Monday, September 16, 2013

Bad News, Good News – Romans 8:28 in action!

The forests of Gorongosa in Sofala, Central Mozambique, house the Renamo rebel party headquarters.  These days are tenuous, as negotiations are not going well with the current Ferlimo party in office.  But this is the place three of our on fire pastors felt led to go this weekend, conducting a seminar on Marriage and Foundations I, two of our discipleship books.  Soldiers escort traffic in convoys on the National Hwy due to random guerilla shooting of innocent citizens in busses and cars passing by, but these pastors were insistent.  We prayed together last week and sent them on their way with Bibles, discipleship books, and audio Bibles for the illiterate.  Today they returned with stories of miracles and amazing reports!  

(left to right) Lorena, Brian, Pastor Wilson

Sacrificially bringing goats and chickens to share, these subsistent farmers eagerly came to hear the Word of God.  Believers from five churches gathered, many walking up to 50k (31 miles) to get there.  One pastor had severe malaria.  Another had a stomach problem (no diagnostics in the bush).  Jesus healed them both!  Our pastors showed us a video of them dancing in the front of the church on their second day!  

Some of the believers who gathered

 Because political tension is high in this area, a radio station crew man came to investigate what their “real” objective was with this seminar (if they had a political agenda or not).  Satisfied, he decided to record the entire seminar and broadcast it today for their entire district!  “I’m getting calls from many churches in that area today, saying they also want seminars because they heard the broadcast on the radio,” reports Pastor Wilson after returning last night.  So “bad” is turning into “good” as the Word of God fills this area full of turmoil.  

More believers - proudly holding their booklets

Romans 8:28,  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

News from Mozambique

News from Mozambique
Written by Lorena Wood

Sometimes living is Mozambique is sobering.  Life is fragile in a country where malaria is rampant and medicine is nonexistent or scarce.  In the last two weeks, our center hosted over 100 pastors and their wives for conferences in the city.  They came from far distances, villages with no electricity, running water, or medical care.  While they were here, ten of them were diagnosed with malaria.  They contracted it before arriving, as malaria has an incubation period of 10 to 24 days.  The fortunate part is that we have two missionary doctors from Argentina and a nurse from Uruguay as part of our medical team!  If they had not come to the conferences, some of them would probably not be alive today!  

Our medical team from left to right, Dr Roberto from Argentina, Katarina who is a nurse from Uruguay, and Dr Roberto’s wife – Dr. Laura

Two of these ten were babies.  One had a severe case of cerebral malaria and would have died in one day, had we not put her on an IV immediately.  All of them are on medication and recovering now.  We are deeply grateful to Tanya Smith and her team, who came in July with donations to supply us with medicine, a microscope for doing accurate malaria tests, and hundreds of mosquito nets for our area.  (Tanya is Cali’s mom, who was our missionary co-worker here in Dondo that died of malaria last January.)

One of the babies recovering from Malaria

Our first conference was about deliverance.  Zito, after attending the seminar, says, “I have never felt so free or had so much hunger for the Word of God!  Before I felt so bound by legalism and oppression from my past generations of ancestor worship.  Now I feel so different!”  In a culture of extensive witchcraft, ancestor worship, and excessive legalism, this conference helped so many pastors and their wives.  They are now carrying what they learned back to their districts, eager to teach their many churches.  Our desire is to see every pastor equipped to deal with the enemy and his many strongholds.   Everyone was so happy they came.  We are looking forward to reports of good fruit from our churches!  

During this conference, I stayed behind and discipled the ladies who brought babies with them.  They weren’t supposed to come with children, as the conference was held in a rented theater in the city.   But it turned out to be such a blessing.   Only two out of the ten ladies could read.  God gave me new ideas of how to teach them – unexpected, but exciting!  We made up songs, dances, and skits about the main points and key verses!  At night, when everyone else returned from the conference, they performed for the large group.  Their husbands were especially delighted to see their wives learning so much.  After teaching them the importance of reading the Bible regularly, they complained how they can’t read and don’t even own a Bible.  So I gave them all a solar powered audio Bible after they promised to use it at least once a week with a group of their own.  Of course when the other ladies came back from the conference, they all wanted one too!  

Pictured above, pastors’ wives receiving their solar powered audio Bibles

I was happy to give them out, as these ladies are key pastors’ wives from our province’s 13 districts.  Up till now, women’s ministries have not existed here.  Most of the women haven’t gone to Bible school and most do not read.  But they are eager to learn.  We’re looking forward to seeing what God does with these ladies’ listening groups now that they have audio Bibles in their heart language and a recorded Bible school with 215 lessons from Genesis to Revelations on them!  

Thank you for your remembering us in your prayers.  We so appreciate them.  “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord (Zech 4:6).”  

Lorena reaching out to a classroom full of kids


The Wood Family

Support Address: Calvary Chapel Foothill Ranch, 26882 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630 (949) 768-4190.  Please make checks out to the church with a note in the memo of the check, “The Wood Family”.