May, June, and July are the months for citrus fruits in Mozambique. Each morning we start our day with a fresh lemon squeezed into a glass of water. But large, sweet, juicy, easy-to-peel tangerines are our favorite. We love eating plates full of them for breakfast and supper. Our bodies love the vitamin C and antioxidants we get from them.
The outdoor fruit and vegetable market does have tangerines for sale in town, but the ladies there sell them stacked in small piles of four or five for a quarter. Outside of town, where the tangerine trees are ladened with ripe fruit, people sell tangerines for less than two dollars per 5-gallon bucket.
Drivers need to beware when passing orchards or small farms along the highways. Often, children and adults, gesticulating wildly with coconuts or other fruit in their hands, will step onto the road. They have 5-gallon buckets of tangerines, oranges, lemons, coconuts, pumpkins, mangos, passion fruits and more. If you want to buy from them, all you need to do is stop and they will come to your car window. We have become acquainted with many farmers and their families. One time, Edie even joined a lady picking mangos from a tree beside a farmhouse. After we pay for our fruit, we always leave the farmer with an evangelistic book to read. It is our way of casting the gospel seed for a spiritual harvest.
A couple of weeks ago, when a heavy rain was falling, two soaking wet boys ages 10 and 12 were at the side of the road selling tangerines. We stopped and purchased two buckets and left them with two books before they delightedly ran to a coconut-leaf shelter. May the Holy Spirit water those spiritual seeds!