I was visiting Mtimbe, a settlement of about 40 families on the
shore of Lake Nyasa in Mozambique. The town is many miles from the
nearest road, and residents have no electricity or running water. They
live in thatched huts, and they rely on cassava fields: if the cassava
fails, the family goes hungry. My companions and I had traveled by
one-engine plane and then in a big wooden boat. As we approached the
shore, we saw about 50 local people waiting for us. They were singing a
praise song, clapping and moving with the music. Our hosts pulled our
luggage from the boat, raised it onto their heads and continued to sing
and dance as they made their way up the hill.
We were welcomed by
Rebecca Van Meulen, coordinator of a regional Anglican AIDS effort
called Life Teams, and by Pedro Kumpila, leader of the local team.
Someone asked the people how they'd improved their lives in Mtimbe, and
a resident expressed gratitude for peace.