Sorry if our blog postings stood still for a while. Difficult sat connections made it nearly impossible to post for the last week or so from out the jungle base. But here we go again …….
ZAMBEZI – THE ‘FORGOTTEN’ RIVER PEOPLE
Mathematics is not really my forte. But when God works deep in the hearts of the river people of Mozambique heavenly mathematics makes sense in a weird way. I am on my way to the north to a small town, Sena. Accompanying me is Past. Raymond Lombaard from Wheels for God and his friend – a very chirpy guy I came to know as Johan. Usually only helicopters fly over Sena to rescue people drowning in the mighty Zambezi.
Photo: We rested on the way ….maybe that’s why it took 7 hours to reach Sena. Raymond Lombaard with Francois sharing the African drink – Coke.
It’s warm when we entered Sena after 7 hours on the road – just enough light in my rear view mirror to follow the dust trial I left behind. Everyone is silently wondering what type of visit this will be. We have been invited for a few years now but it was only now that the outreach became a reality. Raymond Lombaard, president of Wheels for God, donated 40 bicycles and are leading the training part of the outreach which made the reaching out to the river people possible.
Bibles, which is such a necessity in the north, was so scarce in the local language that we could not lay our hand on a single Bible. With our arrival we were greeted with spirited songs of welcome. A dream was coming true after so many years. And pastor after pastor came and shared the same story: “We had a missionary here many many years ago ….. but he died. We have been praying for so many years – you are our answer.” In in the same sentence: “Did you bring any Bibles with you preacher.” I quickly looked away and without answering showed towards their new bicycles.
Photo: Meeting with the local leaders of Sena.
Raymond started with his teaching on the Heart of Man – a visual presentation to present the Gospel in an easy and uncomplicated way so that all could understand it. We had 40 pastors anxiously awaiting their 2 day training. They participated like hungry children – taking in every word. Every now and then you would see someone wiping away a tear that came from nowhere.
Everyone had a chance to present the material before we sent them into the dirt streets of Sena to share the Good News they have just heard.
It was amazing to see the preachers scatter in different direction. We gave them all the material they would need after they studied it vigorously. We asked the 40 pastors to come back after 2 hours to tell us what happened.
120 minutes later the pastors returned back to church. Many people were now following them with laughter, singing and loud voices. We sat down to hear what happened. Everyone wanted to talk simultaneously. We organized the groups and asked them what was so special that they all wanted to talk. “We shared the words and many said they have never heard those words. It touched all we talked to.” “We prayed for the sick!” one out-of-breath pastor shouted. “Witchdoctors lives were changed forever after sharing the Heart of Man chart”, another pastor exclaimed.
Photo: While walking on the Sena market square we saw these villagers talking about the Heart of God booklet. We tried to sneak in a photo without them noticing. (I don’t think I succeeded!)
We counted all the people reached with the Heart of Man chart. 40 Pastors reached 1 183people within 120 minutes. All around us amazing transformation started within the population. Walking by some house prostitutes were sitting with books reading about their hearts condition. On the market square people were standing in groups discussing the Good News. Many asked us: “Why have we never heart this Good news?”
Photo: Pastors praying before they headed out into the village to share the Good news.
The people danced ….. and we looked at each other …. pleased to understand God’s mathematics. As we were looking at the people around us ….. one pastor came closer and whispered in my ear: “Bibles, did you bring any ……?” He drove 100km with a broken bicycle hoping ……….. My mouth went dry as I saw the tears in his eyes.
To be continued …………