Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas with my Family

It's been great to see my family during this Christmas season!

My mom and I

My dad with my brother, Jeff, and his wife, Amy, with their three boys, Drake, Tyson, and Trey.

Aunt Aimee, with her three awesome nephews -
Drake is the oldest, Tyson follows him, and this was my first time to meet the youngest, Trey. 

On Christmas day little Trey showed off his dunking skills (possibly with a little help from his dad).

Trey, enjoying the net while he's up there.

Tyson, with an amazing backwards slamdunk!
(also possibly with a bit of help from his dad)

We played a game of Twister



 

Drake, in his new Africa t-shirt.


Aunt Aimee sure does love her three wonderful nephews!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Brazil

On my way back to the U.S. from Mozambique I was privileged to visit and share with the National Convention of Missionary Churches in Brazil.   

Pastor Jacó Vieira, the president of the Brazilian Missionary Churches, who had visited Mozambique in October and had invited me to come to Brazil, introduced me to the pastors at the convention.

I spoke with the pastors about the work in Mozambique.  

I showed them what typical clothes look like by using a capulana (the material wrapped around the waist) and a lenco (the material wrapped around the head).

This lovely missionary family, the Routons - Micah and Marla with their daughters Samara and Noelle, took great care of me while I was there.

After the convention week for the pastors, I shared with the youth at the Maringa Central Church the story of how I came to believe in the existence of God, and how He eventually called me to serve Him in Africa. I shared that although God does not want everyone to serve in Africa, He does have the best plan for each of our lives, and I encouraged these precious young people to trust God and surrender their lives and plans to Him.

I was blessed by the visit of dear friends Mario and Renata Gomes with their Grandma and their two boys Rodrigo and Victor, who traveled from another city to visit me while I was there. This Brazilian family lived in the U.S. for 5 years, and was a part of my Brazilian church in Los Angeles. We spent several precious hours together catching up and sharing what God is doing in our lives.   

Lastly, I was privileged to speak at the three Sunday services at the Central Church. Pastor Jaco, behind me in this picture, asked me to start out each service by singing a traditional worship song in the Tsonga language.   

It was encouraging to share with Brazilian brothers and sisters who have hearts to love and serve their Portuguese speaking brothers and sisters in Mozambique!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Some Lasts and Firsts

Lord willing, I'll be back in the U.S. for the next 6 months to visit family, friends, and churches before returning again to Mozambique. 

Here are Some Lasts...
Last trip to Quissico, Inhambane for a discipleship training weekend.

Last evening church service with brothers and sisters in Nyadumbuque, Inhambane

Last discipleship training with Pastor Abel. He will continue them in the new year.

Last Quissico Women's Bible Study.
Mama Vitoria will continue in the new year.

Last prayer meeting with my colleagues in Maputo.


Here are Some Firsts...

The pots and pans here are washed using sand/dirt and water (to scour) and then soap and water to clean. This is the first pot (in this case a tea-pot) that after I cleaned it, when I asked if it needed to be "re-done" by a Mozambican woman (which it usually does), I received the amazing response that it was done, all by myself!  

First coconut that I opened correctly (!) using a machete so that it could be grated on a Mozambican grating stool.

First time my head was fully braided

My first esteira (mat) used mostly for women and children to sit on the ground.

My truck has done a lot of off-road driving in very rural areas to share about God's love in Jesus, encourage, and disciple God's beloved Mozambican people. It has also carried 25 people (at the same time) to be baptized. The truck has had a lot of firsts, but one of the most notable to me was...

The first time a plant grew in my car!

All you need is - lots of dust and dirt, some random seed/s (probably blown in by the wind), no washing, and some rain that leaks a bit down the hood, and voila...a car plant!

And lastly, although this is not in Mozambique and it's very random, this is the first surfing rat I've ever seen! I discovered this picture of "Tofu" (the amazing surfing rat) on the website of a wave photographer.


After a very full couple of weeks preparing to leave, I'll be heading to Brazil to speak at a church convention in Maringá. I would appreciate your prayer for God's Spirit to be upon me as I share.

 Thank you so much!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bible Study in Inhambane City

Together with Lisa and Emily of African Outreach Ministries, we started a weekly women's Bible study in the town of Inhambane 3 months ago. 
We've been learning about who God is by studying women of the Bible. 

And we've been learning how to apply these truths to our lives as women today.

This was my last study with these precious women before I go back to visit family and churches in the U.S. and they surprised me with a special gift of capulanas.

Left to Right Back: Resiana, Nasma, Aimee, Emily, Lisa
Left to Right Front: Filo, Rute

Emily and Lisa will be continuing this Saturday Women's Bible study in the new year.
Please pray for them as they lead, and for all the women to grow in the love and knowledge of Christ.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Consecration Ceremony

This last weekend we had the first consecration service for Mozambican pastors and deacons in the national church, Igreja Evangelica Palavra Viva in Maputo.

The ceremony was held at the first church plant in T-3.

Irmao Raul and I MC'ed the service.

Former missionary to Mozambique, Vaughn Telfer, consecrated 8 men as they knelt with their wives. 

The consecrated pastors and deacons with their wives.


Please pray that these men and women would be servant leaders with hearts after God's own heart.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mozambican High School Students

One of the interesting things that has come out of our monthly church leader trainings in Quissico has been the chance to get to know Mozambican High School students.

The students come with Pastor Abel and I when we go out to the villages to set up and show the Jesus Film.
Here's Arsilio and Gito learning the ropes...and cords.
(at this particular showing, over 500 people came and 100 people came forward to accept Christ afterwards)

The students come with us to church services.

Left to right: Valdez (a great Txitxopi dancer), Arsilio (has beautiful penmanship and wrote the names and dates on the baptism certificates we handed out at this church service),  Gito (shy and a fantastic cook), Chauke (possibly the funniest guy in southern Mozambique :)

These four guys will be graduating when the school year ends in November. 
They came with us to the villages when we gave out the clothes donations from the churches in Maputo.

And they come with us when we do baptisms (this is from this last weekend).

Valdez and Chauque

Arsilio and Gito

It's been a wonderful time building relationships with these young guys as we walk and work together. Would you please remember them in prayers as they graduate and move on to the next step in their lives. 

Thank you! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mozambican and Brazilian Family

Some brothers and sisters that I'm working with in Inhambane, Mozambique... 
Maciene, Inhambane

Ginito from Quissico, Inhambane

Sharing with Gertrudes from Nyadumbuque, Inhambane

Cala, Inhambane

The "Surfin' Monkey Dude" from Cala (check out her shirt :)


I traveled to Maputo this last week to meet with some brothers from Brazil who came to visit Mozambique.

I took them to visit the church in Intaka, Maputo.

Left to Right: 
Micah (American missionary to Brazil), Belarmino (Mozambican pastor), Aimee (American missionary to Mozambique), Jaco (Brazilian pastor)


As we seek ways to partner together for God's work in Mozambique and Brazil, I have been blessed to be invited to visit and speak with Pastor Jaco's church in Brazil this coming December on my way back to the U.S.


If God wills, I will be in the U.S. from January to July 2012.