I had a wonderful conversation today with Roger Walterhouse of Feed the Hungry. He conveyed their great appreciation for the first shipment of our Bible Study on John, part of which went to Malawi. They are beginning to see great results just from this first shipment. He relayed the following incidents.
The FTH team went to an area outside of Blantyre, Malawi where there were many HIV/AIDS victims. FTH had given out the BSJ in this area previously. Roger and his team organized a meeting for follow-up, etc. As the people filed in to the meeting he saw they were carrying the BSJ. He thought they had probably received copies as they entered the building. Instead he discovered that these Bible studies were the ones previously distributed and that each of the attendees brought them because they have no Bible, so this small Bible study serves as their Bible. They were there with their “Bibles”.
In a region along the border between Malawi and Mozambique they visited a refugee camp where many Mozambiquans had come due to the recent destruction and devastation from the cyclone. As he and his companion Chuck walked through the camp they saw a man sitting in front of a small thatched hut with a copy of the WMP Bible Study on John which he had received on a previous visit from FTH teams. Chuck stopped to talk to the man, asking him about the book. Like the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts the man replied he needed someone to help him understand what he was reading. As they talked, the man said he was an animist and practiced a traditional religion of the region. Chuck asked if he could tell the man about Jesus, and just as Philip years ago Chuck shared the truth of Jesus Christ from God’s Word.
-Email from Helen Williams, WMP's Director of Orders and Distribution
A Feed The Hungry team went to an area outside of Blantyre, Malawi where there were many HIV/AIDS victims. FTH had given out WMP's Bible Study of John in this area previously. Roger W. and his team organized a meeting for follow-up, etc. As the people filed in to the meeting he saw they were carrying the BSJ. He thought they had probably received copies as they entered the building. Instead he discovered that these Bible studies were the ones previously distributed and that each of the attendees brought them because they have no Bible, so this small Bible study serves as their Bible. They were there with their “Bibles”.
In a region along the border between Malawi and Mozambique they visited a refugee camp where many Mozambiquans had come due to the recent destruction and devastation from the cyclone. As he and his companion Chuck walked through the camp they saw a man sitting in front of a small thatched hut with a copy of the WMP Bible Study on John which he had received on a previous visit from FTH teams. Chuck stopped to talk to the man, asking him about the book. Like the Ethiopian eunuch from Acts the man replied he needed someone to help him understand what he was reading. As they talked the man said he was an animist and practiced a traditional religion of the region. Chuck asked if he could tell the man about Jesus, and just as Philip years ago Chuck shared the truth of Jesus Christ from God’s Word.
The wind blew and it felt so humid and hot. He was swimming deep down in his thoughts as he was trying to recall what had happened in the previous day. Ever since he got the job at the sugar plantation in Marromeu, Tinos has never seen what he does with his earnings. After receiving his salary he would go straight to drink and squander all the money.
The previous day had started by friends inviting him to just pass through the bar and get just one pint each before they go home. However, it ended being a drinking spree that led into the wee hours of the following morning. As he had looked into his pockets the following morning he had seen his pockets empty. “What really happened to my money?” he asked himself.
Tinos’ life had been marred with addiction to alcohol. Although he is a non-smoker, alcohol had been his water. Each and every day would be a dear opportunity to drink again and enjoying himself but certainly the following morning will be pain and more pain. This had been the trend for long and he had been in that position for years. Family life had been badly severed with chaos, poverty, hunger and misery being the silhouette of his family. The fighting with his wife was the order of the day and his children were all malnourished.
The alcohol addiction is a common factor that affects many people in the nation of Mozambique. The law doesn’t prohibit the abuse of alcohol and in fact it is viewed as an essential part of the diet in the Mozambican culture. When you go to other countries the laws do not permit the consumption of alcohol in undesignated areas but sadly in Mozambique it is allowed to drink alcohol anytime and anywhere. This has influenced people to be alcohol addicts and in both urban and rural, both males and females are seen consuming alcohol in excess. This therefore has led to the youths to emulate and they believe the abuse of alcohol is a painkiller for forgetting their troubles and tribulations.
The life at Tinos’ home was really messy and pejorative. Just by merely looking at what his household looked like, it was a clear panorama of how misery looks like. The pain the kids were going through was written all over their faces and poverty there was so loud that we couldn’t quantify the decibels of noise it was making. We couldn’t even talk about school because it was quite obvious that the pain the kids were going through at home meant that there wasn’t any extra money that would be used in investing in their education.
As Tinos sat down under a big mango tree at his home, he lifted up his eyes and saw a team of visitors coming to his house. Grappled by fear as he felt that he had done something wrong the previous night at the Bar, he looked at them with feeble eyes. He felt that probably he was in another problem which could be bigger than what he would ever imagine. Looking at the team without any energy in his body, his eyes were clearly saying that, “I am here and vulnerable and defeated already.” To his surprise, the strangers were all smiles when they were looking at him. Smiles are contagious always, as he saw the smiles on the team’s faces, his face quickly brightened up and he also had a smile on his face.
The team was comprised of EHC workers who were going home to home sharing about Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a “one treatment for all”. As the team shared the Gospel with Tinos, his heart was brought closer to them and he opened up about his personal life. He started to narrate about how he started drinking at a tender age. He felt his life had been so demolished that it could not be repaired anymore. The time wasted was so much that it couldn’t be repaid. He felt like he was drowning in the pool of humongous sorrow that would just suffocate him to death. All hope was gone and there wasn’t any ray of light left in his heart. Darkness had engulfed every part of his life and that of his family.
As they shared various pieces of literature with him and explained how Jesus could give him New Life, a glimpse of hope was evident in his eyes. He wanted to hear more about this Jesus who is the giver of hope and life. He wanted to hear more on how other Christians would accept someone they knew as a drunkard into the church. His concerns were so significant and evidently affecting him. “Jesus loves you the way you are. You just need to give him all the pieces of your broken life and he will meant them and restore your life to the factory settings. You will be able to live again the life that the LORD has always wanted you to have,” Tiago one of the team members explained to him.
“I want Jesus to come and cure me from alcohol addiction and restore my family. Please can you wait for my wife to come back she has gone to fetch firewood so I also want her to hear the Gospel you are sharing. I want my family to be happy again,” Tinos said with tears pooling up in his eyes.
As the team waited for his wife to come back they continued to share more words of Hope in Christ with him and he was evidently receiving his transformation and a new vessel of Christ was being birthed in him. As they finished praying for Tiago, it wasn’t before his wife also arrived and only to find glad tidings awaiting her at home. The family managed to have their deliverance.
Tinos opened the doors of his home to have a Christ Group planted at his home and he has developed so much passion for the Gospel because of the BFAM lessons that he is receiving together with his wife. One of Tinos’ friends Fanuel, is also attending the Christ Group although some of his friends have not yet accepted the Gospel.
When asked if there were any significant changes at their home, Margarita, Tinos’ wife said,” I used to be a married widow. I was married but living as a widow. Jesus gave me back my husband. Even if we don’t have money at our home these days, we are a happy family because every day my husband arrives back home on time. Jesus is indeed my best friend who took all my worries away.”
Tinos says he can’t continue to associate himself with his old friends who are still drinking because he is afraid that they might influence him again to go back into drinking. “I am not strong enough yet to resist beer temptation so I don’t want to be tempted that is the reason why I am avoiding them,” Tinos said with a chuckle.
-Godfrey B., Mozambique, Africa
As a young lad, Manuel J. used to go to church with his parents. They were devout Christians who wanted their children to grow in Christian values. “To them Christianity was the key to everything regardless of the fact that we were very poor,” Manuel recalls.
He also remembers some of the stories from the Bible he used to learn as a young boy in Sunday school. Although he had grown up in a Christian family, he had never allowed his heart to accept Jesus. To him it was an issue of hearing some history stories and quotes but nothing appealing but instead appalling in his ears. As he grew older, he started to become rebellious and started to refrain from attending church, which he and his friends viewed as backward and nugatory. Conflict with his parents started and it became friction and more friction everyday as the parents were trying to push him to attend church but to no avail.
As the parents gave up on him, this is the time his friends introduced him to marijuana which he was told was an herb of wisdom and excessive energy. “Marijuana became the food of my soul and I became so addicted that I couldn’t do anything without smoking marijuana,” Manual explained.
Commonly known as “suruma” in Mozambique, marijuana is becoming a severe cancer amongst many Mozambican youths. Talking to EHC recently, Police Chief of Operations in Beira’s Ponta-Gea Borough, Mr. Nharinge said, “The abuse of drugs amongst Mozambican juveniles is becoming relatively alarming and almost on daily basis the youths are arrested on several counts of heinous felonies. In the cells, some will be shivering as if they are almost dying due to drug addiction.
This calls for Christian organizations like Every Home for Christ to also invest in rehabilitation centers for drug addicts which is not a common thing here in Mozambique.”
It is believed that hoards of dangerous drugs, intoxicating substances, and many other contraband items are smuggled into Mozambique through our seaports that are seemingly porous.
As a victim of marijuana, Manuel became a stray young lad who diverged from the lessons he was taught by his parents and found himself struggling with a melee of evil thoughts and actions that were influenced by the drug he was using.
As a young man, he felt it was fashionable to also marry at a young age. At the age of 24, he found himself being a husband and a father of three. He was already selling his labor at the sugar-cane plantations and his day would be filled with so much hard work as you are paid according to the amount of work you will have done during that day.
Looking at the now 28, young man, you would think he is above 40, due to the rigorous activities that are gradually tearing his body down. One thing that had been eating him up was that he sometimes found himself in scary situations when he became so rude and cruel to his wife. “I love my wife, but sometimes I just get angry with her over trivial issues and I become so violent,” Manuel said with visibly wet eyes.
The time the EHC team visited his home, Manuel was out working at the sugar-cane estate. They shared the Gospel with his wife and she clearly told the team that even though she wanted to be a Christian she couldn’t because she was too scared to do that because of her husband’s behavior. “I can only be a Christian if my husband allows me to or if he also becomes a Christian, which I believe is something totally impossible,” Margarita said with a sad face.
The team prayed asking the LORD to do a miracle and allow that woman to have freedom of worshipping God. The team left some Scripture booklets with her and their contact number before they continued to move from home to home and village to village, person to person.
Manuel came back in the evening from work. That day he came back a little bit early and that surprised his wife, but she never wanted to inquire why he was home that early. Manuel later told the EHC team that it was because he usually passed through the home of one man in the village who peddles marijuana, but that day something just made him too weak to pass through there and he wanted to come home early to rest.
As he was taking his evening meal, he noticed some Scripture booklets on the table. He was curious to know what they were all about. He felt he needed to finish up his meal quickly and have time to read the booklets. As he washed his hands after the meal and his wife took away the plates, he quickly jumped in the Scripture booklets to read each one of them sentence by sentence, word by word.
In the villages, it is rare to have any new literature in the homes, because the people are very far from the city. This means that each time a Scripture booklet is left in a home, curiosity attracts hands and souls to it. People can’t resist reading a Scripture booklet or tract because they can’t have any other printed media in the village. This therefore becomes one of the greatest advantages that EHC should capitalize on. This therefore calls for a systematic saturation of the villages with scripture booklets and tracts.
“As I read the tracts, they rekindled my childhood memories and I became so much in love with my past and how my parents wanted me to hear the things of God,” Manuel explained. The reminiscence of his childhood that was decorated with Christianity was triggered by the Scripture booklets and it seems that childhood was so fantastic when he reflects about it in this day.
The Scripture booklets brought back memories and tears began trickling down Manuel’s eyes. This was worrisome to his wife, Margarita, who quickly asked him what was going on in his mind. She thought he had a bad day at work and she linked that to his earliness in coming back home that day.
“Where did you get these tracts?” Manuel asked. His wife took time to explain as she thought she was in trouble because of the tracts. “My parents wanted me to live a life for Jesus and these tracts have just reminded the passion and vision of my parents on my life. I want Jesus again in my life and I want you as well to have him and we will be a couple who believe in Christ and have our kids grow up in God’s hands,” Manuel said.
Upon hearing these words Margarita screamed and started to weep as she was so shocked and surprised that the prayer conducted in the afternoon had been answered so quickly. “Jesus, I am a sinner please don’t destroy me because I have seen you are here,” Margarita said...sounding so scared about what had just happened. She felt that the coming of Jesus into her home as a sinner would actually destroy her and she was so scared that night as she felt that Jesus was indeed in her house. She felt she really needed to bring the team the following day so that they pray for her home not to be destroyed by Jesus.
It is quite sad that many who have heard the Gospel before think that Jesus is just an inch away waiting to destroy sinners and send them to hell. They were not told about the Gospel of the Love that God has for the world. Many people see Jesus as just a policeman, policing their sins and waiting to punish them severely.
The EHC team came back the following day as Margarita has requested and they were equally shocked to know that Manuel had responded to the Gospel in a positive way that surpassed their expectations. Manuel and Margarita are now part of a Christ Group that is a stone-throw from their home.
-Submitted by EHC Mozambique’s National Director, Godfrey Bhodyera
Marromeu, Mozambique is known by many for being the place where Mary Moffat Livingstone was buried. Mary Livingstone (née Moffat; 12 April 1821 – 27 April 1862) was the wife of the Scottish Congregationalist missionary David Livingstone. Her father, Robert Moffat, was a Scottish Congregationalist missionary who worked among the Bechuana people at Kuruman.
She married Livingstone in January 1845, despite her mother's disapproval. The couple lived initially in Kolobeng, North West Province. She accompanied Livingstone on his two journeys across the Kalahari desert in 1849 and 1850. Two of her six children were born during these treks and were delivered by her husband. She did not go on Livingstone's first expedition to the Zambezi, 1853–1856, because she lived in Britain for four years for the sake of the children's education.
In 1852, Mary returned to Scotland with her 4 children, but staying with relatives proved difficult. After several moves, she eventually moved to Kendal where she lived with Charles and Susanna Brathwwaite who were evangelical Quakers and supporters of the London Missionary Society. Dr Livingstone and Mary's parents were missionaries of this society. When Livingstone returned to England, a national hero, he stayed with the Braithwaites on a number of occasions. Livingstone joined her in Britain from 1856 to 1858. In 1858, she returned to Africa to accompany Livingstone on the official "Zambezi Expedition", but became pregnant again and left the expedition to go to her parents' home in Kuruman for the birth of the new child. Returning to Africa, she met Livingstone at the mouth of the Zambezi, but fell ill from malaria in the camp at Shupanga and died there 3 months later on 27 April 1862.
The pain caused by the civil war is still felt in Marromeu. The dilapidated infrastructure that has never been revived, the poverty levels that are alarmingly high, and the fact that only 1% of the population has access to electricity makes this one of the darkest districts in Mozambique. The area has seen little development for a long time, even though it produces much sugar for export.
EHC Mozambique is on a mission to revive David Livingstone’s “Zambezi Expedition”. This aggressive campaign is bringing the LIGHT to this district in honor of the efforts of our forerunners, David and Mary Livingstone. In this regard, EHC has partnered with various churches and Ministries working in this district. However, most of them do not want to go deeper into the district due to the difficulty in accessing its remote villages. Please agree with is in prayer as we continue to move forward.
A recent outreach was conducted at Samora Machel village, of Marromeu District. Samora Machel is an area where most people are not living in accordance with the ways of God. Macumbas and Curandeiros, which are witchdoctors and sorcerers, are venerated in the area and they occupy the majority space as far as spiritual guidance is concerned. Their way of doing things has kept many in total chaos and bondage, as the heavy shackles of the African Traditional Religion and Islam continue to weigh them down and keep them in total subjugation.
EHC activities are throwing a ray of Light on these communities! We have no doubt that they shall continue to bring Light and Hope to these suffocating populations, through the Love of Jesus! Efforts and campaigns like these are new to Samora Machel. However, wonderful results are being achieved and success stories are being written.
It is evident that the Holy Spirit Himself was in charge of this whole effort! For many of our volunteers, it was the first time that they had ever participated in such a campaign...with a total of 355 positive responses to the Gospel! This has motivated many churches who participated to continue with the EHC vision...as these outreaches have yielded such tremendous results.
-EHC Mozambique's National Director, Godfrey Bhodyera
Listen to this week's podcast for more details!
“On our journey toward Tete, we used a small bush road hardly, if ever, used by any vehicle. I thought to myself: ‘Lord, how are we ever going to get to the main road with this kind of road?’ As we were traveling through mountainous terrain, we had to cross over about 12 dried-up river beds, some so narrow and steep that I wondered if the truck would get stuck right in the cleft. We had to cross over three very large, dry, sandy riverbeds. In this journey we again felt the Lord’s hand of protection so strongly, knowing that all of this is for His gospel to reach the uttermost parts. Courage welled up in us and on we went. It was late afternoon when we reached a small village—Zenga-Zenga. We found the village chief and asked if we could stay there for the night. Yes, no problem. Wherever we went and wherever we stopped, we always distributed the World Missionary Press Scripture booklets. In this way we planted four new churches. Out there in the bush that is probably the only Scriptures that they have ever received. As I walked with some of the ladies to the river to draw our water, I stopped at the river bank. The ladies climbed down the steep cleft to carry the water back up this steep cliff. As I was waiting for them, a young boy, maybe 10 years of age, came with his bike and water jug to draw his water. As he saw me, he jumped off his bike in fear, left it beside the path and started running back home. He acted as if he had never seen a white person before. I called to him in Portuguese not to be afraid, that I was a friend and that I loved children. He stopped, listened, and then slowly and carefully came toward me, took his water jug, and proceeded to the river. As he returned from the river, we asked him why he was so afraid. He explained that he had never seen a white person. We assured him that all was well. Unfortunately I had no Scripture booklets in Masena with me at that moment. We just exchanged a few words, and he then quickly got on his bike. We ladies walked back together, each of us carrying our water jugs on our head. . . . The chief wanted us to plant a Mountain of Praise church right there at Zenga-Zenga and said his children would be the first to help evangelize in that area. We left two boxes of Scripture booklets, assured that the Word of God had entered there. In remote places like these, where there are no Bibles, no Christian broadcasts, few or no churches, we are so thankful that we have these Scripture booklets as the only source of the Word of God for these dear people. Every time as people read these Scripture booklets, thousands of seeds are planted. I am always encouraged and strengthened by the words that the Lord says in Isaiah 55:11: ‘. . . So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.’ Frequently in Africa it happens that when a chief gets saved, the whole village gets saved. We will find out next time we visit there. It was a great experience and worth every effort and every precarious moment.”
-Tanneken Fros, Mozambique