Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Trying to catch our breath

It's been a whirlwind week and it won't get much better until we are on the airplane to the U.S. May 2. Last week we spent most of our energy on organizing an Ancient Paths facilitator's training and then a seminar. We had a group of five that came from South Africa to help us. We had most of our meals at Evangeline's guesthouse and it was fun to interact with the other guests. There are so many interesting people who come through her doors! We had some fascinating conversations with some folks from Texas and England.

The seminars both went very well. People really seemed to appreciate them and are asking for more. It feels like we've tapped the tip of an iceberg. The next training and seminar will be in August unless we find time to squeeze in another seminar before then. Next time I will find someone to coordinate all the purchasing of food and serving the teas, etc. I did have Yolanda, one of the facilitators that helped get meals organized. We went to the market together to get food for less. I had just come from exchanging money for all the seminar needs. We were in the car and they wanted some Rands so we were exchanging the money. We put the windows up for security even though it was sweltering weather. There were several sellers surrounding the truck waiting for us to get out and buy from them and they were all looking at us and all our money. Yikes, that didn't feel too safe. Some of these markets have a reputation for pickpockets. Even the Mozambicans that go there don't wear any jewelry and put their money in very safe places. I was thankful for Genesis, who accompanied us and served as bodyguard for the occasion.

This week was supposed to be a calm week in the office but now Steve is planning a 2-3 days in Maxixe (6 hrs away) to work on the coconut oil facility and I am making a quick run to Macia on Friday to talk with the chicken growers. Next week Steve will be with the group of VIPs coming to look at business in Mozambique. They include the CEO of WR and his wife and the president of the Ntl. Assoc. of Evangelicals. There has been a lot of preparation for this trip and still lots of details to arrange. They will cover a lot of ground, going north to Nampula, to some villages around Chokwe and to Maxixe to see the coconut process. I will be in Beira all week, working with some women on their business plan for a sewing business and training them in the MED course. I plan to spend a day or two with Tanneken also.

We are feeling encouraged, although we have our days when we wonder if we are really making a difference. But we know that God is the one that changes hearts and we need to rest in planting the seed and letting Him bring in the harvest. The Parable of the Sower makes more sense now and there is hope for those who will produce a harvest of one hundred times what was sown.

Here's a picture of the view we see from our rooftop veranda at work where we eat lunch sometimes.

A shot of the Maxixe oil "facility" (in process).

This is the drying table(below). It will be topped with a stainless steel sheet.

We're looking forward to seeing some of you soon!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Quote of the Day

Here are some quotes we have heard lately:


As I was planning a menu for a seminar with some folks:  "You can have a tomato, cucumber, onion salad or a tomato, onion, lettuce salad.  But you can't have a tomato, cucumber, onion and lettuce salad.  That is not the Mozambican way."  During the same planning session, "We can't serve beans and rice.  Beans are heavy and will make you sleepy."


"If you have two wives you are not sinning."  Said from a pulpit.


"We will give you your refund."  Said several times but with no results.


"If you have a business without challenges, it is not a real business."  Helena, the chicken project manager


"You need to tell a Mozambican something seven times before you get a response.  By the fifth or sixth time he says, hmmm, I've heard this before."  From one Mozambican to another who was wondering why he hadn't heard back from him.


"Where is the miner?  He didn't return because of AIDS."  "Where are his parents?  They died of AIDS."  "Where is the driver?  He crashed into AIDS."  Billboards for AIDS awareness.


"Today I need to learn how to say in Arabic, 'You are a beautiful child.'"  said by a short-term missionary in Morocco regarding some children who were making fun of her.


"You can't plan for a disaster until it happens."  Heard in a meeting shortly before the floods and hurricane came to Moz.


From a wisecracking friend:  "They have computers in Africa?  But only powered by bicycles, right?" 


"Me, Me, Me" a Renault billboard with a picture of a new car


"We have sinned and God is angry with us."  A comment by Alda, the vegetable lady regarding the floods, hurricane, drought and arsenal explosion in Mozambique this year.


Given as an example of self-control:  "Sometimes I am very hungry and I want to eat other people's food, but I have to use self-control and not take it."


On the wall of the WR office:  "Meekness is not weakness, but power under control."


And we'll end with a joke Steve heard:  A South African, an American and a Mozambican were bidding on a job.  The South African bid 9,000, the American 10,000 and the Mozambican 12,000.  The guy who wanted the work done said to the Mozambican, "You were supposed to underbid the others!"  "No," he said, "I'll just hire the South African and we'll split the 3,000!"