Changing our website / blog

The post below was made to our initial website/blog in order to reference people to this one.  Please do not be confused, this is our new website but in efforts to transition from one to another (and link or reference the two until that transition is very clear) I am republishing it here for those new to our ministry.   Blessings and thanks for tracking with us.

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Dear friends,

As many of you know, though perhaps some do not, we are in a phase of ministry transition. For eight years we’ve been ministering in Mozambique, Africa, working in the area of leadership training and development. From the beginning our goal was not to plant ourselves in one permanent location but to minister and work within the local church training their leaders so they might become better equipped to reach their own people for Christ, plant new churches and disciple those who come to know the Lord. We now feel it is time to pass the ministry off to the ministers with whom Dan has been working. In December we will return to Mozambique to finish preparing each group with whom we’ve worked take on Dan’s responsibilities. We will then be transitioning to a new church-planting ministry in Lisbon, Portugal (late July or August 2014). To ease the transition and not abandon those with whom we’ve worked with in Mozambique Dan will continue to make short-term (one week) trips to Mozambique (approximately three times per year for this term). Since our ministry is moving from Mozambique (which is part of the name of this website: mozambiquemessages.com) we felt it wise to change the name of our website. Additionally when we officially move from Mozambique we will no longer be a part of the organization there (Good News For Africa) and so we’ve decided upon a new name for our ministry. Lusofona iDear friends, As many of you know, though perhaps some do not, we are in a phase of ministry transition. For eight years we’ve been ministering in Mozambique, Africa, working in the area of leadership training and development. From the beginning our goal was not to plant ourselves in one permanent location but to minister and work within the local church training their leaders so they might become better equipped to reach their own people for Christ, plant new churches and disciple those who come to know the Lord. We now feel it is time to pass the ministry off to the ministers with whom Dan has been working. In December we will return to Mozambique to finish preparing each group with whom we’ve worked take on Dan’s responsibilities. We will then be transitioning to a new church-planting ministry in Lisbon, Portugal (late July or August 2014). To ease the transition and not abandon those with whom we’ve worked with in Mozambique Dan will continue to make short-term (one week) trips to Mozambique (approximately three times per year for this term). Since our ministry is moving from Mozambique (which is part of the name of this website: mozambiquemessages.com) we felt it wise to change the name of our website. Additionally when we officially move from Mozambique we will no longer be a part of the organization there (Good News For Africa) and so we’ve decided upon a new name for our ministry. Lusofona is an adjective meaning, “Portuguese speaking.” As we transition out of the ministry in Mozambique (a Portuguese speaking country) and begin to minister in Portugal (obviously Portuguese speaking) we felt it was a fitting description of the work God has called us to – to reach out to those in the Portuguese speaking world – to minister in Portuguese speaking “Lusofona” countries. Thus our new website is https://lusofonaoutreach.wordpress.com. Even with this transition, our sending church will remain the same and we will continue to be accountable to the Elders of 1st Christian Church of Wood River, Il. In Portugal we will be part of a church plDear friends, As many of you know, though perhaps some do not, we are in a phase of ministry transition. For eight years we’ve been ministering in Mozambique, Africa, working in the area of leadership training and development. From the beginning our goal was not to plant ourselves in one permanent location but to minister and work within the local church training their leaders so they might become better equipped to reach their own people for Christ, plant new churches and disciple those who come to know the Lord. We now feel it is time to pass the ministry off to the ministers with whom Dan has been working. In December we will return to Mozambique to finish preparing each group with whom we’ve worked take on Dan’s responsibilities. We will then be transitioning to a new church-planting ministry in Lisbon, Portugal (late July or August 2014). To ease the transition and not abandon those with whom we’ve worked with in Mozambique Dan will continue to make short-term (one week) trips to Mozambique (approximately three times per year for this term). Since our ministry is moving from Mozambique (which is part of the name of this website: mozambiquemessages.com) we felt it wise to change the name of our website. Additionally when we officially move from Mozambique we will no longer be a part of the organization there (Good News For Africa) and so we’ve decided upon a new name for our ministry. Lusofona is an adjective meaning, “Portuguese speaking.” As we transition out of the ministry in Mozambique (a Portuguese speaking country) and begin to minister in Portugal (obviously Portuguese speaking) we felt it was a fitting description of the work God has called us to – to reach out to those in the Portuguese speaking world – to minister in Portuguese speaking “Lusofona” countries. Thus our new website is https://lusofonaoutreach.wordpress.com. Even with this transition, our sending church will remain the same and we will continue to be accountable to the Elders of 1st Christian Church of Wood River, Il. In Portugal we will be part of a church planting team with the Christian Church of Portugal. Throughout this furlough we look forward to meeting with you in person. We desire to update you on all God has done and to share the vision He has set before us. Feel free to ask questions and we invite you to subscribe and follow along with us through our new website. Blessings, Robin & Dananting team with the Christian Church of Portugal. Throughout this furlough we look forward to meeting with you in person. We desire to update you on all God has done and to share the vision He has set before us. Feel free to ask questions and we invite you to subscribe and follow along with us through our new website. Blessings, Robin & Dans an adjective meaning, “Portuguese speaking.” As we transition out of the ministry in Mozambique (a Portuguese speaking country) and begin to minister in Portugal (obviously Portuguese speaking) we felt it was a fitting description of the work God has called us to – to reach out to those in the Portuguese speaking world – to minister in Portuguese speaking “Lusofona” countries. Thus our new website is https://lusofonaoutreach.wordpress.com. Even with this transition, our sending church will remain the same and we will continue to be accountable to the Elders of 1st Christian Church of Wood River, Il. In Portugal we will be part of a church planting team with the Christian Church of Portugal. Throughout this furlough we look forward to meeting with you in person. We desire to update you on all God has done and to share the vision He has set before us. Feel free to ask questions and we invite you to subscribe and follow along with us through our new website. Blessings, Robin & Dan

Shock (the funny, the serious, and the adjustment to both)

Whenever one is heading to a new country, particularly to live, you’re prepared for culture shock.  Life in this other country will be different!  The way things are done is different, language could be different, expectations are different, values are different.  One travels through culture shock by being in the culture and studying the culture but both of these things take time.  Time, time, and more time and the “shock” becomes less as you adjust.

Once one has been out of their home culture and then returns a new shock is experienced.  This one may or may not be expected.  Dan and I have been traveling and working in mission circles long enough we know about this.  We prepare for it, as best one can prepare, and we’ve experienced it.  We remind ourselves, particularly when we’ve just arrived back that when stress seems high that some of it is part of our adjustment.

It’s always funny what shocks us, however.    Years ago, after returning from southeast Asia it was the cross-walks.  Why would I stand on a corner and wait for a light to turn green telling me I could cross when not a single car was in sight?  For that matter why would I even bother to be at the corner when I was used to dodging an unimaginable number of cars across 4 true lanes of traffic which often had become 6 or 7 lanes?  During our last furlough (2008) the kids were amazed by water fountains, horrified by automatic flushing toilets and the vastness of the cereal aisle at the grocery store.

For this furlough we’ve now been back in the States for 25 days.  So far most of the shocks/surprises have been on the lighter side (many are things we know but had forgotten or gotten so used to another way that they’re strange).  Anyway we thought you might be interested to know (and laugh at) some of our “shocks.”

  • The vast number of televisions – both in restaurants (one restaurant we ate in had over 20) and in homes.
  • Shoes are a must in all restaurants and stores.
  • House construction style  . . . we’re so used to cinder block and poured concrete construction that stick construction looks so funny (and fragile).
  • THE EGGS ARE WHITE!!!
  • Water fountains still make the list (little machines that spit out drinkable water).
  • Language terms – even as we speak English much of our English has British English influence so the kids have been confused a few times by terms and I’m sure I’ve confused others with my language choice.   What does “sort it out” mean or refer to in your mind?
  • The quickness of food service (not just fast food)  but even at a sit down restaurant (a quick meal in Nampula will still take close to an hour to prepare your food).    The pressure I, Robin, feel as we walk into an “order at the counter restaurant” when I’m unfamiliar with the menu and the line is accumulating behind me . . .
  • mandatory car and booster seats for Jeremiah and Esperansa  (yes we confess they only use the vehicle’s seatbelts for both of them in Mozambique).
  • The over abundance of choice in any and all stores!!  The vast number of stores and restaurants!
  • It’s been way too cold for April / May!!  The lack of being able to know from one day to the next  whether it’s appropriate for shorts or pants or a sweater is rather stressful (and makes packing difficult).
  • commercials (we don’t watch television but rather use our TV to only watch videos so commercials are an unknown to our children and forgotten by us).

I’m sure there will be more adjustments, particularly come fall when the kids begin school in America for the first time ever, but we’re doing well and despite the “shocks” or adjustments are thoroughly enjoying the visit time we’ve had with family and friends.

Something Running Through my Mind . . .

I, Dan, have something running through my mind this morning. We can not “package” the way God works. When I say this what I mean is that after visiting three churches in the States so far, I am amazed at the fact that each church is very different. Yet all three are vibrant expressions of the body of Christ. All three are impacting their community and the world for Christ.

In today’s consumer culture the trend is to make a rule or model that can be made into a system, printed up and sold as “THE” way God works…..

However, as I travel to the churches that support our ministry I am thankful that God uses many ways to reach those He loves and that His ways cannot be packaged and sold as a system….

Excitement and Sadness

Excitement and Sadness

As we prepared to return to the States for an 8 month furlough there were many emotions we felt. The two most prevalent were excitement and sadness. We felt excitement because we were preparing to see our American family and friends whom we had not seen for 3 years and 8 months. Despite the excitement however there was some sadness as we started to tell our Mozambican family and friends goodbye.

We know come December, when we head back to Mozambique we will feel sadness as we say goodbye to our American family/friends and excitement as we head back to our Mozambican family and friends.

Such is our life: one of comings and goings . . hellos and good-byes.