Friday, August 29, 2008

Beira Missions Trip

Sunday night, after the introductions, we all headed off to bed. Around 3am it started pouring! It was pretty hard to sleep with so we girls were up and dressed by 4:30am. At 4:45ish Mr. Ed came by our tent and told us it was time to wake up. We headed out into the drizzle up to the dining hall for breakfast. Cereal! Yum! 

After devotions at 6 everyone went to the work site except for the kitchen crew for the day. Gracie, Esther, Sylvia, Karina and me. We stayed behind to help do the left over dishes and to pack everything up for lunch. 

It was still a cold and rainy day, but it was perfect for working in. Nice and cool! 

Mr. Preston and a mozambican made the frames for the windows upstairs. 

And Mr. Jim and some of the boys helped lay the floor.

Gracie filled in holes. 

A few of us helped weave the mats for the floors. The cement goes on top of it. 

Kent helped lay brick with Mr. Greg.

And some of the other helped prepare for the upstairs floor to be poured.

Around 10 in the morning, Mom, Dad, Sarah and the Stolks stopped by. They said that Sarah was too sick to stay in Beira and that they were bringing her home with them. They had stopped by to say goodbye and then they were off to a pharmacy to get some heart medicine for Aunt Hilda that she had left behind. While at the work site though, Aunt Hilda started having attacks of some sort. Mr. Preston drove her to the hospital with Mr. Jim who was an EMT. The hospital wouldn't let them in, or something like that, so they drove around and found a clinic. After a while, and once she got the medicine, she was alright. Were we ever praising the Lord! Once she got out of the clinic they and Mom, Dad and Sarah headed up to some town where the Stolks had some friends. They spent a few nights there and then headed up to Nampula. 

Anyways, around 11:30am the kitchen crew left to go prepare lunch. We used the house that the missionary community uses for their Sunday night fellowship. It was a nice and big house! It didn't take that long to set up for lunch so when we were done we sang. Singing in that room sounded so amazing! It was loads of fun!

After lunch we were back to work. 

Laying the mat for the upstairs floor.

The first (And most fun) cement bucket line! We had a wonderful time passing buckets. We saying, laughed, and passed buckets. :)

The Mozambicans were usually on the scaffolds because they are so strong they can lift them up, but while they weren't there Ian gave a shot at it. 

We also got to mix some of the cement. 

Once back home and showered we were pooped and ready for a good night's sleep! 

Day 2: 

We woke up bright (correction: dark) and early ready for another day of work! 

Getting to scrape off the dried cement off the floor.

Some of the guys laying another floor.

Ms. Emily cutting a brick.

YAY! Way to go Ms. Emily! 

Kent laid brick again. That was his job for the whole week. He did an amazing job!

How the church looked the second day.

We made and mixed cement again. Three wheelbarrows of sand, five wheelbarrows of rock, and two bags of cement.

People on the roof still building walls.

A beautiful sunset to end the day with.

And tacos for dinner! That was a nice ending!

Mmm everyone loves tacos!

Some of the girls after dinner... and Andrew in the background. Even with all the work we could still goof off. ;)

And our favourite: Nutella! Yum! Chocolate spread! We were trying to figure out how to say it. Everyone but the Woodrow's say Nutella all together. The Woodrow's say Nut Ella. Because it was getting to... different... we decided to call it Nutshe. She in Portuguese is Ela. So we dropped the "ella" in Nutella and put "she" instead. :)

The dish line Tuesday night. 

That night after dishes all the youth went outside and sang. It was a beautiful starry night. The heavens did for sure declare the glory of God! And it was wonderful getting to sing praises to Him! 

Wednesday! or Beira Day.  Because of it being the city's holiday lots of Mozambicans from the church came to see how they could help out. And entertained us with some singing. 

Kent, once again, was up on the roof ready to lay brick! Doesn't he look chipper :)

Mr. Dana and Ms. Emily working on a pillar. Good work guys!

How the church looked on the 3rd day.

Look at all they've done! 

This is one of the Massa guys. The would make the mortar and then bring it upstairs. All the while, shouting, "Massa, Massa, Massa!" 

I have a story about a massa guy, so I'll go ahead and share it :)

We were standing in line one day, in fact it may have been that day, passing buckets or bricks upstairs. I was in the staircase when along came the massa guy. He was carrying the massa on top of his head in a long rectangle bucket. I was close to the top of the staircase so I figured that I'd be fine standing there cause he could get pass me. Let's just say I was wrong. He came up, the bucket caught under my chin, he kept walking, I stood on my tiptoes, he went up, I started gagging, I kinda shoved him a lil' and jumped out of the way. He cracked up and I couldn't help but laugh myself. Who would of thought I could be almost choked by a massa bucket? He walked down the stairs still chuckling and we went back to our assembly line. A few minutes later he came up again and immediately I was up and out of the way. He laughed. I laughed. He set the massa up stairs and I went back to work. Let me tell you though, after that experience, whenever I heard the guy crying, "Massa!" I was up and out of the way!

The upstairs floor we had laid the day before.

Some Mozambican ladies practicing their singing for church! A-Mazing!

Laying, fixing, dumping and organizing rubble for the inside of the stage.

Wow! Look at all the progress they've made!

Kent and Thomas ended up being a brick laying team for the rest of the week! You both did a swell job!

The youth practicing their singing. They sounded really, really good!!

Speaking of singing, Gracie taught us the "Peanut Song" If you haven't heard it... well... it's a fun song! 

"Peanut sat on a railroad track
it's heart was all a flutter.
Along came a choo choo train
'Choo Choo'
Peanut Butter!"

Godfree (The one in the middle) was helping out with all the carpentry work. He was from Zimbabwe and happened to pass by the church. He volunteered to help work and did a wonderful job. It was also nice having another English speaker around! 

Here's a picture of the outside of the house where we ate lunch every day.

The walls around the building. Mcel is the main cell phone company here in Mozambique and they advertise on anything and everything. A lot of Mozambique is coloured yellow and blue green.

They were really making good progress with the back wall!

The bathrooms. Squat pots. Or a hole in the ground. (short one was for the guys. the tall stick one was for the girls). Ew! I'm so glad I only had to use it once! 

That night we had youth group. It was nice getting to sing and fellowship after a long day!

Thursday: (i.e.- lets-bring-our-camera-to-the-site-today day) 

The girl's tent after we were all up. Slightly messy...

Damarise and I up way to early.

This is the house where Mr. Dana & Ms. Emily and Mr. Greg & Ms. Karen stayed. Us girls used their bathroom at night and in the morning. It was right behind our tent. 

Damarise and Karina off to work.

The kitchen crew (minus Sylvia who was taking the picture) sleeping.

Until we came up with a novel idea! Why not sing the peanut song to the tune of "Blind Man". We were loud and we made up a long song! And then Mrs. Preston came in and reminded us that people do sleep past 6am! Whoops! We were way to loud! 

Part of the kitchen crew leaving for work.

All the kitchen crew ready for a day of work!

The kitchen coming to work.

The church at the beginning of day four.

From the back.

And the front. The wooden slats were our stairs for the week.

No. The people on the roof cannot see in the bathrooms when you squat! *Phew!*

The floor... waiting to be... a floor! 

Karina was a very hard worker during the week! She would clean the upstairs every morning before the guys started their work. Wether it was picking up rubble, half bricks, or sweeping she was willing and ready to do it! She was very diligent! 

Look at those muscles Thomas has! 

Damarise and Esther waiting for a job.

Helping pass a board downstairs. 

Some of the tools that we used during the week. 

Oh yes and the infamous piles of rock, sand, and more rock. 

Our arms from passing up bricks! Ouch! 

A mini brick line.

Here's a few shots of some of Damarise's neat photographic eye working. 

Grass of all colours.

Wood blocks.


The cement floor.

Leveling out a floor for the cement to be poured.

And smashing the rubble in the stage to make it level.

The staircase. 

Mr. Ed contemplating how to build the next flight of stairs...

A fun job was pulling out nails! 

Oh yah, and taking a break to goof off... or hurt Andrew. 

Esther taking out a nail! Go Esther.

Karina standing by watching.

And about 20 minutes later. Pop came the nail! YAY for Esther!!!

The nail pulling gang.

Everybody up on the roof again. It's really starting to look like a room! 

Kent and Thomas one amazing brick laying team! Great team work guys!

Gracie and Sylvia waiting for a job.

All the girls watching people work on the roof.

Ms. Emily filling in holes.

Aw a heart in the dust.

And a heart in the sawdust.

It's 9:26am! Three hours till lunch! 

Gracie was tired so we were giving her a hug.

Elijah and Andrew waiting around for a job.

"Say Cheese!" Ian, me and Sylvia .

Showing off our Mozambican hats. 

Shoveling rubble!!

The hard workers!

And them working.

work gloves.

Aw. I like this one of Karina! She was taking a break from the shoveling.

We were inside still leveling the floor... and while we were at it taking a feet picture! 

Our electric guitars! Fun!

Or maybe they're just shovels... :(

Elijah picking up Andrew! Woah! Be careful guys! 

Haha! I just had to post this. This bag floated around every day and every day someone said something about it! Haha. 

Andrew and Gracie! Such happy siblings! 

Esther doesn't know if she likes varnishing... I'm guessing she doesn't.

The trowels. Such handy tools! 

Playing hand games! Very entertaining and loads of fun! 

Damarise, Esther and I. Friends forever! 

And Gracie and Esther are sad that it's almost time to go. :(

Ice cream! A special treat! Thank you Ms. Penny! 

Mr. Jim doing the floor.

Gracie's shoe. 

The faces of some of the youth who were working.








And last but not least: 


Mr. Preston counting out money. 

I like this picture. :)

Gracie and Ian hanging out on the sand pile.

Andrew and Ian's tunnel that they had dug. Can you see them at the end?

Digging, wheelbarrowing, and watching. 

Varnishing. They were amazing varnishers! 

The varnish.

Way to go Karina getting  in every nook and cranny! 

Andrew helped for a wee bit. 

Good job Damarise! 

Karina's feet almost on tip toes in order to reach the top. 

The cement in a wheelbarrow waiting to be poured for the floor. 

Sylvia and Esther with some very goofy faces!

Esther told us to do a monkey face. A what?!

And back to normal. A cute one of Sylvia and Esther!

Sylvia, Esther and me. 

Cute face Esther! 

Esther's purity ring. So pretty!

Sylvia and Gracie giving varnishing a try.

Oh yes, then we found some broken glasses in the grass and just had to try them on. 

Ian helping varnish. 

Kent and Thomas hard at work. They were a very diligent and persevering team! 

Gracie and Esther playing the hand game. 

Aw Gracie, Esther and Sylvia. What great friends!

"It's your fault!" "Naw aw! It's yours!"

Feet picture! 

Let's do the hand game again! 

The staircase girls! Karina, Gracie, Sylvia and Esther.

Cute!!! Andrew, Gracie, Sylvia, Esther and Elijah.

Doing dishes is fun! 

Reading the Australian's Readers Digest. Haha! We found an article in there about Mac users being arrogant snobs?! Say what? hmmm... I think I might have to disagree. (Hehe)


Everyday Damarise's cellphone alarm would go off at 4:45am. It was so quiet though that no one could hear it so Damarise would say, "It's 4:45!" Everyone would groan, lay in bed, and wait until Mr. Ed came by to say good morning. Once he came by we would get up, get dressed and get ready for the day. 

Friday morning was different. Damarise's voice rang through the tent, "It's 4:45!" Everyone groaned and then Esther's voice was heard, "I'm sick." Oh no! Not Esther! Not now! She was running a fever and felt achey and sick! Poor girl! At breakfast we found out Elijah too was sick with the stomach ache. Damarise decided she would stay behind to take care of them while the rest of us went to work. 

Here's how the second story looked on Friday.

Mr. Jim laying the last square of floor.

He also made a cross. It reminds me of "At the Old Rugged Cross."

Ms. Emily cleaning out some tool in the wash buckets. The buckets had about 6 inches of sand, dust, cement, and mud down at the bottom. Ew! 

The front view of the church on Friday.

Ah, the notorious see saw. This see saw is at the place where we eat lunch. One day after lunch Mr. Dana laid down on the see saw to rest. Well, I guess he wasn't resting on it evenly and next thing we knew he had done a back flip off the see saw. But not without a scrape all the way down his back the size of this handle! Ouch! It looked so painful! 

The lil' mozambican boys outside the place where we eat lunch.

Andrew was helping Mr. Ed with the stairs. 

A cute girl that was outside the church for a while. She was so sweet!

Some of us girls watching the building.

Saturday morning. Almost everyone had diarrhea! Mrs. Preston was prepared though. She gave them all something to stop it and it did just that. At 3:30am most the adults and Kent and Andrew went to get the top floor ready for a roof.

The rest of us joined them at the normal time. 6:15am.

The building permit. It looks so quaint.

Aw! Cute! 

Ms. Emily asked this lady how to wear a capulana. The lady whipped hers off and showed Ms. Emily.

Ta da! 

The bags of cement.

The back entry. 

The second flight of stairs.

The walls of the second story are finished! Yeah!

Getting ready to pray. 

The view from upstairs. 

A cool picture of charcoal.

The boys minus Kent. Cute picture!

The pliers. 

Karina filling in holes.

Thomas getting water from the well.

The rest of us getting carrying buckets of water.

Getting ready for a cement line. 

Oh wait, pause for a picture...

The Mamas getting ready to cook.

Wow! Looks at Damarise's muscles! 

The ice cream men! 

Yum! We love ice cream! 

Andrew carrying boards for the rafters.

cute cute! 

Damarise and I were keeping Esther company in the car. She still wasn't feeling 100%

Karina and Sylvia stopped by to say hi to us in the car and while they were there they decided to snap a pic. :)

Ms. Karen and Mrs. Preston resting. 

Esther reading comics. 

Helping get wood out of the shed. 

Kent after a long morning's work. 

And Karina ready to sleep. 

We were hanging out on the pews outside chit chatting.

This is so cool! All the boys have different colour hair. 

Some of us were just too tired! 

Ok! Most of us were to tired! So we all took a nap. 

Lunch time! Mmm. Nutella and egg salad. 

They look ready to eat. 

I love this picture! They look deep in thought! *Thanks Gracie for taking it!* 

We love lunch time! 


Taking a break from the work to... smile! :)

Aw! Cute! What beautiful girls! 

Ms. Karen and Karina screwing holes in a block of wood. 

The people from the church making stairs. 

Sylvia hammering. She hammered so hard she created sparks! Woah! 

I love this comic! 

Gracie reading comics. 

Damarise and Gracie making funny faces. 

And some of the many faces of Andrew:


Hmmm... is there a name for this face?

Uh. Haha. Napoleon Dynamite. 

Andrew and Damarise ... Andrew has a better face on ;)

Mr. Jim helping get ready for the roof to go on. 

Sergio washing the cars. He always wanted to do something and when there was nothing for him to do he would wash the cars. 

There was absolutely nothing to do. So we sat around talking, playing card games and reading comics.

I like this picture too! The three youngest ones there reading comics together. 

Yeah! We got a job! Sweeping! a.k.a Dust galore! 

A picture of the mamas making food. Yumm! 

Putting up the rafters! Yeah!

The youth! What an awesome group we have! 

Oh and our muscle pic! We all gained a lot of muscle during the week. In fact, Mr. Jim, Sylvia and Andrew counted it all up and they figured out that each one of us lifted over three tons during the week! Woah!

We got another job. Putting silver skirts on screws. 

Fun fun!

Still putting on the rafters! 

The sun went down and they were still putting them up. 

All of us youth minus Kent jammed into the Pajero and played the Village of the Green Glass Doors. Fun!

Night time! And the rafters were almost done going up. 

Back home we enjoyed another tasty meal! It was always so cool how we would all squish together at one table. I love our group! 

We had cake and ice cream for Elijah and Mr. Dana's birthday. Mr. Dana's face says it all. It was good! 

The Preston's house. Also the place where we girls took our showers every night. Hot water! Yes! The poor boys took their showers in the guy's shower house. They only had cold water! And cold water on a cold night! Wow! Cold! 

Mrs. Preston started packing up the kitchen Saturday night. She went fast! She had everything organized and ready to go in no time! 


We went to church. This is what the finished church building looked like. They couldn't put on the roof, but Lord willing, the people in the church can put it up. 

The inside of the church! Beautiful! Some of the ladies in the church decorated it the night before. 

The front entrance. 

They had a march from their old church to the new one. 

Some of the food cooking for lunch after church. 

The goat! eww...

We were practicing our songs before church.

Here's the side entrance into the church. We had to wait for the Governor to come cut the ribbon. 

I love this picture of this lil' girl waiting for the ribbon to be cut. 

Here's some more kids waiting. 

And all of us youth waiting...

And more people waiting.. ;)

The albino kid was adorable! And sung amazingly! 

Finally the ribbon is cut! We can go in! 

They sat all of us volunteers in the front.

Godfree's daughter, Michelle! How cute! 

The service was long (9am-2:45pm... and for the people who had went with the march from one church to the next they started at 7:30am and went till 2:45pm! Talk about a long morning!) 

They had asked us youth to sing for the church while we were there. We sang "I Will Call Upon the Lord" for our walk up song and "You are Holy (Prince of Peace)" and "Amazing Grace" (A different way). It was fun, although we were so spread out that we couldn't really hear each other singing. Haha, oh well. 

Towards the end of the service they called up the Prestons to thank them for all they have done. (They had been working on the church for five weeks!) They gave Mrs. Preston a capulana, spoon, and bandana and Mr. Preston a cane. Then they lifted them up on a chair and did a lil' dance. Haha, it was so much fun to watch! 

All the Mamas had their capulanas wrapped around them and then when they got to the front they would take them off and put them on the Prestons. ... Then they called us up. They put bandanas and capulanas around us and danced. It was so much fun! 

After the dance and most everyone (including a few guys) got capulanas we stood in a line and they told us all thank you again. 

Finally the service was over! We got in line for the food, but never got to eat most of it. We did get some of the bread and fries, but we weren't sure about the salad and meat.

Us girls (minus Damarise) waiting in line. 

Haha! Oh yes, Mr. Jim also got a capulana. One lady had wrapped it around him and then he took it off again (cause really what guy would want to walk around in a capulana!) Well, when the service was over and we were waiting in line for the food another lady came up to Mr. Jim, took his capulana off his shoulders and wrapped it around him again! Haha, poor guy! 

The finished 2nd flight of stairs! Yeah!

All of us girls after church drinking sodas. 

Then Damarise and Esther were starving and decided they would go find some food to eat. They came back bearing bread, cake, and lil' donut type things. 

They were happy with their find! 

Gracie's happy with the food too :D 

Aw! It was so sweet to watch Kent with the lil' kids! The kids were adorable! They kept trying play the guitar. 

Then Kent played some music with some of the other guys in the church.

The albino kid borrowed Kent's guitar and played a song and sang! He did both really well... ok.. wait I never heard him play the guitar but he sang amazingly! 

We decided to get pictures with everyone...

Us girls with Ms. Karen. She was a blast to hang out with! 

Mr. Dana and Ms. Emily. 

Mr. Jim. He was always making us laugh! 

Ms. Penny (Mrs. Preston's sister) she was fun! (We drove back home to Nampula with her) 

Leaving the church for the last time.

Mr. Dana and Ms. Emily with Godfree and his wife. 

And Michelle! Aw! She was too cute! 

Damarise, Esther and I on the way back to the camp. 

Silly faces! 

This is the old church. They were renting a room out of this building to hold their church services in. 

Once home we packed everything up and got ready to take the tents down. 

Wow! We had all that in our tent?

Haha! Mr. Jim was trying to deflate his air mattress, but all it had was an eensy weeny hole. He sat on it for a while until finally most of the air was out. Then he sat up looked down the air mattress and found a hole... a big hole with a cap on it. The one to let all the air out! Haha, poor guy! Oh well, at least he got a few minute of relaxation. 

Karina swept out the tent, and did a great job of it! 

The boys took down their tent. They did a good job of cleaning their tent too. 

The youth group! Aw cute! 

Goofy faces! 

All the girls :)

Oh yes a glimpse of the bathroom we girls used every morning and night. The toilet seat kept falling off and there was only a curtain for the door! 

Mr. Dana and Ms. Emily! Aw! What a cute couple! 

Us girls (minus Karina) with Ms. Emily.

After we packed up our tents and all we headed out to a nice restaurant by the beach. (Thank you Ms. Penny and Mr. Ed for paying for it.) 

When we got there Mr. Dana found this car in the parking lot. The license plate had Ms. Emily's name written all over it! 

Then came the deciding... what to order... what to order..

It was cold! Freezing cold! Esther (the smart one!) brought a capulana with her! She was our hero! We wrapped it around all four of us! Aw! Toasty warm! 

Aw! Some people walking along the beach had these adorable dogs. Gracie just had to pet them! Aw! 

I like this one of Esther out on the beach... the wind was.... windy ;)

This is cool! Some of the guys jumping up up and away! 

Aw! The LePoidevin siblings! What a great family!

Sister picture! Sylvia and Karina are so cute! 

Haha, and then there's Gracie and I... haha... we were just too happy. 

Haha we tried to do a pyramid type thing but then it fell... 

Take two we nailed it! 

Gracie and Esther swinging in circles on the beach. 

We got called back in to wait for our food that would be coming any minute...

Mr. Dana and someone else ordered this seafood platter. It had so much seafood on it! A huge variety! And the amazing thing... it cost $4.00! Four American Dollars!!! Woah! 

All of us kids except Kent, Karina and Gracie ordered pizza. Most everyone ordered meat pizza. Elijah and Thomas ordered 0live pizza and Sylvia ordered chili pizza. She likes spice but I don't think she liked that much spice. 

Alright, here's the story of the chili pizza. 

Everyone sat around the table waiting for their food to come. Thomas' and Elijah's pizza came first, then everyone else's food trickled in, but not Sylvia's. She sat there waiting patiently and finally her patience paid off. In came her pizza covered in chili peppers. She was hungry so she took a bite fast. "Woah!" she said! The pizza was spicy. Esther and I decided to try it! Oh my! I have never in my whole life had something so spicy and all I took of it was a bite one lil' measly bite! My mouth was burning. My lips were singed. My throat felt like it was laying on top of coals. Esther was turning red and crying. I was too. "Water!" we called. We needed water. But to our dismay there was no water on the table. What?! No water! The waiter had just come by and was on his way to bring us more water. Esther grabbed Damarise's coke and drank. No relief. Our mouths were burning. Ms. Emily and Mr. Dana also tried the pizza. Too hot for Mr. Dana, but Ms. Emily finished off the piece, with a burning mouth and tearful eyes! Elijah stuffed his mouth with the chilis and burned up too. And then he came. The waiter bearing great gifts of water. Two 1 liter bottles. Those bottles of water were gone in no time. Everyone filled their glasses to the brim and drank them down so fast you would never have guessed we had poured water in the glasses. And finally after 10 minutes full relief came. Our mouths were back to normal. We laughed and laughed. No more spicy things for me please! 

That night was our last night together as a group, so we snapped a picture. 

The week was amazing. It was wonderful getting to work along side all these wonderful people and to help the Mozambicans build something that, Lord willing, will help spread God's Word to many other Mozambicans. It was a week I will never forget and I am so thankful to God that I got to go be a part of it! 

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