Thursday, August 16, 2007

Birthday 43 - Just to be Different

In the face of an alarming trend among the long-term male members of our mission team to cease having birthdays when they reach 28 or 29 years of age, I made it a point to turn 43 last month -- quite publicly. My children made the occasion festive by presenting me with some of life's finer things, such as Dr. Pepper (recently though expensively and sporadically available from certain Mbale retailers) and Bourneville dark chocolate:

Best of all, of course, was the love of family together -- how do you assign a value to a hug from Emily?

Another of the signal blessings of the day was the presence of some of our favorite people--the Reeves family--in Uganda for their first time ever.

Here's Jerry...

...and Kristine

...and oldest son Jordan, speaking computerese with our Leila

I think we had enough fun to give serious thought to having another birthday around the same time next year, whether or not my beleaguered colleagues are able to escape the temporal anomalies that are inhibiting their progress along the time line.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Milange, Mozambique

From 6 to 9 August I visited and taught in Milange, Mozambique, just a ten-minute bicycle-taxi ride from the Malawi-Mozambique border post at Muloza. For three of those days we met with men and women from churches in Milange and the neighboring districts. The group numbered 137 the first day, and by the end of the time there there were around 300 present.

I enjoyed the hospitality of Amos Jekete Suwande and his wife, who serve as Malawian missionaries in Mozambique. They took excellent care of me, and we had hours of pleasant visiting time with each other and with a number of Mozambican leaders who were attending the seminar sessions. I taught on principles for waging spiritual warfare, looking at Biblical texts from Genesis through Joshua, and from the books of Ephesians and James, primarily.

A view of the outside of the house where Jekete and his wife live, and where I stayed while in Milange

They divided the living room of the house with a sheet - we did our eating and visiting together on the near side and I slept on the other side.

Some of the students outside the church building where the seminar took place - notice all the bicycles under the mango tree beside the building.

Inside the church building during a break in the teaching