Monday, April 29, 2013

Anna from Antioch

Today we visited another local church outside of the city of Quelimane called Antioch UMC. It's a satellite church of Fitimela UMC, and it is waaaaaayyyy off the main road, accessible only by foot and, much to my delight, motorbike. Through fields of tall grass as high as we were, we tunneled through a narrow, winding path on our motorbikes hoping we would find the church before we found hungry wild animals.

Upon our arrival at Antioch, I learned about the daily lives of the people here and how they have to dig holes in the sand in order to access tiny, underground springs for water. These holes that they dig are basically open wells that are easily contaminated and cause all kinds of health problems, but this is their only option. This community is next in line for a safe water well, and they were eager to share their need for safe water while educating me about their struggles.

I also saw their church building, of which half was recently destroyed by the terrible rains and flooding that hit this area very hard. They are slowly rebuilding their chapel made of sticks and mud, but they must do it piece by piece, since resources are so limited. The women were able to make charcoal and sell it to bring in a little bit of money for the tin sheets that make the roof.

After learning about their need and hearing about their seemingly insurmountable difficulties, I was given a great gift. Although meat is terribly expensive and only consumed on very rare and special occasions, I was given a live chicken along with bananas, sugar cane, and corn, as a way of honoring me as their special guest.

We picked a brilliant name, Anna (short for Antioch), strapped this bird to our bike, and rode off into the wind. I was completely humbled by this extravagant gift from a community gripped by extreme poverty, but more importantly, compelled by extreme generosity.

In Mozambique, apparently it's totally acceptable to bring a live chicken into your hotel restaurant and ask them to fix it up nice for you. For 100 meticais (a little more than 3 US dollars), that's exactly what they did. The hotel restaurant served up a mean Zambezia Style Anna, and we feasted as we thanked God for a beautiful and full day.


1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes, humility. So much we learn when we think we go there to teach. Thank you for sharing with us.