Our first invition to a Mozambican families house for lunch wasn’t quite what we had expected. We will get onto this soon, but first let us introduce you to our church!
We started going to Macuti Baptist Church, a 10 minute walk from our house, in November with our friend Jane (another BMS worker). Immediately we were so amazed by how welcoming everyone was and the kind, family feel of the church. On our first day, one man even translated the sermon for us before we’d even spoken to anyone!
The congregation is made up of around 30 people, and is situated right in the middle of a lively community in Macuti. For a few months the church has had no roof since they made the desicion to do renovations on it, and tarpaulin was tied over the beams of the church to shade the congregation from the scorching sun. After a lot of prayer and many offerings the church was blessed with the funds for the roof which was being put on last weekend. We went to go to the youth group on Saturday to find lots of the church members on poles and lifting parts of the roof, all working together to get it finished in one day. It also means the church will be more weather proof as extreme rain has meant that quite a few services have had to be cancelled!
We go to meet with the youth on Saturday afternoons, although most of the times we have went we have been added into the choral groups which are a part of the 3 hour long service! The first time we sung and danced with two of the young girls, doing some of their worship songs (which meant Iain had the very imortant male solo bellowing ‘fé mais fé’ meaning faith more faith) and also adding in some English – He’s Got The Whole World in His Hands and Cornerstone. Iain is an amazing dancer and has been teaching the locals how to cut shapes, Rhiannon and Ellie have a lot to learn from him. We also did a few English songs with Jane such as Our God is A Great Big God, Our God is So Big, So Strong and So Mighty and one of our favourites which we teach a lot here, My Lighthouse. The following Saturday we also somehow joined a group of around 16 doing more of their worship songs, including songs in Portugese, Shona and Sena, some of the local languages, and they asked us to teach them We Want to See Jesus Lifted High. We love being a part of this as its a great time of fellowship practicing and there’s always so much fun and laughter involved! Taking part in these services have made us feel so welcomed and we have created some of our best memories within this church. Its amazing to see how the body of Christ is so united even though we speak different languages.
One Sunday afternoon, we went with one of our friends from the youth group to his families house who had very kindly invited us round for lunch. We walked around 15 minutes from the church, through the villages and some rice fields and arrived with a warm welcome from our church friends. We were sitting in the garden relaxing with the family until a very confused Jane, who had been speaking to the father of the family, turned to us to explain that herself, Rhiannon and Ellie would be coking the meal. She explained he was saying that as the guests we needed to cook. As you would, we laughed it off, certain it was all part of his humour or that something had been lost in translation until Jane went inside before quickly calling Ellie and Rhiannon to follow. She explained they had left us bright yellow cycle tops to change into as we were indeed going to be cooking with the women! (A very kind thought so our clothes wouldn’t get dirty!) It was all very hectic and we couldn’t help but laugh as we had no idea what was going on, and we knew this was not part of Mozambican culture, it was just a fun activity created by our host. We got changed and came out to find potatos and whole fish needing fried and a salad to prepare so we got to work (mainly on the chips and salad as they were well in our capabilities – fish not so much.) Meanwhile, Iain was sat out in the shade, eating mangoes, enjoying some music and listening to many interesting stories from our host! It is part of the culture here for the women to prepare the food which we respected and had fun doing so, getting to know the ladies and see how the fish was supposed to be cooked was very enjoyable! We had a very amusing afternoon and were thankful for their humour, hospitality and for inviting us into their home with open arms (the food tasted pretty delicious too!)
This was certainly a day we won’t forget in a while.
-Thankfulness for our church and all of our friendships there.
– Praise for the new church roof!
– Prayer as we have just over a month left that we can continue to spend our time wisely here and see more of God in all the work he is doing here.