April 17, 2011

It makes a difference to simply be friendly...

I had amazing God-encounters with people on the 'shappa' (local Mozambican bus) on my way to Sunday church. My favorite one is when I met Marrarrah at the bus stop on the first Sunday. He was drunk as a skunk and making us all laugh, though the pity was masked. On one of his less drunk days we got to know each other a bit sharing about our lives. The next Sunday I asked him, "Marrarrah, how come you drink so much?" Thoughtfully he replied, "My Dad drank a lot and he was crazy, and so I have the same problems as he--I can't help it."

"Marrarrah, I know who can help you." and I went on to tell him about a man in northern Mozambique who asked for help to get free of his alcoholism. "Just ask Jesus and you can also get free of the drinking and the craziness. God loves you so much!"

He didn't approach me the next few weeks and then I motioned him over to me to give him a gift. I had a picture of Jesus that said, "Jesus I trust in you" and encouraged him to trust in God to help him.

The last week I was there, Marrarrah immediately came up to me when he saw me. He looked so different--peaceful, happy and he said, "Katie, I've left drinking and I even went to church today. I feel really good." If it was culturally appropriate, I would have given him a huge hug right then and there. That is a miracle in a place where an estimated 85% of the men have drinking problems.

If my whole time in Mozambique was for that one man, it was so worth it. I know he will never be the same. Maybe there is a neighbor in need of your love today. Reach out--you can make a difference too. It's easier than you think!