In January 2012 a group of people gathered to “brainstorm” and dream of what God could and would do in Mozambique. The country where STM”s (Short Term Mission trips) traveled each year. Where the people were hungry to hear of the love of Jesus Christ and not only hear about the love but see it in action in many ways, through agricultural fields, through fresh clean water being brought into the villages, with teachings from those who went on the STM’s, and eyeglasses being given to many in the villages and in so many other ways the love of Christ was shared. It was in that meeting the first vision for a church building to be built and pastored by a Mozambican pastor was discussed and we all knew that God would do just that in His time!
In February 2016 WOW hosted a fund raiser in order to raise money to help build a church in the Gaza Region of Mozambique. Not really knowing, when, where or how but as always trusting God to take the funds and use it for His glory!
In 2017 a crusade was held in Macalawane and Pastor Benedito and his wife Lucia started pastoring the church directly afterwards. They met in a tent in the village for several months and in 2018 construction on a church building was started. An answer to the prayers of so many in Mozambique and the people here at The Chapel.
Last month my husband Ray and I were blessed to be a part of the dedication of the very church building (See photo) that was dreamt of back in 2012! What a blessing to be a part… the fund raising and then the dedication of not just the building but to see the “church”, the people who are now attending and growing in the Lord. What a wonderful, joyful time of celebration it was that Sunday, June 16, 2019! The people from the village packed the inside (See photo) and stood outside to hear and see this joyful dedication of this beautiful building. Oh, praise the Lord!
A few days later, I had a special time with 21 ladies from the village. I shared a craft that WOW sister Heidi Hohlbaugh had created. She had given me the materials so they could make bookmarks and WOW supplied journals for all 21 of them. When I arrived, they stood up and performed the OHIO hand cheer for me! I loved it! (See photo). After they each made four bookmarks, (See photo) I -- on behalf of WOW -- purchased three of them. I wish I had pictures of their faces and big smiles! They were ecstatic and thankful for the 100 Meticals (equal to $1.61 US). They hugged me and thanked me. My heart was overflowing with joy and my eyes with tears.
We also had the opportunity to see the agricultural fields that are still flourishing (See photo). Not only the tomato fields but also the banana fields that are bringing income to the families. We visited 3 of the fields and all were a beautiful sight! Did you know that WOW’s first purse party not only helped establish these ag fields, but also helped establish a sewing microenterprise? WOW later supplied sewing machines and training for the women in Chaimite. One evening after dark I walked over to the building where the sewing machines are housed. Sweet Maria was there still sewing dresses (See photo) and doing mending for others, using the skills she learned long ago as a source of income for her family.
The last Sunday we attended a church in the middle of a very poor section of Maputo, the capital. It was a small plot in the middle of the neighborhood with a blue tarp stretched over the chairs to keep us cool while we sang and danced with the small congregation. Oh, the joy of the Lord! At the close of the four-hour service (yes, I said four hours) the congregation was invited to come forward if they wanted prayer. Prayer that they would be bold with their family, friends, neighbors and share the love of Christ. What a blessing to pray for these brothers and sisters.
Will you also pray for the Mozambican believers? Pray that these dear sisters and brothers will continue to have courage and great faith in sharing Christ. That the church in Macalawane will grow not only in numbers but in faith and that all believers in Mozambique will be a light in a spiritually dark country.
In Him and In Love,