Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mbeti Outreach 2012

First of all, I want to thank Debbie for bringing this update back from Mozambique and posting it for me.  We are still in Mozambique but we wanted to let you know how things were going so far.  

Evening Service at Mbeti

We were part of the set up team for our first outreach this season.  We left Polokwane at 5 am on Thursday, May 31st and arrived to the village of Mbeti around 4:30 pm.  Most of us were going on about 2 – 3 hours of sleep as we were all busy with last minute things the night before.  Seems no matter how hard we try to get things finished early we end up working late.  There were 15 of us on the set up team and we were traveling in our bakkie, the Land Cruiser, the MAN truck and the SAMIL.   Our set up team was our family, William, Gabriel, Hannah, Josh, Kylie, Curline, Seraiah, Julia, Cody, David and Derrick.  We praise the Lord for no major traveling problems.  We did notice that we have a noise coming from one of our wheels but it was not consistent.  (During our time in Mbeti, Mark and William took the wheels off and determined that we have a problem with a bearing for the side shaft.  William will bring the parts in next week when he returns with the Airline team.  For now, it is drivable but we are just not using it other than to go fetch water for now.)  When we were about 30 minutes away from the village we passed a trailer on the side of the road that looked like it had been there awhile I remember looking at it wondering why someone would have left what looked like a drill rig there.  I even thought to myself, that it was so similar to the one Sean designed and that it would be nice to have two.  Mark said that looks like our rig but Derrick looked and said no.  They discussed it for a few more kilometers.  (We were the last of our vehicles traveling)  We drove another 5 minutes or so and then we noticed the SAMIL and the Land Cruiser heading our direction.  At that point we realized that was the missions rig.  Apparently, it came off the back of the SAMIL.  We praise the Lord that David, who was driving the Land Cruiser was far enough back that it didn’t hit him.  David said they saw the trailer there, but there wasn’t too much dust so he thought it was a different trailer and the dust was just from the SAMIL.  I ended up getting in the Land Cruiser while Mark turned around and followed Gabriel back to the rig.  William, Curline and Cody had arrived to Mbeti a few minutes earlier in the MAN truck and they were busy unloading a few things.   We put the kitchen tent up and started putting the sides on when the rest of the crew arrived with the drill rig.     No damage was done to the rig itself in fact it landed like it had just been parked on the side of the road. 

Lost the trailer
Bolts seared off

After we got the kitchen tent set we enjoyed our dinner, which consisted of chicken, potato salad and coleslaw we brought from home.  Then we started pitching the tents we needed for our team that night.  Friday, Gabriel headed back to Polokwane (he only came in to help drive in the big trucks) and we finished setting up camp. 
Our team from Christ Seminary in Polokwane (the Seminary is also a part of Christ Baptist Church) arrived that afternoon along with Doug, Debbie, Darren and Nehemiah. This was a second year to serve with the 4th year students from the Seminary.  We really do enjoy spending time with the students here in Mozambqiue.   Our friend Andrew, who is one of the lecturers, joined the students.  The students that joined us this year were:  Kenosi from Botswana, Gideon from Malawi, Phil from the USA, Karl from South Africa, Aaron born in Mozambique currently lives in South Africa and Sibusiso from South Africa (Zulu).  One thing we love about this outreach is that there are so many different nations represented and we are all here in Mozambique for one purpose … to worship and glorify Our Heavenly Father.   I love all of the different accents and the different languages and the different testimonies of how they became a born again believer but most of all I love that we all serve the same God!  

William talking with the Chief of Posts
A few years ago, Robert, the chief and the pastor in Matsilele, started a church in Mbeti, a neighboring village of Matsilele.   It is a small church body but Robert faithfully goes to Mbeti to disciple and help with the church.  There is a man named Joao (John), who is being disciple by Robert to be the leader of the church.  Please pray for the village of Mbeti specifically that those who know the truth would faithfully stand firm. 
Saturday, was the start of all the different ministries.  Also, William, Doug, Josh and Cody went to Matsilele, a neighboring village, to meet with chief Robert as well as the Chief of Post a few other administrators.  They were all there to discuss Samaria Mission attempting to drill well there as well as start the process. (Samaria Mission has tried a few times to get a well there but we have not been successful).  They decided that they want the well in the village where it is closer for the people instead of down by the river.  They were able to enjoy a nice lunch together prepared by chief Roberts wife, Rosita.  Debbie wanted to drive over to Matsilele to check on the guys so Kylie, Julia and I joined here.  I love Matisele and I was really hoping to see my friend Cassilda.  

We arrived as the guys were having lunch so we joined to ladies who were sitting under another tree.  It was great to see Rosita, Paulina, Maria, and Regina.  Regina took me to Cassilada’s house to see if she was home only to find out she wasn’t.  I was able to practice the little bit of Shangaan I know as we walked there and back to the chiefs house.  The ladies shared kasava (which is like some kind of a root that was cooked like a potato).  Our guys set up the rig and then discovered that the starter was not working.  Long story short … Doug had to drive back to Polokwane on Sunday and he returned to Mozambique on Tuesday.  Wednesday they headed back to the well and worked on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  

Thanking Regina for taking me to Cassilda's house
 Friday, Luke and I went to the well with Mark, William, Doug and Cody.  Within the first hour, I looked up and saw Cassilda!  That made my day!!!  She came to see if I was there.  She had been gone to Mapai when I stopped by the other time.  We spent a few hours together.  I showed her my Shangaan notes and told her all I had learned so far.  She took me to her house and gave me a wrap (skirt) and I was able to greet her husband.  It was just so good to see her and spend time with her.  When we returned to the well, I found out that the cable had snapped (praise the Lord nobody was injured).  Big problem … this meant that we had to use the Land Cruiser winch to pull the 6 rods up from the ground and pack up the well to finish another time.  It was very disappointing since again we tried to put a well at Matsilele and we were unable to finish.  The plan is to return there sometime in August or September and finish it.  

Sunday morning church at Matsilele
Mark talking with kids after church
 The team focused on men’s, women’s and children’s ministry each day as well as hut to hut evangelism and the nightly services.  We were also able to hold a service in Matsilele on Sunday morning as well as Wednesday and Friday nights.  We showed the Jesus film on Friday night in Mbeti.  The teaching during the ministry times were from Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark and The Tower of Babel.  Children’s ministry averaged around 25, men’s ministry averaged around 3 and women’s ministry varied in attendance but and averaged around 15.  Monday and Tuesday, Regina and Maria walked 8 kilometers from Matsilele to attend the bible study.  Monday an older woman came with them as well. She was so sweet, she is a kokwana (grandmother) and she sat beside me and just rubbed my ankle and then held my hand for a while.   Another sweet memory!  She was too sore to return with them on Tuesday.  

Women's ministry under a tree in Mbeti
Regina reading during women's ministry
Regina, Maria and Mahlva from Matsilele

A few highlights from hut to hut …

One of the teams went to the fields and came across a grandmother, mother and child.  They shared the gospel with them.  The grandmother seemed to be intent on listening and was thankful the team came to share with them.  The mother and child did not seem as interested.   The grandmother came to the evening service that same night.  The team was excited to be able to share with 3 generations of one family.  

Another time, they came across a hut that had 7 children sitting around outside.  Two of the boys were around 15.  The team shared with these two boys.  The team went through the gospel and began to ask questions about sin.  As they went through the Ten Commandments the boy said he had never done any of those.  The team began to share that only Jesus was perfect and that God knows what we do even if no one else knows.  The kids had shared that the parents were gone to another village and they were to stay with a sister.  
Setting up camp in Kunguma
The team left Mbeti on Friday morning and we left on Saturday around noon.  We arrived in Kunguma around 3 pm and began to set camp up.  It is now 8 pm and showers are up, toilets are ready, kitchen tent is up and the spaghetti is ready, water was fetched, and the 12 tents for tonight are almost up.  We will finish the rest of the tents tomorrow.  William, Doug, Debbie, Darren and Nehemiah will head back to Polokwane in the morning.  Our next team doesn’t arrive here until a week from Monday.  This is a long “set up” but we are looking forward to it.  Especially the time with have with Member, Josh, Hannah and our 6 outreach missionaries:  Curline, Kylie, Julia, Seraiah, David and Cody.  Thank you for praying for us.  

Getting the kitchen tent ready in Kunguma
 Here are a few pictures for now (more will follow in August) 

Sharing my testimony during women's ministry
Morning Devotions

Derrick and Luke both had birthdays on Wednesday
We were able to bake them a chocolate cake in the bread hole
Mark working on his front wheel
William came to help with the wheel
Children's ministry
The children learning about Noah
One of the children at Matslilele
Women's ministry
Visiting with the ladies of Matsilele