Prayer at a Sawmill

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When we arrived in Mozambique, we moved into an unfurnished rental house. There are no built-in closets or shelves, and the walls are concrete, so we can’t insert nails from which to hang things, nor can we affix shelves. Here in Africa, most people use wardrobes for closets. Local carpenters build wardrobes and display them for sale on roadsides. They are all typically small and quite expensive because they are made of local hardwood. Instead of shelves, most people use free-standing cabinets, which are also quite expensive. Not wanting to spend much money, we decided to build our own furniture out of cheap coconut lumber.

We went to a well-reputed local sawmill and ordered 32 pieces of coconut lumber cut to the sizes we needed and planed smooth. We were told to come back the next day, and our lumber would be ready for pickup. When we arrived the following morning, we found the lumber cut and neatly stacked, but the saw marks and loose coconut fibers hadn’t been planed off. We sat down to wait for our lumber to be completed. We watched the workmen put the first piece of lumber into the electric planer, but when they turned it on, the machine made a terrible screech and wouldn’t operate. We were told that the town was having an electrical brown-out. The electric company was producing lower-than-normal voltage, so lights operated, powerful machines could not. While we waited for the voltage to come back up, we chatted with the workmen.

A lady came out of the sawmill and joined us in conversation. Her name is Lucia, and she is the owner of the sawmill. When I asked about her family, she said her husband passed away a few years ago, and she has a 19-year-old son with a severe disability. When I asked if it was okay for me to pray for her son, she brought me to her house next to the sawmill and introduced me to a boy with strikingly beautiful eyes. His name is Lucer, and he is unable to walk, talk or take care of himself in any way. Lucia nicknamed him Amizade, which means friendship. She wants everybody to be his friend.

As I spent time with Lucia and Amizade, I had the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus and the home He is making in heaven for everyone who accepts Him into their hearts. I told them that Jesus would give us new bodies that would not have disabilities. I shared more Bible promises before I knelt to pray for them. When I opened my eyes, I saw that Regina, an elderly neighbor, had noticed what we were doing and joined us as we prayed. Amizade is living up to his nickname, bringing us together as friends.

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