There were only a few women and children watching as the Mercy Air helicopter arrived. The next medical clinic was not until next month, and no one knew why it was here. Curiously, the villagers watched as the pilot, Joel, unloaded two heavy burlap bags from the helicopter. Suddenly it clicked: the helicopter had brought food! The villagers raced forward to help unload bag after bag of rice, beans, and sorghum.
In times of desperation, it can be easiest to revert back to one’s cultural history. This is often the case in the villages of the Zambezi Delta of Mozambique, and when two years of drought and hunger hit the village of Luaue, some families were tempted to abandon their faith in God and call a witch doctor to try to alleviate the situation.
But there was at least one family whose faith would not waiver: Costa and Graça and their four children. Having been a witch doctor herself for many years, Graça knew that resorting to witchcraft could only make the situation worse. In her years as a witch doctor, Graça had eight miscarriages, and it was not until she gave that up and became a Christian, that her first son, Hambir was born. That was eleven years ago, and the family has held strong to their faith in God ever since.
Though some were tempted to call on witch doctors to help, Costa encouraged the people to stand firm in their faith in God. Those families whose gardens produced a crop shared with those that had none, and until now, everyone has had just enough to eat. Even so, Costa explained that what they had left would run out very soon.
Finally, the village saw their prayers and faith answered when the Mercy Air helicopter arrived unexpectedly in their village bringing three thousand kilograms of food from the World Food Program.
In Costa’s words, “I didn’t think this day would come. But today, I can only thank God because our situation has been seen and heard. I did not think this could really happen so I am quite surprised and happy. There are some who’s faith was low, but now we can see that God is taking care of us every step of the way.”