It still seems hard for me to believe that we have actually left Mozambique, the fourth country I have lived in and the second longest place I have ever lived in my life.
I can still remember the last few weeks we had in the States before coming to Mozambique. I was nerve racked! I had no idea what to expect and everyone who was in Mozambique said to expect the worst. Whatever is the worst place you could think of, imagine Mozambique like that. Yikes! That was scary enough! Then as the weeks dwindled to days and the days to hours we finally said our goodbyes and boarded the plane to South Africa. After ten days in South Africa we flew up to Mozambique, home for the next 2 years 7 months and 1 day. I remember that first day in Mozambique, driving along the road from the airport and seeing all the poverty and all the Africans. It was totally different from anything I could have ever imagined. And, it wasn't as bad as I was told to expect or imagine, just very, very different. Our first few weeks in Mozambique I kept remembering that I only have three years to live here and then I'll be back home. But as the months passed Mozambique started feeling more and more like home. And when we finally realized that our months left in Mozambique were dwindling down to weeks and our weeks to days, it became harder and harder to think about leaving. There were some things that I couldn't wait to get away from, but for the most part it was sad just to think about leaving Mozambique.
Our last Sunday in Nampula, we said our goodbyes to the church. After we gave our despadida (A goodbye and thanks for everything) one of the elderly ladies in the church got up to say something. First she asked the whole church to sing a hymn. It was a really sweet hymn! Then this lady said how much she appreciated having us in their church. She said it was really neat to have a white family in the church and how the family of Christ is a family and it doesn't matter what colour they are. Anyways, she talked for a while and it was really sweet. It reminded me of leaving Portugal and our last Sunday at the church there. The church had said something about us, and at the time, with my limited... ok, I'll be truthful, with my extremely limited Portuguese, I had no idea what they said about us, but it sounded really sweet and everyone hugged and kissed us afterwards. So it was really special to be able to understand almost everything this lady said to us.
Sunday evening we went to the missionary fellowship. Dad led that night and afterwards Mr. Cunningham and Kent said some things about us that were really sweet. After they were done talking Mr. Cunningham asked our whole family to come to the front of the church so they could pray for us. Allison, our cousin, asked if they could go up to pray around us and next thing we knew everyone who was there had surrounded us in a circle and started to pray for us. It was SO amazing and sweet! The missionary body in Nampula is so special and I miss everyone so much! It was hard not to cry while everyone was praying for us, especially knowing that we may never see these people again. But one day we will see them again in heaven, and that is comforting :)
As Monday dawned on us, we moved over to the Woodrow's place. They were brave to have all 7 of us over! There were 14 people in the house all the time! It was fun and definitely great to make some last memories with them! But Friday came all to soon, and we hit the road and were out of Nampula. After the long trip down, we arrived in South Africa and we've been here since April 5th.
And now once again the countdown has begun, only this time it isn't for a place that is totally new or different, this time we aren't told to expect the worse, this time we are going to a place that was home over two and a half years ago. Twelve days and we will walk off of a plane and into our home country. I'm sure it will be different though. Things do change in two and a half years. And it will definitely be strange to have everyone speaking English and being able to understand every word that is being said, but I can't wait to see family and friends again. Twelve days and we will.
But dwindling days aren't just spent lying around and counting down the days, hours and seconds. No, these days are packed full of busyness. The Turnbull family is quite the sight to see a few weeks before a flight to another country. Everyone is trying to do last minute things, people are frantically trying to organize their bags so they get everything fit underneath the weight limit and it's always emotional leaving friends especially ones that are like family. So, if you think of it, please be praying as we start into the last 12 days of our life in Africa and for all the packing, last minute details and goodbyes that need to take place. It is so great to know that God is an unchanging God! And that He, who led us to Mozambique, spared Ian's life, and orchestrated everything that has happened in each of our lives, is the same God who was with us when we left the States. Though many things around us change God always remains the same! Alleluia, thank you Lord!