Wednesday morning we began the day with Wanne's scrumptious coffee cake! It was my birthday and she made a special breakfast....she didn't even know coffee cake is one of my favorites. We headed out to a village just past the quelimane airport. The women's or youth's mission team went here to work when they were here. The houses are more spread out and there is tall grass, mango trees and gardens everywhere, then a hut, then more vegetation, another hut and so on....like a country village.
The church is large and made of mud, but another church building is almost built next to it. It is even more large and made of cement blocks. They make the blocks 2 at a time in molds kept by the stack of finished blocks in the current church. Cash is scarce this year, as the rice harvest was so bad, so the tithes of cash were next to none and the building and making of blocks has come to a halt until more money is available.
The youth worship team here was amazing. I took a short video, but it will only give you a taste of what it was like. Drums, yambi's (long flat shakers), dancing and really loud, beautiful singing....it was contagious and inspiring. There was a woman with short curly hair who lead the singing, the band and also kept shooing and shushing the little children who all sat in one place together on a mat. We called her Jackie Fry....music and children's leader. ;) The youth here all knew Jeremiah, they worked with him in other areas and played competitively with him in soccer. One of the young men got up to read the Johnsons a 2 page letter about Jeremiah's legacy and their experiences with him. It was beautiful and full of love, but half way through he had to put it down and dash from the church. He was so overcome with emotion that he cried the rest of the time we were there. Sobrinho and John both tried to console him, but he was very broken up.
I think Diana and I came to a conclusion on why Jeremiah fit in so well here. Even at our church in Phoenix, Jeremiah was loved from preschoolers to senior adults. I told Diana that I remember when I would talk to Jeremiah, it was like he was fully engaged in the conversation, not just nodding and enduring a conversation with an adult. He always seemed genuinely interested in whoever he was talking to.....what a gift to give to people. We talked about how awkward it is to be here going to villages each day, not being able to communicate with the people and just smiling and nodding a lot, then you are exhausted from it. Jeremiah didn't do that. He engaged people, played with them, didn't let language or culture separate him from them. I think that was what the secret was, because we've heard the people from the villages, time after time, give testimony on how he didn't stand alone, he was one of them. And I really think this was why they felt that. God equipped him just like they needed him to be. We are having amazing revelations here.....things are coming together and understanding is taking place. Another amazing gift. I'm so glad we came.
We took the Dinas out to dinner in the evening. Eating out in Quelimane is a little adventurous and a little scary. We went to the Quelimane Hotel and all was good, it was a very nice meal. I had something called escallope, which I was glad to find out was not an exotic animal, but something like chicken fried steak, salad and potatoes and rice. The restaurant is on the 7th floor and it has an outdoor balcony, so we stood out there for a while, looking at the city and the river front/bay area. Then we came home exhausted again to a birthday cake made by one of Wanne's missionary friends named Debbie, who is from Australia. So we had African chocolate birthday cake baked by an Aussie. Fun! (and yummy)