More Good-byes – things to remember

We’ve referenced it before, but saying ‘good-bye’ is very important within the culture here and for that reason we’ve hosted several different parties. You’ve read about the good-bye in Netia, which to now was the biggest party, however the one held on 21 July was also large. This party was a mixed group of friends from our neighborhood, the kids’ school friends, expatriate friends, Dan’s students, and others who have been important to our adjustment and lives here over the last 9+ years. We invited 90+ people to the lunch. About 90 showed up.

We specifically planned a lunch so that it would be a very special time for everyone. Before we ate I, Dan, thanked everyone and talked about how the past 9 years had really influenced our walk with Jesus. How we have grown so much in Jesus because of the experiences and conversations we have had, time spent together and the influence of living in Mozambique.

After lunch I talked about what specifically we had learned from each person or family there or why they had been important to our time in Mozambique and thanked them for the things they had taught us.

We did not expect anyone to stand up and say anything however several did share their thoughts.

We share the following not to make ourselves look good, but because they are things we hope to never forget, things that humbled us, things that remind us what happens when we get involved with people, when we put ourselves aside and let God change us and use us as He wants, when we risk for God amazing things happen.

Professor Lucia, who has taught 4 of our 5 kids said, “over the years as you have interacted with us at the school and as we have gotten to know your kids we now call you the “White-Black People”.

The Vice-principle of the school stood up and said that Dan’s involvement in the PTA helped solve problems and the school appreciated Robin’s willingness to step up and teach English when they needed an English teacher and again helping to teach 5th grade math when they were again short a teacher.

Gito, who worked with Dan for years and who we discipled and help get through college, stood up and talked about how his life is very different today because we got involved with him and his wife. He talked of how much God had used us in his life.

Samson, the brother to Teles, talked about how discipling Teles and helping him go to college has help the whole family have a different future.

Narcia, the mother of our kids’ friends, stood up and explained that she now views us as her friends and from us she learned that all people are equal, even when from different cultures and places. We are all the same and the differences don’t matter. (This is something we feel strongly about. We are all created in the image of God, we all sin and need a Savior, we are all saved by the blood of Jesus. We are all equal.)

The next day a student told Dan, “Yesterday’s lunch was great. You had both the white and black people there. You did not separate us. That was great!”

As we leave Mozambique we now face adjusting and adapting to a new culture. Hopefully, through the power of God, study, patience and His grace we will one day be looked at as the American-Portuguese people who helped people see Jesus and know Him…

 

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