|Loading up the bags of mealies|
“You’re going to Mozambique? You’re crazy. You’ll never make it through there,” one man told Doug at the petrol station in Malamulele as a light rain continued to fall.
But God had a plan for us and some of the villages of Mozambique. Upon our arrival at the desolate mud-filled border post William, Sean and Derrick were able to speak to Mr. Cossa the Chief of Post. The World Food Program which is operated by the United Nations was able to bring in food for the villages, but there were four villages that had not yet been able to get their food: Chetsusweni, Salani, Mbeti and Matsilele.
|Doug showing how high the water level got|
In God’s providence, the mission arrived and offered to bring their big trucks in to deliver the food to these villages. So Doug and I along with the Hixon’s returned to Kruger Park and Punda Maria Camp for the night while William, Sean and Derrick traveled back to Polokwane to get the trucks.
The next morning we loaded the trucks (160-50kg bags of mealies, 22 bags of 50kg of beans and soya) and began our way to Chetsusweni and Salani. It wasn’t very far and the Man truck got stuck. After four tries and two hours, we finally were on the road again. This would be followed by six more times of one our vehicles being stuck. At dusk we arrived at Chetsusweni and quickly unloaded their food and continued in the dark to Salani. We unloaded at Salani and set up our tents to spend the night there.
|Working on getting the Man truck free|
|The Samil was used to pull it out|
|Dusk delivery at Chetsusweni|
|Food delivery at Salani|
|Doug behind the wheel|
The next morning Doug and William went to investigate a big ravine in the road to Matsilele. Doug got to try his hand at driving the Samil truck on the road and through the bush. Upon discussion with the Chief of Post it was decided that some men would make a bridge so that we would be able to cross with no problems. We headed back to the border. Doug lost a skid plate on the Bakkie and Brad got stuck once in the land rover but other than that no other vehicle situations. We spent the night at the border post.
|Chief Cossa giving instruction before the distribution of food|
Mr. Cossa, the chief of post, had men load the trucks for us this time. Mr. Cossa truly cares about the villages and people he oversees. He traveled with us in the Bakkie. Whenever we got stuck or had vehicle issues he was right there helping us. On our last trip back he purchased a goat for us as a thank you for the mission’s help.
|Working on getting the Samil free|
On day four we traveled to Mbeti and Matsilele to deliver the food. Again not far from the border and the Man truck experienced a wheel bearing problem, then Sean got stuck followed by William being stuck. Sean’s accelerator pedal came off but he improvised by replacing it with a vise grip. The vehicles are such a big part of allowing us to do what we do as a mission. William and Sean are two of the best when it comes to their knowledge of the vehicles and driving capabilities. Doug will soon follow in their footsteps as he gleans wisdom from them on trips like this. As we entered Matsilele there was another big hole in the road. We covered it with brush and cleared out some trees to make a way to get through.We left Matsilele and returned to the border. We decided to spend the night at Punda Maria Camp.
|Making a way at Matsilele to cover the hole|
|Vise Grips as an accelerator pedal|
|Food delivery at Matsilele|
When no one else would try or offer to help in getting the food to these villages, Samaria Mission did. We praise God for the opportunity He gave us to be a caring witness to the men and women of Mozambique.