My name is Norman Cessna, but I prefer the nick name my brother gave me of “Bud”. I was born in the last two months of World War II in New Orleans. It was where; I spent my first five years of my life. My family and I, in 1950, moved to a small Western town of Wendover: half in Utah and half in Nevada. I lived in several Nevada towns and a mining camp. In one of these Nevada towns is where God first touched my heart. Our Lord used the movie: The Ten Commandments. However, I didn’t accept the Lord at that time. In 1963 my family moved to Texas. It wasn’t until I was on leave from the army in 1966 that I accepted our Lord as my savior.
I first met Brenda, when she came to my church to make her presentation in the 1990’s. I didn’t get to know her for a couple of years. Then, I felt that God wanted me to encourage missionaries via e-mail. When I first contacted Brenda, she had just gotten an e-mail service. This e-mail used HAM radio to communicate with the server. The server was 1000 mile away in The Republic of South Africa and was subject to atmosphere and its conditions. Before e-mail Brenda had to rely on snail mail. (Postal service)
In the year of 2000, I had the opportunity to travel to Mozambique. I consider myself blessed, not only to be able to go to Mozambique, but was able to travel through Mozambique by road. I left the USA from Atlanta, Georgia and flew some 12 to 14 hours across the Atlantic and landed at Cape Town, RSA. I then traveled to Johannesburg, RSA, where I met up with Brenda. We flew together from Johannesburg to the country of Malawi with our final destination of Blantyre, Malawi. We left Malawi, and this is where my education would begin. Our travel was all dirt roads with major pot holes. When we entered Mozambique, I began noticing areas near the road and around the rail road tracks that were marked off. Mozambique was in a civil war for over 20 years and Brenda experienced the last part of the war and saw the horrors that war brings. The marked off portions near the road and near the railroad tracks were mine fields that had been de-mined. There are 10’s of thousands of mines left over from the war. I observed mine fields being de-mined while I was there.
I spent my first night in Mozambique at a Mission station. The mission station is in lion country and you are discouraged from venturing out at night. This is the station where Brenda was in her cab top tent at night, when a leopard walked by her truck. Oh, what a wonderful God of protection HE is. I neither saw nor heard any lion while I was there. From the mission station we traveled on to Balama. You’ve seen these guys with their four wheel drive trucks and how mucho they think they are, Brenda took me on some roads that would put any of these mucho men to shame. We drove on some roads that looked more like gullies. We traveled in some sandy areas that the sand was so deep that you could not stop; you literally swam over the sand. If you stopped, your vehicle would sink and you would not get out without help. Balama, these kids are so beautiful. They have nothing and yet they are happy.
I’ve seen Brenda in the worst of times and in the best of times; I’ve seen her in the midst of the fires of affliction and she has come out of it, as refined pure GOLD. I’m thankful that our Lord has allowed me to be just a small part of HIS ministry. God Bless. Psalm 91 Psalm 27