Tuesday, April 30, 2013


After three days of bouncing through jungles on motorbikes under the punishing African sun, we had definitely earned a day off. On my last day in Quelimane, we had planned a day at Zalala Beach where we hoped to swim, relax, and chat about church life in Zambezia before leaving tomorrow. But this is Africa. And nothing in Africa ever goes as planned.

First of all, after days and days of endless sun, we woke up to pouring rain and dark, ominous skies. Secondly, LAM Airlines called this morning to say that they had pushed back my flight time the following day (just because they felt like it), which means I would miss my international flight back to the US if I didn't board a plane this afternoon instead. Their solution was to put me on a 3:30pm flight today and overnight me in Maputo before connecting with my international flight tomorrow. All of the sudden, I was leaving Zambezia, no beach, no relaxation, and no certainty about exactly what LAM had in mind when they said "overnight".

We arrived in Maputo and I waited and waited for them to issue a voucher for some unknown hotel where I would wait it out until I left for home.

And then I broke down.

I was homesick, exhausted, my body couldn't take it anymore, and I just knew that I'd end up in a rat-infested, hole-in-the-wall in the middle of nowhere with only critters to keep me company at night. Poor Ezequiel didn't know how to handle my blubbering, but he was very gracious and worked furiously to ensure that LAM got their act together and stopped making the white girl cry in the middle of the airport.

I was utterly shocked and amazed when we pulled up to the VIP Maputo Grand Hotel, which is a five star hotel much nicer than most places I've stayed in the US. I sprawled out in my air-conditioned room, took a hot bath, and had a complimentary, gourmet dinner on LAM's tab, and I thought to myself that somehow, God knew exactly what I needed in exactly this moment. After my Indiana Jones meets United Methodism adventures in the bush, this white girl needed a bath and a quiet room to herself. The Lord is gracious and compassionate; and even though we try to be very brave, and we deny that we are feeling weak, and we go where we are called, and we rarely complain (except for occasional crying in airports), God is always quick to wrap us up and manifest love in ways that we don't even know that we need.

Tomorrow I fly back to the States and I will be rested, full of gratitude, and forever changed by these last 18 days.

Location:Avenida 25 de Setembro,Maputo,Mozambique

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