The joy of Christmas ended abruptly yesterday morning when we received news that one of our Oasis colleagues had died Christmas night. I had spent the night with a British couple from Oasis since it was a late night, and they got a phone call early that morning saying that Mesa had died in a taxi on the way to the hospital the night before.
He was a 24-year-old pastor with a wife and a 2-year-old daughter who is a real daddy’s girl. Like many of the guys at Oasis, he constantly smiled, always radiating joy, and clearly loved the Lord. His was the first sermon I heard in Mozambique, and it was far better than the pastor’s that followed. Because he worked for Oasis, he did not have his own church but helped at one. He also taught me about witchcraft in Mozambique and told me how he became a Christian when his mother was healed from an illness at a church through prayer after witchcraft failed to heal her.
On our last day in the office last week he went home early, missing our end-of-year luncheon at Nautico’s beach club because he had a tooth infection. His cheek and jaw were badly swollen, but he still smiled widely when I gave him a little bag of Christmas M&Ms.
Yesterday morning I went with my British friends to sit with the family. How helpless did I feel sitting on a mat on the floor watching Mesa’s wife lie down and quietly cry next to her friend. And how hard was it to listen to the women wail later on when I was sitting outside.
And how hard will it be to attend the funeral tomorrow…