December 23, 2007

Mama Linda!

PEMBA, MOZAMBIQUE – I knew it would be an exhausting week when, arriving in Pemba straight from the stinking heat of Dar, the kids were upon me before I could get out of the truck and into my mom’s house.

“Mama Linda! Mama Linda! Mama Linda!” they cried into the fading twilight, chasing after our Land Rover as it roared up the hill towards the missionary compound. Just when I thought we’d lost them, a particularly determined pack raced around the corner into full view. “BROTHA BRANDON!” was all I could make out as spindly arms and Portuguese greetings came flying at me from all directions. And so began the week at Arco-Iris Ministries.

It was a welcome change at least. After a solid week of traveling and drinking, I was ready for a spiritually fulfilling Christmas detox on the beaches of northern Mozambique. Despite my awkward lack of evangelism, I was willing to deal with the southern accents, ridiculous heat and wily orphans of the compound to see how faith-based development works (or doesn’t work, like the agnostic variety). Plus, my mom was rumoured to be a chicken farming, latrine building, public health officiating missionary banker nurse who announced months ago that the Biological Son would return for the holidays.

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