everything I thought of trying I couldn’t get to work. We were taken over with a supervisor. He kept asking for a phone number, the number we had for the hotel wasn’t being answered. I decided to see if by some miracle I could get reception from my Senegal SIM. Just for an idea, were were further from Senegal then than we are when we are in Portland. I was able to get reception and tried to call Joel’s mom but it wouldn’t go through, I probably didn’t have enough credit for such a long distance, roaming call. I texted and she got it. She searched in our email and found the phone number to someone in Mozambique. Her and the boys started praying. The supervisor called the numbers we gave him and with a few calls all was worked out. Now we just needed to get our visa from the unhappy lady we started with. I had a moment like that of the Sloths at the DMV as I watched them slowly process my visa while the time clicked by, yes they knew I had a flight leaving in 20 minutes. As soon as it came out I RAN. By another miracle there was no line in immigration. By 3rd miracle someone directed me to get our bag which was supposed to have been checked all the way through an so I wasn’t even planning to look for it. By a 4th miracle someone directed and ran with me all the way to the domestic terminal. I arrived at the gate and convinced them to hold the plane for Joel and our coworkers and by the grace of God we all made out flight! For those who know me these are the moment that I don’t handle well, but by God grace he keeps me going through these moment and learning what it is to depend on him in all times. Sitting on that plane I was in awe that we had made it! All I could do was thank God for all the miracles he had done that day. I sent a quick text off to Joel’s mom so that the boys would know what God had done.
Highlights from our time there…
- Leaving the desert a seeing some green for a while
- Getting to meet more members of our field from South East Africa
- Evaluating and looking at our church planting practices and discussing where we need to improve and grow
- Spending a week together with the members of our leadership team
- Times of discussion as a leadership team on relevant topics that are facing us right now on the field
- Hearing about what God is doing in South East Africa
- Joel shared some what God is at work doing in West Africa
- I shared some one what we are learning about Families in Ministry
- We connected with the husband of the couple who has just started running the E2 program (orientation program from new missionaries) in South East Africa. We were able to answer questions they had about this role and will hopefully be able to continue to mutually encouraged each other in this role.
- We were able to be part of a conference that we were not running or had responsibility for.