How Safe are You?

Scaffolding used in Mozambique

Scaffolding used in Mozambique

Upon returning to Mozambique after a quick trip to the United States, one thing that really struck me was how different attitudes are concerning safety and security. Here in Mozambique you might see 20 people piled in the back of a pickup truck or small children walking by themselves on a busy road. People regularly walk through construction zones. Scaffolding might be built out of scrap wood several stories high and the builders are often working barefoot and without safety equipment. With so many pedestrians on the road and traffic weaving around pot holes, driving here can be full of near-misses.

In contrast, in the U.S., laws have changed so that older children are required to sit in car seats. I had the chance to play with my nephew who was showing off his big-wheel riding skills; however, before showing me his awesome moves in the driveway, he carefully strapped on his helmet. There are crosswalks, hardhat zones, and safety equipment must meet certain standards before it can be used. Plastic bags and disposable coffee cups come with safety warnings.

Jill Holmes inspecting her wrecked vehicle.

Jill Holmes inspecting her wrecked vehicle.

After having a serious car accident here in Mozambique, I admit that my sense of security was shaken a bit. Coming from a safety conscious culture, I didn’t like the risk it seemed I was taking every time I got in the car. I often tease that my best prayer time comes when I am driving now. And maybe this isn’t too far from the truth. We often rely on God more when we are in situations out of our control. When everything seems safe, we tend to rely on ourselves and forget we need God. It is a good reminder that no matter where we live or how safe life seems or doesn’t seem, God is always in control.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Psalms 20:7

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