E-mail Edition - March 27, 2004
MYSTERIOUS SOMETHING DELAYS PUBLICATION OF THE MOZAM' BEACON
It's always a privilege every few-to-several weeks to spend some time on a
Saturday sending out an update via e-mail to our faithful supporters, family
members, friends, and even some people who frankly have no idea who we are.
And last Saturday could have lent itself to such an enterprise had I (Kevin)
not mentioned, in an e-mail to Mindy a few days before, the presence of a
curious little lump in my armpit.
Being that Mindy works in the medical profession, and as such has an
understandably more sensitive concern-ometer, I was advised to make haste to
South Africa and consult a doctor who might be able to identify this new part
of me. So after teaching my Bible Doctrines class last Friday, off I went. By
that afternoon I was in a different country, lying on my back, unable to hide
the fact of my terrible ticklishness from the physician who was poking me
with a gloved hand.
The good news, he said, was that the lump is not located where a lymph node
is, and is probably just a clogged sweat gland. I needn't take any drastic
action, except maybe switching deodorants. Or I could stop using deodorant
altogether (When in Rome...).
That's about the extent of the excitement since the last update in early
February. All else has been normal and gone well. The current group of
students in our Bible training center are good men with thoughtful questions,
and I'm optimistic about their fruitfulness upon completing the program and
heading back to their own areas at the end of this year. I have also been
blessed by the opportunities I've had to preach and travel "out to the bush"
since writing last. God is good.
GLIMPSES OF LIFE IN MOZAMBIQUE
* My good Mozambican friend Ernesto takes care of our yard and does
maintenance on the house, and even on our truck. While he's not officially
one of our students, he's been attending my classes, and he usually goes
along with me when I travel to preach and/or teach.
When I saw him yesterday morning and asked him how he was, he gave me the
kind of typical response about which I've kidded him in the past:
"Everything's fine, nothing bad. I'm feeling weak today and I think I have
malaria." It never fails. No matter how bad the situation, the first phrase
indicates all is well. I half expect to hear someday, "Everything's fine,
nothing bad. I'm bleeding to death."
Since he had come to my class that morning, there was no hope of his going
to the public health clinic that day, as the lines would already be
dreadfully long. So, I took him to an "expensive" private clinic where he was
seen right away. They not only tested him for malaria, but gave him a
complete physical, including a standard test for AIDS.
While he tested positive for malaria, everything else was fine. The
consultation, complete battery of tests, and three prescribed medicines came
to a total of just under ten dollars, expensive indeed for a Mozambican. He
came back to my house and had lunch, then I sent him home so he could rest
(and so he wouldn't infect any of my household mosquitoes). While he should
recover without difficulty, your prayers are welcome.
* If you're weak of stomach, you may want to skip down to the next asterisk.
In late February I visited the area of Quissico (key-SEE-ku), about five
hours away, to preach and hand out Tshwa-language Bibles where the preachers
have none. People came from many different churches in different areas to
attend this gathering.
On Saturday evening, one of the preachers pointed to a black goat tied to a
tree and said that in gratitude for my visit, they were going to butcher it
the next morning for us to eat. And so they did. We had goat and rice for
Sunday morning breakfast and lunch. It was my first time to have such.
I've come to conclude that it must be harder to shave a goat than pluck a
chicken. While I found several black goat hairs in my bowl and pulled them
out, I'm sure I didn't get them all. And when I initially served myself, I
mistakenly chose the liver from the bowl of "goat chunks." I had to break it
up into tiny pieces and eat each one with a heaping spoonful of rice.
Just before sending out this message, I posted pictures (non-goat-related)
of the trip to Quissico on our website (mozambecks.org).
* When I served in Mozambique a few years back, there were no international
ATM's here. I had to go to South Africa and take a bunch of money out of
their ATM's, exchange it in Mozambique for the local currency, and try to
make it last the whole month.
Now there are machines here which can accommodate debit cards of Visa and
Mastercard. My wait in line to use one of these machines averages about a
half hour. More than once I've waited over a half hour, only to see the
machines run out of money before I got there. Still, it's a vast improvement
over what it was only a few years ago.
THANKS FOR MAKING IT THIS FAR
Lord willing, my feet will hit American soil and my lips will hit Mindy's on
May 16 (50 more days!). There are still openings on the calendar for the
month of July if your church or group would like me to come share about the
work here. Just drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks for your continued prayers and support,
Kevin R. Beck