In July, we received a visit from the Koenig family. Todd, Amy, and their two teenage sons, Andrew and J.L., stayed with us for two weeks to help teach and train and find out more of what Equip Mozambique is all about.
"Last year we prayed about doing a family mission trip and contacted different people we knew [doing mission work] throughout the world...Mozambique, with Jon and Carla, is where we felt God was leading us to spend some time."
During their time here, the Koenig family taught a variety of workshops for members of our partner churches. Amy taught a crochet class, and showed her students how to make yarn out of old t-shirts (which are readily available in the market and very cheap; about $0.25 each). Todd, J.L., and Andrew offered math tutoring in the mornings, and Andrew taught a piano class in the afternoon, while J.L. also helped with programming on the Fonte da Vida app.
"I feel like we are learning so much more about 'helping' people. Equip Mozambique isn't an evangelistic ministry or a relief ministry. They want to disciple followers of Jesus.
For my class, an interpreter was 'hired' to assist me. Helena, 19, an former orphan was hired to come to my classes with me. She was in an orphanage run by a woman who moved back to the United States. Mama Lee happened to be in the country this week and suggested Helena.
She has such an infectious smile! She also knew how to crochet which was a huge help. (I'm pretty much self taught in crochet and just make it up as I go.)
I loved that Helena asked to teach, herself, and not just translate! The culture here is to not share knowledge, so this is a great step.
She was paid for her time with me and she also was given a crochet hook. I gave her a pair of scissors too...Wow! a 19 year old was very excited to be given scissors!"
Helena with one of the crochet A finished project
"Jon sent us an email of things that we could potentially help with, [and] I was very happy to find that piano lessons and math tutoring were on that list. I had some experience working as a tutor... so I was very confident going into that. The piano lessons were a different matter. I have played piano for five years and had a rough idea that I could teach. Teaching does not come naturally to me. I find explaining things in a different way exceedingly difficult, a problem that is only magnified when you are trying to teach in another language through a translator who may not understand what [you are] saying. Thankfully, I was paired with a translator, named Domingos, whom Carla had already taught guitar, so he was already familiar with the terminology I was using and was able to teach me just enough Portuguese that I could help people while he was occupied with something else. The speed with which the piano students learned was extremely encouraging, as was the depth of understanding Domingos acquired, enabling him to teach new arrivals after the first day everything that had already been taught [in the preceding classes] in a matter of minutes."
"The math tutoring was also very encouraging, the first day we had six people walk in the door less than half-an-hour after we started. Punctuality is not an African value, so to have people that quickly was a massive boost to our confidence..."
In addition to math tutoring, J.L. used some of his programming skills to teach the Equip Mozambique staff and help develop version 3.5 of the Fonte da Vida app.
Todd also provided some great ideas during conversations about our future plans and strategies. It was helpful to have him as a sounding board for our thoughts, and, coming as a visitor, he had a fresh perspective and could give different input on some of the things that have become commonplace for us.
Relaxing & programming after a morning at the math tutoring class
"This trip really changed my perspective. It was my first trip to Africa and a 3rd world/majority world country and it was an eye opening experience. I feel like at home I sometimes live in my own little bubble that I don’t want anyone to change or mess with, but in Mozambique you kinda just had to go with the flow. Nothing was ever boring or dull and everyday was something new and different and something that I had never experienced before. It made you trust God more when you knew that your expectations could change at any time."
"One of the big take aways that I am formulating in my brain is that all people are in fact people. They are not a statistic, they are not a side show, they are real people with feelings and desires. I need to constantly be aware of respecting people who are different than me as a real person. I tried really hard to only take pictures of people doing things that I would not mind people taking a picture of me doing and sharing it with their friends. Yes, I was a tourist, but the people of Mozambique where not my 'entertainment'."
"I would encourage every family to do a trip like this together."
That the Koenig family had a safe & productive trip.
That we were given the opportunity to share about the Fonte da Vida app at a recent evangelism event, and that a lot of people were interested, even downloading the app during the event!
That God continues to send new ideas and new partnerships our way.
Health for everyone on the team.
Carla is in her 8th month of pregnancy now, so please pray for a safe delivery in (probably) early September!
Unity among the churches in Beira.
For continued direction and guidance for all of us.
Thanks for reading, please remember us in your prayers!