There was no doubt that the Lord’s hand was in this 4 day adventure.
My Monday flight on LAM to Maputo went smoothly, with only a minor delay at landing.
LAM (Moz. airlines) has the nick name of “Late And Maybe”, meaning it usually runs late and it “might” get you there. We got to within 30 minutes of landing at Maputo when suddenly the engines did a great deceleration, feeling like we “stopped” in midair. Captain announces that the Maputo tower had asked us to slow down because 2 other planes were already in the landing pattern and they could not handle us at this time! We all got a hoot out of that one! (Seems 2 is a crowd, and 3 impossible). Then we get to the airstrip 20 minutes later, and were told to “circle over the ocean” because there were still 2 planes in the holding pattern. So we circle and are finally able to land safely, a bit late, but we were there! All landings are great landings if you can walk away from them. FYI: LAM has great pilots who do a very good job with the limited runways available to them. The new airport at Maputo is all glass front and very beautiful and clean. Far cry from the last time I was there.
Grabbing my luggage, Manuel and Carlitos were there to fetch me with our Land Cruiser pulling Eric’ Dry’s trailer. So off we “crawled” to the border, only 40 miles (80 km) away. Traffic in Maputo is thick all day long for there are more cars than there is road space, and only 1 road to get you where you need to go. First 5.4 miles (9km) took us 40 minutes. Once we cleared the city traffic, we were able to move on, getting to the border at 7pm (this border closes at 10pm).
We breezed through, meeting Eric on the other side, where he led us to the B&B where we would sleep, reorganize supplies, and repack at 5a.m. the next morning. Because I had pre-organized most of the luggage when I was in RSA in Feb., the re-packing was completed by 10a.m. A quick sandwich for lunch and off we headed to the border with Manuel driving the Land Cruiser, and Eric and I following in Eric’s SUV pulling the trailer. THAT is where we knew the fun would begin, as customs can be challenging.
I apologize to my RSA friends, as there was no time for phone calls. We were only in RSA for 16 HOURS!
When I arrived on Monday night, I had driven 4 hours by car, leaving 4 a.m. from Balama to Pemba, did some minor ministry work, then traveled 3 hours by plane, followed by the grueling 3 hour truck ride with 2 border crossings (lots of paperwork!). Eric took us to a restaurant for supper, making it 9:30 p.m. by the time we got back to the B&B. Bunny was sleep walking by that time as I am totally a MORNING BUNNY! (Can’t remember the last time I saw 10pm!)
God threw open the doors, and we breezed through without a problem!!!! As Eric said, “That was the easiest I’ve ever crossed that border!” We were on the Moz. side, driving to Maputo by 11:15a.m.! A SUPER MIRACLE THE LORD CAN REPEAT ANY DAY!
Once in Maputo that Tuesday afternoon, we got to our hotel, again unpacked, and organized some of the luggage to travel by air with me (heat sensitive items), and the rest was insulated in suitcases for the 4 day drive back to Balama. These supplies are VITAL to our massive food distribution programs, as well as the health of the children. No supplies would have literally shut down our extensive food assistance program to over 2,500 orphans and widows.
The truck arrived at NOON today, with all of us super happy to have made the trip without any hassles!
GOD IS GREAT! ALL THE TIME!
Is the job tough? YOU BET.
Is it worth it? One look at our huge family of children, and there is NO DOUBT in my mind! YES, I would do it all again anytime.
One look at our huge family of children, and there is NO DOUBT in my mind! YES, I would do it all again anytime.
BALAMA MISSION RAN SMOOTHLY, THANKS TO CAPENA AND STEPHEN
Capena, my office manager, and Stephen Miller, missionary trainee, handled the basic mission programs this week without problems. Our newest family member, Baby Edna, is now healthy (she came to us with a mild respiratory infection). The 80+ orphans living in our foster homes are all doing well in school, and enjoying the wonderful playground furnished by ICM, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas.
I opened the slide yesterday, and it was like bees flowing into their hive, as the children swarmed up the 2 story ladder.
More next week, as we prepare for our first MAJOR AWANA COMPETITION on April 11th! We have invited the AWANA village teams from 4 areas to participate. The International AWANA leader, Larry Friend, as well as orphan sponsors Dave and his daughter Jill will be visiting us from April 10th to 17th.
Bush Bunny Brenda