The Witch Doctor’s Drums
It may not have been the very first night. I suspect the first night in Maputo we were so exhausted that we didn’t hear a thing after traveling from Chicago to London to Johannesburg, South Africa, to Maputo, Mozambique, with 3 children, 14 tubs, 6 carryons, and countless goodbyes.
But I remember the first night that we heard the drums. We were told that these were the drums of the witchdoctor. As I sat on the porch, and listened to the sound in the distance, it felt as though we had traveled back in time or even to another world–which, in a sense, we had done.
I wondered what the drums meant. What exactly did a witchdoctor do in Maputo, Mozambique in 1996? Were the drums sending a message? Was it about us? Were they beating out,
“Let’s meet to go slaughter the new missionaries at 2am”?
I had no idea, but at the time I was not afraid. It felt like a mysterious adventure, and I felt that God was with us.
Looking back sometimes I wonder at myself. I am not a brave person. I am a shy person afraid of many things. I can only explain going to Mozambique as God’s giving me peace and strength for what I was supposed to do at the time. I know we made many mistakes, but I would not trade the experience for anything.
Maybe I need to take a lesson from my old self. If I could survive moving to Mozambique and living there for 3 years, which was both wonderful and extremely difficult, maybe I can face today’s challenges. I just need to trust. Maybe you can too.