Visiting Beira, Mozambique... Where to start... What to say... There are so many things to say! I'll start with this, if you plan on visiting Jon and Carla in Mozambique, then keep on planning because it is an amazing experience!
While I was in Beira I grew a lot spiritually and mentally. Who knew God would bring you half way around the world to learn how to forgive and have Agape Love for those who have hurt you? I saw such fervent worship and prayer it was overwhelming, (in a good way). Sometimes during church services all I could do was just stand, watch, and soak it all in.
The cultural experience is pretty awesome. I'm not a very touchy-feely person, but it's culture here to be close to people. And I actually didn't mind it. Being squished in a Chappa was just another day to day happening. Knowing some Portuguese would definitely be beneficial for you to visit, but if you are just learning, (like I am), keep your mind open and be willing to learn. Some of my favorite conversations contained lots of language barriers, but with patience and lots of laughing we could communicate.
If you have a chance to do ministry work, there are many choices. I got to teach English, visit the jail, teach Sunday school, and do Bible studies. I formed friendships that I still keep up with here in Missouri, and I have carried the impact home with me to continue growing.
In a nutshell, it's a growing, challenging, and wonderful experience. I already want to go back, and bring a group of people with me to share my experiences with them. So, again, if you are planning on visiting Beira, it may be something new, different, possibly scary, but the moment I stepped out of the airport, the anxiety was swept away. I was part of God's works, and you can be too, all it takes is a willing heart to say, "I will go."