Subject: Blog, Aug. 28, 2011
A TYPICAL SUNDAY? Well….???
Ministry is much more than most imagine.
When you pioneer churches in little villages where no one has been before, you never know what will greet you on each visit.
Here’s what happen today.
Arriving at the little grass roofed mud hut that hosts the Pequaria church about 6 miles (12 km) from our base, I was met by the pastor and 3 very upset church members.
The woman they trusted to safeguard the offering had stolen it, including the offering basket! (All $4 was lost, a lot of money to these people).
The church members voted to safeguard their future offerings at our mission station in Balama.
A few minutes before church started, a man dressed in rags comes up to me and lays at my feet a small Mozambican coin worth 20 Cents U.S. (We taught on tithing last week so great to see he had understood it.)
He says: “I can’t stay for church, because I have to sell Nipa (corn whisky) so I can buy grass to roof my mud hut.” We explained that this is not the way of Jesus. He ducked his head and said, “ I know, but I’m an old man, and I have no other way to make any money.” I told him if he would dump his Nipa and honor God by coming to church, I would personally give him the U.S. $5 he needed to roof his house. He was so happy he briskly walked to his hut (we could see his hut from the church), dumped his corn whisky, and returned in his cleanest cloths! So now he’s part of the brick making team for the church.
The church service consisted of 5 adults and 20 kids. We were thrilled to finally gain the trust of the children as they had refused to step inside the church the last 3 Sundays. Someone had told them we would capture and sell them. Might sound farfetched to you, but it is common practice in many parts of Africa.
Got home and was doing e-mails. Two of my pastors from our Balama service drove up on a motorbike. I went over to open the door for Pastor Fred but he ran right past me!
I thought the man had lost his marbles!
While I was typing in the office, a 3 foot snake has parked himself on the step right outside my office door. The snake saw Pastor Fred running towards it and took off like greased lightning! Nothing like God’s timing to save your life!
Then Pastor Alberto drives in on his motorbike to report that the 3 church members who were supposed to build the Kwe Kwe church are in jail for the next 4 months. The church members made the bricks, and now the church has no brick layers. “Why are they in jail,” I asked? They poached an elephant so the church could have a feast to celebrate the new building!
I almost fell off my chair! ONLY in Africa would something like this happen.
A master brick layer from Kwe Kwe has offered to build it for a fee of $226 which includes the services of 3 of his friends.
We have a roof donated for this church. Would anyone like to help them build the walls?
As you can see, a normal day doesn’t exist around here.
My days are not always this crazy, but I do have to resolve some pretty crazy problems at times.
FYI: Our orphanage registration documents will be in Pemba tomorrow to be “checked for acceptability” by the State Level Social Services group.
This will hopefully catch any mistakes before we submit them to the Maputo office for our national credentials. Capena, our office manager, did a great job of getting it all written up in 7 long days of work. Thanks to C.A.R.E, Int. he was trained to do just this kind of work. It’s wonderful to see how God gives each of us the right kind of preparation to meet the unseen challenges. Eric and I did our part by getting all the blue prints together for all our buildings.
It may be months before we hear the outcome, so I’ll let you know when we hear something.
Bush Bunny Brenda