Mozambique Update #1 ; June 16, 2013

Harvest School Update #1

It's hard to believe I've been in Mozambique for two and a half weeks already! Yet it feels like longer, since I have been doing so much. I'll try to give you a snapshot of what I've been up to!

I arrived at the Iris base in Pemba on Wednesday, May 29th. For the first few days I had time to settle in and adjust. The base is called the Village of Joy, and it contains a church, a school, homes for 300 children, and the harvest student compound, where I live with around 350 other students and staff. About half of the students are from the U.S., and the rest are from all over the world.

After a couple days of rest, June 1 was Children's Day. Almost 5000 children from the surrounding villages came to the Iris base for a special chicken dinner. We all had stations to get the kids to the cafeteria and give them a little goodie bag on their way out!

After that, the regular schedule of the Harvest School began. There is church on Sunday mornings. Many people from the village come to worship, as well as the Mozambican Bible School students, who are training to become pastors and ministers. Church is a fun mix of cultures: worship is in Portuguese (Mozambique's official language) and Makua (the local tribal language). There is singing, clapping, and dancing. Then, the sermon is preached in English (usually), then translated to both Portuguese and Makua. It's fun to worship Jesus with so many people from Mozambique and all over the world!

For the Harvest School, our weekly schedule is class from 8 AM - 1 PM every Monday through Thursday, and practical missions on Friday. Our classes are just in English, except for Mondays when the Mozambican students join us. Classes consist of worship, then two or three speakers each morning. The speakers are pastors or missionaries from all over the world, who fly to Mozambique just to teach in our school. We also hear from long-term missionaries here in Pemba. Heidi and Rolland Baker both teach twice a week.

There's no set curriculum for the classes. For these first two weeks, the teachers have been discussing things about the culture of Mozambique and how to show love to Mozambicans. They have also given us tips for learning the local language and culture, specifically just talking to people and asking questions! Heidi and Rolland have been teaching on the primacy of knowing our identity as sons and daughters of God before doing mission work. We have to know who we are as beloved children of Father God, saved by Jesus, so that we can impart that identity to others! Rolland has also been emphasizing the importance of laughter and joy in a missionary's life!

On Tuesday, June 4th, I was surprised and excited to find out that my color group was the first group going on a three-day village outreach. Every color group goes on outreach one weekend, and it just so happened that my color group went the very first weekend! In my color group (Gold Dust), there are about 15 HS students, two leaders, and 6 Mozambican Bible School students.

So on June 5 we went on a four or five hour ride in a big truck. We arrived in a village where there was already an Iris church planted. That evening we set up a projector and screen, where a couple hundred people gathered to watch. We showed a movie of the life of Jesus with Makua voice-overs. One of the Mozambican pastors with us gave an invitation to salvation, and many people came forward to receive Jesus and prayer. We went around praying for people with sicknesses.

The next morning we were able to watch and participate in the baptisms of about 30 Mozambicans, in a river by the church. It was beautiful to hear them sing songs to Jesus, and then pray for them as they got up out of the water!

That day we drove four more hours to a village called Mocimboa da Praia, in a more predominantly Muslim area. We repeated the same evangelistic movie showing and message, but that night Heidi Baker was there and preached to the people gathered. Then my team formed a fire tunnel and prayed for at least 200 people who came forward after words of knowledge for healing. We prayed for people to be healed of head pain, bad eyesight, learning disabilities, drunkenness, and more. It was such a privilege to lay hands and pray for so many people, seeing their hearts turning to Jesus.

The next morning, the king and queen of that village came to meet the Bakers and the rest of our team. It was important for the Bakers to establish that connection with the leader of the village, to have a good relationship with them in the future.

Then, before we left Mocimboa da Praia, we visited the church there, and the pastor and people of the church all laid hands on us and prayed and sang over our team. It was a blessing to receive their fervent, fiery prayers, even though I couldn't understand them!

That night we returned to the first village to spend the night, and the next day continued back to Pemba. I think coming back to the base in Pemba after the outreach was more of a culture shock than getting here the first time, because we have so much on the base here to be grateful for... I have my own bed rather than a sleeping bag in a tent... we have water, even when it's not running... we have real toilets... we have a place to come back to and call home, even temporarily.

It's all God's blessing and I'm more and more grateful every day. Pemba is a great place to be living to learn about missions, and put what I am learning into practice every day.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers. Please pray that I would be continually aware of the Lord's presence, and that I would be able to follow His leading and obey Him in the ministry opportunities that He provides every day. Thank you!

3:25 PM  |  

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