Friday, March 16, 2012

Best. Birthday. Ever.

Today is our first day in Mozambique. It also happens to be my birthday. The bishop and local pastors here in Maputo had an opening welcome ceremony scheduled for our arrival and it doubled as just about the best birthday party I've ever had. Mozambicans love ceremony and they also completely rock at hospitality. They are overwhelmingly warm and friendly, and will bend over backwards to ensure that guests are taken care of. Somehow, the entire Mozambique Methodist Conference got wind of my birthday and it was game on. I was given a full hand-made Mozambican outfit, complete with a headdress. There was cake-cutting, the youth choir made a special appearance, toasts were made, the entire room joined in singing (over and over again), and there were all kinds of celebratory vocalizations made after every speech. It was breathtakingly, eye-popingly, heart-meltingly beautiful. Not only was this a celebration of my physical birth - a pastor in attendance tonight said it so lovingly - this is a celebration of my birth, my first day as an official, honorary Mozambican. Today I was grafted in.

In addition to the lovely birthday party, Carol's 13 years of service were honored and celebrated, and her retirement was acknowledged. The torch was official passed as she explained their reasons for choosing me to continue the mission. The Bishop gave her blessing and reminisced about all of the wonderful things that Carol has done for their country, for Missouri, and for her personally. It was truly a moving experience, and I grateful now, more than ever for these partners, this new family into which I have been born.


  1. i am absolutely gushing over what you are doing and WILL do. just the beginning! how amazing to think about. my cup overflows....

  2. Amen to everything kp said! My heart is bursting for you!!!!xxxx

  3. Such JOY!!! Thanks for sharing!