Well it has been a few weeks! Sorry if some of you thought I got lost in Zimbabwe! But we had an awesome time there and things have been really good here in Dondo as well.
== Zimbabwe ==========
Lovemore and I had a great time in Mutare, Zimbabwe. (Lovemore is one of the Mozambican translators that works here in Dondo.) Getting there was half the fun, as Jon (our base director and a friend I met at mission school last year) almost got us run over by a train. In his defense, the train was going in one direction, stopped and reversed, and all the traffic crossed the tracks. We happened to be the unlucky vehicle sitting on the tracks as the train decided to stop reversing and start moving forward again. I caught the whole thing on video, so if you want to check it out, check out the Photos/Videos section of my website! Getting across the border was really easy and all of them were very nice to us — no problems getting visas in either direction.
When we got across the border, people were wanting to charge us $30 and $40 for a taxi into town. We settled on $6 with this guy. I wish I had taken a picture of the outside of the car. He said it was around 70 years old and he thought it was from France. That would make it 1940’s era. From looking at pictures on the internet, I absolutely believe it was that old. So there were four of us in the car and we’re thinking “ok, what are we waiting on?” Before it was over with, there were 8 people in this car. There was so little room in the front that the driver opened his driver’s side door and he was partially hanging out the car while driving! I have pictures and video, so check out the Photos/Videos section :) If anyone can identify this car or give me a better estimate of the year it was made from the pictures I have uploaded, feel free. The instrument panels were made by Jaeger and it had a column-mounted gear shift next to the steering wheel.
We stayed at a nice place called the Homestead Guest House. We explored downtown Mutare early Sunday morning, checking out a nice nursery. Lovemore bought a cool plant and being the naughty missionaries we are, we smuggled it into Mozambique to plant at his house. I was in the country for less than 24 hours total and still got the opportunity to preach at a Pentecostal church there. We connected with friends of the Iris Ministries base in Chimoio, Mozambique. Again, for all of you picture & video lovers, there’s plenty to look at.
== Random Base Happenings ==========
It has been pretty normal around here lately, other than lots of sinus infections and someone burning a village house down in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. The day after we got back from Zimbabwe, all of the missionaries plus Pastor Abel (the Mozambican base director) and his family, and João (the administrative/financial secretary) went to Rio Savane for a day at the beach. It was a great vacation about an hour away. I have spent a lot of time worshiping with the boys in the orphanage and cooking dinner for them. I have also become really good friends with João. We are the same age and have had many similar experiences with life and with God.
I have also become quite the electrician around here. Me and Clemente (one of our Mozambican workers) have given the boys’ houses an electrical overhaul, replacing breakers, broken lights, and adding new lights outside so they can get to the bathrooms at night without being afraid of the dark. Plus it’s nice to see where you’re aiming. Two weekends ago we took half of the boys to Ya Ya, a restaurant/hostel/pool in Dondo so they could spend the day swimming and celebrating their birthdays. This past weekend we took the other half. I have to say that Ashlee makes great chocolate cakes!
I also got the opportunity to go with some Mozambican friends to a church in Mafambisse.
== Bugs That Love You ==========
So I have had another experience with the dreaded Matacanha. I noticed one day that there was blood crusted under a toenail one day. Sure enough, one of these bugs had burrowed its way into my foot right at the edge of my toenail, so I didn’t notice it for almost two weeks. They start out as a tiny bug about the size of a pin head. When they took mine out, he looked more like a tiny white worm. If you let them stay longer (say, for a month like Lorena Wood did), they can grow to the size of a Tylenol or bigger as they eat their way into your foot.
In Portuguese, these bugs are called bicho-do-pé, which literally means “bug of the foot.” Unfortunately I have been battling an infection for the last week that kind of came out of nowhere. It is slowly starting to get better. A Brazillian nurse/missionary here is taking care of it twice a day for me.
Update to the update: In the few days it took me to write this and upload pictures, I got another one! That’s four for those of you keeping count :)
== Prayer for Financial Support ==========
Amazingly my money stretched to the point that I made it to Zimbabwe and back on what I had. I also received a donation the day after I got back from Zimbabwe took care of my groceries for the past two weeks. Below is a list of things I am praying that God will provide for, as I literally only have a few dollars in my checking account at this point.
* I am currently planning on flying home October 5th. I haven’t changed that ticket yet with Air France due to lack of funds. The cost will be in the neighborhood of $270. If I don’t have money to change the ticket, or I don’t get it in time to get a seat before the flight is booked, I guess I’ll be staying in Mozambique for even longer. Since God has given us new favor with the immigration people, it will be possible for me to renew my visa for another two months without leaving the country, so it’s not like I will be an illegal immigrant if I don’t fly home. However, if I do not use my return ticket to the U.S. by October 5th, the price will jump to around $1000 to fly home and from a financial perspective, I need to come home to work to pay bills that are coming due in the United States.
* I am planning a trip to Rio Savane to bless some of my Mozambican friends with lunch and a day at the beach. My goal is to take at least 5 Mozambicans plus myself. The cost per person including lunch is around $15, so I am praying for $90 to cover that expense.
* It would be a blessing to have money for groceries over the next two weeks so I can buy bread, eggs, fruits and veggies in the market and things like milk, chicken or beef in the grocery store. I won’t starve if I don’t have money for groceries, but it is a blessing to get to cook with the kids and it is a great relationship builder and ministry opportunity.
You would be surprised how far you can stretch $5 to $10 here in Mozambique. Any small donation will help a lot. Please pray about sponsoring a Mozambican for the beach trip or sending a few dollars for groceries. It really goes a long way. Honestly, I really don’t care if I don’t get the money to fly home. I am happy to stay here forever and if you are happy with receiving my e-mail updates, then I guess we’ll see what happens!
Tax-deductible donations can be made to:
Ogden Memorial United Methodist Church
305 West Main Street
Princeton, KY 42445
designated to “Bryan Martin – Mozambique”
Non-tax deductible donations can be sent straight to me via PayPal by clicking the link below. You don’t have to have a PayPal account to complete a transaction.
== Website Redesign, etc. ==========
One day last week I was really sick and spent most of my day laying on the floor when I wasn’t in the bathroom. I took the opportunity to redesign my website to make it more organized and visually appealing, so check it out. I added reorganized and added some more sections such as photos/videos, worship music recommendations, and Portuguese worship songs.
I probably forgot to write about half of what’s been going on over the past few weeks, but it has been a fun Holy Spirit filled time. I have been learning a lot more Portuguese, like how to conjugate verbs in past and future tense. I have also been translating more worship music. and I’ve found that I can have many conversations without reverting to English now, which is totally awesome!
Ok that’s all for now. God bless you guys..