The time has come where Team Mozambique are parting ways with Portugal. We’ve had so many wonderful experiences in Portugal and we’ve loved being able to get involved with a new culture as well as getting to know so many amazing people.
As a lot of you may know already, we had quite a confusing time trying to get our visas. We learnt so much through the process and God definitely used this time to teach us patience and to trust in his almighty plan, which is so much better than our plan. We’ve learnt to keep our faith strong and to look forward in faith and not backward to fear. God has answered our prayers and we have collected our visas and are getting ready to fly to Mozambique on Wednesday 20th. Praise God!
As a final Portugal blog post, we thought it would be a good idea to answer some of your questions so you can find out more about how we work together as a team and also what we’ve experienced in Portugal.
- What’s the weather like?
When we first arrived in Portugal in October, it was really hot! We had to make sure we were putting suncream on and protecting ourselves from the sun. However, recently its becom
e so much colder as it is now the winter season so we’ve been wrapping up as warm as possible and been hugging our hot water bottles – brrr!
- Are you learning Portuguese before you go?
Yes, we had a few Portuguese lessons with a Mourão local and then we had some lessons in a language school which has been very helpful. We’re glad that we’ve been able to learn the basics before heading out to Mozambique.
- What part of Portuguese life inspires you?
Elana: How much the Portugues enjoy socialising!
George: The fact that most people are very laid back which means its a very chilled environment.
Emily: I love how friendly the Portuguese are and how much time they have for the people around them.
Joel: How family and friends come first, above anything else.
- What is the food like?
The Portuguese have bread, cheese and olives before a meal. The bread and cheese has a very different taste from the UK but we’ve been enjoying it. Pork is a very popular meat in Portugal and comes in many different ways and dishes. We’ve all been enjoying trying new foods and different dishes they have to offer in Portugal.
- What are you going to miss most when you leave Portugal?
We’re going to miss the community feel there is in Mourão and how friendly and sociable the locals are here. We’ve really enjoyed getting to know people and building friendships with them.
- What has God taught you in Portugal?
He has taught us patience, trusting his plan and independence.
- What is it like adapting to the new routines in Portugal?
We had to adapt pretty quickly when we arrived. It was confusing trying to understand Portuguese timings but we adjusted quite well! It’s definitely going to help us for when we arrive in Mozambique.
- What was the hardest part?
Elana: The hardest part for me was not having set projects that we could get involved with.
George: The most difficult thing I found was the unpredictability of our visas and being in the unknown about it all.
Emily: I found it hard going to catholic mass, a very different church experience to what I’m used to and not really understanding what was going on.
Joel: Adjusting to life away from home and the norms I’m used to such as the support networks like family, friends and church.
- One funny memory each?
Elana: When Fekir (a Portuguese friend) was playing with an electric fly swat and showing us how it wasn’t shocking him, but then got an electric shock and hurt himself!
George: The countless awkward Portuguese greetings (not knowing whether to hug, handshake or give a kiss on the cheek!)
Emily: When we went on a boat trip with Mike, Daveen and their four Sutton friends and Richard randomly laid down under the boat steering wheel so we could have a photo!
Joel: When I used the ‘ok’ hand gesture to an older man meaning the pork was good but then finding out that hand gesture is actually really rude and is offensive in Portugal!
- Most encouraging bible verse you’ve read?
Elana: James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
George: Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Emily: Proverbs 3:5 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
Joel: Colossians 3:12 – “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement over the past few weeks. We’ve definitely seen God working and are excited to see what he has in store for us over the next few months. Next blog post will be when we’re in Mozambique, we’re looking forward to updating you!
- That we have a safe and smooth 24 hour journey to Mozambique.
- That we’re able to settle in quickly in Mozambique and begin to get stuck in with the locals and projects.
- That we enjoy the last couple of days in Portugal.
- Praise God that our visas have been sorted and that we’re going to be in Mozambique this week!