Leaving at daybreak for a two day drive to Monapo. Doing a bush conference there for our pastors/leaders for three days (Mon, Tue, Wed). I’ll be staying at the Hilton Tent Inn. The room is 10 x 10 with an air mattress and even a little fan for those hot nights. Food is provided by the locals. Most likely shema (corn mash), veggies and/or bits of chicken. I will be taking my own coffee and water, however. For those who like to pray – remember my dear wife at home alone, and of course our travels and conference (going with 3 guys from our team). The car is loaded, clean, and ready for the bush. I’m ready as I’m gonna be. Just trusting Jesus to get us there, be a blessing to these lovely people, and get us back. (photos to come, maybe even a video!)
Cobue (pronounced Cobe-way) is a district bordering Tanzania. Tony and I traveled 246km to the farthest point north one can travel in Mozambique by car, stopping in three different villages.
Village #1: Nkhwendusi. Our new friend Sitanile hosted us and provided a very special meal. Around the campfire that night I ate porcupine for the first time. It was tender and delicious. Sitanile will be hosting the first DBS in his village as well as providing land and labor for us to plant a rice field. This is part of God’s way of providing for our GHIM team and ministry.
Village #2: Mtumba-Cobue. Here we met a small group of Christians who are asking us to come and help them learn how to evangelize through DBS. Tony’s friend Benison and family (see below) along with his friend Jonathan are asking us to come. This village is impossible to reach by car during the rainy season but a trip up the lake on the local ferry will get us there.
Village #3: Mataka. So on the way home we stopped here to pick someone up and met these two old guys (78 & 80). They asked what we were doing and then expressed disappointment that we would leave them out. John said: “I know many people in the villages all around here. Although I cannot go to invite them to come (to DBS) I will send young men to do it!” I said (to Tony): Seems like we have a man of peace here.” How can we refuse?!
I arrived home to this – spectacular gardens on our property. While we were away, Tony and Nelson (two of our team members caring for our home) went crazy on growing produce! End result: Besides the gardens providing food for their own families and other team members, profits from the sale went to buying bibles; feeding the poor; and blessing those at the local hospital who have to provide food for their sick loved ones.
This is a dream come true. I had talked about the vision for our Mozambican team to start projects, specifically gardens, for the goal of them becoming less dependent upon us and western funds, and more independent. This is vital to the health of any indigenous work. Those that depend solely on western funds will suffer and most likely fail when those funds cease. We helped in as much as it takes to get things started by purchasing the seed, etc., but the ongoing work it takes is up to them.
Just today we began the process of purchasing a couple of large lots down by the river for a huge garden. Thanks to our supporters we were able to make this purchase and already the team is excited to make it happen. From the proceeds of the produce they will adequately supply the needs of many, including those of the ongoing village outreaches. We are now in almost 30 villages in just 6 months! Dozens of people are gathering in four districts to hear stories about God in the Bible. Many are turning to faith in Christ.
In addition to the newly purchased garden, Tony and I will be visiting a place to the north where we have been given the opportunity to grow rice – a lot of rice. I mean huge quantities which we can use for the ministry! Seems God has a green thumb and is making a way for us to expand the ministry, meet the needs of the poor, supply the team with food, and reach more people for Jesus! Go God!