Monday, October 26, 2009

Travels to Gaza and Inhambane

This last week Pastor Abel, Julia, and I traveled north to the provinces of Gaza and Inhambane (about seven hours drive north of Maputo).

We went to encourage and teach new believers in seven different areas in these two provinces.

We met with many precious people to share with them.


Pastor Abel has been visiting these groups once a month to teach them using Chronological Bible Storytelling.


P. Abel would fasten the large picture cards on the side of a house as he taught the Bible.


Along with P. Abel and Julia, I was blessed to be able to teach and share with the different groups.


On our last day in Inhambane, twleve young people from the area of Nyadumbuque wanted to be baptized.


We fit the twelve people into the truck...fifteen with P. Abel, Julia and myself, and we began to make our way through the deep sand to a far off lake. Because we were very far from any villages, there weren't actual "roads."



Two nights before, the right rear tire on my car had been slashed through by a sharp stump of a tree hidden in the weeds. A young man had immediatley rushed out of his round canico house like an angel descending from the heavens to help us change the tire...and this time I knew exaclty what and where the "macaco" was :) (monkey...a.k.a. jack)
I thank God for that lovely young man.



So two days later, there I was driving a truck in deep sand up and down hills weighted down with fifteen people, with stumps, branches, and coconut shells scattered across the ground like an obstacle course before me...many, many, many miles from any possible form of help, and no more spare tire... I began to worry.



Then God said to my heart, "Do you trust Me?"
"Are you doing My will?"
I responded, "Yes."
He said, "Then why do you worry?"
Then He said, "You're taking a car load of My children to be baptized."


I was suddenly overcome by the tremendous privilege of what He was allowing me to do. I had the distinct feeling that I was reaping what I had not sown, that I was entering into the labors of brothers and sisters before me. Both the one who sows and the who reaps will rejoice together. I thank God for the amazing privilege of being a part of His work of love and salvation.



We arrived at the lake!

P. Abel shared about baptism as a symbol for birth into a new kind of life.


Julia and I took turns helping with the baptisms.

What a joy!

Two faithful co-workers :)

The whole group.


We then returned to share communion together.

The group in Nyadumbuque meets in the shade of this building on Sundays mornings.


Julia led the singing.


And they danced in celebration and praise!

Their joy showed in their dancing :)


The celebration attracted some of the other neighborhood kids.

Julia passed out baptism certificates to each person.


A lovely group of new believers in Nyadumbuque, Mozambique.
Would you please pray for them when they come to your mind?
Thank you. Praise God!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Learning about Literacy

A couple of weeks ago I shared about how Fatima has been such a help to me as I try to learn about language and culture here. One day she shared about the situation of many women here who have children at a very young age and are not able to continue studying at school. Because of this, as well as other reasons, many women are not able to read. Fatima said that she would like to learn how to read well (in Portuguese), so I offered to teach her once a week. It has been very good for me to begin learning about literacy training, and I'm very thankful for the opportunity to help my friend Fatima :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Week in Khongolote

This last week I was able to live with Irma Julia out in Khongolote!

I was very thankful for the opportunity to live in this community so that I could begin to build relationships based on love and respect. I was able to learn more about the culture and way of life, to practice the local language, do daily chores...such as cooking, and learn more about the challenges and blessings of life here. I have so much more to understand and I hope to never stop learning...but most of all, with understanding, I hope to love Mozambicans with God's love in Jesus Christ.

~Irma Julia and I standing in front of the church and preschool in Khongolote~

Julia is the leader of the women's group at the church and she also helps out at the preschool.


~Some of the precious kids from the preschool~

I told them that I was going to be preparing their lunch this day...rice, potatoes, carrots, and...chicken!


~Julia (left) and Maria (right) in the kitchen area~

Maria is the main cook for the preschool. I was able to help her prepare to share a verse at the baby dedication we attended, and she helped me prepare the chicken for the kids at the preschool.


~Lunch~


~Irma Julia holding the unfortunate bird~


~Mama Henriquetta and I~

It was such a blessing to begin building relationships with the women who serve at the church. As I got ready to prepare lunch that day, Mama Henriquetta helped me to tie my head scarf to keep my hair out of the way and keep my head warm. The weather this week was quite cool.

~I've eaten many chicken meals, but I've never prepared one from beginning to end...Irma Maria helped me to take the first step by killing the chicken~


~Then I plucked the feathers and cleaned the bird~

~A lovely neighbor of Julia's, Mama Amelia and her grandson, stopped by, and we posed for a rather strange and morbid picture as we grinned whilst holding onto the dead bird~


~Two plucked chickens ready to be cut up and cooked~


~Chickens cooking in the big pot with oil, onions, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and carrots...almost ready~

~And finally the finished product...the blue plate special...a lovely chicken lunch!~

During my time in Khongolote, I was able to go to the local market to buy food to prepare for the week, work with the ladies doing the cooking and cleaning for the preschool children, take part in evening house groups, make home visits with the women's group to sing, pray, and console many families who were suffering from illnesses, receive lots of visitors in Julia's home, go to an early morning prayer meeting, attend a woman's baby dedication ceremony, and observe...listen...learn...and love much :) I thank God for this opportunity.