Our caretaker, Alberto, and the pastor of the church the team built last year, Pastor Berto, stayed on to spend some more time with the team. They both have the same name, except for their middle names- Alberto Juliao Novela and Alberto Jose Novela. Both men had worked alongside the team while they were here and the team was very fond of them. They left later that night after joining the team for devotions and a time of the team praying for them. Sadly, we received a phone call at 4 am the next morning from Alberto’s sister saying that he was in a motorcycle accident on their way home. A car hit him as they pulled out of a gas station. Don and I shared this with Scott when we went at 5 am to see the team off. He said he would tell the team once they got on the road and they would pray. All we knew at the time was the Alberto was unconscious and we were hoping that he had already taken Pastor Berto home and that he was not involved. We called Pastor Berto’s number hoping that he would pick up, but we got no answer. Don and I arrived at Central Hospital in Maputo at 8am- the time when you are allowed to come. We were met by Alberto’s family. They shared with us that Alberto had regained consciousness but was hurt. My Portuguese is developing slowly, but I immediately recognized the word “morreu” when I heard it. We were shocked to hear them say that Pastor Berto had died. We were devastated. He was such a godly, good man. A true role model for other Mozambican men. He was only 32 years old. We were asked to go with a police officer to give her as much information as we could and we also set about getting in touch with his family. His funeral is this Saturday . I cried in as controlled of a manner as I could for being in such a public setting, surrounded by Mozambicans wondering why a white woman was at this place. I began to remember how he led the church service on Sunday. I sat right up front and remembered smiling as I watched his sheer joy and love for the Lord as he sang, danced, prayed, and taught his congregation from God’s Word. I was overwhelmed with peace as I realized that he has been welcomed home by the God he loves so very much and that he is now living with Him for eternity!
Don was able to go see Alberto in the emergency room that morning, but I had to wait until visiting hours at 4pm. We went with our whole family, including Emily and our newest guest, Matheus (who is working with Don at the factory). Alberto is family to us, and we all had to see him and spend time with him. We were able to go in two by two to talk with him. He was so happy to see us, and we were just as happy to see him. I shared with him that it was Brent’s birthday and that he was Brent’s present. When Brent came in, he sang “Happy Birthday” to Brent. All we know for now is that his left leg is broken. He has lacerations on his face, arms, hands, and body. The back of his head and the right side of his head are terribly swollen. But he is with us, and we praise God for that. We paid for him to be moved to a more private room and to receive better care, but they want to wait until all the test results are in before they move him out of the large ward he was in. As of tonight, they still have not treated his broken leg. Please join us in prayer that he will receive excellent medical care, that no infection will set in, and that he will make a full recovery. He also has not yet been told about Pastor Berto. This will be very difficult for him to receive this news. We will be sure to keep you updated.
So our team went on their way for a safari in Kruger Park in South Africa. They spent the night in the park in tent accommodations. As I write this blog, they are on their plane and most likely about to take off for their long flight home. They will be very missed here in Mozambique by many people. They touched many lives- the children at the center, the people that attend the church we built, the people who live in the Bocaria, the Mozambican workers, and me and my family as well. They came here to make a difference, and they did. I pray that they leave feeling as blessed as we all feel!