West Magoe, Mozambique with US Team, Aug 2016

Tina joined Danny, Lindy and the African Team in Mozambique in order to go to West Magoe, one of the two areas in the Tete Province that Wheresoever had not yet covered to some extent. The Holy Spirit led us every step of the way. We even ended up crossing the mighty Zambezi River by boat and almost by accident were able to cover the last geograpic area of the province that we felt God had asked us to cover. This is important because now the focus can shift to infilling - helping the existing Wheresoever Councils and local pastors to spread the Gospel in areas closer to their homes.            

We picked up Tina at the Lilongwe Malawi airport and returned to Mozambique.  We planned to accomplish one of the major purposes for coming to Africa for this year. We went to scout the area on the western tip of Mozambique, to minister to those people and determine what future ministry will be necessary. It was a mysterious area because even with the hundreds of contacts that we have all over the Tete Province, we had not been able to find a single person who had ever been there. This area which is maybe 100 km wide by 60 km high (my guess) is surrounded by the Zambezi river on the north and another river coming down from the Zambezi on the east, and the Zimbabwe border on the south and west. During the dry season, the river on the east side was supposed to be dry so we could drive across it. But when I ask how to get there during the rainy months, I was told "we wait until the dry season". Later on it was clarified that people can cross, but only on a small boat with a bicycle or motorbike. The only other way would be to drive a few hundred miles out of the way into Zimbabwe where there is a bridge. With the remote and unknown nature of that area, my expectation was that there might be many people there who had never heard Jesus' name. It did not help that on the way there we met a safari guide who worked in that area and told us that we should not cross over because it's mostly safari country and if the people there suspect any poaching, they shoot first and ask questions later. 

Initial meeting with Chief & family

About to cross Zambezi to fix flat tire

Elephant Crossing

Accepting Jesus, half drunk at a bar in early morning

The river was easy to cross

Digging well in dry riverbed

We ignored his advice and went on to find out that my expectations were very wrong. Very very few people and villages, but quite a few Christian churches given the number of people. During the Mozambique civil war that ended about 20 years ago, many of the people had escaped to Zimbabwe and Zambia, found Jesus, and came back after the war with their newly found faith. But now so many years later, they are desperate for teaching and input.  Over those years since the war, I only heard of one group of pastors a few years ago that came from Zimbabwe for a couple of days, and nobody could tell me where in Zimbabwe they came from or how to contact them. In one place, out of 20 leaders across 4 churches that we talked to (all pastors, elders, deacons, treasurers, etc.), only 7 of them had access to a Bible. They were desperate for Bibles, and also for every bit of teaching that we could offer, and for bicycles so they could visit their other locations which could be 30-50 km away. Sadly we were not in a position to offer material help at this time. The welcome everywhere we went was amazing, including people from the two tribes we were looking for who are documented in the Joshua Project for this area - the Tawari and the Kunda. The Joshua Project identifies the tribes or people groups around the world.

We did go through a lot of safari country as we travelled through the jungle. A couple of times we drove for more than 3 hours without seeing one single village or person. The whole time we were there we never saw another car. This is by far the most remote area that we have ever been called to. A pastor travelling by motorbike a couple of hours before us had to stop to let two elephants cross the road. But the only animals we were able to see were some monkeys, I saw what I believe was an impala running away in the distance, and then a few piles of elephant dung.

The divine appointments along the way were impressive, praise God! In Mucumbura we met up with a church elder who grew up in that general direction but before crossing the river, and had never been west of the river.  He agreed to come with us for those days. As it turned out , he knew a number of key people that we met along the way. After crossing the river, which was not totally dry but still easy to drive across, the chief of one of the bigger villages (Magobo) also volunteered to come with us, and another chief cleared the way with the government officials to allow us to work in that area. The elder and the chief that came with us had real servant hearts, taking care of us at all times, arranging hot water buckets to bathe, making sure African toilets were always available to us, etc. The elder also ended up doing a lot of the lead singing and dancing in the crusades, he fit right in.  When we reached the small town where the government was based, Chintopo, the elder knew another elder (named Power Friday) who introduced us to the government as if he had known us for years - and it was the same government official that had cleared our work in the first village. At every step, the fact that we were travelling with a local chief helped open doors. During the outreach at that small town, every government official attended and sat right behind us. We know that there has to be an influx of better prepared pastors and churches into this area. And I was happy to hear at the end of the trip that the elder who came with us agreed to move to Magobo, (the initial large village) and start a church there.  Thank you Lord Jesus.

When we reached Bawa, the farthest point in the Tete Province, we had a flat tire - not surprising. We had brought two spares, and wanted to fix this one just in case. Something as simple as fixing a flat tire can be very challenging. The only place to get it fixed was to cross the Zambezi River by boat and fix it in the town of Zumbu on the north side of the river. Without crossing the river, the closest place was in Mucumbura 6 hours away. So we crossed to Zumbu, passing within a kilometer of the point on the water where Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia come together. The Holy Spirit was also doing something because Zumbu was the only other area in the Tete Province that Wheresoever had not yet covered. So in crossing to Zumbu, fixing the tire, and praying for some people, Lindy and I consider that we have completed the assignment to cover the Tete Province that we received from the Holy Spirit 12 years ago. We were able to survey the area, knowing we still need to send the African Team there at some point soon. We believe that after this completion, the Mozambique assignment changes to one of in-filling areas already covered, with a much stronger strategy to use the core Wheresoever Team to teach the local pastors and Wheresoever Councils to run with the work, instead of doing the actual work. In many ways, this new season is much more challenging than before.



Mucumbura Seminars and Crusade

We have visited Mucumbura three times now, and previously formed a Wheresoever Council.  So my intention was to get them interested to support the remote area west of them. Even knowing that it takes a long time to travel there, this is the nearest town to these needy areas. The elder from there who went with us agreed to start a church there. We expect his current church will help support. I had hoped to have multiple churches supporting as a team.  However, we found that the most active Wherersoever Council member had died, and the leader had moved to Tete City.  The others had not picked up the slack, and the Wheresoever Council was not functioning. In addition, it seemed like the pastors and leaders from the other churches were in much need of care and attention themselves. So we went ahead with the planned 2-day seminar and one outreach, all very much appreciated. Then we decided to re-build a new Wheresoever Council on the next visit there. 


Songo Church

On our way back to the base, the first stop was in Songo on Sunday at a Foursquare church that we helped establish. Last time we saw it there were between 20 and 25 adults attending. It was exciting to see that they now multiplied and there are many youth attending. Their reception once we arrived was without equal, every church member wanting to hug and kiss each one of us, wiping our faces with their brightly colored cloths, and polishing our shoes - great excitement and loudness. They openly say that the reason for their growth is by growing closer to Jesus which only came about through our instruction and mentoring. From this church they have also helped to start another church in Harare, Zimbabwe which is now growing and we are connecting with the denominaton in that country so they can have stronger support. After the morning service, they decided they wanted another one in the afternoon so they could gain everything they could from our visit there. The next day before leaving we enjoyed driving up to Cahora Bassa, the second largest dam in the African continent. Some of us went on the water in one of the dug out logs that they use as canoes - the first time that two of the African team had ever been in a canoe.


Baptism in Tete

Still on the way back to the base, we stopped in Tete City to baptize 47 people in the Zambezi River. And many others could not be baptized because it was a weekday and they needed to work. This is the church that Kenneth is now pastoring in addition to the one at the mission base in Vila Ulongue.  Because it was mostly young people being baptized, this was a fun energy-filled event. After the baptism, we stayed in Tete another day to examine possibilities as we consider starting another mission base there so that we can more easily reach and support each of the Wheresoever Councils.



You have read in previous reports about all the constant repairs that our ancient Land Rover Defender has required. The main mechanic that normally works on it has already warned us that we need to plan on buying another one, since the engine block is showing its age and mileage. However, during this longest and roughest driving part of our trip this year, the car behaved beautifully.  Must be the result of your prayer, thank you and the Lord. But as you probably can guess, after such rough treatment we need to fix a few things that are not time critical, including 2 of the doors no longer opening, the 4x4 shaft needs to be replaced after it fell off ( ! ), and various other items. We still need to consider the mechanic's advice, so please help us pray for a much newer replacement in the near future.

After Leaving Africa

Lindy and I have now arrived in Israel and will be here two weeks. Then we will spend six weeks in England. We will send more information on these in due course. So please also pray for these as the Holy Spirit leads you. On this report I wanted to concentrate on the Africa part of the trip. 

Thank you for reading all this and praying into it. I hope you're as excited as we are, as together we continue to push back the darkness and bring hope to these wonderful people that God loves so much. 

All for Jesus,
        Danny, Lindy and the African Wheresoever teams