Jan 9. The power went out while I was combing my hairs this morning. I was elated that it had waited until we were leaving to go out. We packed up the Hilux and left codi’s around 5. It’s a 7 ish hour drive to Dillon’s from Dondo, so we had another part of a day riding along and watching the world. In early afternoon we arrived to Moatize, the town where Dillon’s live, close to Tete. Moatize is a busy place and the street by Dillon’s house always has lots of people walking by. It’s a good size town with coal mines around and coal dust ever present. We can’t really tell since we’re here in wet season so there isn’t any dust at all currently. Dillon’s always have a guard on duty who opens the gate when we arrive or leave. Chico, the day guard/gardener always takes off his hat and bows when we sees us. He works tirelessly all day doing anything and everything to stay busy. They also have two dogs and a monkey. The monkey, Rambo, eats peanuts and green beans while he holds onto my finger. These days all blend together in a blur of fun. I will hit some of the highlights of our time in Moatize since we were too busy going for me to write:)
• we spent several evenings dining at CSI with Andrew&Bridgett and Gerald. One evening Curt&Lareasa and teacher Trish were down from Zobue and Andrew made picanha and lamb and chicken for supper. The ladies made beans and rice and pico to complete the Brazilian meal and honestly, it was so.delicious. Another couple evenings we dined there with Codi&Coralee who are in the city for a few days. It has been beyond neat getting to know these people we hear about from Dillon’s and we like all of them and are excited to run into them back in the States.
• us and Dillon’s drove up to the cross which is an overlook thing in the middle of town. We could look at a 360° view high in the middle of Moatize and hear children voices floating up to us and see the huge dump trucks driving out of the coal mines in the distance. Afterwards we drove out to the mines and watched the activity there for abit.
• one day we drove up to Zobue to see Curt&Lareasa and Trish. It’s a bit of a drive over there through hills and green bush. There are several spots where white concrete cones mark the Malawi border so we went into Malawi for abit. The town of Zobue is close to the foot of Zobue Mountain and its quite a bit cooler there than Moatize. In the afternoon we walked down the road to the wood carvers shop. He has his hot wired tools set up under a tarp and everything is held together with a prayer, it looks like. We watched him carve the ‘Big Five into a tray – elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, cape buffalo. It took him maybe 10 minutes to carve them with no pattern whatsoever and they looked completely amazing. Trish made gumbo for supper and we were happy to be at the Zobue house.
• the same day we went to Zobue, we had Dillon’s interpreter, Zach, with us. He is just the nicest man and we enjoyed visiting with him and asking questions. He rode up to Zobue with us since that’s where he lives. We met his wife and their two children, and his wife made xima and beans and peanut couve for us. We sat on the mat in the little round thatched-roof hut and ate with him and its something we won’t ever forget. It was very special.
• we drove out to the Mponzu church one day which is one Dillon’s go to every few weeks. Or they did until covid hit in March, anyways. It’s a ways out of Moatize, a very bumpy ride where you leave the highway and meander on a dirt trail through the trees for 25 km. We drove up to a tiny mud building with a straw roof and a dusty door and a snake skin swinging from a rafter outside. It looked so lonely and it was hard to imagine it full of these happy people.
• another thing we got to do was visit a member here, Albeno. We met him and his wife and the most darling grandma and got to have a little visit with them through Zach. The women here all love little Max and take turns holding him and they are so excited that they can be his “grandmas” while Dillon’s are here. We walked out behind Albeno’s house through more huts until we came to the Chingdozi church where Dillon’s go. It is full of dust inside and locked up and it’s quite sad for Dillon’s and the people here that church has been canceled since March with no hope of opening up again currently. We sang “What a Friend we have in Jesus” in the church while Albeno and Zach listened and we felt Jesus come into that little church that day.
• Saturday we met CSI at an orphanage they go to in Tete. We sang, or rather tried to sing, Portuguese songs with around 30 happy children. Then a Bible story was read with more enthused singing. After Andrew introduced us the kids wanted to dance for us so they sang and clapped and it was the cutest thing. When we left they patted our arms and patted Max and said “tchau tchau Maxey!”
• we went through all kinds of markets, drove bumpy roads, passed tracts through windows, had good conversations and debates, played games, watched thunderstorms every afternoon, reminisced, sang, made plans for the future, and enjoyed every single second of being with our Dillon&Renae&Max. They were such good Mozambique guides.
Now its Saturday night, and we three are on the airplane to Maputo. We are supposed to fly out of Maputo on Monday morning. Unfortunately our covid tests can’t process on Sunday so we may or may not have to change our tickets if they require them. On the other hand, a CSI boy left a few weeks ago and got through to the USA with no test at all so we will see when we leave I guess. Tomorrow we are going to the basket market and another central market to kill some time. We have a hotel booked for a couple nights that supposedly has sushi so we might spend some time there too in that case. I am sad to leave this place and my favorite Dillon’s. I think it’s so much harder to leave them here knowing that Covid has left them more lonesome and with not much to do. We are thankful we were able to make the trip safely, and with no sickness. (the sandwich we were given on this flight may change that) Do you remember the dangerous road we drove in faith? We found out that the day after we drove through on that road, a truck was shot and the driver killed. Your prayers go with each of the missionaries while they drive and live here and only now that I’ve been here do I really see how much the prayers must mean to them. What a thing to have the prayers of the Church and the protection of God.♡