Ester, whom we lovingly refer to as our Mozambican daughter, calls her children’s club The Righteous Generation Children’s Center (Centro Infantil Geração Justa). Many of the children in attendance (young ones Saturday morning; youth meet Saturday afternoon) come from traditional Islamic families.
While Ester’s main objective is to introduce the children to Christ, she also teaches them math, and reading & writing in both Portuguese and English. At one point she lost about half of her kids due to upset Muslim parents who discovered she was teaching about Jesus. Yet the children began to return during the subsequent weeks and she continues to have approximately 40 students each Saturday.
Out of the blue one day a few of the Muslim mothers showed up to speak with Ester. They expressed how pleased they were that their children are now obeying them because of her teaching. They wondered if she would be willing to teach them every day! Well, she isn’t able to do that, but now she has also decided to start a women’s Discovery Bible Study with some of these women. Now they can discover what their children are discovering about a personal God who loves them.
Now four of the older children have expressed a desire to receive Christ and be baptized, which normally we’d simply rejoice and go to the lake! But this act poses a potential problem within their strong Muslim village community who will ostracize or chasten the child or family unit and may potentially destroy the established children’s group. Please pray with us for God’s wisdom…
Their marriage was all but over. They had been separated for about one year and Luciano was losing hope of Lucia ever returning to him. We even drove him the 70km one day to where she was farming because Luciano was told she wanted to come back. For whatever reason we came back without her.
Even I was beginning to doubt this would ever work out, nonetheless I and the team continued to encourage Luciano to pray “hard” (as we say in Africa). Pray hard he did and God answered. A second call, a second trip to the bush, and Lucia came home with their six kids to live again with her husband.
But the story doesn’t end there. Just yesterday Luciano told me that Lucia has been asking him to pray together with her. I can’t tell you what a breakthrough this is! Today, we all hopped into my truck again to bring Lucia back to the bush to farm their land. No worries though, they are committed in their relationship. The couple have agreed to send her back to the bush to work the farm for next year’s maize. Luciano will visit each week while looking for piece work.
What blessed me the most was what Luciano did just before we all got into the truck for the two hour journey. He gathered his family and me to join hands in a circle and he prayed with a sizable crowd of family and neighbors looking on. Don’t have a clue about what he said (in Yao) but I can tell you it was strong and passionate.
Perhaps this story doesn’t tickle your fancy (whatever that means), but it does give me a glimmer of hope; whereas just yesterday I was struggling with the seemingly impenetrable darkness we live with here among the Yao.