Monday, July 30, 2012

Airline Baptist Church Outreach to Kunguma, Mozambique

Our family along with Member, Josh, Hannah and our 6 OMs (Curline, Julia, Seraiah, Kylie, David and Cody ) had 7 days in Kunguma for our “down time” while waiting on the team from Airline Baptist Church.   We were with this team last year and really looking forward to our time with them again!  We worked hard to get camp set up and then just enjoyed a break, well a little break.  Even though it was down time, we still had daily chores in order to live each day in camp.  Still needed firewood for showers and campfires, water for drinking, washing, cooking and showering and meals still needed to be prepared.  One nice thing about being a part of the set-up team is that we get a few extra special things like cold coke, homemade donuts, new fun desserts (thanks to Seraiah and Kylie) and more.  We enjoyed time by the camp fire, especially the night we roasted marshmallows with some of the village kids.  We all loved getting to sleep in past 6:30 am for a few days.  The one thing we didn’t like is the fact that Mark and I battled a runny tummy most of the week.  After a while that can get old! 

Julia, Curline and Member got to spend time during our down time teaching at the school in Kunguma.  They all enjoyed it.  One thing that I noticed is that school is required but yet there is no one that enforces rather they show up or not.  One morning Mark and I went to watch them teach English and only 2 students showed up.  We did notice that in the afternoon when the younger kids attend class there seems to be more involvement.  

During our down time, Mark and I also sat down with Member and Virgilio, the church leader in Kunguma.  It was nice to get to know him.  He has been married to his wife, Betty for 34 years and they have 5 children.  He is from the northern part of Mozambique and from the Nyanza tribe.  He learned Shangaan in 1974 when he was a soldier for nine years.  He accepted Christ as his savior in 1984 while living in Chicualacuala during a hut to hut visitation from a Mozambique pastor from the Assemblies of God Church.  After leaving Chicualacuala he moved to Kunguma.  There was not a church there so he would sometimes go to the Zion Church but most of the time he would stay home.  Then he told us that he was happy when Pastor William brought a team to Kunguma in 2005 and planted a church there.   He says there are now 11 members in the church in Kunguma and that he feels a calling and a joy being the pastor.    

Towards the end of set up we were feeling better and really looking forward to the team arriving.  This was a smaller team so they traveled to Mozambique in the China Bus.  This bus does not have 4 X 4 so it can’t cross the river so William was going to park the bus at Pastor John’s house in Mbuzi and Mark was supposed to drive the MAN truck to Pastor John’s house to fetch the team on Monday the 18th.  This was Mark’s first time to drive the MAN truck and Brit and I decided to go with him.  We were supposed to be at Mbuzi by noon to meet the team so we left Kunguma a few minutes after 10am.  We were making pretty good time until we came to the one and only hill along the way.  We had been told it is really steep and not in good shape.  Mark got almost half-way up and the truck would not go any further, in fact the back wheels were just digging in.  Brit and I went up top to watch him and pray the Lord would give him wisdom to know what to do because we had to get over the hill.  After several tries he put the diff lock on and he made it up (Mark was told with our personal bakkie that the diff lock only needed to be used in sand so he didn’t think he would need it on the rocks).  We praised the Lord for allowing Mark to get the truck up and down the hill safely.    At this point it was 11:30 and we still had to get to the river and cross to Mbuzi.  We knew we would be a few minutes late but that would be fine.  Right as we get to the edge of the river we lost power in the truck and it stopped.  Mark could not get it to start again.  We sat there for about 30 minutes or so and then Mark decided that he better walk to Mbuzi and let William know something is wrong with the truck.  Mark left and Brit and I sat in the truck.  She watched a movie on her ipod and I read.  Of course, we were the entertainment for several kids who came by.  They would just sit and watch us for a long time.  Two hours later Mark returned, that’s when I knew something must have delayed the team since he was walking back by himself.  Basically, Mark walked to John’s house and only his son was there.  He chatted with him a few minutes and managed to get a piece of paper and a pen from him to leave a note then he walked back.  He climbed in the truck and tried to start it again and it started right up!  We laughed and said that he just must have needed that two hour walk!  So off we go across the river and get to John’s house right at 3 pm.  Apparently William and team had just arrived.  He had just finished reading Mark’s note and was finding his tools so that he could go help us.  Side note, the team was 3 hours late because they spent 45 minutes watching a leopard in Kruger and then got held up at the border.   

Thought you might enjoy reading Mark’s note he had left …
I walked to John’s house.  The MAN truck would not keep going and would not start again.  The truck made it the river’s edge (Kunguma side).  I am leaving this note at John’s house with his son, Lemmond.  If I can get back to the truck and get it started, I will come to John’s house with it.  I am walking back to the truck now as I left Alicia and Brit alone.  If I have not returned with the truck, you might want to bring yourself in your bakkie to see if you can get the truck started so the team can make it to Kunguma.  Sorry for the inconvenience, Mark.

Well, we greeted everyone and hugged those who were returning and introduced ourselves to the new ones.  They climbed onto the back of the MAN truck and off we went.  The team spent the two hours on the back dodging trees and thorns.  We got almost to Kunguma and the truck lost power and stopped.  Turns out we were only a ten minute walk from the village so the team followed Brit and me to camp and the guys worked on the truck.  Turns out there was a problem with the fuel pump and they drove into camp shortly after we arrived.  The team got settled in their tents and headed to the shower. 

After dinner we had a service to introduce the team and then headed to bed.  The days ahead were HOT with a few days with temperatures around 103 in the sun!  Remember this is winter.  Two of the team members suffered with a stomach bug for a few days.  William had a day that he didn’t feel well and Mark and Luke had a touch of the stomach bug as well.  We praise the Lord that everyone starting feeling better and could enjoy the time in Kunguma. 

The outreach in Kunguma went well.  There has not been a team in Kunguma since 2009.   The first day of ministry the staff did an overview of lessons covered in the past.  Mark taught the men, Hannah taught the women and Darren taught the children.  One thing we did notice with the children is that 3 years is a long time and they did not seem to remember anything they had been taught.  The team spent the rest of the time teaching from the curriculum that we use from New Tribes Mission – Firm Foundations.  Their teachings were from Moses birth through when the Lord decided to forgive and save the Israelite's who put their trust in Him and looked at the snake on the pole.  Of course they made sure to emphasize that the snake didn’t heal the people but their trust in the Lord did.   

The team also participated in hut to hut visitations and evening services.   They also helped to organize with Virgilio a time to go fetch the proper poles needed so some of the men in the church could repair the church.  They loaded up some of the locals and some of the team and had to drive 25 kilometers away to find the long poles to use.  It was great to see how hard they all worked on the church structure.  

On June 19th and 20th we held the monthly leadership training for the Dumela hub in Kunguma.  The focus this month was Ephesian chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5.  Mark taught on Wednesday morning from Ephesians 4:17-32.  

As always, it is so hard to write about all the Lord did on each outreach due to time and space.  Mark always gives me a hard time about the fact that I “write a book” but I always tell him his mom and my mom want details and those that don’t can just skip to the pictures!  

I just wanted to highlight a few things from this outreach …
Seraiah was telling me that one of her favorite moments from this outreach was when she went on hut to hut visitation one day with Clint, Chase and one of our translators.   They came across one of the teachers from the school.  He was so happy that a team was at Kunguma again and he shared that he gave his life to the Lord in 2006 when a team was there.  He said he would make a point to be at all the teachings and that he would make it a priority for the kids to have a break during the day to attend children’s ministry.  His words were “the word of God is important!” 

Chip went on visitation almost each day with different team members and he shared with me some highlights from a few of those visitations...
Wednesday, June 20th “We met with several people in the village and shared the gospel with two young girls who accepted Christ.  We are meeting people who tell us they became Christians when the last missionaries visited.  Judas is blind with cataracts.  He professed faith in Jesus and told us that he was a believer.  He has a young son, about 5 years old, who guides him.  We shared and prayed with Judas, he asked that we pray for his faith and that he would renew his commitment to God.  As it worked out, it was my day to teach men’s ministry at 2 pm.  As I was teaching, I looked up and saw Judas being led by his son across the field to come join us.  I wish all church members who make excuses for not coming to church could witness this!!!  His son led him to a chair and sat in his lap as I continued to teach.  What a God moment!!” 
Another highlight from Chip was on Monday, June 25th “We visited a group of women with Derek, Candice, Cody and I sharing.  There seemed to be resistance but we could see conviction.  Derek finally realized that we were witnessing to a witch doctor and two of her patients!  There is little doubt that God is moving but there is still resistance.  We shared for almost an hour then left them with a prayer and a promise to return.  As we walked on we saw a goat with two brand new kids just minutes old.  We witnessed one of God’s miracles then minutes later we met Carolena, a young mother of five.  As resistant as the witch doctor was, she was ready for us.  God had prepared the way.  We asked to share and she told us she was “anxious to hear” Candice spoke with her, we helped to fill in on any questions and she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior!!  On Thursday we returned to see the witch doctor and saw her two patients as well.  We told them all that they had “heard” now it was up to them to respond.  We left with a promise to continue to pray for their salvation.  (One of the patients attended women’s ministry for the first time today!!)  

The morning of Wednesday, June 27th started early, in fact the sun was not up yet.  The Airline team woke and helped to pack away bedding and take down their tents.  A little after 7 they were loaded in our bakkie and the back of the Vaughan’s bakkie.  Mark, Cody and Darren helped to drive the team back to Pastor John’s house and then they drove the MAN truck and both bakkies to the border.  Mark needed to renew the vehicle paperwork and renew and pay for our Visas as well as the OMs, Member, Josh and Hannah’s Visas.  The rest of us on the set up team stayed back in Kunguma and broke down the rest of camp.  We finished around 10:30 and had time to rest while we waited for the guys to get back.  The MAN truck was still having problems even though they put a new fuel pump on a few days before – they believe it is a problem with a valve restricting the flow of fuel.  They had to stop a few times and fix it on the way back.  They pulled into camp a little before one and we ate lunch and then began to load the truck.   We loaded up and left Kunguma around 4 pm and headed to Mugwambani to stay the night with the team from Cape Town who were with Gabriel and Sean and Gena.  

Here are a few pictures from the Airline Baptist Church outreach in Kunguma.  Sorry they are not in order but it is LATE here and blogger is not playing nice.  Be sure to also check out more pictures from Kunguma on our Samaria Mission on Facebook.

Airline Baptist Church Team

Pastor Virgilio's wife Betty and her friends

Brit and Curline at Children's Ministry

The OM's went during set up to watch the sunrise.

Luke chopping wood for the showers

Luke was teaching the kids how to play baseball.

Mozambique phone booth

William and Mark working on our bakkie

Mark driving the MAN truck to Mbuzi

Mark helping Virgilio with the church

Mark preaching and Member translating

Mark teaching during Leader's Training

Member, David, Derrick, Nehemiah and Annah

Men's Ministry

Checking out the phone booth

Luke enjoying flying a kite the team brought

Children's Ministry

Luke taking his turn digging the new toilet

watching the sunrise

progress on the church

flag raising at the school

Mark driving the MAN up the hill

ladies ministry

morning devo and prayer

one of the locals going to fetch water at the river

one of the many sunsets viewed from camp

marshmallow night


our visit with Pastor Virgilio

Sunday, July 29, 2012

We are home!

We returned home on Thursday after 2 months in Mozambique for our outreach season.  We have been busy unloading vehicles and doing what seems like a truck load of laundry.  Our family of 4 still has a few more additions as there are currently a total of 11 of us living in our home.  Once again we praise the Lord for this house He has given us to use for times like this.  We are very excited that 2 of the 11 are our good friends Brad and Jill Hixon who will be moving here in September to join the mission full time.  They stayed a few extra days after our sending church's team went back to the States so they can get a few things prepared.

I just wanted to touch base and let everyone know that the updates from the rest of the villages we were in will be coming soon.  The next 3 weeks will be consumed with laundry, unpacking, running errands, 3 trips to Joburg, and just the normal everyday tasks taking care of a family of 11.  So stayed tuned!  Thanks for praying for our family as well as the mission staff, teams and the people of Mozambique.