Voices…I heard voices…loud voices…and it was as light as day. I jumped out of bed, thinking we had overslept, only to find that it was 3:45. The city of Maputo never sleeps. From then on I tossed and turned until it was time to get up. Not a good start to our first day in Mozambique.
Bishop Carlos, his dear wife, Hortensia, and his daughter (a medical doctor) Graca, went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Even though it was so late and we were all very tired, they presented us with a lavish feast. Maputo is a port city, so fish is a staple diet…and oh the scrumptious spices!
At 8 AM we went to the Diocesan office and met up with Padre Campira. He and I met at the Growing the Church coordinators meetings back in December last year. Deacon Mauricio could not meet us because he had had a very bad accident just last week…he is fine, but his car is in bad shape…but, unlike in the US, cars are not written off or totalled here…there are merely knocked back into shape. As long as they can move, they are back on the road in no time. He told us that he had stopped skidding a few inches short of a deep ravine and that he believed the angels were looking out for him that day.
Padre Campira drove with us to show us the way. We picked up Chico, the J-Life representative, further down the road. Traffic had prevented him from getting to us on time. Maputo is very much like Addis without the livestock. Driving here is not for the faint hearted. But it is hot…not as hot as Gambella, but enough to make you feel uncomfortable. Even the locals were complaining.
The speed limit along the road varied from 60 km to 80 km and even 100 km in one spot. For the most part we drove 60 as there are traffic police everywhere and they will apparently stop you on a whim. Needless to say, it took us a long time to get to our destination!
Maciene is a rather small, rural village nestled among tall coconut trees and date palms. The Anglican centre has mango and orange trees as well as manioc fields…all in all, a picturesque place. We settled into the guesthouse, scouted out the place, had Evening Prayer where we heard some wonderful singing (cantare!), introduced ourselves to those present, and had supper. Deacon Mauricio had joined us earlier and we chatted about his accident. I told them that we had had a sense of a spiritual battle going on in the heavenly realm regarding this visit. They all agreed. Chico told us that two nights ago, their gas line mysteriously started leaking while they were asleep. His wife woke up because of the smell and alerted him to the fact. He turned it off, but could not find the source of the leak. I told them that we had many intercessors praying for us and for this training course.
When Satan goes out of his way to hinder the advance of the Gospel, something great must be waiting down the line. We are all anticipation. Come, Holy Spirit…come…