What keeps me going . . .
So normally Leah would write our newsletter, and she has been doing a fantastic job in my opinion, but this month I (Daryl) want to share a few thoughts with you. I’ve been asked a few times over the last couple of months questions like why am I here, what keeps me focused and excited about the work we are doing, how do I deal with all the hard stuff that comes with living and raising a family in Africa. As I have thought about these things, God has drawn my thoughts to a couple of stories that I want to share with you. My hope in sharing these experiences with you is that you may better understand why we are so excited about what God is doing here in Mozambique.
The first story that I want to tell you is about a couple of our employees at the restaurant that we are running while our teammates are on home assignment. Every week I take the same two employees to the nearest city, about an hour and a half away, to shop for groceries for the restaurant. If you know me at all you probably know that I hate shopping more than pretty much anything else in the universe, but I love and cherish this time every week with these two guys. A few weeks ago, we were on our way to the store when we got stopped at a police checkpoint, a frequent experience here. Everything was going fine until she asked for a specific document that we couldn’t find it in the car. At this point she told me it was about a $30 fine and then walked away with all my documents to go speak with her boss. The guys that were with me turned and said they could make this go away very quickly for about $3. In Mozambique, it’s very common just to bribe police officers to make things like this go away but it’s also illegal. I then proceeded to explain why we couldn’t just bribe the police officer, even though she came back and asked for a bribe as well. I told them that as a follower of Jesus we have to be willing to do what is right even if it is going to cost us something. At the time, they were clearly a little shocked that I would rather pay the fine than pay the bribe. When the officer returned, I apologized for not having the document, told her I would get it soon, and told her that I deserved the ticket and would take it. She gave me my documents back and told me to go; after we left something kind of cool happened. When we pulled away they both expressed that this was the first time they had ever seen anything like this happen. This was so strange to them that they then proceeded to tell the story to everyone they saw after that. What was even cooler for me was that they got to see faith in action and really experience what it means to follow Jesus. The prosperity gospel movement is really big in Africa and I hope that we are able to clearly demonstrate by our actions alongside our words that we don’t believe this but we do believe that we serve a great God who can help us through the difficult things we face even if it cost us something personally.