When we moved to Portugal in summer of 2014, part of our disengagement plan for Mozambique included 3 one week visits per year. Each of these trips would allow me (Dan) to reconnect with those I taught and discipled for so long. It was also a means to help them with the transition of not having a full-time missionary presence there and to help them not feel abandoned.
Each trip back has gone really well. I’ve been able to see people, to hear how the churches are doing, and to talk with people receiving scholarship money for college. I am still amazed at what God has done and is doing in Netia, Nampula and surrounding areas. It is a privilege to be part of God’s plan for these areas.
My last trip, December 9th to the 15th, I discovered that not all is going well though. In Netia one leader has left the church over a simple matter. Then there is the the problem of hunger. It is serious. The leaders in Netia told me about the destructive rains and subsequent loss of crop during my first trip in 2015. During my second trip I asked them to make a plan for me to present to churches for helping ease the hunger. During this last trip I was told of a mother and her children who were found dead in their home. They had starved to death. I was told of another mother went to a river and drowned herself and her kids because they were starving.
We have been raising funds to run a 4 month hunger relief project in the areas of Netia and Chalaua. To feed 1865 families (with 3-8 people per family) one meal of cornmeal porridge per day we need approximately $138,000. God has provided much of the money that is needed, but we are still short about $19,000.
Here are a few pictures from my time in Mozambique. We will soon have a video up so you can hear directly from a couple of the pastors about the hunger situation.
our colleague teaching
Natural beauty in Moz.
Please be in prayer for those in Mozambique, for those who are hungry, both physically and spiritually. Pray God would be glorified.
It’s been forever since we’ve written any type of post on our blog. Some of that has been due to busy-ness and some not knowing what to say, but a large part of it has been wrestling through what and how to share what’s going on.
In Mozambique we worked with existing churches and the pastors and leaders within those churches. Dan taught and discipled those men, we ran food relief programs, dealt with water, electricity and security issues and traveled on terrible roads. All of those things merited your prayers and much of life made interesting stories that we could share with you. In Mozambique many of our friends and those we rubbed shoulders with, even the non-Christians were glad to be prayed for and have their stories shared.
We’re still in ministry but it’s different. Dan is teaching and working with our host church here in Portugal but our ultimate goal (and that of our team) is to plant a new church in the area where we live. That takes time. We’re new here (even after 17 months we’re still the new kids on the block when one considers our neighbors have grown up and lived their entire lives in this area – many for generations). We’re learning culture. We’re creating new routines. The kids are in new schools and doing new things. We’re trying to make new friends and build those relationships. In everything we’re trying to be salt and light.
I’m sure there are stories in all those activities but we as I said, we struggle with what and how to share. The culture is different here than in Mozambique and while we pray for each of our new friends and those we have yet to meet, we do not want to do anything which could harm a budding friendship. In the sharing of stories we do not want anyone to feel they are a project rather than a friend . . . because truly God has given us great friendships that we want to have for years to come. Of course we want everyone to come to know the Lord but regardless of if our friends choose to follow Christ or not…we hope all our friendships endure regardless of their faith….
We’re still not completely sure how to share stories but we want to do a better job of communicating with each of you – allowing you to see pieces of our life and ministry here in Portugal, our disengagement from Mozambique and to connect with us and our new ministry.
Thanks for your interest in us and our ministry. Blessings on each of you!