Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Worship Seminar, Leadership Seminar, Discipleship Seminar, and Conference


Worship Seminar
Youth Discussion Group with new Discipleship Book by Linda Kaahanui


Women's Discipleship Discussion Group
Studying New Discipleship Book



Training Top Mozambican Leaders

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These last two weeks have been pivitol as we brought in our top leaders/teachers from our three central provinces of Manica, Zambezia, and Sofala for encouragement and more training.  First we fed and housed them in the city of Beira as they participated in an incredible International Conference with a wonderful church, Peniel.  Afterwards they all came to our center for three seminars in a row, on leadership, worship, and our new discipleship book written by Linda Baker Kaahanui, Old Testament Stories.  Our 39 leaders loved every moment.  Now they’ve returned to their respective districts refreshed and equipped with more material to teach. 



God's Protection


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God was with us on our journey home, protecting  us as we traveled the dangerous National Highway in one section where the rebel Renamo soldiers have been attacking vehicles passing through.  At the time we thought the attacks had stopped, so we loaded up our truck with Bibles in Maputo and continued on.  We were almost out of stock because these attacks have been going on for the past year, and we couldn’t travel this road.  When we got home, the news reached the web two days later that the attacks were actually accelerated that very week and had even had an incident that morning right before we passed through.  Praise Jesus He is our protector and our shield.  And we now have a new load of Bibles!  This week, FYI, an amnesty has been given to these rebels by the government and the attacks have stopped – at least until the elections in October.  The rebel leader is actually running for the office of President!

Time of Refreshing



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We recently returned from South Africa after spending some family time with our son, Matthew,  who came to visit us from Oregon on his summer break.   It was a good time of refreshing and fun for the whole family.  We were also blessed to participate and teach in a “School of Revival” with our missionary friends who live there.  After it was over, the excited group of young people didn’t want to stop!  So we went out into the flea market in small groups of 3, praying and asking God who He wanted us to witness to or pray for.  My little group came upon a lady sitting on a low wall with two friends.  She had a cane and a foot propped up on the wall beside her.  We befriended  them  and asked if we could pray for her foot.  “Sure,” she answered.  After praying, I asked if she wouldn’t mind testing it out to see if she was healed.  Boldly she stood up and started walking without her cane and announced, “I don’t feel any more pain!”  I asked her two friends  if she could do this before.  “No! Not at all!” they responded.  Another good day with Jesus.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Jesus is Alive


May 2014

This month of May has been incredible, to say the least.  At the end of April, a new missionary family joined us full time from America - Tanya and Eric Weaver with their two little children, Haley and Lincoln.  Ready to serve in the areas of evangelism and discipleship, they jumped right in with two feet as a team of 17 YWAM students arrived May 1st!  After enjoying a few local outreaches and ministering to our local orphans, we all loaded up into a rented mini-bus that seats 17, and our hearty 4-wheel Mazda truck, to a district called Buzi for three days.  Prepared with tents and bottled water, we were ready for the deepest "bush bush" experience!  God more than met our hopes and expectations.  Packed to max capacity, we had no room to carry any food with us.  We figured we would buy food along the way and cook when we could.  The team willingly sought first the Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33) and He provided in times and ways when we unexpectedly broke down, or were hindered by flooded waters, forcing us to take long detours down footpaths which our local guides called "roads" at night with grass growing on both sides 7' high!  Twice, poor local churches had prepared food for us upon arrival, which we didn't expect but were very grateful for.  Not yet to our final destinations, a long journey lay ahead of us both times with no opportunities along the way to buy food or cook (unbeknownst to us).   Our Heavenly Father knew this, however, and took care of His children perfectly. 

We work together with our district pastors and leadership, choosing new areas to preach the gospel with home visits and showing the "Jesus" film.  Buzi was no exception with our district pastor and his wife, Jacob and Cecelia.  Every week they ride their bikes for hours to new areas planting new churches.  On this trip, we brought reinforcements to two of these new areas.  One church had only been planted two months prior.  The few believers there were just baby Christians.  So we headed out in small groups with these new believers divided among us, visiting all the homes in the area to pray for their sick, share the Gospel, and invite them to the "Jesus" film that night.  As I walked the neighborhood with my little group, we came across an old lady sitting in front of her house barefoot, peeling peanuts.  We invited her to see the "Jesus" film that night, but she said she couldn't come because she was crippled.  "Can we pray for you?"  we asked. "Yes, if you want." she  responded, not expecting anything much.  So we simply asked Jesus to heal her.  Afterwards, we asked if she wouldn't mind testing out her legs and try to stand up.  She said, "If I stand up, I'll fall down!"  We said we'd help hold her up so she wouldn't fall.  So she complied, standing up gingerly.  "Try to take a few steps,"  we encouraged.  She did, very slowly with her back bent over.  Then she took another step, straightening her back a little.  Then another, straightening her back more and more, till she began walking upright and freely!  A huge expression of joy and surprise came over her as well as all of us!  She declared she had no more pain and began to laugh.  The next day I returned with Pastor Jacob, the local believer that was with me the day before, and a photographer from the team, ready to do a video interview.  But when we arrived at her house, we discovered she wasn't there!  So we interviewed the neighbors, a mother with 5 children.  "She has been crippled for three years.  But yesterday God healed her!  This morning she left early and is walking around the village!" the mother said.  See Video Testimony below.
 

This country is ripe for the Gospel.  Jesus heals the sick and crowds come out to see the film.  Usually many receive Christ when the invitation is given.  Then our district pastors organize follow up with the new belijevers.  In these last three weeks we've gone to 12 different places, some more unreached and deeper into the bush than others. 

After Buzi, we took the YWAM team home to our center where we did more local outreaches in our district of Dondo.  God moved mightily again, as we saw salvations just at our local bus stop and open markets while walking around in small groups, sharing Gospel tracts with individuals, praying for the sick, and praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance.  At one of the local showings of the "Jesus" film at the neighborhood elementary schoolyard, the team prayed for a little mute girl.  Jesus healed her and her first words were, "God loves me!"

Soon it was time to head out again in our rented mini-bus and loaded down truck of tents and equipment - this time to the district of Nhamatanda for three days.  This district pastor, Domingos, along with his district leadership, took us to two unreached but very populated areas.   They hoped to plant two new churches after our joint evangelism efforts there.  This is exactly what happened!  In both places, hundreds came to the film and received Christ.  Many were healed and some were delivered of demons.  Out of this, two new churches were born, now led by two pastors from other areas willing to take on another church temporarily until these new converts can continue on their own.  These new believers aren't concerned about first securing a church building.  They just sit on straw matts under a nice shady mango tree in the yard of willing community members.  Hungry to learn, they come eagerly with open hearts.

After we returned to our center, we went out one last time the following night with this team - to an unreached area just 1/2 an hour from our house.  (It doesn't take much to get into the "bush" with no electricity, running water, stores, etc.)  We did our typical thing - leaving a children's ministry team behind to teach and play with the local kids that gather to check out these strange visitors!  At the same time, our small set up crew gets the film projector equipment ready with the generator, speakers, and the portable screen of white sheets on two bamboo poles "securely" planted into little sandy holes we dig out.  Music begins, attracting people hidden from our eyes as their huts blend into the surrounding bushes and trees of this dense wilderness.   The rest of the team heads out in small groups, again dividing up with some Mozambican believers we've brought with us and some friendly local guides.  This particular village was very spread out.  Because of this, we were only able to visit a few homes.  I only expected a few people that night.  However, as the film began, the crowd grew and grew!   Seeing my shock at the swelling crowd, the pastor informed me, "Believers from another village came here last week to spread the word you were coming."  They must have walked from long distances that night!  The Holy Spirit showed up once again.  Almost everyone raised their hands to receive Christ and many were healed!  We saw children with burning fevers healed instantly beneath our hands as we prayed for them. Two boys, each with one blind eye, both received their sight!  Many with stomach pain (parasites), neck pain, headaches and body aches with fever (signs of malaria) were also healed.  Once again a new church is birthed!  Follow up with discipleship materials are on the way, along with audio solar Bibles for the majority who don't read in this new area.  What an amazing three weeks - such an honor to be here.  Jesus is alive and well!

Bless you,

Lorena




Monday, April 7, 2014

Pray for Caleb UPDATE


4/5/14 Please pray for our son Caleb. He tested positive for Malaria twelve days ago and started taking anti-malaria medicine. The medicine program lasts three days and usually kills all of the malaria parasites. Unfortunately several days after taking the medicine he still felt sick. We took him back to the clinic for another blood test and he is still positive. He is now on more anti-malaria medicine combined with antibiotics. Please pray that the Lord heals him!

UPDATE 4:27am PDT 4/7/14
Doctors just came over to see Caleb. He is still sick but doing better. Doctor's want him tested tomorrow to see if he is anemic. Pray that all the malaria parasites would be dead and Caleb would recover quickly!




UPDATE 4/10/14 Thank you all for your prayers.  Caleb finally tested negative, after two courses of malaria meds. He's now on strong antibiotics for 5 more days and is struggling with energy and anaemia. Full recovery can take weeks sometimes, especially in this type of case where Caleb was resistant to the medication... But he is on the road to recovery!

UPDATE:  4/20/14 Caleb is completely recovered!





Saturday, March 22, 2014

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rainy Season

It is rainy season here, and all the mud huts are “melting” and leaking! Consequently it has been a very busy season for us. Our main focus here is evangelism and discipleship, but at the same time, we cannot ignore the temporal day to day desperate needs of the widows, handicapped, and orphans around us. Lorena has been working full time helping orphans with school uniforms, school supplies (school starts next week), building houses and putting on new roofs. Pictured below is a blind widow from our sister church who takes care of these two orphans. You can see here that the front of her mud hut (seen better in the second photo below) has fallen down due to the rain and she needs a new roof. Lorena has over 40 widows, orphans, and disabled people just on her “need housing” list. Some of these people qualify for governmental aid, but that’s only $6.66 a month! We are currently helping 160 “families” with monthly corn meal, beans, oil, soap, and other household items.


Mama Abertina, Joao, Selha, and Lorena


As we begin the year 2014, our top leaders in Zambezia and Sofala provinces excitedly plan together with us how to strengthen and evangelize this year, the hundreds of churches and unreached areas in Central Mozambique. Multiple pastoral training seminars are taking place each month, focusing on a true intimate relationship with God, and the importance of learning and teaching the Word of God. Our commissions have caught this vision, and are now passing it on! Currently we are writing our third discipleship book, emphasizing the fear of the Lord. This is hugely needed in this culture of syncretism, which combines Christianity with witchcraft. Rejoice with us as we witness together the fruit Jesus is bringing to this area!


Meet Mai Terazinha (above) with her church of widows and children, many of which are orphans. They listen to this solar powered audio Bible, as most of them do not read (including their leader Mai Terazinha). The few youth pictured in front read our discipleship booklets to the group as they study them together. Excited to have their own land now, they gather here in their unfinished “church building” under the shade of mango trees.



Kid’s worshipping at Mai Terazinha’s Church


We love you all and miss you very much!

The Wood Family