Thursday, May 29, 2008


Time moves on and we need to record what has happened. Steve and I and Anastase (the new WR church development director) headed out to the village of Chinhangane about 5 hours from Maputo for three days in mid-May. We joined a group of people from Calvary Church in Grand Rapids who are WR church partners.

Along the way we experienced God's protection as we came within inches of being hit in the truck. We were traveling in a very remote area. Every now and then one sees a mud hut, there are hardly any people and there is no cell phone service. So we were driving along and we saw a pickup with some guys in the back on the other side waiting to come onto the road. He seemed to motion to Anastase (who was driving) to go on by. However, as we got close, he came onto the road and proceeded to drive into our lane and our path! Anastase saw him coming and kept pressing the horn, but the guy just kept on coming. Anastase had to go off the road to miss hitting him. Finally after we passed him within inches he stopped. As I looked back I saw him put his hands together out the window in a gesture of prayer. I think he was trying to say he was sorry.

When we arrived at Chinhangane the first sight we saw was many women knitting. The Calvary women taught them how to knit and they were all making a simple shawl. It was amazing to see. The group and the women from the U.S. went for a walk once and the Chinhangane women took their knitting along and asked them to slow down because they were knitting! The only time I saw them put their work down was when they were listening to a teaching or during a meal. Now the challenge is to make this a self-sustainable project as it is very difficult to get good yarn for a good price in Mozambique and it is not sustainable for Calvary to bring in all the yarn from the U.S. I even tried my hand at knitting for awhile, but decided to revert to what I do better - crochet.

Here's Sybil doing some starter games for youth club.

Several of the men from the U.S. set up a solar electrical system to power the guesthouse that they had built. Here they are along with Steve putting it in place.

The team also did trainings for pastors, children and WR women and taught them to make woven rag placemats on small looms. I'm impressed with the creativity of the teams that come.

One of the tear-jerking moments was a visit we made to a family with a sick baby. He is 2 but outside of a miracle he won't make it to his 3rd birthday. He is very frail and just sits on his mother's lap and whimpers. He was in the hospital for awhile and had an HIV test, but the results have not been released to the parents. The mother was also tested, but she doesn't know the results. I'm afraid this is a common thing, especially with those who are positive.

Chinhangane and many villages like it are in a desperate situation due to the drought. Their crops all failed and what few crops they have been able to irrigate have been destroyed by the elephants. There is a wildlife park across the river, but when the river is down it is easy for them to cross over to find food. In order to have money to eat, the people have been traveling further into the bush to find trees to cut down and make charcoal to sell. In a few years there will be no more trees and their situation will be more desperate.

This past weekend we had an Ancient Paths seminar in Portuguese in the next town. Friday night especially, there was a real spirit of repentance as God showed them the dishonor in their lives. The rest of the seminar there was also a lot of repentance as they saw the consequences and curses attached to immorality. There was one man in our group who sobbed out that he was a prodigal son coming home to the Father. Many burdens were lifted and we may not know all the work God did until eternity.

One man wrote, “I am grateful to God because before the seminar I lived a life of dishonor toward my parents and I felt I was at the bottom of a hole and didn’t know how to get out. But on the first day of ministry I heard the word of God, I opened my heart and God worked in my life. I feel peace and joy and my sins were forgiven and the doors of dishonor were closed. Today I have peace with those who were my enemies. The weight on my soul was lifted.”

Saturday morning we start a process group with a few of the participants for the next 8 weeks. We thought we would do this after we return from the U.S., but they don't want to wait, so others will lead the last sessions. It's exciting to see their hunger and what God is doing.


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