Report by David Morrison “Mo”
“We welcome you and embrace the message of hope you proclaim.” - Traditional Authority Chief in Mozambique
Another bumpy drive on another hot day, into the flooded area of Mutarara. What will we find this time? How deep will we be able to go? With Pinzgauer loaded to the gills and a large transport truck, we move with another 18 ½ tons of food towards the refugee camp we found last time. One of the border officials is not as friendly this time, and time is lost sorting that out. Then, when we arrive in Mutarara, we discover that transportation assistance we had been promised is not available. We need the help of smaller trucks as the road in the flood zone is not able to support our large transport truck. What next? We search around to find a tractor with a trailer and a pick up truck that help us by making numerous trips down the final 10 km stretch of washed out road into the camp.
We finally arrive at the camp and I climb onto the roof of the Pinzgauer and began to off load the relief supplies. It is hot work. The sun is beating down on me, and when another man jumps up to help, I don’t even stop to look at him, just keep on passing down the sacks. When we reach the last sack, I look up, and there is the Traditional Authority working right beside me. This is unheard of, for the Chief of Chiefs to be sweating it out on the top of a truck. We embrace, and I realize that this is a powerful God moment…I am welcome.
We climb down amidst the crowds of hungry already singing and dancing. We gather under the shade, and I wipe the sweat and prepare to preach. We preach about the love of Jesus, that he does not forget any of his children and that His gift is far more valuable than anything we could bring.
The next day we move deeper into the flood zone to find those desperate for help. Our team is working more systematically. We stop at a new camp and fan out to find out the truth. People throughout the whole district are desperate for help. We are hearing stories of lying and cheating. There are even places where people have erected false grass huts, in the hope that they might be noticed by one of the NGOs. There is jealousy and envy, capable of destroying and undermining the good that is being done. Are there some who are taking advantage of our generosity? Yes, it appears that there are. But, can we let a few deceivers slow our efforts to get food to those who are truly suffering? No, we cannot!
We visit three more camps, and investigate. We must be wise. We must count tents. We must go inside the tents and be sure that families are living there. We must listen to stories, and verify where possible. We must look at the children, and with our own eyes see if they are healthy or struggling. We find that there are many who continue to suffer in spite of the efforts of various NGOs to provide for their needs. So we continue to find the unreached, the ones who haven’t had nutritious food in almost two months.
Another night under the stars, listening to the dogs barking, and the bugs chirping, a quick meeting with WFP, and then we are on the return road. We stop and visit the camp where we brought food on the previous trip. We are welcomed…we do a short worship service, and proclaim the truth. Jesus is the message of hope we proclaim. Our hope is Jesus Christ!
We really appreciate the prayer you are giving us these days. Every trip into Mozambique is filled with miracles – the Lord is providing in ways we never imagined. We are now preparing for another trip and will be leaving on Sunday afternoon, April 1st. We will be taking in more food but it will be more difficult since the refugee camp we have identified is 20 kms past where our hired 15 ton truck can drive – the roads are just too bad. So, logistically, this trip like former trips will be a challenge.
As our ministry in Mozambique receives a lot of spotlight these days, I should mention a few other wonderful things that are happening as well. There are thousands here in Malawi who are being fed everyday. There are many villages in Malawi along the Shire River that have lost everything because of the floods. We are continuing to help them with food. Earlier last week we transported maize and other foods across the river by leaky canoes to an area that is completely cut off from the world. We praise the Lord for another food container that has arrived in Blantyre from the USA and should be here in Bangula by the weekend.