Another update from The Outreach Foundation from July.
Dear Friends of Tete Province,
I want to share a brief update on our work in Tete Province. Coronavirus cases seem to be rising in Tete Province after a slow start. Sebber reports that the borders are closed except for large trucks bringing in food and supplies. Our work is on hold until the situation improves and the borders open. Until the coronavirus appeared in Tete Province in late March or early April, we had been very busy. We finished construction that started in 2019 on a church at Amphande and teacher housing at Khanga. Sebber and Carlos led five leadership training seminars and arranged for COVID awareness drama performances. We were given a list of final "punch out " items by the government in January for the new clinic in the village of Madzimaera. We completed the list and were waiting for the grand opening ceremony to be scheduled. Unfortunately, just prior to the border closing, we were given another short list of new items deemed necessary by the government. We have not been able to address these minor items since the lockdown was instituted. As you can imagine, Sebber, Carlos, and the villagers are very frustrated at being so close to an opening but unable to address these final items. Please pray that we will be able to get back to work soon and open this much needed clinic.
On a much more positive note, we have been very successful with our well drilling. The drilling was able to start a little sooner than normal this year, and we were able to drill five wells in Tete Province before the lockdown and border closing. Our driller is a Presbyterian elder who is based in Malawi. Malawi has had a lower reported number of cases than Mozambique, and Malawi has not yet imposed a lockdown. Sebber and the driller were able to work with our Presbyterian partners at the Blantyre Synod CCAP and drill five more wells in Malawi. We are so grateful that Our Lord opened these doors!
Sebber was briefly hospitalized with malaria in June but has recovered and returned home. Her children Adam and Nancy are at home with her in Blantyre, Malawi during these days of COVID-19 and attempting to continue their education with online classes. Amazingly, Adam had been attending college in China before the outbreak. They are having a hard time keeping up with the rolling blackouts that are the norm in Blantyre and with the high cost of securing adequate WiFi. I am happy to report that Carlos and his family are safe and well in Tete Province. Sarah Zulu is back in Blantyre, and Sebber reports that she is also well.
Our trip to Tete Province was called off this year. This is the first time since 2009 that Tom McDow, my wife Elizabeth, and I have not been able to visit Tete Province. We look forward to the day when we can return! Much work was planned for 2020 in Tete Province, and Sebber and Carlos are anxious to be back at work. Please pray that day will come soon!!