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Rod & Ellie's 2nd January Update                                                                            View this email in your browser

January Journeys - Part 2

Hello Friends!
The road is long... but not boring. We have loads of time to talk, plan and just be together. Slowed down by the potholes gives us the advantage of really seeing the African world go by.

Water wells and rivers are often kilometres away from the mud huts people live in, so when it rains they gladly use the puddles to wash clothes and even bathe in.

Produce doesn’t come any fresher than live chickens for sale, and delicious wild honey straight from the hive sold in bottles.

Gorongosa Wa Yesu

After 8.5 hours of Rock ‘n Roll, we are happy to arrive in Gorongosa, one of our favourite towns.

It is always a joy to visit Pastors Lino and Vina at Gorongosa wa Yesu.
Pastor Lino is proud of the church  maize plot, "Farming God's Way"
Gorongosa we Yesu surprised us with a night in this little hotel. We usually sleep in our penthouse tent outside the church. They insisted that after the terrible road we should have a hot shower and a good night's sleep. "We have paid already, they said with huge smiles." KAPULANA is the African fabric as seen in the dress I am wearing, a gift from one of our churches in the North.

Nhataka Wa Yesu

During the fighting three years ago, the leader, Joachim, his family and some members of our congregation, fled for their lives as refugees and made camp at Nhataka. They came with no more than the clothes on their backs and a small bundle of personal goods carried on their heads. It didn’t take them long to establish a thriving little church. 

The suffering and pain these have been through is incomprehensible, yet they love, live, laugh and worship God with all their heart. They received us with so much warmth and poured out their generosity upon us. They brought their church offerings to the altar as they do every Sunday morning, but today they gathered up the little bowl of money and two pigeons, and then gave it all to us, not keeping one coin. Ohh! How could we possible take it? Yet to refuse would have hurt them deeply, they gave with such joy, they were excited to give to us!

A gift from refugees who have so little, two pigeons and a small bowl of money, making us rich.

How hard it was, to receive this little bowl of money and the two pigeons from people who have so little. We stood dumb before them for a few minutes, and then shared these words that rose up from within.

"Thank you, thank we! We are so very blessed by your giving! "

"……..Why do we give to God? He made the world and everything that is within it. He does not need our offerings to sustain Him, everything is His already! So why do we give to Him? Because we love Him! You have shown us your love for Jesus, and for us. You have made us rich!”

A table fit for a king, served in a little mud hut.
A refugee woman proudly said, "Please come and see my house!" She has a roof over her head. Yes it leaks, but she is grateful."
Pastor Lino leading the little children in prayer.

And on to Zimbabwe

Thank you for your praying. Though there is no public violence at this time, Zimbabwe continues on a knife edge. Zim is a beautiful country full of beautiful people. For the first three years of our marriage, we lived in these beautiful Nyanga Mountains.

Just before Christmas we invited some of our Inhaminga Team to spend a week with us in Zimbabwe. They work very hard and seldom take time off, we have to always push them to take a break. It was a wonderful time and they loved Zim. We took them to as many places as possible, what fun they had.

What would be the best meal ever? A pigs head?! Well then you can cook it and eat it cos I am not! Douglas proudly presents his achievement !
Kissing the first time ever catch!
Jenifa and Noemi - the littlest caught the biggest fish!

Leon is a Zimbabwean who has been with us for three years, primarily as a help to Rod. He is in fact a great help to everyone. We are delighted to receive his lovely wife Karen on Team in Inhaminga. Karen is from the Philippines, adding more flavour to an already very international Team. We are from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, America, Brazil, Romania and the Philippines.

THANK YOU!

Rod & Ellie
And all at Afrika Wa Yesu

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