Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why do we 'Do' missions anyway?

Lessons Learned Along the Way: Worship as Missions: "“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, be..."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Home Stretch!

We drove out to Area 5, a relocated village on the outskirts of Tete City. The small church that meets here is on fire for God though it gathers for worship in a cardboard box… literally. The pastors are very young and they are eager for this new season of the village to be a new season in the growth of the church as well!

Our first outreach was in the afternoon attended by many children and mothers. After the dancing and praise, Bill spoke a testimony calling the people to come to know Jesus. Many came forward and gave their lives to God and the church probably tripled in number just from that one service. One woman showed up to give a testimony with her baby. Last time the Wheresoever team was here, they prayed for this baby who had been diagnosed HIV+. The mother came and testified that the baby is now testing negative for HIV! God is indeed good!

Just before the 2nd outreach began, a dust-storm blew in to the village with high winds and swirling clouds that made the sunset through the baobab trees turn hazy. The crowd that had gathered dwindled to about half of the previous outreach that day. Charles shared a parable about seeking the One True God Who Loves and several ladies came forward to receive Jesus afterwards. Once the ministry time was finished, folks scattered due to the increasing dust flying around the ground.

We slept well, having found a guesthouse with air conditioning. We hadn’t had any A/C available in any of the cars or any of the accommodations, but we enjoyed the comfort and luxury of a good night’s sleep. The white noise of the A/C also had the added benefit of covering the noisy highway sounds through the night.

We spent Tuesday morning getting supplies in downtown Tete. After picking up a soldering iron and a thermos, we joined the rest of the team on the road to Mamese village #2. We stopped briefly to pick up our luggage and began the 2 hour journey towards Mamese village. We had to stop for fuel on the way, so we took advantage of a local gas “station.” Unfortunately, there were no clean restrooms nor cold drinks available.

We got to Mamese village but didn’t find the other part of our team there. After checking throughout the village, we determined that due to the risk of the car failing on the way back to the base at Vila Ulongue, we would head on and leave the team to do the outreach Wheresoever they might be!

The drive back was through beautiful African savannah. We were blessed by a beautiful sunset over the mountains. The setting sun seemed to be our closing sign that we have come to the end of our Mozambiquan adventure. We have had obstacles and setbacks, but we realize that God is moving in Mozambique and His enemy doesn’t like it. But no matter what the devil has to say about it, Jesus is Lord over Mozambique!

Monday, October 4, 2010

1 Step forward, 4 steps back?

The tribal drums sounded through the night while noises of animal screams and growls punctuated the rhythmic tempo. The traditional animal dancers – worshippers of animal spirits – were holding a celebration or ritual dance. Scenes from Tarzan played through our minds as we tried to sleep.

We had just finished 3 days of pastoral training and seminars. Several churches in the border area of Saqama and Zobue had invited Wheresoever to come in and put on these seminars, since few of the pastors have theological or other spiritual training. As part of our mission, Bill spoke about faith, Steve K. spoke about the spirit of anger, Steve E. on business, and Charles on resisting fear as well as the essentials of the Christian faith. Kenneth and Enesia Lewisi - a husband and wife team that helps lead Wheresoever in Africa - had added their topics as well on the power of prayer, and the Holy Spirit.

We were amazed to find that the pastors and leaders were so hungry for the training that they would forego lunch each day since no one wanted to leave the training to prepare the meal. We ended the seminars earlier than usual so they could find food for the evening. Most of the visiting pastors slept overnight in the beautiful church high on the hill. We saw the Holy Spirit touch and fill them with a new zeal for their churches and power for the work in their area.

Though the seminar went very well, not all our ministry was so successful. We had planned 3 outreach crusades in the area, but were beset by strange hindrances. We had arranged an outreach on Friday by the mountain church but that was on school property and the authorities denied us permission to setup there until after dark – too late for us as we had an evening crusade planned elsewhere.

Our next crusade, the same day, was scheduled for the evening (around 7 p.m.) but, after we had shown up and setup, it had to be cancelled due to a child’s funeral taking place next door. The following Saturday evening, the amplifier blew during the last day of seminars and we had no means of broadcasting voices or music to large crowds without one.

Sunday morning, all of us split up and brought messages and greetings to various churches nearby. We found most of them to be quite small and with little but 4 walls and roof to show that there was a church meeting there. One church that Bill Moore spoke to had almost 20 people, but only 1 Bible – and that belonged to the Pastor. There is so much work to do here, and so few resources or people to help. God, send out harvesters!

Sunday afternoon, we hit the road to Tete City, the capital of the Tete province. Since the team is so large (18 of us total) we have to use 2 vehicles to transport the equipment as well as the people. About ½ way to our destination, the smaller vehicle containing 8 of us overheated and steam began rising from the engine. A water-coolant line had busted and we could not drive it again without finding parts and repairing it. It was arranged that the larger vehicle would tow the small one, but that left 8 of us wondering how we’d get to the city.

Along came the local transportation – a mini-bus meant to hold about 15 people. There were plenty of seats for us, so we piled in and began our journey. Even Danny & Lindy had not taken cross-country local transport before this, so it was a new experience. As we drove into the lower plains, the heat began to be noticeably more humid and hotter. We’d stop every few miles and pick up more passengers. By the time we were close to our destination, 28 men, women, and children were packed into the 15 passenger vehicle!

We are thankful that we made it safely. Once again, however, due to the late hour of our arrival and the separation of the team, no outreach could be carried out – 4 significant outreaches cancelled in just 3 days! We prayed together as a team and plan on forging ahead without allowing a victory for God’s enemy!

Our time on Monday has been spent looking for car parts and another amplifier. Our plans are to do 2 outreaches today and one tomorrow afternoon. Following Tuesday’s outreach, we’ll drive back the few hours to Vila Ulongue, the base for Wheresoever in Mozambique.

We hope to finish strong, so pray for us as we impact this area for Jesus, bringing hope and healing for the lost. The needs are evident around us, but the equipment is hard-pressed and it wears out quickly in this harsh climate. We are still praying for another vehicle that will be reliable and we are confident that God has a plan. Thank you all for your prayers – they are VITAL to this work.