From: “Brenda Lange” Subject: BLOG, Sept. 28, 2013
AUSTRALIAN GRAPHITE MINERS IN BALAMA ENCOURGE OPHAN BASKETBALL TEAM
Wed. this week was a holiday, and our basketball team was challenged to play the Hospital team at the city court in the middle of Balama. Near halftime, Bertino, our team captain, wore through the bottoms of his tennis shoes, and had no choice but to play in his socks on hot cement. This is the outdoor court we repaired in July, and there is very little shade in the area. A few minutes later, two Pick-up trucks stopped near the court, and out popped 6 tall, muscular Australian men from the nearby graphite mine. The men sat in the stands on the far end of the court from me, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the intensely competitive game.
A hearty “Thank You” to the gentleman from Austrailia who showed us such kindness. Everyone was blessed to see such a beautiful gift.
The referee called a time out, and a hush fell over the crowd as 1 of the miners stepped out onto the court with a pair of shoes in his hands. He motioned to the referee that he wanted to give them to Bertino, the boy playing barefoot. Everyone continued to watch in silence as this very touching scene unfolded. Bertino slipped his foot into one of the shoes AND IT FIT! As a big smile spread over his face, the crowd went WILD!!!
I introduced myself to the miners during halftime, and we all had a great time as they shot baskets with our boys. Even the referee thanked them for what they had done. We were sad to hear they would only be in town 2 days. It all happened so fast (and I didn’t have my camera), that it seemed like a dream. Drop in, donate shoes, and move out a few minutes later. It was a funny site seeing one of the men leaving in his socks, but the smile on that man’s face showed that he was thoroughly pleased that his gift was just what was needed.
God provides in mysterious ways, and the package it comes in, never ceases to amaze me!
The teams are really enjoying the newly surfaced basketball court. For those of you who are keeping score — we won 26 to 21.
ERIC’S RETURN TO BALAMA DELAYED 1 WEEK
Eric will return in mid-October due to a family emergency that required his assistance this week. It takes 6 days to drive from Johannesburg, RSA to Balama with a loaded truck and trailer. Pastor Fred, will rendezvous with Eric in Maputo city by taking a taxi to Montepuez, a bus to Nampula (7 hrs away), then hop a plane to Maputo, the national capital of Mozambique. It is neither wise, nor practical to drive ALONE in Mozambique, so a 2nd traveller is a must!
On his way down to RSA in July, Eric was delayed a whole day as a 150 km (75 mile) section had to be travelled by armed military convoy. Unrest by militants wanting changes in the government, made the convoy the only safe way to travel through the middle of Mozambique. The only thing for certain these days is that JESUS is LORD! You never know what awaits you around the next corner.
TODAY IS NATIONAL SPORTS DAY IN MOZAMBIQUE As I write this, our Basketball team is suiting up so I can haul them in my Land Cruiser for a rematch with the Hospital team. A major exhibition of soccer, volleyball, and basketball are being played in the town square in honor of this holiday.
Our team lost by 7 baskets at last Wednesday’s game, bringing the season tally to 2 to 1 in the Hospital’s favor. They boys are pretty fired up and plan to change that today.
Blessings Bush Bunny Brenda and her Basketball Mobile off to the town square!