Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Last Day in Maputo

My time here in Maputo has gone by so fast and I have enjoyed it so much. I am going to miss this place and the neat people I have met here. This morning I was able to help out a little with some work here. One of the bathroom ceilings was pealing very badly. I scraped and painted it.

After that I got most of my things packed up and ready to go because I have a taxi coming tomorrow morning at 4:30am to pick me up, so I can be at the airport for 5am. My flight leaves at 6:30 and I arrive in Lichinga at 11am after landing at two other airports along the way.

After lunch Juanita took me out to the foreign exchange to change some money and we also went and got some natural bug repellent, because I don't like using anything with deet. This kind uses some essincial oils and seems to work well. The best guard against malaria is just not to get bitten by a mosquitoes, I have been bitten by some already but hopefully not by too many more.

Once we got back, Evangelina had asked me to help her with some issues she was having with Excel for their accounting. I don't really know excel that well, but I helped here for several hours and we seem to fix most of her problems. Juanita and Evangelina have said to me "Maybe you weren't planning on being here this long but God must have wanted you here for longer so you could help us. " They have a lot more things that need to be done here. I could probably spend a month working here if I had it. Maybe another time, but for now I have to go to Lichinga.

Well I have been blessed with good Internet connections at the places I have been, but I am not sure if that will continue to be the way things go. Send me an email and let me know how you are doing when you get a chance.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

This was a very early morning. I was up at 4:30, because we were leaving at 5:30am to go to the Easter sunrise service down by the ocean. It started pouring rain at 5 and I figured we wouldn't be going then, but the rain stopped just before we had to leave. We took a taxi down to the ocean and there were about thirty people that came out. The pastor from Juanita's church shared with us and then we sang for a while. It was nice, it was kind of cloudy so not a real clear sunrise.

Singing a few Easter Hymns.

The Sun was so bright I couldn't really get a good picture of it.

The service was in a park right by the ocean. It is a very beautiful park that they had just made with in the past year or so. This area of Maputo is very nice it is higher so it was not affected by the floods like the lower areas.I guess the grass stays so nice because they have signs asking people not to walk on it.

A couple water slides still under construction

Here are the ladies I went to the Sunrise service with. Ya, I know Joia you think it is just hilarious that I went with three old ladies and it probably is, but I get a long well with old ladies. That's probably why I get a long with you so well. Love you lots Joia. (In case your wondering Joia is my sister and she is only 26)
L/R Thelma, Evangelina, Me and Juanita.

These ladies are amazing they have such great health. Thelma was a missionary in Guinea Bissau in North West Africa for thirty years she returned to England 4 years ago. She was doing translation work there. She has come here to do some thing with the Bible Society regarding the translation. She is 75 years young but she doesn't act like it. When we were walking back this morning she stopped to take a picture and we kept walking and she was quite a ways back and she broke into a run to catch up. I have never seen a lady that age run that fast. She still rides a bike in England as well. The only thing is that her hearing is going. She often cannot understand what Juanita says, so she asks me sometimes.

There are lots of missionaries coming through here. There has been 8 here since I have been here. Some come for a few weeks, days or hours whatever they need. I just love sitting down at meals and hearing them share there different experience and where they have been, it is an encouragement.

After the service we walked back to the house along the ocean.

This is the Naval Club

These are the two sisters that run the guest home. I was wrong I had said that they have both been here for forty years but Juanita has been here for about 25. She never married, Evangelina did but her husband died.

Some nice apartments over looking the water. Remember I did say that this is a nicer area of town all of Maputo is not like this.
They like big advertisements, like this one on the side of an apartment building. This is an advertisement for the MTN cell phone company, I think.

Nice flower growing in a flower box on the side walk.
I just thought that this was a very nice looking Canon store just among a bunch of houses.
This is a nice neighbourhood but crime is still very present, so many people have electrified wires on the tops of their walls or razor wire. People will steal your camera out of your hands while your taking a picture or steal your cell phone while your making a call. I think that is called "Being Bold."This is just the maternity ward of the hospital just up the street from here. The hospital covers more then a whole block. They say it is a quite good hospital, but for major surgeries people still go to J'burg if they can afford it.

Just after we got back at 8am it started raining again. We had breakfast together then I took a little nap before we headed of at 10:45 to walk to Maputo International Church. It is the church that Juanita goes to and it has an English service. It is mostly made up of English speakers working in Embassies and people working for NGO's (None Government Organizations), like World Relief and other relief organizations. It was pouring rain again after church so someone gave us a ride back to the house.

We had a man stop by for a few hours and he was here for lunch. His name is Tony he is from Brazil and is working in Northern Mozambique. About ten years ago he was working in Guinea when Thelma was there and they hadn't seen each other since. They had a lot of cool things to share with us. Well this is much longer then I was expecting it to be. I hope you all have a good time of fellowship with Christians today wherever that maybe.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I am in Maputo, Mozambique

Felipe took me to the airport this morning at 7:30. We got to the airline counters and South African Airline had a monstrous line in front of it. It would have taken me more than an hour to get through the line. I wasn't checking any luggage because mine was checked all the way through from Detroit to Maputo. I was able to go right to the front of the line and God did it again, made a way where there seemed to be no way.

I boarded the plane at 9 we were supposed to take off at 9:35, but for some reason three people got on the plane and then had to get off and they had to find their luggage and get it off as well. It must have taken them about 35 minutes to find all the luggage and get it of. We were about half an hour late taking off. Again God placed me by a Christian, like my last two flights. This man was a Brazilian and he is pastoring a church here in Maputo. There are many Brazilians here in Mozambique because it is Portuguese speaking, just like Brazil. It was a quick 45 minute flight into Maputo. I was going through the passport check and I had to get a visa. I had thought that it was going to be about $100.00, but it was only $25.00. There immigration process is not the most efficient you might say. There must have been about 35 people needing visas. They seemed to be running from this office to that booth and back again with our passports while we all stood and wondered if we were ever going to get them back again. There was supposed to be a taxi waiting for me and I was wondering if he was still going to be there when I got out. After a little more then an hour I got my passport and just then my taxi driver came walking in to see if I was here or not. He had been wait on the other side of customs and was wondering if he should keep waiting.

It was 34 degree C was I came out of the airport. As we drove to the guest house where I would be staying Rolland the taxi driver was giving me a Portuguese 101 lesson. I don't remember much of what he told me but I got some of it.

The place I am staying is called the Oasis, it is a guest house for missionaries who are passing through this area and need somewhere to stay or they just need to get away for a while. Two sisters Evangelina and Juanita run the place here. They are very nice ladies they have been here for over forty years.

Here is my house. It is bigger then I need, but it is nice.

A nice living room area, those are beds in the windows with the mosquito nets hanging over them.

No I don't have to sleep in the window. I get my own mosquito free paradise.
There is a little kitchen that I won't be using at all, because all the meals are provided. There is also a nice bathroom with a HOT shower, yes I was pretty excited about that. They also have wireless Internet here, which once again is such a blessing that I am trying not to take for granted.

Peter Wilcox was able to get my ticket rebooked, because I was originally supposed to have flown up to Lichinga this morning, but because of being a day late leaving Atlanta, that wasn't possible. Peter tried to book me for Monday morning but the flight was already full so that means I will be in Maputo till Tuesday morning. I am just really glad that I have come for about a month, because if I was here any shorter I would just be getting there in time to turn around and leave again. I am now getting there Lord willing three days later then I had thought I would. Juanita was sharing a few projects with me that need to be done here at the Oasis, so I might be able to work on some of them before I leave.

God is so Good

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory Eph 3:20,21

Wow God has been so good to me. I just made the flight in Atlanta. I was supposed to be going coach but because coach was full they bumped me up to first class, which was such a blessing on such a long flight. I was able to get some good sleep. I had great flights to Dakar and then on to Johannesburg yes it ended up being just under 16 hours flying but we sat in the plane for an hour in Dakar as some passengers got off and some new ones came on and they brought on more food and clean the bathrooms.

We got into Johannesburg just after 5pm then we stood in the passport check line for an hour. Two brothers Philip and Ezra and Philip's wife Beatrice came and picked me up at the airport. I was so thankful for them. I really don't like spending nights in airports. We are seven hours ahead here incase you were wondering.

We got to their house right about 6:30pm. We had supper and then went off to their classes they have in the evening. It is a discipleship classes. It was such a time of encouragement. As we sang and praised the Lord together.

Here are a few pictures form the evening.

Lord willing we will be back at the airport tomorrow morning at about 8am. I am not sure I have a confirmed ticket or if I am on stand by. I would appreciate your prayers again. No I don't expect first class again, but I wouldn't turn it down. Then I will spend two days in Maputo and catch a flight Monday morning from Maputo up to Lichinga. I am not sure when I will have Internet access again, but I will keep you posted as I can.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Praise the Lord

Well I made the flight thanks for your prayers, hope I can get a little sleep on this 18.5 hour flight.

Still Waiting in Atlanta

This morning I was up at 6am and tried to call to Mozambique to let people there know about my flight changes. I was not able to get through to anyone. Thankfully I did receive an email from the guys that are supposed to be picking me up in Johannesburg and they are fine with getting me a day later. It is good they are flexible.

Me, Alice and Veronica at the Waffle House.

We went out for breakfast at Waffle house. We had a good time, we tried to get a hold of Cesar to see if he wanted to come with us but we had the wrong room number for him so we couldn't get him. He was coming into the Lobby just as we were getting back so we all sat and chatted in the Lobby for quite a while. Just before noon Alice, Veronica and I checked out and caught a shuttle back to the airport. We had lunch together then I helped them get to their gate and then went and found mine.

I am sitting here at my gate as I write this. Please pray that I catch this flight because I am still only on standby for this flight and I will only know for sure about 10 - 45 minutes before take off. I was finally able to call the Wilcox in Mozambique and they had gotten my email and had already made necessary changes there.

God has been leading and providing for this trip right from the beginning. Shortly before I left I didn't have any money at all, to cover my flight within Mozambique and any other expense I would have along the way, like Hotels. God met my needs again in time and He was testing once again to see if I was going to trust Him. Thank you to each one of you who have prayed and gave in other ways. You know who you are even though I might not. Here I sit again waiting to see what God is going to do and it is exciting, really. It was worth the 24 hour wait here to get to meet the people I did. God has blessed us with Christian brothers and sisters all over the world and it is nice when we meet and share so much in common.

The Fun Begins

Well my plans would have had me on my way to Africa right now, but I guess that is not what God had in mind. Because of bad weather we were late getting into Atlanta which made me miss my flight by 45 minutes. I didn't have the best attitude right away, but pretty quickly I remembered that God always has a plan for what He allows.

Delta gave me a voucher for a discount at the Red Roof Inn. I thought about spending the 24 hours in the airport, because my flight doesn't leave till tomorrow at 5pm and I will now be traveling for probably another five days. I came over to the hotel got checked in and then I had to come down and sit in the lobby to use the wireless Internet. While I was making some calls and sending some emails, a man was talking to two ladies about needing to make a phone call to Germany. I was going to let them use my computer and use skype, but they had just been able to call. I got talking to them a little and they were just heading out to Ruby Tuesday's for supper and they invited me to come along. All three of them had missed their flights as well. So Cesar, Alice and Veronica and I went out for supper together. Alice is Veronica's daughter and they are headed to Germany, Cesar is going to Columbia and I am headed for Mozambique. We had a great time I found out that Alice and Veronica are Christians and we had a good decision about the Lord over supper. I wished I would have had my camera at the restaurant I would have taken a picture but it was back in my room.

Please pray that I will be able to get in touch with the people who are supposed to be meeting me in Johannesburg and in Maputo to let them know I will be a day late. There is a good possibility that I will be staying in Maputo for two or three days instead of 22 hours. I think God meant for me to meet Cesar, Alice and Veronica and I am excited to see what else He has in store.

I had better get to bed and make sure I get a good nights sleep because who knows when I will get another one. Let the Adventure continue.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I am Leaving

It is 6:45am and I am just about ready to head out the door. Thought I would post one last time. I will miss not being able to update you all as often, but God will provide some way to be able to keep you in the loop.

Just so you know I really like getting emails as well andywd40@gmail.com. You don't have to have an extra exciting life to be able to tell me what is going on. I just like to here whatever you're doing. I will be coveting your prayers very much on this trip. There are many unknowns for me, but thankfully there are none for God. Please pray that I will always continue to put my faith and trust in him no matter what happens.

Till I am in Africa, so long.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Whole Family

This was the only picture I could scan, because my scaner quit working.

Starting from back left:Dad, Rob, Tim holding Shaelyn, Mark
Middle Row: Mom, Ada, Philip, Rebekah
Front: Steph and Kyla, Me and Marika, Joia and Keenan

Tomorrow is the Big Day

Last night we went out and got family pictures done. We had eleven adults and four kids which was the biggest group that studio has ever had. I will post some of those pictures later this evening hopefully.

I decided that since I am leaving tomorrow then I should probably get somethings packed. This morning I found out that I have a 25kg(55lb) weight limit once I get into Mozambique, normally when you fly internationally you get 45Kg(100lbs) but once I am flying domestic in Mozambique that changes. I am only about 40lbs over weight so I am supposed to be able to pay a little extra and take more luggage. If not I will be leaving somethings in Maputo, Mozambique. Ya I think packing does get easier the more you do it and I think I am forgetting less now, well hopefully.

After I was finished packing my sister Joia thought that we should make donuts. We us to do this together but it has been several years since we last did. We had fun like the good old days.

Glazing the donuts
The finished product glazed, some with peanuts and some with ground chocolate.

And of course you should always taste test your food.

I found Keenan strolling around on the ceiling and figured I had better take him down.

Tomorrow morning my friend will take me to the Airport in Detroit. I fly out of there at about 2pm and fly down to Atlanta. Then from there I fly to Dakar Senegal and on to Johannesburg, South Africa where I have a 16 hour lay over. Friday morning I then fly to Maputo, Mozambique and I have a 22hour lay over there. Thankfully someone will be picking me up in Johannesburg and in Maputo to go and have some fellowship and sleep instead of sitting in the airport all that time. After 25 hours of flying and 38 hours of lay overs Lord willing I will arrive in Lichinga late morning on Saturday.

I am looking forward to a good trip. Thankfully the Wilcox's have been so good and set up my flights with in Mozambique, because I wasn't able to from this end.

I don't know what the Internet situation will be like there I might not be able to post on here while I am there. I will probably be able to send emails so if you read my blog and you don't think I have your email address and you would like to receive my emails, then please email me andywd40@gmail.com your address.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My sister and brother in law are here.

This afternoon, after the people left that come here Sunday mornings for some fellowship, I went to visit a widow that I often help with odd jobs. She doesn't get too many visitors, so I like to go when I can. She loves to talk and I do well at listening so we have a great time. I also had to take a look at her electric can opener it was making some weird noises. Then I tested her fire alarms and put a new battery in her alarm clock. She is legally blind so doing simple tasks is no longer simple.

Philip, Joia and Keenan got here at five this afternoon. They are up from Florida for a few days. We don't get to see them to often, so when we do we like to try to make the most of it. Keenan is walking a little now so that is pretty special to see.

Take off in 1, 2, 3, 4 days

One week from today I will arrive in Lichinga Mozambique. I leave on Wednesday, but I won't get to where I am headed till Saturday afternoon. I still have nothing packed. Maybe it would make more sense for me to just leave my bags packed between trips it would save time probably. Then some time I would go to Siberia and all I would have would be sandals and shorts or something. Maybe I better just pack for each trip.

I had a full day finishing up base board and painting at my friend’s place. I got there shortly after 9 this morning and didn't leave till ten to seven this evening. Jobs seem to always take longer then you think but hey at least it is done. This evening I went to Rob and Ada's place (that is my brother and sister in law) they have a bunch of young people over every other Saturday for a Bible study. Tonight we were studying prayer. It is a much bigger topic then you can cover in one evening but we trying to share so answered prayers and really try to get a grasp that God does answer prayer and He wants to. We all know this but at times, we get discouraged because we have been praying about certain things for so long and it doesn't look like they are being answered. We need to share with each other about answered pray as an encouragement to keep on praying.

A picture of Lichinga, Mozambique where I will be Lord willing for the next five weeks. The place I will be is within walking distance of the airport, up in the top right corner. Hey, this is Africa we are talking about, who knows how far walking distance is.

The sun setting last night. I saw it when the sun was a little higher but by the time I pulled the truck to the side of the road and got my camera out it was going down fast. I think the clouds just look so awesome. Looks like God just took His finger and wiggled it back and forth a little and streaked the clouds. He is God He can do that.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Seeking Prayer Partners

One week from yesterday Lord willing I will be on my way to Mozambique. It is crunch time finishing up all the last minute things, like packing. That always seems to be a last minute thing.

Wednesday evening I went over to a friends place to see some pictures from their trip to Africa during which time they spend over two weeks in Mozambique. It was nice to hear their stories and to see some of what I will be experiencing. It was also encouraging as they shared about the people’s readiness to accept the gospel. Their hearts seemed to have been prepared for the message they were bring. Jesus said "I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it." This is what they had a chance to see, Jesus building His church.

It is kind of hard to prepare for a second trip when I haven't even gone on this one yet, but I got a pack of information from Teen Missions yesterday. One of the things they ask is that each person that goes with them, get at least 16 prayer partners. We know it is the prayers of our partners that carries us through our summer. We come against some very difficult things and discouraging times and we are encouraged to know that we have brothers and sisters interceding for us. If you would like to be a prayer partner with me please email me andywd40@gmail.com and let me know and please send your address that is one thing Teen Missions asks for and also I will send you one of my prayer cards with a picture as a reminder. I do appreciate this very much and I know it is people like you who make what I am doing possible. I am not super strong I need prayer to be able to carry on and be faithful to what Father asked me to do, including this trip to Mozambique. I don't mean to rush anyone but it will be gone for five weeks before I get back and I would like to get this paper work sent back to Teen Missions, before I leave. If you are willing to partner with me if you could let me know with in the next few days I would really appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Frosty Morning

This morning it was very foggy and because it was so cold it was forming frost all over the trees. I thought it looked so nice I took a few shots. We serve an awesome God who created water as the only substance that is found naturally on earth in three forms: liquid, gas and solid.

A few facts about water.

The earth's total amount of water has a volume of about 344 million cubic miles.

Each day the sun evaporates a trillion tons of water.

A single tree will give off 265 liters (70 gallons) of water per day in evaporation.

I am sure you probably already knew this but it was new to me. Water is amazing stuff, don't tell me it just happened to come into
existence a few billion years ago. Don't forget to thank the Lord for all He has given us.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Keenan

It is my nephew's Birthday today. He is getting big and seems to get cuter by the day. Love you lots Keenan see you next week.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Winter Wonderland

Shirley, Dorci, Lasta and I went out for breakfast this morning before I left at about 9:15. They had done a lot of plowing thankfully had the parking lot and roads quite clear by then. It was a beautiful morning bright and sunny and it wasn't very cold or windy. The ladies where going to an Indonesian church this morning because Lasta and Dorci have had very little contact with other Indonesian speakers. I had a good drive home. I saw several accidents and people that slide of the road and were stuck in the snow banks and medians. It is easy to forget how slippery it is and drive a little to fast.

They definitely have more snow here then in Toronto. Almost half the driveways I passed on my way home were not cleared yet. Many people were out with their snow blowers and shovels. I took a few pictures; it does look quite nice I think.

There is a driveway down this side of the house under the snow there some where.
An excellent field for snowmobiling.
A country corner store.
Another beautiful site especially with the nice flag flying.
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I am snowed in.

I had a good drive up to Toronto yesterday. Missionsfest has been very slow this year because the snowy weather. It has been good I have met a few people who personally know friends of mine in Zambia and Malawi. Last night I drove up to Orangeville to my grandparents which is about an hour from where Missionsfest is. I got there at about 11pm and they had stayed up till I got there. I hadn't expected them to, but I was glad to see them we chatted for a bit and had some toasted and headed off to bed.

This morning I left my grandparents place by shortly after 9am. It was a slow drive this morning because there was a little more snow on the roads then last night. Today I met some friends from North Carolina that I made back in 2004 and I hadn't see them since. Again it has been very slow day at missionsfest today because they are predicting a big snow storm coming. We only got about six inches here in Toronto that is nothing in comparison to the 24 inches they got at home. I am spending the night in the hotel next to the Congress Center where Shirley, Dorci and Lasta are staying. I could hardly get into the hotel parking lot to park. I kept getting stuck, there were a couple snow plows around put they didn't seem to be moving any snow.

I will wait the night out here and maybe I can drive home in the morning. They are saying this is maybe the largest snow storm this winter. Hundreds of flights are canceled at Toronto International airport.

Here we are at our booth just sitting there like we did for a good portion of the time. From right to left, Lasta, Shirley, Dorci (pronounced Dorchy) and me. Lasta and Dorci came to Canada about three months ago from Indoniesia and they will be here for 3 years. They are helping at the Canadian Teen Missions office.