What normally takes five hours of travel took eight because of very poor road conditions from Lichinga to Cuamba. We finally made it to Mincanyela (two more hours on better dirt roads) late that afternoon. God is so good to have gotten us there trouble free thanks to your prayers. Upon arriving I was backing up on a trail and I heard a loud noise. Turns our the bumper was hanging low and the tire hit the underside of it. I suppose after such a long, bumpy journey something was bound to give. A short ride into town the next day and a few welds, she’s as good as new.
Before going anywhere I always pray and ask the Lord to show me what to teach on. I was feeling like I should do some teaching on what the bible says about witchcraft. The first thing I notice after finally sitting down with the pastor of the church in Mincanyela was a child with a string around it’s neck. This is very common in Moz as most people practice “traditional medicine”, which is no medicine at all but dependence upon a person who uses potents and magic. People put various stings on their children’s bodies for protection and even blessings. Many parents have them on their children to bless the growth of their teeth.
Pointing to the child I ask the pastor whose child it was. “Mine”, he said. Immediately I had my confirmation about what to address with the people there. I told him that this practice displeased God and a little bit about why. The next day we spent most of the day teaching from God’s word against witchcraft and traditional medicine which are so commonly practiced in Africa. The strings came off of the pastor’s child that night I spoke to him. Others removed them from their children as well the next day. What a joy so see people come out of bondage
and into freedom in Christ as many repented of various things at the end of the day. Both the pastor and his wife also stood and repented before everyone for their part in trusting traditional medicine and not God for their protection and blessing.
The second day a friend taught Foundations for Farming principles, a powerful way to help the people learn to farm God’s way and improve their harvests.
Most burn their fields each year and with it burn the richness of the soil. This is widely practiced throughout Africa causing the fields to yield less and less, creating dependence upon expensive chemical fertilizers which eventually causes the death of all microorganisms, thus the death of the soil. Our friend Gezani came to teach about the need not to burn and many other ways to do things differently. In the afternoon I had a great time teaching Discovery Bible Study as a tool for evangelism. We formed small groups and took it step by step.
Early Saturday morning we were packed up and ready for the next leg of our journey — some 500 kilometers away. Fortunately the roads were much better, even paved. On the way to Monapo we stopped in Nampula for something different to eat (Xima was getting old). I ordered a hamburger and fries– a little disappointing but different none the less. What is Xima? Corn mash. We ate it and rice morning, noon, and night when in the villages. Most of the time it was with fresh village chicken and no vegetables. Even eating chicken cooked the same way got terribly old but this is the way the people bless you. Thank you Jesus for xima and chicken!
I pulled around the corner and she waved me to the side. This police woman was, how we say, “hungry” — just looking for a reason to fine me. “Your car is the wrong color. Your tires are the wrong size” (based upon the livret document for the car). Are you kidding me?! Finally she caught me on something legitimate — outdated inspection sticker. “Give me $2000 mtz or I will keep your documents”, she said. I pleaded with her, saying: “Listen, I am here as a missionary to Mozambique. I am here to help your people. I obey all the laws. Why this trouble?” She looked at me for a second, passed the documents to my friend Paul on the passenger side, and waved us onward. Phew! Thank you Jesus for xima, chicken, and a merciful police woman! From then on I prayed for diplomatic immunity (I am an ambassador for Christ). Only one more policeman stopped us (and there were many check points). He approach with “Graca a Deus (Glory to God)”. I said: “Amen, Graca a Deus” and he smiled and waved us on. Such is life as a missionary.
Well, briefly let me tell you that we spend Sunday and Monday teaching in Monapo. It was a rich time and the first day I preached a strong Gospel message and called for repentance.
At least 25 people came forward and in this small dirt and grass church and there was barely room to move at the front. The Lord is moving there to purify His bride and we were blessed just to help them along. Shortly upon our return we were able to arrange for Pastor Augustino in Monapo to pick up 10 desperately needed bibles for their leadership team. There is so much we in the West take for granted. I hope you cherish the Word of God as these dear people do, many as of yet still do not have one.
Got home safe and sound! Thank you for all your prayers as they made a huge difference!