Monday, July 14, 2008

On Safari

We'll get back to stories of the mission trip...but I just can resist posting a picture of a Yellow African Hornbill. It was one of the many birds that I took a picture of that day...but the light was right and it was in focus!

Thank you Jesus for all creatures big and small.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Clinic for the Children

On Monday, we set up a clinic for the sick children. It's winter time in Africa, not supper cold just chilly, and the children don't appear to have jackets or sweat shirts. We have no clue what they sleep on or under in their hut.

We bring medicine and set up a table. The Clinic is open. We hope to help with the symptoms of the common cold as well as kill a few parasites that may be lurking in a child's intestines.

And like all medical offices...there is a waiting room with a long wait. There are no magazines to thumb through, no comfy chairs, or wall art. There are no walls. But you do get to sign in...and then wait.


If you can do can build a church.

The first day on the job and David Woods gives our instructions.
Take a brick.
Sweep it off on all sides.
Put it on the wall.

That's pretty much it. Add the rebar and the windows and the roof, and you're done.

Thanks for the instructions, David.
Let's get to work.

Dressed to Work

(L-R) Gordon Botting, Richard Dederer, Jim Whitcome

The first day on the work site is one of excitement. There is the scent of sunscreen and zinc-oxide in the air! New gloves are ready to get down to work. Hard hats are adjusted, and combined with other head gear to provide protection against UVA and falling tools or bricks.

Give the instructions, O Superintendent! Your wish is my command!

Let's be bold for God.


We were situated pretty good, as mission trips go. We weren't in the Hilton (Most short term missionaries don't stay in a Hilton, anyway. There are very few ritzy hotels in third world countries.) And we weren't under the stars. We were in tents.

On my mission trips...I've stayed...
in a house that was under construction in Central Mexico (Don't mind that tick!)
in a 2 star hotel in Honduras (Walk down the hall for a toilet and cold shower.)
in an administration building under construction in Guyana (Mind the biting ants!)
in a suite in the Literature Ministry Seminary in Rwanda (3 hot showers in 3 weeks.)
and now...
in a green army surplus tent, with a cot and pad, in Mozambique.

It was very comfortable (After three nights, I swapped out my first cot with the bent leg for a better one!), and there was a shower and toilet in the immediate camping area. There was even an awning to hang a wet towel!

Yep...we were set up pretty well. And we give God the praise.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Commute

Check out the map I got from Google Earth!

Follow the red line from bottom to top...from Western Maputo...around the outskirts of the down town...and up to a red road...from there it's a 20 min bumpy ride on a sandy road to Mucapane. This is the drive we made 6 times as we visited the site on Sabbath and work days.

You can go to Google Earth and zoom in yourself....just look for a red (dirt) road north west of Maputo. Follow it out!

Sunday: Work Day

June 8, while our beloved Redding Adventist Academy holds commencement services, we are working to build a church. All it takes is one brick at a time.

I have been assigned to the Left panel behind the platform...and the first seven courses go up pretty quickly. A while later, I'm having trouble holding the brick to the string, and my wall develops a large bow...outward. I finally remove 5 courses...and turn the job over to one of the local Maranatha employees to fix. I work on the side wall with Rebekah, who is building in the afternoon, after finishing VBS in the morning.

At the end of the day we can look back at our work...and know we've done our best and made good progress at constructing a church that will be a meaningful contribution to this community.

Go Rebekah!
Go Kris!
Go Team!

The Old Church

The churches that are being replaced may look very much like this....or less.

This was the church that was the old church in a community about 10 km from where we build a church. Right behind my photo graphic position is a new church, built several weeks before. We distributed food in this community as part of our food distribution on Friday.

Perhaps a few of the locals have already taken material from this church to improve their houses or corn cribs...but I don't think a lot of material disappeared. I was told the church had a tarp as the roof.

All that is changing now in many one by one...Maranatha builds a church/community center.

Praise the Lord.

First Sabbath

Kris Widmer and Sylvia Ahn sing for church at Mucapane, Mozambique, Africa on June 7, 2008. They are first cousins through marriage. Claude Steen married Donna Chalmers, and thus the two singing the duet are related!

Our first Sabbath was the last Sabbath for the church to meet in the outdoors. Next week there will be a completed church. The skeleton of the steel frame and the stacks of bricks are silent witness to the reality of what will be taking place this next week.

The visitors from North America do the children's sabbath school, and the adult Sabbath school. Jim Pedersen, president of the Northern California Conference speaks for church. begins.

* This blog entry and others that I'll post in the upcoming weeks are obviously done when I got home. But I hope to put several entries here...and record our trip on the internet in this way.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Home Again

We're home safe and sound and as I type this, we're at the pastor's meetings for the Northern California Conference at Pacific Union College.

We're still recovering from Jet lag if you can believe it! I want to go to bed at 7:00 p.m., but then I wake up at 2:00 in the morning.

I'm also still recovering from the 24 hour stomach bug, and the "sore throat" I got in route back. I think getting 3 hours of sleep in 47 hours of living didn't help things any either. That and the car trouble we had coming back from the airport made it one long two days of travel.

I'll blog more later...with pictures when I get home.