From: “Brenda Lange” Subject: Blog, April 7, 2013
BBB BACK IN BALAMA!
Eric Dry and Linda Stanley picked me up at the Pemba airport at 3pm yesterday, and we had a great time talking all evening to get caught up on all that has transpired for the last 10 weeks. Customs in RSA was a breeze, and I thank the Lord for His favor. With 5 pieces of luggage (3 FREE BAGS due to Delta miles) at 65 lbs each (30 kg), plus my 2 carry on pieces, I walked on through as if INVISIBLE while customs was stopping and searching many people with only 2 bags. (power of prayer!) I had nothing to hide, but the last thing you want after a 17 hour flight from Atlanta to South Africa is to be delayed with an inspection! I was met by ministry friends Clete and Sabastion, who grabbed the bags and rushed me off to catch the Gau-Train (pronounced How-Train). This is the overhead rail train that whisks you over the massive highway traffic in 15 minutes to the south of Joburg where I stay when in RSA. By car, this same distance at 6pm (my arrival time) can take 2–3 hours. A 2 day break with a little shopping, and banking business, saw me over the jet lag and ready to fly on to Pemba on Saturday.
IN PEMBA AIRPORT, I was given GREAT FAVOR!
I now only have 2 bags plus my carry on. (the other bag is left in RSA in cool storage until Eric can fetch it with a truck in August. Eric had told me that the airport was undergoing a massive renovations, and that all passengers were now directed to a temporary tent off to the side of the building for Immigration and Customs. When I passed through customs, the inspector ordered me to place my 2 bags onto the counter. Normally, I was expected to put them 3 feet onto the table, but the man grabbed my heaviest bag himself, saving me the struggle. Without asking me to open them (which is normal), he asked me what was in them. I gave him a list and then he asked if I was a resident of Moz? I told him I was Brenda of Igreja Aguas Vivas in Balama. As soon as I said BALAMA, both agents smiled big and said OH, BALAMA, yeah, you are good, you may go! I don’t know these men at all, so I was stunned, but wasted no time getting the bags out the tent door! Eric told me later that the previous group to pass through had been held up for 2 hours with all the inspections.
I’m very grateful to be HOME, and have already unpacked most of what I brought. Last year, it was 3 weeks before I had time to unpack, so I’m very grateful for a slower entry into this year’s work load. Monday is a public holiday, allowing me to get completely organized before workers show up on Tuesday to begin the construction of the final children’s complex that we had hoped to complete last year.
FOOD BUYING WILL BE A MASSIVE CHALLENGE
Our Pastors reported last week that the corn harvest is only mediocre and the beans are NON EXISTENT in Balama County due to heavy rains. With much work, and going deep, deep into the Balama bush, we should be able to get some corn. For beans, reports say that several villages in another county has, but they are located deep into the bush northeast of us about 80kms (40 miles away) on not so good roads. Our prayers are for the Lord to show us WHERE to find the corn and beans and to be able to purchase it at a fair price. With hunger going to be rampant in this area, prices could get out of hand. I’ll keep you posted as we find out more.
Love and Hugs, Bush Bunny Brenda in Balama, Mozambique