Friday, August 20, 2010

Matsilele, Panhame, Nwamavique, Tchale, Mabuzanne, and Xicumba

Matsilele – Christ Baptist Church Youth; Polokwane South Africa
June 23rd – July 30th

This was the youth group from our church here in Polokwane. Since the World Cup was going on in South Africa, they decided to use that as a way to reach the people with the gospel. They held a children’s ministry each day as well as a soccer clinic. They also had the opportunity to go out into the fields on visitation. Each night they held a service where several of the men from the mission as well as two pastors from CBC had opportunities to preach. They also held a soccer tournament on Saturday. There were 3 teams involved: one from CBC, one from Matsilele and one from a neighboring village. They brought a satellite dish in to Mozambique and with permission from the local government they were able to show the games live each day. We showed the first game at 4 and then held the service at 7 and then showed the other game at 8:30. It was a big hit! While we were in Matsilele, Mozambique celebrated its independence day. For the first time the mission was invited to attend and take part in the celebration. Several of the youth sang, danced and even ran in races.

This is the sign on the main road driving through Matsilele.

This is the church building in Matsilele. The first team PaulAnn took to Mozambique in 2003 actually helped build this building.

This is Pastor Robert. He is also the chief of Matsilele. It is very unique that the chief of a village is also the local Pastor of the Baptist Church. He is a Godly leader and does great things for the people in his church and community.

This is Pastor Robert's family.

Brit hanging out with the kids.

Love the smiles on the kids faces.

This is one of the 4:00 games we were able to show. The people in this area of Mozambique have never seen a live game on TV before.

This is my friend Cassilda and her family. This was the first time we were able to meet her husband. We are praying that he will come to know the Lord as his personal Savior.

Brit met this little girl last year when we were in this same village. She is an orphan who is being taken care of by a family that lives next to the church. She followed Brit around last year and Brit named her "Shadow." Brit was happy to see her again this year.

This was one of the afternoon Children's Ministry times. The kids (including Luke) enjoyed painting a "stain glass" cross on a clear plastic plate.

Pastor Robert gave our team some pumpkins/squash. Brit is helping Member carry some back to the truck. Later in the week we baked them in the "oven" ... aka - hole in the ground. They were delicious.

One of the locals working in the field.

Sunday morning church service. They were singing and dancing before the sermon.

Some of the youth from Christ Baptist Church.

This zebra has been hanging out with these donkeys for years. They say that he won't sleep in the pin at night but stays beside it.

This is the CBC team playing against the Matsilele team in the tournament on Saturday.

Mark has the ball!

Doug, youth pastor at CBC, is presenting the winning team with their trophy.

The winners of the soccer tournament ... Matsilele

Luke, Brendan and a little boy walking back to camp after the soccer game.

There is a large population of orphans in this area of Mozambique. In the different villages we go to there are different families who have taken in some of the orphans. Each month Samaria Mission takes food into three villages; Xicumbane, Matsilele, and Ngala, to assist with feeding the orphans. This food is given to the local Pastor and then the church uses it to feed the orphans in their village each Wednesday and Saturday. I loved watching these ladies serve the Lord with smiles on their faces.

Christ Baptist Church team picture including Samaria Mission staff and translators.

After the youth team headed back to the South Africa, we traveled to Panhame with the The Vaughans and Derrick and Sarah headed to Panhame to set up camp for our next team. This meant we drove to Panhame and completely set up camp before the team arrived. The drive was an adventure in itself. Our family had never been to this village and we were in the lead vehicle and Nathan was driving the MAN truck behind us and then William and Sharyn were following him. Derrick and Sarah drove with us. We had our GPS but it was not recognizing where we were. Since Derrick had been there before we relyed on him to tell us to go left or right at the few forks in the road.

The Road to Panhame.

One tree had to be "trimmed" in order for the MAN truck to make it through.

No such thing as straight and smooth roads in

e arrived at another fork in the road and

we weren't too sure which way to go ...

So they got out to take a short walk and decided to drive to the right and that led us to Panhame.


Once there, we worked hard for 3 days but we also had time to relax and enjoy good fellowship. The World Cup was still happening and since we had the satelitte to show the games to this village, we decided to set it up for us and watch the games. It was fun and several of the locals joined us in the kitchen tent to watch.

I love the excitement on the faces as they watch the game.

On Sunday, July 3rd, Mark and I drove to Xicumbane to meet the team and lead the way back to Panhame. We were excited to take our first adventure through the bush on a road we had only traveled one time. We borrowed William's GPS and made it there just fine. The team from Lorraine Baptist Church made road signs and set them out along the road heading back to Panhame.

Panhame – Boksburg BC & Lorraine BC;

Boksburg & Port Elizabeth S.A.

July 3rd – July 10th

Boksburg Baptist Church and Lorraine Baptist Church have combined their teams and this was their third year to minister to the village of Panhame. The focus for this team was men’s, women’s and children’s ministry as well as starting the construction on a wooden structure for a church building. They also cleaned up the tennis court they built at the school on a previous outreach and held a tennis clinic. Since the World Cup was still happening we showed the 8:30 game each night after the service. This year a group from the team also traveled to the next village, Nwamavique, to hold men’s, women’s and children’s ministry. They also showed the Jesus Film there one night.

Morning devotion was a sweet time together as a team.

The guys are measuring for the church. Our camp site was on the church property so the structure was built in the middle of camp.

Luke hanging out with the kids. It only takes a few minutes after we arrive for the kids to learn his name. The rest of the time in the village you hear "Luka, Luka"

Brit and Mark are getting ready to get water to take back to camp. Nathan trained Brit how to properly get water and take care of the equipment. She really enjoyed getting to help with that. Sometime she even got to drive to the river!

During these outreaches this year Sharyn taught me how to make homemade rolls. It was really easy and they tasted SO good each day. Mark got really good at digging the hole for the oven at each village (sometimes he even had to dig a 2nd one because the first one caved in). Nathan and Mark got really good at timing the rolls in the oven and figuring out ways to keep the hair on their arms in place :)

(Hey mom ... YES - I baked! I thought you would be impressed!)

Pedro is the pastor of the church in Panhame.

This is Pedro's family.

This is the Samaria Mission team that was on this outreach.

After this outreach was finished, we headed back home for 4 days. We left Panhame on Saturday late morning and headed for home. Shortly after leaving the village Mark realized that we didn't have ANY brakes on the Land Cruiser. This made for a long and VERY BUMPY trip through Mozambique to the border. (We were a good 4 hours from the border. We did stop in Xicumbane to see the team that was there doing an outreach. The team was busy helping the local church ladies feed the orphans at the time.

We did make it to the border right before 4:00 (when it closes) and we managed to arrive at the Kruger exit gate at 5:25 (they close the gate at 5:30). As soon as we left the gate we pulled over and William was able to look at the Land Cruiser and determined that the leaf spring broke which broke the brake line. William crimped off the brake line and adjusted the other 3 brakes. We made our way home around 10:00 pm.

The four days at home gave us time to do LAUNDRY, repack, Mark and William worked on the brakes and we also prepared for the next team ... which was PaulAnn Baptist (our sending church) & Selma Baptist.

Our family (minus Brit - she got sick and had to stay in Polokwane until Sunday when the team came in) along with Gabriel and Nikki, Sean and Gena, Derrick and Sarah, Nathan, and Aaron were on the set up team for the PaulAnn/Selma Team. We went in 3 days before the team arrived. Sean was in charge of leading all of us across the river. Vehicles to cross included: Sean's Land Rover, Mission Land Cruiser (Mark was driving), Samil which was towing the drilling rig, and the MAN truck. The Samil was loosing power and the trailer got stuck - the guys managed to disconnect the trailer and tow it out. It was a challenge but an adventure for sure. Luke LOVED every minute of it.
Luke was helping to deflate the tires so we could cross the river.

The trailer is stuck.

You can see the sun is setting and we still had to get 2 more vehicles across the river.

After we got all the vehicles across the river, due to the time, we decided to stay at the church in Dumela for the night. The next morning we went back the river and made a new road for the Samil Bus to drive on. We also crossed the river again. We spent a little time stuck in the river but managed to get out and head on to Tchale. Again, Luke had the BEST time - while the guys all worked hard to get the vehicles unstuck.

Church in Dumela that we stayed the night in.

Sean and Mark made a new road for the Samil Bus by riding over the same area a few times.

We got stuck when we were heading back to Dumela so that we could load up head to Tchale. After they got the Land Cruiser unstuck, I decided to ride across the river with Sean so that I could get pictures of Mark.

And we got stuck ... you can see that Luke is not bothered at all about getting to get back in the river and swim!

As you can see our vehicles took on a little water.

Once we arrived in Tchale, we spent the next two and a half days setting up camp.

Tchale & Mabuzanne – PaulAnn BC & Selma BC;
San Angelo, Texas & Dothan, Alabama
July 17th – July 30th

This of course was a special outreach for our family since PaulAnn is our sending church. It was good to spend so many days with them. PaulAnn and Selma combined teams this year and held ministry in both Tchale and Mabuzanne. We enjoyed meeting new friends from Selma. The focus in both villages was men’s, women’s, and children’s ministry as well as hut to hut evangelism and evening services. Both teams were VERY busy each day with all of the different ministries taking place. Sean and Gabriel also used the new drilling rig for the first time. They were unable to complete this well while there but plan on returning in September continue working on it.

Highway is pastor of the Baptist Church in Tchale.

Highway's family

Tchale Baptist Church

Masango is the pastor of the Baptist Church in Mabuzanne.
morning devo

drilling rig

These kids are getting water from the river (they have to dig deep eventually water will start to filter through the sand. If you look at the top of this picture you will see the drilling rig working on a borehole ... otherwise known as a well.)

You can see how deep they had to dig. When I was walking over the hole I didn't even see the girl on the left until I reached the hole.

Brit was able to drive us from the well back to camp. She is becoming a good driver in Mozambique! I haven't even driven in Mozambique yet.
Brit turning off the Land Rover after driving us back from the well. How did our girl get this old?

It was neat to see the Lord working in Luke this outreach. He decided on his own that he would give his testimony and he really wanted to do it during the evening service. We spoke to William to make sure that was an appropriate time for him to speak. He was excited. On Wednesday evening about 15 minutes before the service he came to give me a hug and I prayed with him and asked God to speak through him. About 5 minutes later I was called to the kitchen tent. Luke was crying. He was walking to the service and stubbed his toe on a stump and got a large splinter in his big toe. It was the size of my thumb nail. I pulled it out and he screamed. I loved on him and calmed him down all the while thinking that he probably would not give his testimony. I asked him if he still wanted to give his testimony that night. He said yes. So we walked over to the service. Derrick translated for him (all 8 minutes of it). He did a great job and ended in a prayer.

Luke decided to sing a song at the Sunday morning church service. Joseph was translating the service and asked if there was anyone else who wanted to sing a song. Luke just got up and walked to the front. He motioned for Joseph for come over to him to translate. He told the people that he wanted to sing them a song in English and Shangaan that he learned in 2006. He then told Jospeh he could sit down and he began to sing.

PaulAnn Team

Selma Team

The team helped break down camp and load all of the vehicles. We drove to the river together to ensure that everyone made it across.

Deflating tires to cross the river

All 5 of our vehicles made it across just fine. But ...

This one did not. This vehicle drove up behind us and waited and watched all of our vehicles cross. As soon as our last one made it then he began to cross and got stuck. William went and drug him our using the MAN truck.

Our family was able to go with William and take the team through Kruger. It was a fast drive through the park to get to Mopani Lodge in time for the sunset game drive. It was well worth it to see the lion right beside the road!

The next day we drove back to Polokwane and had dinner with the team at the farm (thanks for cooking Nikki!) We had breakfast the next day with the team at the Golden Pillow and then had to say good-bye.

We then had a day and a half to get laundry done and repack to head back to Mozambique for our last outreach.

Xicumba –First Baptist Church May; May Texas

August 1 – 11th

The team from May, Tx focused on men’s, women’s and children’s ministry, nightly services, hut to hut evangelism as well as well drilling. There were 11 men and 2 women on this team. Mark & Derrick along with one of the team members, Doug, taught the men’s ministry. Three of the team members, Justin, Kelsey & Chris, did a FANTASTIC job teaching the children. Dianne, one of the team members, served in the kitchen and this allowed Sharyn and Alicia to teach the ladies each afternoon as well as cook for the team! Dianne brought with her lots of goodies from Texas. We enjoyed homemade tortillas, refried beans used these for breakfast burritos - yup breakfast burritos in the bush!. She also made bisquits and gravy 2 different mornings. The rest of the men on the team focused on drilling the well and some also preached during the evening service. We are excited to say that the guys were able to drill a well and install the pump in Xicumba. They repaired a well in Maweni. They were also able to drill another well in Dumela. Sean and Gabriel will install the pump in Dumela at a later date.

Romeo is the pastor of the baptist church in Xicumba.

Romeo's family

Dianne was always willing to help with ANYTHING in the kitchen.

Dianne was such a blessing to us in the kitchen and she even gave me and Brit a haircut.

Mark is checking on the fire for the hot shower water.

Nathan and Brit making pancakes for breakfast.

Luke playing at the river with the kids during Children's ministry.

Sharyn made donuts! Man were they good. Especially the white ones in the front - they had a lemon icing!!!

These guys worked hard each day. They showed a lot of patience as they had different obstacles to deal with, including 2 trips into South Africa for parts. (That is the bonus staying in a village 15 minutes from the border.)

Several of us walked down to see the completed well. We saw this lady on the path heading to the place they usually get water. We asked Annah to tell her to try the new well. Mark pumped the water for her. She tasted it and gave us a thumbs up!

While Mark was helping the lady pump I walked over to the area where they were getting their water from and I found this lady busy filling her container. I motioned for her to follow me to the pump and she did. If you look by her right foot you will see a small hole in the ground. At the bottom of the hole is a small amount of water that filters in through the sand. This is what they were drinking. As you can see the cows often visit this small pool of water.

She is trying out the new well.

These are the 2 ladies walking home after fetching water.

Sunday night Braai night! Lots of hungry men (and Kelsey)!

Enjoying our dinner on Braai night.

One thing that was different on this outreach was the fact that there wasn't anyone on the team that going to be involved in the ladies ministry. So Sharyn and I took turns teaching along with Annah (our translator). Before joining Samaria Mission, when we came on the short term outreaches, I would teach at least once during that trip but I preferred to be the "assistant". Since joining Samaria Mission and working in the kitchen with Sharyn, Gena or Nikki on the outreaches feeding anywhere between 25 - 40 people I haven't even attended the ministry times. I will say that this outreach was a stretch for me. I am more comfortable behind the scenes taking care of things. Sharyn and I REALLY enjoyed our time with the ladies. I even hated to see it come to an end. With Dianne working in the kitchen with us it allowed us to have a break to study the day we taught and we even had a small rest after the teaching before dinner prep started. I praise the Lord for the opportunity He gave us to step out of our comfort zone. Here are pictures of the ladies we met with during this outreach.

Emily, Elizabeth, Miriam

Betty, Annah, Cecelia

Miriam, Maria, Fatima

Evelina, Theresa, Sarah

Alicia teaching, Veegee, Sharyn teaching

May Team

This was the last team coming on outreach until September so all of Sean and William's equipment had to be transported back to Polokwane. We started loading some things on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday morning we woke up at 5 am and started breaking down tents and loading the rest. With the help of the team we were able to be completed loaded and through the Mozambique border by 10 am. Sean drove the Samil and Gabriel drove the 7 ton truck and headed straight back to Polokwane. Nathan drove the Nissan and followed us through Kruger. We decided to take a little time and drive the back roads through Kruger and see what what we could see. We did see lots of game and then decided to have a bite to eat at the Punda Maria Camp before heading back to town.

About and hour and a half after leaving Kruger (4:40 pm) we were driving and there was a sudden noise. I wasn't sure what it was so I asked Mark and he just said hang on. I thought maybe we blew a tire on the trailer we were towing. Mark managed to control the Land Cruiser as it pulled across the other lane of traffic and into the shoulder. After about 100 meters we stopped. Nathan had pulled over and he was running over to make sure we were fine. We realized that the back drivers side tire had fallen off (or I should really say flew off). All the lug nuts had sheared off. Nathan said he saw sparks and then the tire fly over the Cruiser and into the bush. The drum had flown the other direction into the bush.

We praise the Lord that everyone is fine. Right before it happened a car passed us and in fact as she looked in her mirror to come back into the lane she saw it happen. There were no other cars coming the other direction as we were pulled across that lane of traffic (this is a busy 2 lane road). Nathan had looked at his gas gauge and slowed down a little. We were only about 5 minutes from a small town that had an auto zone. Nathan and Brit drove into town and bought new lug nuts and as they payed the stored closed. After a lot of hard work and a lot of help from Nathan (he has watched and learned some things hanging around his dad) we were back on the road by 9:30. We could only drive 60k and hour and managed to get home at 12:30 am. Needless to say it was a LONG few hours home. They were able to do a temporary fix and the guys will get busy soon repairing the problem.

Luke was asleep before 7:00. It took well over an hour and a half to knock out the remaining parts of the lug nuts so they could begin to put things back together. It is hard to see but the bottom park of the plate is flat from grinding on the road/shoulder for 100 meters or so.