Monday, May 10, 2010

Update Long Over Due

I am sure most of you have a some time played, “Hide and Seek.” You always want to have the best hiding place so that your are the last person to be found right? If you are really good the person doing the seeking never does find you and they give up, then you know you hid very well. I have been reminded that those of us who know Jesus as Savior have this kind of hiding place. Col 3:3,4 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. What an awesome hiding place, with Christ in God, talk about a safe place to be. Just like when playing Hide and Seek you don’t want yourself to be seen, this is just the scenario here as well. We are hidden and now the new life that Jesus lives in us is what is seen. I am so thankful that we don’t have to try to find this hiding place but God has made it and he has placed us there until that day when Jesus returns and we will appear with him totally transformed with new bodies to go with this new life He already lives in these old bodies. We have the privilege of being hidden and letting Jesus be seen in and through us.

I am so thankful to report that my back has almost completely healed. Thank You Lord. It was doing quite well up until about two weeks ago when I throw out a pail of water and put it out again. (What do they say “You know your getting old when your back goes out more then you do.” Thankfully I am not there yet.) I didn’t done any construction work for almost two weeks, but I am feel almost back to normal now, I still have to be careful but I have been able to get all the doors and windows installed in the admin building. Thanks so much for your prayers.

Two week ago Saturday we had some visitors (Dominic & Debbie) come they are friends of Jesse and Tanya. It was such a blessing to have them here. Debbie is a very good ventriloquist and puppeteer. She spent a lot of her time training the Mozambicans how to us the puppets as affective instruments to communicate God’s love to people. God has given Debbie such a gift to be able to reach children at their level. Last week Monday a bunch of us went to Assumane a village right close to us here. They feed us an amazing meal of Sima(Made from corn flour in a consistence of thick mashed potatoes) and beans, this was the best sima and beans I have had. After the great supper Debbie spoke to a group of about 300 children and adults and I think they were kind of confused trying to figure out how that puppet she was holding could actually talk. They would have never seen a ventriloquist before.

This is sima and a little chicken in the side dish.

Watching the puppets

That night we also should a video that is the testimony of a young man from an African country can’t remember which, that was a muslim. He had studied Islam for many years, but one night he a dream and for about six nights in a row he had similar dreams. In these dreams this man dressed in white kept coming to him and he would be saving him from people who were trying to come and kill him. After the second dream his told his father and his father took him to the witch doctor to try to get these dreams to stop, but he kept having them. Then he finally realized that Jesus was revealing himself to him. I turned from Islam to Jesus. His whole family was Muslim they rejected him tried to kill him a couple of times but he would not stop believing I Jesus. There have been many other stories of these same kind of things happening to muslims all over the world where Jesus reveals himself to them through dreams. This was a very powerful testimony because this whole area where we are is very muslim and they do have to count the cost if they choose to follow Jesus.

Watching the film

The following day Tyren, Dominic, Jesse, Victor, Shanitu, Elias and I went to the prison. Dominic shared his testimony that his father and four older brothers were all into many things they should have been and all of them spent time in prison. Growing up in a family like that he as well be came a convict and spent about 13 years in prison. He was able to share with about 60 men in the prison that day that Jesus is the only reason that he is not still in prison. Many of the men were very convicted by what he shared and seven men gave their lives to the Lord. We are so excited to see more and more of an openness in the men there each time. More of the muslims who us to just sit off to the side and talk or make fun of the others are becoming more interested in Jesus and asking for prayer. Please keep these man in your prayers as well as the Christians that are in there. There is a large group of men who have given there lives to the Lord and they are being a great testimony in that place. Before we even get there on Tuesdays they are often already gathered and worshiping the Lord in song and prayer.

The seven of us that went to the prison minus Tyren who was taking the picture.

Chanito, Victo, Me Dominic, Elias and Jesse

Tyren has had it on his heart for a while now to have a Fun Day in Assumane for the children. To have a day where we can invite all the children to come for a few hours and just play games, have fun and be kids. Cause in this culture children are forced to grow up so fast that they don’t often get to just have fun and be children. On April 24th all of us missionaries went to Assumane from 9am till noon. We had different stations with games like, red light green light, making finger puppets, skipping. limbo, high jump, a ball toss and then a group activity of sack races. Most of these games they had never played before. Then there was a puppet presentation and we gave out some small cake balls to every one. There we around 500 to 600 children. It was a lot of fun just being able to play with them and let Jesus love them through us. It was quite chaotic at times especially when we were giving out food but in all it went better then we expected so that is good and we thank the Lord for it.

Getting rid of a little energy.

Praying before we started.

A little limbo action

Melissa was doing finger puppets and she was getting mobbed.

Sack races.

All the mother sitting on the side lines watching.

Giving out bolos(Small cake balls)

We have been with out internet for two weeks here so I am writing this in faith that it is going to come back soon. There are to rumors going around as to why the internet and phone service is not working. Some say that someone stole some of the fiber optic cable between us and Maputo the capitol. This is very probable because it is just buried along the side of the road a foot or two deep. Others say there is a problem with some of our communications cables that are on the ocean floor some where, we have heard that a ships anchor caught the cable and broke it. We aren’t really sure what is going on but a good part of the country if not all does not have normal communication via internet and cell phones. Like we say TIA(This Is Africa) so you have to expect these things sometimes. Thankfully we can still send text messages and that is how most Africans communicate so that is a blessing.

We have thought the rainy season was finished several times now, but just as I am typing this letter I am here in my house and the rain is coming down so hard I would think it is February and not April. I have a tin roof and so when it rains this hard I can hardly hear myself if I yell. It is kind of nice to listen to a light rain on the tin roof.

I think I have mentioned Kevin and Katherine Bubna they are the newest missionary couple in our team. Right now they are living in Lichinga but they want to build here outside the city where the rest of us are so this week I helped Kevin do some of the lay out and get set up for digging trenches for his foundations. One more construction project I wish I had time to go and help with.

I became mechanic for the first time this week. I have been asked to kind of maintain a Land Cruiser which belongs to Annelisa and Antoinette but they don’t have their licenses so they let several of us drive. Tyren had it one morning in town and the brakes quit working. Praise the Lord it is all fixed and back working as normal.

While Dominic and Debbie were here we made it over to the Lake.

Back row: Jonas, Christian, Dominic, Me, Victo, Jesse.

Middle row: Christi, Debbie, Elias, Tanya holding Zoe, Melissa, Rachel

Front: Jordan, Justine

I have a wonderful praise. I had taken my passport in to immigration to get a one month extension on my visa. I was told I could pick it up on April 29th. I went that day and they said no it isn’t ready. I went in again on Monday again it wasn’t ready they said come back tomorrow. I was starting to wonder if they had lost my passport. I went in again on Wednesday and they brought me my passport and they said they decided to give me a two month extension instead of the one month that i had asked for. That was just the favor of God I have spoken with several people since then and everyone says they have never heard of this happening before. Thank you Lord.

After being in Mozambique for five years the Wilcox now have running water in their house. We have worked at trying to get running water but we always found that the pump wasn’t strong enough to get water up to the holding tank. This past week we got a second pump and now with two pumps we are finally able to get them running water. We no longer have to pull water up out of the well in a bucket. The admin and the orphanage still do not have running water but they will eventually. Thursday I drove to Maponda which is a village on the edge of Lake Malawi. Rachel, Anita, Amelia(Anita’s older sister) Victor, Carlos and myself all went. We had to take Anita to Maponda to try to find out how old she is. She needs to get some documents here in Lichinga but they need to know how old she is but she didn’t know. On our way there as i was driving I was going to pass a guy riding a bike. He didn’t ;look to see where I was and he moved into my lane and then he looked over his shoulder to see where I was then he tried to swerve back but he slid in the loose gravel and fell. Thankfully i was able to move off the road and not hit him or his big. We stopped and found that he had cut his hand and scraped his arm knee and toes pretty good. We gave him a ride into Maponda and took his to the clinic there and they got him bandaged up. Praise the Lord it wasn’t any worse.

Thats me up there cleaning out the tank.

After going to the clinic we went to see Anita’s grandmother who was sick and one of her other sisters. We prayed for her grandmother and shared the gospel with her as well and Anita’s sister. They are Muslims, but Anita is a Christian. Her grandmother and sister didn’t know how old she was, so we went to see here uncle and cousins. We sat in their court yard on grass mats and tried to figure out when she was born. They were asking her uncle if he remembered which party was in government that year and then trying to find out the time of year they were asking if it was in the rainy season or in the dry season. Finally they decided she was born in 1983 and figured it was around July and they of course didn’t know the day so we were all giving suggestions for what the day could be her birthday and we finally decided on the 8th. While we were there one of Anita’s other relatives came and she was asking for prayer as well because she has shingles. We were more then happy to pray for her and ask the Lord to heal her.

Charlos, Victo and I

We went to an office there in Maponda told them her birth day was July 8, 1983 and they typed out a document on a typewriter, that is the equivalent of a birth certificate. We were able to pick it up a couple hours later while we waited we took a bath in the lake.(They don’t say you are going swimming when you got to the beach they say you going to take a bath.) That was the fastest I have seen any document made in this country yet. I find it interesting how so many people here do not know how old they are and it really doesn’t matter to many of them. I guess it seems like you aren’t getting older when you don’t know your birthday.

When we were getting ready to leave a man came and asked us if we could take two ladies back with us to the hospital in Lichinga. We stopped to pick them up on our way out of town and there were two ladies one of them had a three week old baby and two men and they all piled in. We weren’t expecting this many and so we had to tell one of the men that he couldn’t come. People always want a free ride if they can get it. One of the ladies was very weak and she needed a blood transfusion and I am not sure what was wrong with the other lady. We kind of started feeling like an ambulance by the end of the day after taking people to the clinic and hospital. We were just thankful we could help them.

Well the internet in Lichinga is still not back and might not be for a few weeks but there is a hotel that has satellite internet so we are using it some.

Thank you for all your continued prayers.

Here are a few misc pictures.

Assumane Church

Jordan Jung caring her cat

One evening we found several of these caterpillar trains.

This is my new Africa wall in my little house. I made the log shelves and added a few things to make it look authentic