And on top of that today is Lindy’s 60th birthday. Many of you know that we had an early party for her a couple of weeks before leaving for here. But only a few of you know that before the birthday we did not even have enough funds to feed ourselves during our stay in Africa, and we knew in faith that God would provide everything necessary to do what He wanted done. I’m excited to say that after the loving unselfish gifts at the birthday party, we are now able to carry out the formerly tentative plans to take the Gospel to Estima (about a 6 hour ride from the base), Mutarara (maybe a 10 hour ride from there), and then through the Lower Shire of Malawi (we have felt we needed to go there for soooo long). Thank you to all of you who helped, and thank you Holy Spirit for inspiring them. We plan to leave for Estima Sep 29th after a much needed week of preparation, review of the BibleSchool progress. review of fund-raising businesses, etc. Please join us in prayer that Brazilian evangelist Jean Marc and friends are able to join us later in October, and that together we are able to also carry out the still tentative plans to reach out to Macanga and Fingoe (long distances in the other direction) – they are in the process of raising funds for this.
We had an interesting adventure when we landed in Malawi. The airlines did a good job of delivering all our luggage including the 2 donated computers, 2 laptops, projector and a bunch of other stuff, and customs didn’t even bother us. But once outside when we took everything to the car, we forgot one bag just left on a chair, and many of you know how things work in Africa. Went back the next morning to find out that someone had turned in the bag to the police. Not only was the bag there, but even though everything in the bag had obviously been moved, it was all there. I find that totally amazing.
Twice on the way down to the Mozambique border at police checkpoints we were asked to provide some “help” for them (bribes). It’s getting to be sort of fun that after I try to talk to them in my extremely rough Chichewa they give up and let us go. Then getting through Immigration crossing over to Mozambique, we know one officer fairly well since years ago when we gave him a Bible. Later he told us that he “has to be nice to us because we do the work of God”. Then he went on to tell us that his wife has now joined our Bible School and his 13-year-old son keeps telling him that he desires to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and to some day become a pastor.
Just talking to our African family for a couple of hours after we arrived at the base and before bed last night, I can’t express how encouraged I feel of their growth and how things are going in Mozambique. I felt like crying a few times during that reunion. Here are just some highlights to give you an idea.
· A few more new churches have been started. I don’t know how many yet, but it’s exciting to see.
· The Foursquare church at our mission base in Vila Ulongue is very actively helping the other new churches in the area, including the building and roofing of some. Our whole team help to pastor that church.
· Cesario is the young man on our team that we’re helping to get through the Mozambican equivalent of high school, he’s a senior now. It is so good to see that he is still getting very good grades, and that he is still visiting the prison and the hospital every week. But a couple of surprises: the first is that one of the new churches was not able to come up with a leader and Cesario is leading them until they can take over; the second is that even though it has been a challenge to bring the Gospel into the high school, Cesario has been asked to preach to the whole assembly two mornings per week right after the national anthem before they break up to their respective classes. When he preaches in the church he seems to have the respect of the adults and even other pastors.
· Moses and Gift who both got married since we last saw them seem to be ear-to-ear smiles.
· Matthias, Moses and Gift are very busy teaching at the Bible School and their other preaching and pastoral responsibilities.
· There still seems to be a steady flow of people staying temporarily at the base because they need prayer from the team. The last one was a lady and her 16-year-old daughter who fainted at least once per day. The team prayed for her when she came to the base and a day later when she did not faint they decided to keep her at the base until tomorrow. But yesterday after 4 days of no fainting at all she claimed a total healing and went home early.
· One of the ladies that attends our ministry services recently became aware of a 4-year-old girl who was limp and thought to be dying. When she went to the house the family believed the child had died, with much mourning in the house. She asked to take the child to her house to pray for her and was allowed. A large group of people followed, some ridiculing her with the common “who do you think you are to think you can raise the dead?”, to which she answered that “they told me that the Holy Spirit can work through me, and I believe them”. As she was praying for the child, she sat up and now looks healthy. Praise our wonderful all-mighty God!!! It’s stirring quite a buzz in that part of town, we’ll see what the Holy Spirit has in mind for that neighborhood.
· Just today after Cesario visited the prison and the hospital, he saw a lady doubled over trying to walk with a cane. He prayed for her and took her cane away – she could now stand straight with no pain.
We just celebrated Lindy’s birthday tonight, lots of people attended and it was tremendous fun. First birthday party that I ever go to where Happy Birthday was sung in 8 different languages – English, Portuguese, Chichewa, Yungwe, Sena, Lomue, French and Spanish. Nice surprise.
Please also pray for the elections in Mozambique in late October. They are heavy into campaigning now. We were surprised when we drove in last night to see the President’s plane at the airport. That airport is just a dirt runway with no building at all, and over the years we have been here I have never seen an airplane there. I am not too comfortable that our cars are being borrowed by the government to take visitors back and forth, and we are advised that it would be extremely unwise to also help the opposition party. We have seen violence in the past, so please pray, it’s a tricky situation.
Tomorrow we’re up at 5am to pray with the team and lots of the local church members. We’re getting together for corporate prayer every day at 5am and 6pm. So good night.
I’ll try to keep you updated as the Lord’s will unfolds during this journey.
All for Jesus,
Danny and Lindy