We desire to bring sunshine to Africa....opportunities to allow people to realize their destinies and be released from oppression. We are starting in Mozambique with The Sunshine Nut Company. The majority of proceeds from this company will go to the poorest of farming communities and the neediest of children. Mozambique is ranked among the poorest in economic status but we believe they are among the richest in spirit. Join us in our adventure....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

These kids are hanging in there....and enjoying every minute of it.

J-term Trip- Jan. 9

After a full week of back breaking physical labor in 90+ degree temps with little cloud cover, the Iris Matola-Rio team was more than ready for two days of rest and fun when the weekend came.  The team finished their work on the foundation of the church on Friday by completing the cement floor.  Before leaving the house, we received a phone call that the water at the site was not available - Welcome to Africa!!  So we had to scavenge for large containers of water to fill and haul over with us.  Afterall, cement cannot be made without water! When we arrived at the site, we were informed that 14 wheelbarrows full of sand and an equally daunting amount of stone were to be shoveled and wheeled over to the construction site.  We watched in amazement as the Mozambicans mixed this together with the water into a huge hill of cement.  Again, shovels, wheelbarrows, and muscles were put to the ultimate test when load after load of cement was hauled up a wooden plank and poured out onto the church floor.  At the end of the day, we were just shy of completing the floor when we ran out of materials.  So it looks like next week’s group will get a little taste of cement mixing after all!

On Saturday we met up with the Iris Zimpeto team to enjoy the day.  We had lunch overlooking the Indian Ocean and then went to a craft market. 

Here the kids had an interesting experience of bartering with the vendors and making purchases for friends and family back home.  On Sunday, we brought out team over to meet up with the Zimpeto team.  We worshipped together at church.  Church here begins with a fun time of singing and dancing.  It was great to see the kids get up front and join the children as they danced.  We were all hot and sweaty but had a fantastic time. 

We were also treated to several groups of children who danced and sang for the gathering.  The most touching part of a Zimpeto service is the capulana blessings.  Visitors who are leaving Zimpeto are called to the front to sit.  Children come forward and lay capulanas over them, lay hands on them, and pray for them.  There was not a dry eye in the church. 
The students themselves were so touched and broken by this gesture from the children.  Pastor Jose then preached a powerful teaching from the pulpit.  After closing prayer, the team enjoyed our favorite Zimpeto meal.  We call it “Triple Carbs”- rice, pasta, and potatoes in a chicken broth - Mmm, Mmm! 

After lunch, we gathered under the tree in the visitors’ center.  Each team shared their highlights from the past week.  It was rewarding to hear them share how the events of this trip have impacted them.  The main theme was that they have been blessed more than the people they have come to serve.  After the team meeting, the Zimpeto team took the new team on a tour of the center. 

Later, we all joined the babies who were playing out at the playground.  There was lots of introductions of everyone’s favorites whom the students had come to love during the past week. 

And of course, I had to introduce my beautiful 2 year old Igor to everyone there!  After we pulled everyone away from the babies, we went on to enjoy a Mozambican meal at Bussine’s.  The students have also been learning about what we refer to as “Mozambican time”.  We ordered our food around 2:00 that afternoon, arrived at 5:00, waited at least 30 minutes to get our drinks (which is a long time when you are hot and thirsty) and then waited another 45 minutes after that to get our food (which is a very long time when you are hot, thirsty, and hungry).  The Mozambican people are much more patient than we westerners are.  Yet it was a good cultural lesson too as the students learned firsthand the value Mozambicans place on social engagement with each other.  So there was lots of time for catching up and chatting as we waited.  And the food was worth the wait!  We enjoy chicken, steak, pork, fried potatoes, tomato salad, and shima (similar to dumplings made with corn meal) - all for the price of $150 for all 25 of us- tax and tip included.

As the sun set, we returned to the visitors’ center.  The new Zimpeto team had their orientation meeting to attend, and we had a new team of students to bring out to Matola-Rio.  The adults were having a difficult time making this transition after having spent a week with their students, but the students were bursting out the door to the bus with anticipation of their week ahead.  So we said goodbye, loaded up, and headed back to Matola where the team was very happy to settle into their air conditioned rooms.  Tomorrow, they will discover why they NEED this comfort!  Tomorrow, they will begin their work on the church.

Before I close, I must share with you all what a truly wonderful group of young people DC has sent to us.  DC is very near and dear to our hearts and we love the community of people who attend and work and support DC.  We know firsthand the quality of the DC community.  I was proud of them before they came and am proud to introduce them to our connections here.  The woman who is in charge of hospitality at Iris Zimpeto sees hundreds of groups come and go through their visitors’ center each year.  She shared with me that she has come to love this group and is thoroughly impressed with them.  She even cried during the capulana service at church in the morning as she feels truly sad to see the group leave.  She felt better after I told her that fortunately for her, she had a week ahead with another equally wonderful group awaiting her.  The students have represented DC and their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, with maturity, godliness, love, selfless service, and joy in an exceedingly exemplary manner.  Don and I join our heavenly Father in smiling as we say, “Well done, good and faithful servants!”


  1. Love reading of this. Thanks for the update!

  2. What a wonderful blog post. I just love hearing about what the students are learning and what they are doing. Thank you for sharing so much detail. Blessings to you!!! Love, Cindy Eichling, Amy's mom