We are finally home in Montepuez!
Heavy air traffic followed by rain in New York made us miss our flight Thursday night to Johannesburg out of JFK, though thankfully we were able to get on standby for Friday night's flight. That meant, of course, that we would miss our Saturday morning flight from Joburg to Pemba, which wouldn't fly again until Tuesday, so we spent three nights in Joburg resting and getting over jet lag, which really wasn't so bad. We have never had a good experience flying through JFK, so maybe we should try something else next time...
So we are finally home; we have unpacked, cleaned, dusted, and hung up a bunch of pictures of family and friends from furlough. It has been a very smooth transition compared to our return from our first furlough, and for that we are thankful. Our teammates helped open up our house for cleaning before we got home and prepared a bunch of meals for us; we are so blessed by our team! We are planning a number of visits over the next few weeks to reconnect with our friends in Montepuez and in the surrounding villages with the main goal of listening: to hear recent news and how people are doing. Yesterday we worshipped with the church in Chipembe, and it was like coming home; it was so great to see them all again. The day after we got home a number of women left with my teammate Martha to a womens conference in another province, so we look forward to hearing how that went.
Abby and Ellie did GREAT on the 19-hour flight, which means they slept a LOT. Of course, that also means that they woke up at 2am every night for the next 5 nights, but it seems they have recovered and are sleeping all night again now. They have been pretty good about jumping right in there and greeting people in Makua and Portuguese. Abby's fifth birthday is Wednesday, and she is SO excited, changing her mind at least once a day about what she wants her cake to look like.
Our house is in pretty good shape after being empty for four months, with only one leak in each bathroom, and the improvements the landlord made (without telling us!) aren't bad. =) Our snail-pace dial-up internet connection, however, seems to have given up and bitten the dust, so I am at the lone computer at the telephone company office in town working online, going through emails, copy/pasting, and getting kicked offline with technical problems every thirty minutes or so. We have some equipment coming soon on a container that hopefully will allow us to piggyback off of the internet service of the cotton-processing company here in town; we are all really hoping that will work.
Please join us in praying for the following cares:
-for God's kingdom to come among the Makua-Metto
-for vision as we pray and plan for the next three years
-for the health and unity of our team
-for our own spiritual nourishment
-for Abby and Ellie to learn Portuguese and Makua
We love and miss you all!
Love, Rachel (and Alan, Abby, and Ellie)