I became a born again Christian when I was 22 years old in 1998. I was baptised and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
I became involved in missionaries, based in Quelimane, Mozambique. I was drawn to the pictures of the people and believed somehow I could help. I donated my computer to the mission and my time. I was to install the computer in a home and arrange internet for them.
The trip would take 10 days in total. I would leave my husband in Cape town and travel by car to an air strip in Bloemfontein, and fly to Nelspruit. In Nelspruit we would fly to Quelimane.
It sounded simple! Day 1 – our car blew a tyre and we almost hit on coming traffic, death scare no 1.
We were safe, my heart leapt out of my chest.
Day 2 : our weight was to heavy for the plane so we had to pay extra as per the pilot.
On landing in Quelimane, the runaway has a huge plane on the side of it, burnt out. Apparently, locals loaded it with chickens and concrete and tried to fly away with it, it didn’t work.
We landed, myself, the Pastor Marcel and the evangelist Johnny.
At this stage of my life, I was fat, it was hot and I was uncomfortable. I was taking anti-malaria pills which made me fatigued and irritated. My skin was starting to make white dots on it, my system hated these medicines.
We were to live with Annemarie in her one bedroom flat. She was the official missionary there, spreading the word of God. I could tell she didn’t like me and I didn’t like her either.
We were shown where to sleep. My sleeping space was the floor. I was horrified but didn’t show it. I just took it as it came.
We showered in cold water. We ate fruit mostly and fresh produce, which was one meal a day.
The road’s were full of potholes.
The place was desolated, destroyed due to civil war. Ironically, the war never reached Quelimane but the people were affected consciously.
The cinema was transformed into a home, people removed the seats and moved in and hung their laundry in it, as if just another day.
The market was a buzz with people, fresh veg, fruit, fish and thieves.
The atmosphere was “hopeless”, it felt like people quit on life.
We went to a nearby village on a huge truck called a “shabasang” filled with people, chickens and produce. The smell and heat was very uncomfortable. My grandma would say, don’t they have soap and water at home.
We attended a church gathering where we were invited to the Pastors house.
The church service itself was intense, the Pastor was performing exorcisms’s to everyone that needed healing. One lady’s eyes rolled back in her head, her body shook and she was carried away.
Apparently, witchcraft was normal in this area, so these services were so needed.
The pastors house was a hut, made of earth and straw. They offered us their chairs, and I opted for the floor with a strawmat. They fed us rice and prawns, the guest eat first and if their is food over the household will eat. They were a poor couple, with two kids and another on the way.
We sat in darkness and ate peacefully. These people were humble and loving.
We left in our landrover, with a huge bunch of bananas and a live chicken. (To be slaughtered later)
The next day we visited a nearby island, we took a ferry across.
When we arrived, we had to cycle for at least 20minutes before we reached the Pastor. We visited and viewed sites for a church. We were urgently notified that we should leave soon to reach the ferry. My cyclist was unable to lift me, so I pedalled while lifting him on the bicycle.
Needless to say, that day was exhausting. A combination of the heat, me being overweight and unfit, lack of food took its toll.
When we arrived back home, I crashed.
In this journey I just kept focus, it took me 7 days to finally get the internet working.
My lesson on this trip was to learn endurance. Endure the mosquitos. Endure the malaria meds. Endure being oogled everywhere I went. Endure sleeping on the floor. Endure being big and disliked.
I literally kissed the floor when I arrived back home, appreciative of my husband. Appreciating electricity, hot water, food.
Realizing living in South africa is a blessing despite its obstacles.
Journeying on …..