Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our Journey to Mozambique ... Part 5

Saturday, July 26th ...


We woke up this morning at 7:00 and Sean was playing music through the sound system. Gena is busy cooking bacon and eggs. It smells so good. This morning for devo we listened to another sermon that Sean had downloaded to his computer by John Piper.

If you would like to hear the message you can go to www.desiringgod.org or click on the link below.


"I Will Build My Church" -- From All Peoples
Missions Week
Matthew 16:13-26
October 28, 2001


John Piper shared from Matthew 16:13-26

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. 21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to M; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wished to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Below are some of the notes I took from what John Piper shared. I encourage you to listen to this message. It is powerful.


Jesus says “I will build my church.” It is not ultimately dependent on missionaries, churches or pastors – ultimately dependent on one thing - Jesus' faithfulness and power and commitment to his word. Christ is ultimately crucial – He uses us. If we don’t get on board he leaves us and moves on to someone else. He will get it done! Christ accomplishes it, we speak the we word, He performs it, and He gets the glory!


2) Christ's unwavering commitment to gather his church from all the peoples of the world, not just Westerners or white or red or black or yellow – but all peoples, every shade, every language, every tribe.


Matthew 28:19, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." Matthew 24:14, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations." Romans 15:11 "praise the lord all you gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him." Revelation 5:9, "You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation."


He is the King and He reins over the world and He will plant and build His church. Satan can't stop it, no one and nothing can stop it.


Missions are crucial, missionaries are crucial among the peoples of the world - the gospel won't get their any other way. The gospel must be known, heard and believed in order to be saved.


3) Christ's radical way of winning the nations, namely, by the death of himself and the death of his people. The gates of Hades will not prevail. They will be unlocked from the inside.


Jesus says that He will build His church out of dead people. The gates of Hades will not stop Him from building His church.

Matthew 16:24 says ... Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." Galatians 2:20 says ... "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

The last point John Piper made was ... "Will we join him in dying to the world and living to Christ that we may win peoples in His name?" We must die to our self so that Christ may live.


John Piper said there are 3 types of people, he said you can be a …

1. a "Goer"

2. a "Sender" or

3. "Disobedient"


We encourage you to take the time to listen to John Piper. He has several messages about missions.


After devo we had breakfast and then went out to do hut to hut evangelism. We came to a hut where there were two women and a boy. Their names were Ida, Rosita and Pedro. I began to share the evangecube. For some reason I was nervous and I felt like I wasn’t communicating it well. (I know that it was just the enemy but I was nervous about sharing so I asked Jill to finish. As she was talking 2 men came (Edmund and Pedro) and they began listen as well. As we finished they all prayed to receive Christ.



We walked a little further and we came across a large group of people sitting down taking a break. It looked like they were in the process of building a building or home out of bricks. We recognized several of the men and women. Brad wanted to see if we could talk to the group. A man came over to us and explained that now was not a good time. Later would be better. They said they knew about the ministry times in the afternoon. We felt like they didn’t want us there because they were busy drinking.


We continued walking and we came to a nice area with several huts. We saw an older man sitting in a chair under a tree. We asked if we could visit with him and he said yes. There were two children who stood next to him and listened as we talked. Brad began to ask him some questions and he told us that he was a believer in Jesus Christ. His name is Elias he has 3 wives Lydia, Johanna and Sarah and 8 children. He introduced us to his family and told us that he was very happy to see us. He said that God sent us to see them. He told us that Lydia had lost a baby during delivery 3 weeks ago. He said they had to pull the baby out and she is experiencing pain in her hip and leg. Jill talked to her about the pain of losing a child. She shared with her the love God has for her and the hope she has in Christ. We prayed with them. They were a sweet family.


Elias and one of his wives, Lydia


Elias with his 3 wives and 8 children.


After we left their hut we headed back to camp for lunch and then got ready for afternoon ministries. In Children’s Ministry today we had 125 kids. Chuck and Debbie taught the lesson to the kids. For craft we made crosses. There were so many kids today so they had them sit in 5 rows so we could easily pass out all the pieces to the craft and help them glue it together. Tonight at the service Chuck gave his testimony and Jeff preached.



At the end of children's ministry Kathy taught them a song. They loved it!


Sunday, July 27th ….

This morning after breakfast we got ready for church. There is not a local church in this village. We found a tree to sit under and have church. Several kids came along with several women and a few men. We also had one man (Phillip) who was in Mozambique working on the pipeline join us.



Phillip is the man in the black shirt.


We were excited to see Emilia coming to church. This lady lives by herself and is raising her child. Several years ago she was severely injured in a fall and she is now crippled. She came everyday to bible study. Her smile would light her up her whole face. She was determined to make it to our studies no matter how difficult it was for her to get there.


Emilia walked a long way to get to the church service. When Sharie, Mark and Chuck saw her coming they went to help her.


Our translators sang and also led us in worship. Jill and Isaac gave their testimonies and Sean preached the message. His message was from Matthew 7:13 -23... the Narrow and Wide Gate and A Tree and Its Fruit.


video




Sean warned the people that there is only one way to heaven, only one way to God and it is a narrow way. He talked about how we need to live a Christ like life. We need to demonstrate the truth of God in our lives.


He talked to the people about the ropes they wear and asked them why they wear them. He told them they don’t need a rope or anything other than Jesus Christ. He also talked to them about ancestral worship and how it is dishonoring to God.


This young man with the yellow bag is Osvaldo. We met him last year in Dindiza. He has a desire and a heart to become a Pastor. Please pray for him. Samaria Mission is praying about rather he is the leader for this church in DIndiza & Chilefu.


Sunday is our day off form ministries. After church we rested and played games. During the afternoon we stuffed bags with color pages, crayons and markers as well as candy and a small toy to give away to the kids on Monday afternoon.



Late that afternoon we watched a little of the local soccer game. It is amazing how they several of the play barefoot.



We had a bri (bbq) for dinner. Mark helped Rulof with the fire. We had steak and potatoes with salad. It was yummy. Afterwards we sat by the fire and visited.



Rulof and Mark were happy with the big fire they built for the bri. They used the hot coals to cook the steaks and potatoes.


Ann took this picture with her camera on the night vision mode. We are sitting by the fire outside of our camp. The restrooms are to the right and the showers are to the left. The lights in the background show you where our camp is at.


Instead of the nightly service we showed the Jesus video. We had a large group of people come to watch it.


Check back in a few days for the another update. We would love to know who is reading our blog. You can leave us a comment by clicking on "comment" below. We would love to hear from you. You can also click on "Followers" toward the top on the left. This will allow us to see who is reading our blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Our Journey to Mozambique ... Part 4

If you want to read these entries in the correct order scroll down to Part 1 and work your way up. Also, we would love to know who is following our blog so we added a new feature to the left called "Followers." Click on it and let us know that you are following our journey. We have been back from Africa for one month and honestly this past week has been kind of tough. We know God has great plans for our family and the people in Africa. I am asking for you to pray for us as we continue to walk this road. Pray for protection from the enemy. He does not want us to do anything that will bring Glory to God and he will try anything he can to distract and discourage our family. Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, July 25th ...
Here is a fun story for those who know me and know that I don’t really like critters of ANY kind. Last night before I went to sleep I went to the restroom one last time before “lights out.” (A side note – when it is dark I usually go with Mark or Jill but this time I thought I would run quickly with my lantern.) Well, as I went inside the restroom (which consists of a long drop with a potty seat and a wall built out of wooden poles and a black plastic tarp), I stopped dead in my tracks as I noticed something black and about 6 inches long or so. We have seen several millipedes around camp and at first I thought that was what it was although it was thinner than the millipedes I had seen. I looked around for a stick or something and all I could find was a piece of dead grass. I took it and touched the critter so I could fling it out of the way and as I did it curled up in a spiral. I called out Luke 10:19, which says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Then I took care of my business QUICKLY and RAN back to my tent to get in bed. I told Mark what happened and that I think I just flung a snake. When I told him the way it curled up he said, “Honey, sounds like it was a snake.” Needless to say the next time I went to the restroom and it was dark I did not go by myself!
Our restroom in the bush.

This morning Rulof (a Missionary with Samaria Mission) led our devotion today. He shared out of 2 Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. He talked about enduring hardship – he asked us this question “Is it worth it to find the sheep and bring them to Christ?” We had a great discussion time and prayer time.

After breakfast this morning Mark and I along with Brad and Jill went with Derrik and Rulof to get water at the well. Today is wash day and it takes a lot of water. (2 ladies from the village came to wash some of our clothes.) They have built a rather large garden down by the wells that several people from the village work in.


This is one of 3 wells they have to pump by hand.


Logan and Derrik (one of our translators) are sitting by the new well waiting for our water drum to fill up. This pump was not here last year. It has made a huge difference in getting water for our camp. This well uses diesel and it pumps the water quickly. When we have to pump it by hand it takes hours to fill up the drum.


This is the new community garden by the wells.

When we got back to camp the rest of our team was out doing hut to hut evangelism. Jill and I sat down to rest and read a little bit. After a while a lady whose name is Gloria came by our camp. She attended our ladies Bible studies last year when we were in Dindiza. She said she had been away from the village and she was back and wanted to come say hi to us. She said she was very happy to see us.

Shortly after she left a nice heavy rain came through the village. We quickly closed up tents and moved things into the kitchen tent. We stayed in the kitchen tent and enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate until it stopped raining.

We had three groups still out and they took cover at a hut and some under a tree. One went to a hut where Moses lived. We met this man last year but he never accepted the Lord. At this hut Moses along with his family accepted the Lord!

We had over 103 kids during our afternoon Bible study. Sharie taught today about the creation of Adam and Eve. The kids colored animal masks for their craft.
They had fun coloring them and then wearing them.

Sharie is passing out things to the kids as she helps them with their craft. Look at the key around that child's neck. This was given to this child from the witch doctor as a way to "lock out" whatever is wrong. (cough, sickness etc.) FALSE TEACHING! We are there to teach them that Jesus is what brings them true and everlasting healing and protection!

They wanted to take a picture with their masks on. They love for you to take a picture on your digital camera and then show them what it looks like.

Isn't he cute!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Our Journey to Mozambique ... Part 3

If you are new to our blog you might want to scroll down to Part 1 so you can read about our trip this summer in the order it happened. We thank God for allowing us to join Him in His work in Africa and we pray as you read about our journey to Africa you will see God at work.

Thursday, July 24th ...
Mark did not sleep good last night. He woke up not long after we went to sleep freezing. He had chills. (I have never seen him with chills this bad.) He bundled up. I felt his head and he was burning up. In the morning I took his temp and he was running 100 which for Mark is high - he usually runs 97.6. Jill started him on Augmentin. He stayed in bed a little longer to rest. I prayed that morning for God to heal him and to protect the team from the sickness he was dealing with. I prayed for him to have patience as he recovers. (2 other people in camp were not feeling so great the first few days - we think some had some kind of virus)

This morning for Devotion time Sean decided to hook up his computer to the sound system and play a sermon he had downloaded a while ago from John Piper. It was a sermon I believed John Piper preached in the 80's. It was based from John 10:14 - 16, " I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd."

Here is the link to the Sermon by John Piper. It can be found on www.desiringgod.org. We encourage you to listen to this Sermon.

I Have Other Sheep That Are Not of This Fold
Missions Week
John 10:15-16
November 10, 1985
Read | Listen | Download

John Piper shared 4 ways this message should encourage us to go (missions) ...
1. Christ has a people among those who aren't converted. (Acts 18:9)
2. The other sheep are scattered outside the fold (world). (Revelation 5:9; John 11:52)
3. The Lord committed Himself to bring the sheep. (John 10:16; 17:20)
4. They (sheep) will come.

We talked in our discussion that it is our responsibility to share the gospel and pray. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are responsible to bring them to salvation. Here is Chilifu, Christ has sheep and they will hear his voice and be saved.

After breakfast, we went out on hut to hut evangelism.

The first hut we came to we met a lady named Lina. She is divorced with a young baby. (In the 5 years we have been to Mozambique this is the first person we met that said they were divorced.) Jill was able to share part of her testimony with her and then share the love and hope she can have in Christ. As Jill was explaining that God is always with her even though she can't see Him (like the wind) another gust of wind blew through. It again reminded me of a newness of life, a fresh start we have in Christ.


We walked further down the path and came to another hut where we saw 2 men and 1 women as well as 2 small kids. The women was grinding their grain and the older man greeted us and then wen to wash his hands. The younger man ran to a neighbors hut to get extra chairs. The people here as so hospitable. Brad, Jill, Mark and myself as well as our translator Anna introduced ourselves to them. Brad asked them if they knew who God was. They said they do not know who God is. They new everything is from God but don't know who He is. Brad shared with them using the Evangicube. When Brad got to the part where he talked about a choice these 2 men had the wind picked up again. They got up and came to shake all of our hands thanking us and saying "We accept Jesus!" We said that is great and Brad said well we can lead you in a prayer. They said they are "happy."Brad shared with them what they needed to do know that they are believers in Christ. There names are Zechariah and Ernest.


Before we left we asked if we could take a picture of them with their family. They walked us over to where the lady was sitting with the 2 children. As we started walking the youngest child looked at us and started to cry (loudly) and he ran off from the hut. As he ran he kept looking back at us and would cry some more. The two men started to laugh and the younger man ran to get him so he could meet us. We were able to say hello and give him a sucker. We guess we scared him since we were the first white people he had ever seen.




As we were walking down the road the older man asked us to wait. Brad had left the Evangecube at his hut. Brad asked him if he remembered how to use it and what to say. He talked to him for a little while. He told him he would give it to him if he would use it to share Christ with his friends and family.


The next hut we went to we met a husband, wife and their children. They too had not heard about God and they were very willing to listen. As they listened the man kept asking "Calimonbu" (not spelled right just how it sounds) which means 'thank you". Brad asked them what choice they will make and they both said "I accept Jesus." There names are Luig and Olinda they had twins (a boy and a girl) as well as an older child who was not feeling well.


The older child had some sort of a tumor or not under his arm. His name is George. He was unable to put his arm down. He kept straight out and bent at the elbow. We visited a few more huts and then we went back to his hut and Jill shared the Gospel with him and we prayed with him and asked God to heal his body.



The next hut we went to was a lot further down the path. There was a lady named Rebecca and she had twins infants and another small child. I shared with her using the Evangecube and she prayed to receive Christ. Today as we shared I noticed that the people all BOLDLY said, "I will accept Jesus Christ."

We are so thankful to be apart of what God is doing in Mozambique. He is gathering his sheep.

After lunch we had men's, women's and children's ministries. During the children's ministry we had 89 kids. We also sorted the meds that were donated so we could take them to the hospital in Dindiza (village 15 minutes away - this is where we went last year.)

Mark was feeling better Praise God! He was able to go out in the morning and he preached the message at the service that night. He preached over Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. As well as worshipping idols instead of the ONE true God (Daniel 3). Jayton gave his testimony. There were a few hundred people in attendance. The crowd was noisy tonight. I believe it was warfare. The enemy doesn't wasn't the truth to come out. The enemy doesn't want us to teach the people of Mozambique that idol worship is not right. That there is only ONE true God!



As Mark was preaching I noticed a tall man in a suit that walked among the people and stood next to those that were being disruptive. He had a presence about him. The people seemed to respect his authority. We are not sure who he is.

Thank you for following the journey God has our family on. Check back in a few days for another update of our outreach in Chilefu.