Dezember 2018 Weihnachtsgrüße

November 2018

Dear friends,

our children are doing well … 🙂
They are looking forward to the school holidays that will start soon and to my surprise all want to go to Sussundenga where 2 of our fields are, for a couple weeks to help preparing them for planting maize.
One of our children (who had been living on the street for quite a while before) had been forced by his uncle to leave our children’s home. The uncle wanted him to work for him instead of going to school, but he managed to escape and come back. This time we were quick to inform social welfare of the situation and the uncle will only be able to take the boy again when he has permission from social welfare.

Work with street children is challenging, but lately we see a lot of change in their lives, which is really exciting! Keep praying for them, as well as those that take care of them … thanks!

We are still busy with the piles of papers we need to legalize our children’s center once again. We had been told we had everything, but now they’re saying they never said that … anyways, pray with us for wisdom how to do it, grace & favor to get them all and without delays … .

Our dogs are back to normal weight and healthy :-).
We also have a new really cute puppy that will not die this time, but help guard our house! She is really smart … ;-).

The ministry in the prison continues. On October 9th we had another amazing baptism with many prisoners being firm in their decisions to leave their old life styles behind and live with Jesus from now on.

In the hospital …
While we were in Israel the administrative leadership of the hospital changed and with that came new rules, that from what I had heard made it difficult to pray there for a while, but now everything is back to normal. We also renewed our document, that says that we have permission to pray in the hospital, so the one we have now has the signature of the current director. Since then no one ever asked for the paper again, but just in case … we are prepared … .

The youth services we are still doing, too, every 2nd Sunday of the month. Today we had another blessed time in the presence of God, worshiping God and praying for our city and country with youths from different churches … .

Around the time of my birthday we went to the Sea, to Savanne for a few days, which was nice :-). What was not so nice was that the day before we got there the water pump broke, so there was no water :-(. I had been looking forward to take a real shower for a change, but there was no way. When we got there they said, they’d fix it, but didn’t manage. Jumping in the ocean is nice, but after ‘swimming’ you want to wash of the salty crust … .
On the last part of the way there I had the privilege to sit in the front of the truck, in the cabin, between the driver and another passenger. As usual I used the opportunity to talk, talk about Jesus. Most people here believe in a God somehow, the question is, what that belief has to do with their lives, or how much room God really has in their lives. To make a long story short, in the end the driver asked for prayer to stop drinking. He was very moved. He knew how much his wife and 6 children suffered because of his drinking problem. Anyways, I called Camilo, who had been in the back of the truck to pray with me. So we did our part … .

Last Saturday we went to a wedding of a good friend of us. His wife we only met at the wedding in Mocuba (Zambezia province). The wedding was nice, the way there wasn’t. It took us more than 12 hours to get there and the bus didn’t drive slow. The road was/is so bad that for parts of it the bus went on a small dust road, in order not to get stuck in the potholes on the main national highway. It was blazing hot (more than 40°C) and no air-conditioning, but we got there, which is what matters.

Since we were already ‘in the north’ we used to opportunity to take another early bus, on Sunday morning, to Quelimane, to visit a church of a dear pastor and friend of ours, to minister there. A year and a half ago we had been in that area for 10 days of evangelism, so if was exciting to see some of the fruit of our work of that time :-). On Monday morning at 4.30 a.m we were on another bus towards the south … . We had bought tickets for the bus to Chimoio, but the night before we got a call that the bus was no longer going ‘cause it wasn’t completely full … grr … we had bought tickets early, so we’d get more our less decent seats, but what could we do?! We had to take the bus that went to Maputo instead, which by then was almost full, get of at the intersection of Inchope and find another transport from there to Chimoio, but either way, we managed and made it back home safely that night – praise God!

Stay blessed!
Greetings from Africa,
Claudia & Camilo

Mai 2018

Dear friends, hope this finds you well. We made it safely back from Israel and are very grateful for the time we were allowed to be there. It wasn’t the easiest to get a visa for Camilo … at the airport in Johannesburg we were ‘interviewed’ for more than an hour … at the end all we could do is pray … we were the last 2 passengers to get on board … upon arrival in Israel it took us another 5 hours to actually enter Israel, waiting to be questioned again (there was 1 person for those ‘interviews’ and more than 100 people waiting; everyone that needs/has a visa has to go through that process) … . We that come from Europe, America or Australia often don’t know how privileged we are to enter most countries of the world without severe hassles … now as I am married to Camilo I experience something of the other reality, how you are being treated when you have an African or Asian passport … on the other hand Camilo has the grace to be married to someone having a German passport and I usually respond when he is being questioned, so things are not too bad for most of it … but either way, what matters is that God is with us and as our wedding verse says, ‘in everything we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!’ (Rom 8.37). Finally in (!) Israel we just wanted to pick up our bags, only to find out that they were not there … grr … but after lots of phone calls and lots of prayer they showed up, too, but not the next day, only after about a week. Who knows the airport in Johannesburg knows that lots of language disappears there, but thank God …! It was a privilege for us to be in Nazareth, in Jericho, Jerusalem, at lake Galilee, on Mount Carmel, the Mount of Transfiguration, at the Dead and the Red Sea, where the Angels appeared to shepherds near Bethlehem and many other places … . We read the bible with completely different eyes since then … .

Back in Mozambique we found everything in place, things still inside of our house, dogs alive and children well … praise God! Our children are looking forward to June 1 st , children’s day, they’ll get new clothes, shoes, a little present, sweets and there will be lots of good food & softdrinks … . The chicken house and pig house is almost ready, a few little things here and there as well as the roof is missing. The next project will the ‘wall’ & hedge of the girl’s property … . Another big job is to buy a few tons of maize and store it up to be eaten throughout the year. There is always something to do ;-­). This week our children were invited to play soccer at a soccer contest and they won!! ;-­)

Our youth services are continuing to be blessed with a strong presence of the Lord. Last Sunday we had another amazing service … .

God is moving in the prison & hospital, lives are changing … at the same time there are lots of obstacles & challenges, at times it looks like we can’t continue, but we do in the midst of the storm and impossible. There is a new hospital director that it looks like is not in favor of the church or people praying, still have to find out more details. Pray for the team to be strong and continuing, even when Camilo & I are gone … .

Back from Israel we didn’t stay long in Chimoio (didn’t even manage to wash at least most of our clothes of our trip, not only because of lack of time, but also because there was no water for days). During the 1 week back home Camilo needed to get all the material that had been taught in school during the 1 month we were gone, speak to his teachers to give him an extra chance of the tests he missed, write the tests, while I met up with different people, organized things in the prison, for the children, with the guards, get all the documents we needed to apply for Camilo’s visas, fill out the applications, mark appointments at the embassies, get bus tickets, something to eat, pack our clothes etc. … while we continued to minister at the different places we always do. Besides the regular teachings I do I am teaching Kairos again at the moment, which means another 2 nights a week, but it’s exciting to see how God changes people’s focus from just being ‘active in the church’, to actually care about the lost, the unreached, even as the course still goes on, they are starting to share the gospel with others as they never have, getting God’s heart, pray for people to be saved, think about making disciples, not just converts … it’s a lot of work, time & effort, but very well worth it ;-­).

We both felt to use the 1 week holiday Camilo had, even though leaving at the time we left limited us to 5 days in Maputo to get Camilo’s last name changed (he adopted mine when we got married), get a new ID, a new passport and 2 visas in our passport within that time ‘cause we needed to be back for the youth service on Sunday we are responsible for (the sound system is at our house and there is no other car, only ours). All we could do is trust God ‘cause we very well knew that what we were trying to do was completely impossible without lots and lots of miracles. Here in Chimoio new IDs take about 3 months, in Maputo you can get them quicker, but still not in 1 day, passports take 2 months here, in Maputo 2 weeks. Another challenge was that the only time open to mark appointments for this week at both Embassies was Thursday morning, almost at the same time (8.15 and 9.30a.m). If you have ever applied for a visa you know you can’t be late for your appointment. Besides that we didn’t have a passport when we got to the German embassy ‘cause we leave it at the American embassy, only a copy, but they allowed us to do the interview with just the copy and bring the passport the next day. Being able to get the passport from the American Embassy the next morning was another miracle that happened. Then the German Embassy did Camilo’s visa right away, which doesn’t happen, everyone else was told to come back after a week. The consul from Senegal was there at the same time waiting and his request not being attended and he is a diplomat. Maybe just to mention one more thing, both Camilo’s ID and his new passport we got within 1 day, without paying corruption money, just favor!! The Lord made it possible to speak to the national director of the authority that issues IDs and he helped us. When we were on the way to immigration (where passports are being issued here) we met a lady who works there on the bus we took and through her we were able to enter into the part where the big bosses are… . I could tell you lots more, but let’s leave it there … . God put absolutely everything in place … praise & glory to Him at all times! Everything is possible for those who pray & believe … Greetings from Mozambique, Every blessing!! Claudia & Camilo

März 2018

My dear friends,

we are grateful to the Lord for the favor He has given us in the prisons and hospital, to see how God changes lives, heals and delivers people, the many opportunities to share God’s word and his love in practical ways …

Many things have improved on the girl’s property … the houses have all been built … only windows & doors still need to be put … if the carpenter hadn’t disappeared for a quite a while … then the welder hadn’t paid his rent, so the owner of the house didn’t release the material inside … just how things are here … but I still believe things will eventually come to a completion there … .
Ate the moment we’re putting the roof on the Machessas (little huts for people to sit inside, one for fellowship and one for prayer) and if we have money we’ll be building a small wall that will support a hedge with thorns like on the boy’s property … .

On the boy’s property our builder is building a house for chickens and another one for pigs. The little chicken house we had was destroyed in a storm, but it was only a temporary solution anyway, until we’d have the chance to build something more permanent. Then we’ll just have to find pigs and more chickens somewhere … .

Our children are doing well. The holidays are over and everyone is back in school. We have a new child, the father is in prison, the mother abandoned him, so he stayed with his grandfather who was constantly drunk … eventually he preferred to stay on the street then “at home” … he is a really nice boy … .
Every year the beginning of the school year is a big event … until everyone has a place in a class (the school administration is a total chaos here) … new bagpacks, schoolmaterial, uniforms … and besides our children we are supporting 50 other children from the part of town we live in, that would otherwise not be able to study. The thing is that before we can give all these things to the children we must first organize and buy each one of them and that in many different places, but it is worth the effort … ;-).

The health authority came to visit us. We had heard from others, that they aren’t easy, but it really wasn’t difficult. So now we have the paper that confirms that our sanitation is okay. They didn’t want to see much and only complained one little thing that isn’t a big deal to organize … .

We are working on more papers social welfare requires … . The roads are more than bad at the moment, that they haven’t come back … .

Agricultural projects

By now we have 4 big field, 2 in the district of Sussundenga and 2 in the district of Macate. The last one we hadn’t planned, but the offer was too good not to accept. In January and February people don’t have money here ‘cause last year’s harvest is gone, the salary of December spent for Christmas and the salary of January is being needed for school fees and school material … if someone has a paid job he doesn’t only have to finance his own family but help his relatives who don’t have a job. And most people earn less thank $100 a months, even if they have a job. Either way someone was desperate for some money because his son had mad a girl under 18 pregnant (which is not uncommon here, but she is the daughter of a leader). So he sold his field of 3 hectares that is right next to a road (most field are far from roads, so it is hard to transport things) for about $420. Just the bananas that already exist on that field are worth that money. The other part of the field had grass more than 8 feet high, so it took some work before we could plant something there, but by now we are almost finished planting 2500 banana trees. Our children are excited about the bananas. No more lack of calcium for our children … 😉
On the other fields we’ve also planted things … maize, potatoes, sweet potatoes, manioc, cashews … at the moment we are busy planting beans, orange- and litchi trees … . It’s challenging to invest so much time and money into those fields without having much benefit right now, but we still believe it will be worth it in the long run … . In that way we’ll be more or less independent of the economy … .

In January we went to Malawi for 10 days to get some rest and have some time just for us … see the nice picture of Camilo at lake Malawi 😉

We finally have a new substitute guard for our office … 😉
After not having one for months all of sudden we had two that wanted the job … it is not difficult to find someone that wants to be a guard, but someone that actually does the job, that doesn’t just come to sleep at your house, and even more important that doesn’t steal things while you are gone … so we’re hoping, but we have a good feeling …

We are excited to go to Israel!! For a long time I’ve been wanting to go to Israel, but each time I had an opportunity to go to the Holy Land the Lord said, ‘you’ll go, but not now’ and a few years back He began to tell me, that I’d go to Israel for my honeymoon, which was kind of a crazy thought ‘cause there was no husband in sight, nor did I have plans to get married and now all of a sudden I am married and we are going to Israel for our honeymoon ;-). Camilo is also excited, he’s been dreaming to go to Israel, just didn’t know how it could ever happen without any money, barely having enough food to eat. So his eyes lit up when I put out the suggestion. Normal people go on their honeymoon right after their wedding, but we are just not normal ;-). Camino’s visa wasn’t easy to get, but in everything we are more than conquerors! We got a call from the consulate in Maputo that the embassy in Angola is refusing Camilo’s visa. They want to know exactly where we’ll be at, each hotel with addresses and phone numbers. Now at that time my credit card was blocked, so I couldn’t do anything on the internet and here is no travel agency that books hotels for you. Camilo was gone to one of our fields and his phone had no network, so I couldn’t reach him, even just to let him know what was going on so he could at least pray. I didn’t have much time ‘cause it was already in the afternoon when I got the information and they wanted the hotel reservations the same day. Eventually I called my travel agent in Germany where I used to book flights and explained them the situation. Praise God that they were willing to help me out even though I explained to them we wouldn’t need the reservations in the end. Within 1 ½ hours they sent me what I needed and I forwarded it to the embassy. I heard from others that Israel changed their visa policies and visas in general are hard to get now. However, we believe it was just an excuse not to give us the visa. We did what we could, while we prayed for God to move their hearts. Camilo’s passport made it safely back from Angola and is in our hand – glory & praise to God Most High!!

As I mentioned the other challenge was my credit card. The bank blocked my credit card saying that it was no longer secure … and there was no way to convince them to unblock it on my own risk … grr … . Finally they agreed to send me a new one to Mozambique, which was nice, but instead of sending it to my P.O.Box where I usually get things, they sent it to my address. That works well in Europe or America, but here there is no mail delivery whatsoever. To make things worse they sent it with TNT which doesn’t exist here, so I had absolutely no idea where it’d arrive, if … and they sent my card and the pin at the same time, even though we had agreed they’d send the pin to my german address … . To make a long story short, both envelops arrived and I was able to find out where … at a kiosk that sells engine oil, no sign of courier service … unbelievable, but anyways, what matters that I got the new card and the pin … praise God!!

What we didn’t manage yet is changing Camilo’s last name. We didn’t think that it ‘d be that complicated, but we should have known that pretty much everything is complicated here. It’ll take a miracle or lots of time in Maputo, which we don’t have, going on African buses for 1200km multiple times, on a really bad road … . Camilo’s passport came back with 2 last names, the old and the new one. According to our marriage certificate he has only one (mine) though. We wanted to have the same last name and since I have tons of documents I would have needed to change whereas Camilo has only an ID and a passport, so we thought it’d be easier. Now we are stuck between 2 different laws of 2 different countries ‘cause here they only add a name, never take one away. We asked before we got married and they said it wouldn’t be a problem if he takes my last name, but now it is … we’re still hoping for a miracle, God touching some people’s hearts to help us so we can apply for a visa for Germany and the US this summer … .

Greetings from Mozambique!
Every blessing to all of you,
Claudia & Camilo