A aventura começa…

Don’t worry, the rest of the post is in English – our Portuguese isn’t that good yet!

The journey from Britain was far from straightforward. We spent over a day travelling, and plenty of things happened on top of having to catch three or four different flights to get to Beira (Alex and Andrew had to fly down from Scotland first). To start with, Andrew’s flight from Aberdeen to Heathrow was cancelled at the last minute, resulting in him having to rush to Glasgow (around 2 ½ hours’ drive) to catch another one. Alex was also told at the check-in desk at Heathrow that she needed her birth certificate to travel as she was under 18, although after a quick phone call it was sorted out. Rebekah was sick at Johannesberg airport after a turbulent landing, although fortunately, she was fine on the last flight to Beira, which was in a tiny plane with only 45 seats! Finally, two of the team’s suitcases were opened in Beira airport, but by this point we had met up with Sergio, one of our supervisors, and he was able to smooth the whole thing over with the airport staff. After our long journey, we drove back to his house, where we met his wife Liz, our other supervisor, and their two children, Chloe and Joshua ages 6 and 2.

Settling in to our new surroundings has been a challenge because almost everything is completely different. The shower is cold because there’s no hot running water, which is a bit of a shock first thing in the morning! We also have a small menagerie of different creatures that frequently visit us, from a frog in the shower and geckos that run up and down the walls, to less welcome visitors like cockroaches and a giant millipede that Jack found outside the house.

You don’t even get time to yourself in the shower!

It costs the equivalent of 8p to catch a chapa (minibus) in Beira. That’s twenty-five rides for the price of one in the UK! What a bargain! However, you’re certainly not paying for comfort. Chapas have little regard for safety, and the number of seats doesn’t matter – if it’s a twelve-seater that means it fits twenty-five.
One of our projects is helping at a church run by Wagna, a Brazilian lady, and a leadership team aged between thirteen and twenty-one. We had great fun making bread with the young people and are working on repainting the outside of the church – we’ll let you see the finished design soon! Seeing a church run by young people really encouraged us to redefine what being a leader means.

Inside a chapa.

What have you really enjoyed?
ALEX – During our time teaching at Rei dos Reis school (King of Kings) I was helping a group of girls ages 20-24 to write a CV in English. From this, the topic of university courses came up and I found out that a few of them also want to study Law which lead to one of the girls shaking my hand in delight. She pointed at our joined hands and said; “No discrimination. Equality.” This was a real inspiration and encouragement as I also want the world to be a fairer place.
ANDREW – Leading the club for missionary kids was really good fun because they were all so enthusiastic and seemed to be having a lot of fun with the games we played.
JACK – I loved teaching basketball at Rei dos Reis. It was fun trying to communicate through actions, English and a few Portuguese words as well as getting to know pupils that are slightly younger or similar ages to me.
REBEKAH – I have enjoyed going to church here and seeing how joyful everyone is especially during worship.

What has challenged you most?
ALEX – At the school I met a girl who was eighteen, married and pregnant. She asked me for advice for bringing up a child which really challenged me because I didn’t feel equiped to give her any helpful advice. However, I tried my best to tell her that she wasn’t alone and that her child will be a blessing in her life. She told me that she does have support from her family to bring up the child and will be allowed to continue her studies which I thought was incredible since that is not the norm here.
ANDREW – Seeing the amount and scale of the poverty in Mozambique has been challenging for me, particularly when you see people asking you for money. When we came out of a shop one lunchtime, two boys in ragged clothes came up with their hands held out. This made me feel guilty that we have so many material possessions and we come from a much more developed country.
JACK – Being ill in a new environment. However, sharing your house with a gecko and frog is cool.
REBEKAH –I have found communicating with people one of the biggest challenges. In the UK communication is something I often take for granted, so it’s hard being in an evironment where the prominent language is Portugese. We are having Portugese lessons and are trying to immerse ourselves in it as much as possible, so hopefully our Portugese will continue to increase.

What are you looking forward to?
ALEX – I can’t wait to form deeper relationships with the children and young people we know in our projects.
ANDREW – I’m looking forward to being able to teach the students at Rei dos Reis more and understand them better as my Portuguese improves. I’d like to be able to teach the students things that will really be helpful for them later on, and once I overcome the language barrier, I think it will become more enjoyable.
JACK – I’m really excited for our Portuguese to improve so we can communicate with all the children that we walk past, we teach and that look at us a bit preplexed by our white skin.
REBEKAH – I’m excited to build deeper relationships with the people we meet here, and to get more and more stuck into our projects.


– Safe arrival
– Adjustment to the heat
– A good start to all of our projects


– Learning Portuguese
– Finding a church that we can settle into
– Comfort for missing people at home

Our first powercut.

Our first meal.

33 replies
  1. Ricky Rew says:

    Thanks for the update. Great to hear how the adventure has gone so far. We continue to pray for you and are excited for each update. More photos/stories of your animal companions/neighbours please. Be blessed!

  2. sheila Boakes says:

    Delightful to read your responses to the directed questions! So looking forward to hear more as your powers of communication improve as you master the language.
    VERY fascinated by the variety of wildlife that likes sharing your personal space!! Praying that you will continue to grow as you give of yourselves to all of the new people you have the privilege of working with. BLESSINGS ABUNDANT XX

  3. Peter Benton says:

    Great blog post and good to read the really interesting stories. Sounds like an eventful time already. I hope the frogs can cope.

    Continuing to pray for you all each day.

  4. Elizabeth Ajayi says:

    Delighted to read this. Praying for you back here. Enjoy the heat. We are approaching sub zero here. Jack make sure you learn the dance moves

    • Jack Hooper says:

      Thank you! Yes we’ve heard about the temperature in England, must be refreshing!

      Aha we will come back amazing dancers!

  5. Diane says:

    Really enjoyed reading your news. Praying you will settle well to become a great blessing to the young people there

  6. Stuart Conway says:

    You guys should be thankful for running water!!! Glad to hear everything is going well…keep praying for you and the people you encounter! Blessings, the Conways.

    • Jack Hooper says:

      We have to buy water but yes we do have running water to shower in unless there is a power cut!

      Thank you 🙂

  7. Hannah says:

    Fab update! Glad you are all there safely! Continuing to pray for you Jack, Andrew, Rebekah and Alex. Be blessed as you are blessing out there 🙂 xx

  8. Nicky says:

    So excited to read the blog and imagine what it is like for you out there! Emily and Mia loved it too but thought you were a bit mad living with a frog! Can’t wait to hear more stories of God’s hand at work in Beira…

  9. Claire King says:

    Great update of how you’re getting on. Praying for you all as you settle into a new culture and routine. That God will use you to bless others and that He’ll bless you.

  10. Mike Clarkson says:

    Great to hear that you’re all beginning to settle in. Will pray that you grasp the language quickly and find an inspirational church. Praying for your health and continued blessings.

  11. Lesley (Jack’s nana) says:

    Great blog, lovely to hear all about your first weeks adventures. Can’t wait to see more pictures of the children and church. Jack make sure you wash the fruit in future!!

  12. Keith Crees says:

    Great blog, really interesting. You all look very well and I hope you continue to enjoy the experience. I look forward to future updates on your progress.

  13. Sarah Benton says:

    Nice to read what you’ve done in detail, and see some pics of the interesting times! Will continue to pray about the Portuguese lessons – I know how difficult learning a language can be. I can see you still have your eyes shut in the pictures Andrew – nothing’s changed there! Hope you are all safe and continue enjoying the adventure! x

  14. Kolkata says:

    Great post guys! It’s so cool to hear that the church is run by the young people and I’m so glad that you were able to connect with some of the girls due to having the same interest in law Alex-it really is inspiring that they also have a heart for equality! Praying that you will all continue to settle in and get to grips with the language.
    Erin x

    Sending love from Team Kolkata!

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