It was so good to touch down on African soil again! The excitement of returning to Mozambique was a strong emotion.
I do not see things through rose colored glasses and knew that with our return would come the stresses of living in an impoverished area where survival is the daily driving force in people’s lives. Surviving hunger, illness, spiritual oppression, the daily grind….the list can go on. However, for me, there is joy in returning here. Joy because I know the last 9 years of work have not been in vain. Even with the various setbacks that happened over the years, coming back after an 8 month furlough has had me reconnecting with students and friends who truly want to serve Jesus. People whose lives have been changed by the power of Christ. Imperfect people who struggle to survive hunger, illness, spiritual oppression and the daily grind….but are still trying to be agents of transformation where they live, work, and survive. Friends who we will soon say goodbye to as we move to a new ministry in Portugal.
So, I find myself reflecting a lot these days:
- Reflecting how to best empower my students to continue to grow once we are gone.
- Reflecting on how much I will not miss the bad roads and the illness.
- Reflecting on how much God has done.
- Reflecting on how important working with the “poor” has been in my walk with Jesus.
Working with the “poor” has made my relationship with Jesus and understanding of Him so much fuller. It has transformed the way I see the world.
I must say my biggest concern in leaving Mozambique is losing a connection with the “poor.” I am compelled to make sure our ministry in Portugal not only includes the middle to upper middle class, our target group, but also those who are economically poor.
I still have so much more to learn from those in “poverty.” They are rich in so many other ways….