Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Matsilele Outreach

Mark left Mbeti with the Owasso team and his dad and uncle so he could spend a little more time with them before they flew back to the States.  Then Mark returned with the Airline team to Matsilele.  The kids and I stayed in Mozambique for 7 days without him.  We missed him but it went fine.  After the Owasso team left on Wednesday we stayed in Mbeti til Friday with the 4th year students to finish the outreach.  On Friday, we (the set up team ... Alicia, Brit, Luke, Nathan, Brent and Member) packed up camp in Mbeti and moved to Matsilele (8 km away).  I drove our bakkie to Matsilele.  This was the first time I drove in Mozambique.  It wasn't too bad, the roads were dry for the most part just slow moving from all the ruts etc.  Between breaking down camp in Mbeti and setting up some of the camp in Matsilele on that Friday we were on the go for 17 hours.  Needless to say we were all tired.

We worked hard and got camp set up by Saturday afternoon except for a few little things that couldn't be done until Tuesday before the team arrived (bedding, fetching water etc.)  We had a "movie" night in the kitchen tent on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  The first night a few of the kids noticed and came to watch and by Monday night (Luke's birthday) I think there were around 50 kids watching with us.  I told Luke that is the biggest party he has ever had.

Saturday night movie night

Sunday night movie night during our set-up

Monday night movie night during set-up - also Luke's birthday.

We love being in Matsilele.  This was the first village that we went to in 2003 when we first started to come on outreaches with Samaria Mission.  I met a lady named Cassilda that year and we didn't see each other again until 2010 (although we did get to send pictures and a letter to her a few times through the team and her pastor).  She came to see me on Sunday during our set-up and I sat with her and danced with her at church.  We visited when we could with a translator and I practiced the 4 or 5 phrases I know in Shangaan.  One day I sat with her and several other ladies by the tree where they were cooking for the orphans and we taught each other the names for our body parts ... eyes, ears, arms, legs etc. They had just as much trouble with the English as I had with the Shangaan.   It was just great to spend time with her.  I have seen so much growth in her.  I mentioned in the last post that she gave her testimony during the Sunday morning service.  She talked about how the Lord had changed her ...  she used to be an angry person, one who would provoke people just because and now she doesn't do that anymore.  She is also very involved in the church now. 

This was the first picture in 2003 that I was able to take with her.

This was taken a few days later on the same outreach in 2003.  Amazing what the Lord does in our lives.

This was this year before church on Sunday, June 5th

We went out with the team one day to the fields to try to see Cassilda's husband Joe.  We walked for a while and found their field but never saw them.  We came across some other ladies and as we were sharing with them Cassilda walked up.  Afterwards she walked us back to their field so we could visit with her husband but she couldn't find him.  We asked if they would stop by the camp on the way home so we could say hello to him.  She didn't think he would want to.  I was so surprised later that evening when he came with her to church.  To our knowledge he has never gone with her to church.  Please pray for Joe to come to know Jesus!   

Cassilda and I in her field. 

This is Cassilda and Joe at the evening church service.

The team arrived on Tuesday and so did Mark (which made the 3 of us really happy).  They got settled in and began ministries on Wednesday.   Each morning they went on hut to hut or field to field evangelism.  Then at 11 they men, women, and childrens ministries.  The team was very involved in all of the ministries as well as willing to help with anything in and around camp.

It was so great to see all that the Lord is doing in and through the church in Matsilele.  Pastor Robert (also the chief of Matsilele) is very involved in his church and teaching his people God's Word as well as how to serve the Lord.  This year before the team arrived a few ladies came to clean the whole church including the windows and each morning one lady would come to sweep the church for the days ministries.  He also set up one day for a few people from his church to go out on the evangelism with our team so that they could learn how to share the gospel with their village.  This is the first time we have seen a local church participate in this.

This lady spent several hours sweeping the church the day before the team arrived.

Later that afternoon this lady came to clean all the windows.

Rosita (Pastor Robert's wife) and Maria feed the orphans each Wednesday and Saturday. 

Another praise to share ... is that in the past when someone wanted to be baptized they had to wait for the pastor from a church in Maputu who has acted like "the bishop" of these local churches instead of letting the local pastors baptize.  While we were there Pastor Robert took a group to Xicumbane and they had a service there and he got to baptize the people from his congregation.  He said from now on they are going to baptize their own people.  It was a great day.

This was the group that Pastor Robert was able to baptize.  Pastor Robert is the one kneeling in the front.  

Airline BC had many opportunities to be apart of the work God is doing in Matsilele and share the gospel.  There is one in particular I want to share with you.  I want you to read the story from one of the team members, whose name is Chip ...

"Our last day in Matsilele going hut to hut.  Our team left the camp intending to visit huts that were just south of the camp on the main road.  For some reason we never found the particular huts we were looking for.  Instead, Kristy, Kenneth, Derrick and I walked on the main road looking for someone to share with.  Derrick is a walker!!  He believes no distance is to great.  Several times this week his patience has paid off as God has rewarded us with opportunities after long walks.  Today was no exception.  We walked about 2 1/2 miles from the camp and were beginning to wonder if we would see anyone when we came upon a woman standing in an open field.  Earlier in the week we had passed this field to go and get firewood and Jonathon had mentioned that it would really be nice to go out and sit in the field under one of the large trees.  This was exactly what God had planned.  We walked out into the field and Derrick asked for her permission to visit.  We sat together in the field and asked her why she was there and she answered that she did not know.  She told us that she had been "walking in circles" for sometime simply waiting for something that she didn't understand!  We learned that her name was Selina and that she was not a believer.  She felt that there was a God who had created everything but did not understand His relationship to her.  We shared God as our creator and her creator.  We talked about man's fall into sin and God's redemptive plan.  As we shared with Selina there was a change in her countenance, a change in her appearance and it became obvious that the Holy Spirit had surrounded our group and that God was at work in a powerful way.  We knelt in the dirt, in the middle of an open field and Selena surrendered her life to Jesus Christ.  She asked for forgiveness for her sin and prayed to turn and follow only God form that point forward.  When we opened our eyes and looked at her the look on her face was absolute JOY!  At that moment there was no doubt that our entire morning and hers was all part of a divine appointment and preordained by God.  We told her that the angels in heaven were rejoicing over her salvation and that we were rejoicing as well.  We thanked her for sharing with us and her words were, "No, I thank you and God for sending you to me."  She told us that she now understood why she had wondered around in that area and that what seemed to have no purpose actually had great purpose.  Selina is not a member of the village at Matsilele and as we left the field; headed back to Matsilele, she headed south.  But her walk was different.  She left us praising God out loud for His love and mercy.  Selina left us with a memory of God's love and grace that we will never forget."

This is Selina

More pictures from this outreach in Matsilele ...

Sunday Morning Church - they are singing a special song

 He is reading the scripture for the message

This is Brit's friend she met in 2009.  We didn't know her name then and we gave her a nickname of "Shadow"  because everywhere Brit went she was there.  It didn't take Brit 30 minutes when we arrived in Matsilele this year to find her.  We found out her name is Alyanza. 

Brit hanging out with the kids.

This is Meriam and Cassilda

Men's Ministry

 Women's Ministry

Children's Ministry 

Evening Services - Mark preached a sermon on from Ephesians - being transformed from the old man to the new man.

Cassilda went out with one of the teams during hut to hut evangelism.

This is Member.  I am so thankful for all of our translators that are so willing to help me communicate with my friend Cassilda.

We met Daniel in 2003 in Matsilele.  He is in his 50's but he is not mentally.  He always hangs out in camp with us when the mission is there.  This year we spent a whole month with him.   Our first outreach in Mbeti was 8 km away and he was there everyday but one.  (he walked each time)  Then of course when we were arrived in Matsilele he was there waiting and got straight to work helping us unload.  He joins us in camp from morning til night.  He eats all three meals with us and has no problem letting us know throughout the day when he is thirsty.  He learned Luke's name this year and you would hear him say "Luka, Luka" as he is holding up his empty bottle.  Luke and Brit always did a good job making sure he had plenty to eat and drink.  He loved to go to the river and get water and he especially liked to ride in Mark's bakkie.  If we were not moving fast enough he would stand by the bakkie and clap his hands to get the guys to hurry up.  He went out with a team each on hut to hut evangelism and when he is in the lead you better follow close behind or you will be lost.