Today was day number 2 on the worksite and it was another long and dusty, but also amazing day. Most of the morning was again spent slaving away at sanding door frames and removing loose cement and sand from the walls and ceilings. The tedium of the sanding was gratefully broken up by the occasional outbursts of laughter and even an impromptu hymn sing...which somehow came to include "row row row your boat". Last time I checked that one wasn't in my hymn book. At noon we partook of an amazing meal prepared right on site by Juliette, Sergio's wife. She prepared her famous beans and rice along with matapa(casava leaf stew) and some shema(corn porridge). I think it is safe to say that we all thoroughly enjoyed that meal. After lunch we decided that it was time to stop making dust and start throwing some paint around. Much of the afternoon was spent priming one section of the first foor. It is amazing to see what a difference just having a little paint on the walls and ceilings can make. This day was also siginificant in the history of the building project because this morning, after weeks and week so promising, the men from the electrical company came to hook up our electricity! We now have electricity on the building site. We still have a litte conduit and wire to run before we have power in the studio, but at least we have it on the property. God is good! Thank you for your continued prayers.
Today was our first day of work on the studio. We started out with a tour of the studio and a description of the work that we were going to do today.
Our main task today was to work at getting the walls ready for painting and the cemented-in door frames ready for varnishing. We sanded plaster splatter off the walls that came from the process of plastering the ceiling. The other task was to remove plaster from the door frames and sanding them to prepare them for varnish. This work was VERY dusty and warm but the breeze off the ocean kept us cooler.
We ended the day at the studio at around 3:30 so we could transfer some money to Mets, the Xai-Xai currency.
We then went for a swim in the Indian Ocean. The water temperature must have been around 80 degrees, it felt wonderful.
Check Audio Scriptures One Brick at a Time Facebook page at the link below to see pictures of our trip so far.
We left for church at 8:00 Sunday morning. We drove 1.5 hours and ended up 2-tracking approximately 4 miles off the main road, through fields, to get to the church.
The worship services at home seem really short compared to what we experienced today. We started at 10:00 and went until 2:00. At the end of the service there was an Audio Bible distribution. It was a very exciting service with GREAT African singing and hearing several testimonies. Our team even sang a special number with Sergio and Pastor leading us in Portuguese. We met a gentleman who is a neighbor to the pastor who never attended church before. He came to the service because he heard that there was going to be visitors, which is an extremely rare thing for that community. After coming to the service he told the pastor that he was going to continue attending and begin to learn about Jesus. If God used this trip to draw 1 person to Him, that in itself, already made our trip worthwhile.
We were the honored guests by being fed a meal consisting of goat, duck, a pumpkin leaf dish, rice, and other very interesting things. Sally and Jan saw the duck being killed before the service. Thankfully they missed out on the goat killing. We were grateful to experience their culture in this way.
We are excited to see what God has in store for us this week as we begin our work on the studio.
Thank you for your prayers and we ask for continued prayers for health and strength for the team.
(Having trouble ownloading photos. Hopefully we'll have some up by tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!)
After a fun time cruising around Kruger Park and seeing Kudu, Giraffe, Zebra, Elephant, Rhino, Impala, and others, followed by a VERY interesting drive from South Africa to Xai-Xai, we are finally here at the place where we will be calling home. Orai and Linda Lehman, missionaries here, have graciously open thier home to us for our entire stay here in Xai-Xai. Ready for a good nights sleep after this very long, but exciting day!
Tomorrow, we will head to a town about an hour and a half away (forgot the name of the town right now) to go to church and help the staff here at ASM introduce a listening program for the audio Bibles. Sergio and Steve, the Mozambiquans who work at the studio here, will be joining us. Yes, it was quite warm, with temps reaching 100 degrees. We do have a nice Indian Ocean breeze coming through the room right now, cooling us off!
We are very grateful for your prayers thus far, and continue to ask for prayers for safety, good weather, and God's blessngs on our work here.
Until next time...caio caio!
Praise God!!! We have all made it to South Africa, with all of our luggage accounted for as well! We are staying at a guesthouse in JoBurg and are planning on driving into Kruger tomorrow morning. Everyone is in great spirits, but are all ready for a good night's sleep. It is 7 hours ahead here from Michigan. We'll do our best to update the blog again soon. But for now, good night! Or as they say here in SA, lekker slaap! (Not quite sure on the spelling of that!) :)
It's hard to believe that Carl and Shawn's time here in Mozambique has drawn to an end. It has been an amazing week with God's faithfulness taking center stage. Today was our third full day working in the studio building and I have to admit that I am just blown away at how much has been accomplished in this short time. Shawn has been wowing our Mozambican brothers with all the fancy things he is doing with the plumbing. We often find the workers just wandering around looking at the copper saying "Yeah...this guy is good". If it weren't for us running out of a few parts, I think the whole plumbing system would be done. It has been fun seeing it come together. Carl has had his hands full with the somewhat confusing(sorry about that) electrical system layout. He persevered though and all of the wiring for the building is complete! I am still amazed and just so happy with all that has been accomplished. We continued to stay pretty injury free although Shawn's finger did spring a small leak earlier today and my dad somehow managed to get a nice pinch from the ladder. We all have a few scraped knuckles and hammer tenderized fingers, but God is good and there have been no mishaps. Today we were also able to enjoy a nice traditional Mozambican meal. Sergio's wife made us a feast of rice, shema(corn meal mush), matsavo(pumpkin leave stew) and fried mackerel in some type of sauce. It was excellent, although there were a couple of people who were not big fans of the fish staring back at them. All good things though must come to an end and this is it for Shawn and Carl. Early tomorrow morning we are leaving Xai-Xai bound for Kruger national park and then on to Johannesburg. I think we can all say that we have seen God's amazing faithfulness during this past week. There was a time earlier this week where we had pretty much given up hope of ever even making it to Xai-Xai, let along getting any work done. We were reminded though that God is able, and he can do amazing deeds. Here we are now at the end of the week just praising him for opening the roads and holding off the hurricane. We are so thankful. We just want to thank you for all the prayers through this week and ask that you continue to pray as we travel in the next two days and as Shawn and Carl make the long flight back.
What an amazing God we serve! I think that all of us here are being blown away by how the Lord had taken a situation that seemed to hopeless just a few days ago and has turned it into an amazing testimony of His power. Today was our second full day on site and things are progressing amazingly well. The drain system is fully installed, , most of the copper on the ground floor is in, nearly all of the wiring is finished on the first floor and a good portion is done on the second floor also. We have put in a couple of long days, but God is really doing something here. So far we have had no serious injuries. Besides my dad somehow managing to hit is leg with a hammer and the occasional scuffed knuckle, we have been pretty well unscathed. We are very thankful for that. Also, even with this storm raging just off the coast, we can see God at work. There has been a category 4 hurricane spinning around only 200 miles from us, but other than a little wind, we haven't been effected. When you look at the radar you can see rain spinning out hundreds of miles on every side except the side towards us. It is really amazing. I keep expecting to get lashed by rain and high winds, but God is faithful and we have been able to work unhindered by the weather. It also looks like the hurricane will continue on its current path which will lead it away from us. We are so thankful for that. There were times earlier in the week where I thought we may have to evacuate because of the storm. God is good though and we are still here doing the work. We have one more full day left to work on the building so we are praying for some multiplied time tomorrow to get done what we hope to get done. Thank you all for your continued prayers
It has been a great first full day on the jobsite! After taking a few minutes to go check out the Indian ocean early this morning, we got out to the studio earlier. There was not much time wasted today as I think we are all feeling a bit of urgency because of the delay. It was an extremely productive day on the job though. Shawn kept us crusing on the plumbing side of things while Carl and I did our best not to get too confused on the wire pulling end of things. It all went very well though and right now pretty much all of the PVC drain system is installed and a pretty good portion of the copper is soldered on too. We also ran the wiring for nearly all of the plugs and a about half of the lights on the first floor. We could only do so much before we started getting in the way of the plasterers. We also had another bonus surprise today when the electric company people came to set up our electric poles. Now we are just waiting for a final inspection and then, Lord willing, we will be able to ge connected to the grid next week! I think now that we are actually here and working, a bit of the stress is gone. We've had a great time and lots of memories have already been made. Today we laughed quite a lot because we all ended up with sand in the oddest places. The wind has been really gusty here because we are just catching the edge of that cyclone so it was like working in a sand-blaster. Every time you turned towards the wind you ended up with a face full of flying sand. We thought with all the sand and cement that was blowing around today, we may need to chisel our eyes open in the morning. It really has been an amazingly productive day though. I am so thankful for Shawn, Carl and my parents for being willing to help us on this project. We could not do it without them. Please continue to pray safety as we work and good rest during the nights. Also, continue to pray that the cyclone would remain on it's current path and not threaten land again. Blessings to you!
We made it to Xai-Xai!!! God is so good! I have to admit that I woke up this morning just frustrated. I had spent hours during the night just trying to think of ways to somehow get our team to Xai-Xai to do the work we had come to do. I finally just gave up and went about trying to glean any accurate information about the state of the road from the local new stations website. I was a little disheartened to read that while the roadwork was progressing, they didn't expect it to be open until Wednesday at the earliest. I started thinking more about the possibility to finding a ride up to the break, wading across and then finding a lift on that side. I have to admit that the 60 meter walk across a fast moving crocodile infested river was not something I was looking forward to. As I was pondering this I received a call from a missionary here in Xai-Xai saying that he heard the road was open. I was shocked and didn't believe it at first, but after a couple calls it seemed to be true. We finally had a little skip in our step and we packed everything up and headed north. When we arrived at the place where the road had be destroyed, we could see that the water there was still very high. In order to open the road the workers had filled the gap with boulders and then covered that with smaller rocks so that it was a bumpy, yet easily passable spot. We were so thankful to be able to pass and after a couple of hours we were in Xai-Xai! God is so good. It really seemed like it would take a miracle for our team to reach the studio this week, but our God is a miracle worker and proved it to us today! Not only were we able to arrive in Xai-Xai, but we were able to get a half days work in too. We have some electrical wires pulled and Shawn has a pretty good run of copper already installed. God is so faithful and we are just so thankful for all of your faithful prayers. I do have one other prayer request though. I mentioned this cyclone that has been lashing the northern provinces in an earlier update. It has since moved away from land and is now intensifying and heading straight south between Mozambique and Madagascar. It is currently a category 4 storm and is predicted to increase to a category 5 as it spins out there over the warm water. Most predictions have it continuing south and then swerving away from land, but all of them say there is still a slight chance it could be pushed back onto land near here. Please pray with us that this storm would move out to sea and not threaten land here where we are already very wet and wind damaged. Thank you again!
Day 4 and we still have yet to step foot in Xai-Xai. We still find ourselves in Maputo waiting for the road to become passable up to Xai-Xai. We were able to see a little bit on the news and it does appear that they are making some progress in closing the gap that has opened in the road. The water has gone down to the point where people can wade across it in waiste deep water, so that is all positive. With that said, we still have no idea when the road may be passable. We will just continue to wait and pray...there doesn't seem like much else we can do. To keep ourseles from going stir crazy today we headed over to a building project being done by the Wesleyan Church of Mozambique. Carl and Shawn installed electrical service boxes while my parents worked to prep some window frames for receiving glass. I think it was good for everyone get at least a little work under the belt. I felt like I spent hours on the phone today trying to find out as much information as possible about the road, and also trying to keep the buidling project going at the studio. They are already feeling the pinch of the road closure up in Xai-Xai as cement prices begin to rise and availability becomes limited. All of those supplies rely on open passage from Maputo, which just isn't possible right now. We have also been reading more about the storm that is pounding the north part of Mozambique. For nearly two days now the Cyclone Funso has stood nearly still lashing the coast of Zamezia province in the north of the country. News reports say 12 people have died and thousands of buidlings have been destroyed. We continue to pray for those people who are facing such difficult times. It makes our little problem here seem pretty small. With that said though, I think we are all getting a little bit stir crazy here. It is just hard when you have planned and prepped so much, and then just to have something as small 60 feet of missing road stand in the way of those plans and dreams. We do know that God is in control though and we do continue to put our hope and trust in Him. Pleast do continue to pray with us for a speedy solution to this current delay.