This has surely been the most significant and real Passover of our lifetime, as THIS YEAR, THE PLAGUE IS REAL.
Within the walls of our homes, with the Blood of Jesus applied to the doorposts of our hearts, we, the church of Jesus Christ entered into the reality of the Passover Sacrifice. We are not yet out of the plague, it is still passing over. God also is passing (hovering) over us, and covering us with His wings.
Yes, the plague is real, but……
OUR GOD IS MORE REAL THAN THE PLAGUE!
In Mozambique we continue in phase 3 lockdown which basically requires social distancing, no group meetings, travel only when necessary.
Though we cannot gather for meetings, we the church continue to grow, serve and be there for one another. We are very proud of our Team, pastors and members who continue to meet crisis needs and work while taking the required precautions.
The first test came very quickly when a church member died (not due to virus). Our guys put on gloves and masks, the family had already prepared the body of the 20 year old girl, members dug the grave and a small procession carried her to her grave. Here one takes care of one’s own problems, there is no undertaker to call.
For those of you, our friends and supporters who are living in heavy lockdown, or at whatever level of restriction, remember, Sunday is coming! Your personal tomb will open and there will be the greatest prison breakout as God’s people come forth to release the purpose for which we are in preparation right now.
Remember……JESUS WAS IN TOTAL ISOLATION FOR 40 DAYS !
During that time He was tempted of the devil, surrounded by threat of wild animals. He was hungry, he was alone. He overcame by the power of God’s Word. He was in great preparation for His Life’s mission. When He came out of the desert His ministry truly started and He had full power over every attack of His enemy. He came out ready to do miracles, heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God. May our own time of isolation bring forth the same result.
For all the evil plans that are wrapped in this virus, for all the damage it has done, there is coming forth a people that are strong and victorious, putting the enemy to shame. The Bible says that when the thief steals from us he has to pay back seven times what he stole. Ha, he is already crying!
Our love and prayers and eternal gratitude to you all for standing with us when so many of you are in greater difficulty than we are!
While all schools and many businesses have closed, general work in groups up to 10 has continued. We thought our plan to build our church in Milange would have to be put on hold. In fact, we told Pastor Lino and his group of builders to stay safely at home. They had other ideas and told us they were going ahead. Far from home they set up camp and gave God the best they had.
These men have been taught to build by Rod. They are not just builders, but church members, leaders and pastors. Some have been through Bible School as well as Votec. The secret of this ministry is ‘ownership.’ No matter what our job or position in the ministry, whether director or sweeper, we all speak of our work, our churches. We do not build for an organization, but first for God, then for all of us, for Mozambique. This is true sacrifice and joy, a good job done with pride and willing hearts. It is a great honour to be part of such a Team.
The families of the builders stayed home alone while their men were gone. We sent this word of encouragement to Pastor Lino and his Team of builders…
“God sees your commitment to serve Him through the work of your hands and the sacrifice you are making right now. It is a time of trauma in the world, but we shall see a great awakening and transformation, it is in motion even now. Revival will come, even in Mozambique. You are preparing God’s house for this time of revival. Even in a time of great difficulty, you have not chosen the comfort of home and family over Your call. You did this voluntarily, because we your leaders gave you direction to close everything down and to go home. However, you have poured out your hearts and your sweat to do this for Jesus. He will bless you abundantly. He will bless your home and your families, as they are also making the sacrifice. Your work is noted by all in the region, you are the testimony of Jesus right now. He did not stop in difficult times, but he achieved the victory of his own free will. We thank you all very much and are thinking of you all especially during this time of Passover. We send our love and blessings!"
AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT…..with the rawest of tools, and bare hands, Milange Wa Yesu IS COMPLETED IN JUST 6 WEEKS!
All these things illustrate what just one Team did. Throughout the provinces our members continue to serve and give their best. We are immensely grateful to each one. We believe there is a lot more to come and have big plans for the future!
Arriving on site, Milange, Zambezia Province: Pastor Lino and Team made the seven hour drive in our truck loaded with building equipment.
Pitching their tents on a bare piece of land in the dust: Theydug a deep pit for a toilet, put up a square of plastic sheeting for a shower room and built a campfire for all their cooking. Determined to stay as long as it takes, they put their hands to the plow and never looked back.
Digging Foundations: This Team did absolutely everything themselves from measuring the foundations to putting on the roof. They handled all the finances and kept record of every cent spent.
Loading Sand: The church members helped load the sand, men, women and children all did their part.
Hand-making cement block bricks
Amazing Effort!These guys were turning out 4 times as many bricks as is a considered a general daily work task in Mozambique.
Hand dug well, 12 metres deep. They also made the cement casing, lowering the cases down by hand and fitting them together.
In the happening.
The long journey to Nacala for more supplies and roofing.
Mud mixed with cement gives a natural earth colour that needs no repainting.
Roof trusses made on site.
Putting on the roof
Laying the cement floor
Trees for planting: All Afrika Wa Yesu churches are required to plant a minimum of 10 trees.
Celebrating a job well done: Builders together with some leaders.
... And CROSSING OVER
And Jesus said to His disciples, "Let us cross over to the other side." ~ Mark 4:35
So after a month of not visiting our churches on the other side of the bay, we determined to show our faces to our brethren to encourage and strengthen them. While church is considered a non-essential service, the government has requested leaders to teach the people about social distancing, washing hands etc. Not wanting to come behind in our responsibilities, Rod, Jemusse, Agostinho, Rogeiro and Pedro set off to the other side to do their part in this essential service of health education.
They were received with much joy and loaded with fresh coconuts to bring home. The people living in these villages are mostly Muslim. They are simple, peace loving people and receive us with much kindness. Pray for Mozambique, the situation in the North is perilous.
This boat is a great gift with links to Ellie’s childhood.
A great story to be told someday.
Not many days from now we will leave Nacala to travel to Inhaminga. It has been a wonderful time in spite of adjustments and days of the unexpected. We look forward to returning home. Inhaminga is our official home though we travel much. The beauty of our life is, home is wherever the heart is, and our heart is all over the place!