I wanted to include some other stories of the day but the previous post was turning into a novel.
After the testimonies and singing, the church men brought the Johnsons a gift, an offering....much like people bring food to a grieving family's home. Except they brought in a live chicken....a rooster. The rooster looked as shocked as we were and we all teased David that it was a new alarm clock because he had overslept that morning. He had to accept it and hold it and it was flapping around.....such comic relief for a heavy visit. The boys named the chicken Rojo on their ride back home in the back of the truck with him. And by the way, Rojo is no more....may he rest in gravy. ;)
We broke for lunch at Sobrinio's church to find some men climbing a coconut tree and dropping them to the ground with a thud you could feel under your feet. They cut the tops off of some as appetizers for us. We drank the 'milk' (which was clear) from the coconut, then ate the flesh inside of them with spoons. I drank some of mine, then poured the rest into my almost empty water bottle. Then the church men brought out a huge platter of rice, pinto beans and chicken. We learned later how bad the rice crop had been this year. Sobrinio's family didn't even get a grain of rice from their crop and this is their staple food. They were so happy to offer us a huge platter of it though. We enjoyed the lunch very much and were blessed to have it.
On the way home Sobrinio wanted us to stop by his home for a visit. His family had been at the meeting. His beautiful and outgoing wife sat with their nursing baby while she led out in songs and gave testimony about Jeremiah. Their 3 other children sat on a large grass mat on the floor of the church with some other children and sang with their whole selves the songs, clapping, swaying and singing. He lives quite a ways from his church in another coconut grove in a mud house. It was very small but wonderful. Usually they visit outside the homes, but Marada (?) invited us in and we sat on large grass mats in her front room while we visited, asked questions and took pictures of the family. (we'll be posting pictures after we get home)
As we sat there inside Sobrinio's home, I felt such peace and comfort there. It is a blessed home. Just being committed enough to actually marry a woman is a huge decision in Mozambique. He is such an example to have such a home and family. It is not the norm. In fact this morning as the men introduced themselves, some would say their name, followed by "and I am married". It's something John is really trying to emphasize in the churches here.
To make a living Sobrinio rides his bicycle 20+ miles each way to buy charcoal to sell. He makes a profit of $2 per bag of charcoal and he can only manage 2 bags per trip on his bicycle. We hear stories of people living like this, but here we were being treated so well, sitting inside his home with his family on straw mats. And they were so proud to have us there. Peace and joy are theirs....it is so apparent.
Lord help me to know contentment.
We have a long day of traveling tomorrow to see the beach villages where Jeremiah loved to go and where several have become Christians. We get to attend a baptism on the weekend of some of the people Jeremiah helped lead to Christ.
The journey has been amazing....I can't think of a better word.