Some stories of my experiences while on mission in Mozambique, July 2007! (Our 7th mission!)
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Thirty four of us went as a team with Harvesters International, a Mission organization based in Krugersdorp, to do mission work in the rural villages in the area around Messica, which is in central Mozambique. After arrival and setting up our tents on a farm outside Chimoio, we gathered with all the local pastors of the Messica area at a service on the Sat, where we were divided up into teams of two and allocated to a pastor along with an interpreter.
Harvesters goes up continually throughout the year to upgrade the training of the pastors working with them, and to give guidance to them. Our work is to do additional teaching and training of the pastor and his church elders/leaders for about 3 hours daily in his church – which could be thatch, mud, poles structure, or a church under a tree – and then the group divides up and we go out on foot from home to home visiting the people in a very rural area, which the pastor has identified as being the place where a new church needs to be planted. We also look for a suitable place, or piece of veld where we can show the Jesus film (in the local dialect). Because they have never seen a film, it is always the most incredible experience for them, and for us. The films were shown at 2 different places every night for the whole time we were there. There were about 500-800 people present at EVERY showing! It is a sight to see. Uncluttered minds and such HUNGER to know Jesus.
I would be dropped off at a bedraggled-looking palm tree each morning – that was my landmark – and would follow the footpath up to the little church where I was working. Then at the end of the day, I would sit (exhausted!) in the veld opposite the palm tree while waiting for my lift back!
The teaching went well, the people came HUNGRY to learn and hear more about God. We walked miles along footpaths visiting people and praying with them. Some of the people would lean forward eagerly and say they had heard about this man Jesus but have been waiting and waiting for someone to come and tell them more!
We, also, had managed to arrange for Bibles to be sent up, mostly in Shona and some in Portuguese.
At the first church service in my pastor’s church, I had a most amazing experience during the time for taking up collection - which they do despite the little they have. As the people came forward to place their coins in a tin bowl on a little stool, a lady, who had come in earlier with a large sack on her head, now picked up her sack, carried it forward on her head, dropped it on the ground next to the bowl, and said (in Shona), “This is my offering from my OWN field, maize that I have planted and grown with my own hands. This is the first of my crop and I am offering it to God”. That was an amazing experience for me – just like in O.T. times – the firstfruits of her crop! I have never seen an offering in kind – what a blessing it was to experience that! I had thought she was just a passer-by who had heard the singing and had dropped in!
On another occasion, as we approached a lady sitting outside her hut, we asked if we could talk to her about Jesus. Immediately she said YES, because she could die tomorrow and then what can you do without Jesus? She wanted to know Him NOW so that if she dies she can be with Him! She wasn’t taking any chances! We were amazed and prayed with her to receive Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. A clear and decisive lady – and a very special moment!
Another day, after praying with a man who had given His life to the Lord, we asked if he could read. He could. We then asked if he would like a Bible. And he said YES! As he received the Bible … with hands outstretched and eyes closed, he sang softly. Through our interpreter I asked what he had sung – and it was a prayer of praise and thanksgiving! It was a humbling, moving moment – he not only gratefully accepted the Bible, but with such humble joy. May God continue to bless him and grow him and use him mightily.
I had such a lovely experience one afternoon. As we were walking the LONG walk back (usually took an hour at a BRISK pace!) I saw a lady come running down a hillside towards me, calling out, “I am saved! I am saved! I have been saved since yesterday!!” She had recognized me from the day before when we had prayed with her and had come racing down the hill to meet with me! She was just SO excited!
Well, that’s just a little of our many moving moments that we experienced!