Dezember 2008

December

Dear friends and family,

Lots of things have been happening as usual ….

We were able to finish the food distribution in our province (Manica) …. we were hoping and praying for another truck and the Lord answered … so we could go to Tambara … but men, we suffered ‚cause the road there is not exactly a good road … first we got stuck in the sand … we had to unload the whole load that was on the truck … with some wood, stones and dried grass underneith we finally managed to push it out with the help of some other locals …. everything back on … it was getting dark … we continued … I knew there was still a river we needed to pass, but I wasn’t too worried since I had been driving through it a couple times before bringing food there … this time though when we were almost through, just 1 m missing …. the truck stopped driving … someone pulled us out but didn’t want to pull us until Tambara, even though it was only 12 km … we tried to make ourselves as comfortable as possible to sleep on top of the bags of maize … after about 2 hours another bigger and higher up truck came, loaded with people and things … I got up to speak with the driver to please pull us until Tambara … he was willing to help, thank God … someone offered we could cook something at his house … so I went with another person of our team … we had dinner at about one in the morning and went back to sleep on top of the bags of maize ‚cause the former provincial pastor had created confusion with the districtal pastor there so we couldn’t stay at his house as planned … we were able to sort out things the next morning … the food was given to our orfans there … but we were still stuck there with a broken down truck … many people were trying to help us ‚cause they understand the problem … about every truck there has suffered the same way we did at some point … there are 5 trucks just standing around for 2 years, unable to be fixed …. I was praying … and the Lord sent an 2 „angels“ … first a good mecanic (who wasn’t working there as a mecanic, just happened to come there that day to do an „Aids project“) who discovered correctly what the real problem was, then someone with a bigger truck who had been an educator for about 10 years to one of our team members growing up in orfanage … so they knew each other very well … he offered to leave that day (which he hadn’t planned) and carry our truck back to Catandica for next to nothing … praise the Lord … our truck was being pulled and pushed up on a hill to get on the other truck, just big enough … later on in the evening when we were almost home that truck couldn’t drive any further due to tire problems … I couldn’t believe that … so we slept on top of the truck again … 🙂 – just without maize this time … after the tires had cooled down we continued, driving slowly and reached home … praise the Lord!!!
oh well, things happen when you go to the bush, feeding the hungry, but God is always there and there is always a solution, some help that God sends ….
also, our wonderful driver and mecanic together with the other people from his family managed to fix our truck and it is perfectly fine now …. 🙂

Now I need to tell you something, maybe not so nice … I had to leave in Catandica … and that quickly … so for now I am in Chimoio, staying with friends who are also missionaries with Iris … my things, the car and our truck are here also … as soon as one of our national leaders can come here we’ll work out what will happen with the centre there … right now I don’t know … I only know that God knows … please pray for this situation … that God brings peace, for the children, my protection and that I can continue to be here …
there is a lot of witchcraft against us as missionaries at this moment, but we are at peace in the midst of the storm ….

Let me share with you a bit about our last trip to Simbabwe …
It wasn’t easy, to say the least, but we managed, praise the Lord!!!
It took us over a month to organise all the documents, I didn’t know what to do anymore, just pray … the agricultural authorities in Harare just didn’t want to give us their permission to bring in the food, but finally they somehow decided to give us their paper – thank God!
I got my Dire (residence permit) back from the immigration, within only a few days and the livrette of my car which I had sent to Maputo to be changed, since I have a canapee on now … 🙂 – thank you so much Iris Ministries South Africa, it really helps.
One of my friends here had organised a 12 t truck, but the night before we were going to leave I found out as I was personally talking to the owner, that the driver didn’t have a passport, so it wasn’t quite possible to go with them … I had to find another truck … quickly … I did … made an agreement with the owner … everything was fine, I thought … the truck showed up at the factory the next morning … it was small and only for 4 tons …
I know that overloading is normal here, but 3 times the weight?! Nevertheless they started to loaded the truck, it almost broke down just by standing there with the weight on it. I kept on talking the owner, telling him that we’ll destroy his truck, if we went like this. In the end he agreed that the weight is too much … so off I went running around town to find yet another truck … finally I found a strong 8 t truck and I thought we could probably try with this one … back to the factory … as the truck was half loaded the owner decided that he didn’t want to go anymore … so we had to unload again … many people were trying to help me and promised trucks that would be coming … none of them ever showed up … we had to stay in Chimoio with friends that night … I thought everything would be okay to go the next morning, but once again the trucks which were supposed to be there never came … so I left again looking for a truck and this time God gave me success … I found a good 16 t truck which could easily carry the weight and that time the load actually went on the truck, stayed on there and we left!!
Since I know the director of customs now it wasn’t a problem to do the customs papers on the mosambican side and even on the simbabwian side we were amazingly quick this time. We were already outside of the border when the problems started … some people wanted to inspect the food … okay … we let them see … as we finished they came up with another paper which we should have, but didn’t … I refused to bribe them, so we stayed there for a while … they wanted to confiscate our truck … it wasn’t funny … in the end the guy gave me back the papers and asked us to pray for him … I thought that was good … ..
We continued driving to Harare … at about 11 p.m one of the tires of the back of my car came off … thank God I was driving slow at that time, waiting for the truck driving behind us … we spent all night trying to resolve the problem … but then continued … now we had to drive to Harare during the day which was not so good ‚cause there was lots of police around then … 3 times our truck was almost taken by the police … they wanted what was on the truck, so were coming up with something that supposingly was not okay with our papers … it was a miracle that they let us go every time after speaking to them for a long time … God has been faithful!
It is not the easiest thing to do something that noone else does … all of the NGOs are still not functioning in Simbabwe … there is still no international aid coming in … and what we had on our truck is what everyone wants there to eat these days, but is not available anywhere … neither the police nor the military is getting paid anymore, so they’re trying their luck to get something from the cars & trucks driving by by being corrupt …
We spend about a week there to distrute what we had to the many orfans and HIV positiv widows, then had to go back … it was also nice to see some wild animals like elefants and zebras in Kariba … 🙂
We managed to distribute most of the food, but not all of it, so I’m planning to go back as soon as possible … despite of colera … and if God provides more I’ll go again, even though passing the border with food on a truck is not exactly fun, but it’s worth it …

Greetings from the crazyness … 🙂

Love & blessings,
Claudia

Oktober 2008

October
Dear everyone,

greetings from Mosambik again!

Right when I came back we had a wonderful team with us … besides other things we went toChicamba together doing evangelism, I had the priviledge to preach and Pastor Amoz was translating into the local language … God’s presence was strong and when I asked them who wanted to receive Jesus it looked like everybody lifted their hands and prayed with me …

Construction, housing & living conditions …

We finally got the building license from the city counsel so we have started to build 2 new dormitories for our precious children …

I was also given money to do ‘chicken projects’ to help people who take care of orfans. So we got started building a chicken house at our center … the kids are working hard to build it and I will soon buy the chickens …
This will greatly improve their diet … thank you, Jesus!

My bathroom has finally been ‘fixed’ … the floor had been built in a way that the drain was a bit higher than the rest of the floor, so every time I took a shower I had to sweep out the water afterwards … it was kinda anoing, but it is over now!!!

Some of the places I went to …

At the beginning of September I went to the province of Tete visiting Pastor Jeronimo (the leading pastor) who has been suffering from an accident with a shapa (public transport). For more than 6 months now he has not been able to leave his house, just sitting on the couch, ‘cause he can’t bend his leg nor put any weight on it. We have done a lot of work together in the past 4 years, planting many churches and giving food to thousands of orfans… .
It was good to have time to talk, pray for him … . I believe he will be restored …!

I also went back to Zimbabwe – spontaneously – ‘cause the person who was supposed to tell me about the upcoming event and give me an invitation never did … either way we had a great daycelebrating a new property that was bought and fundraising for the new church building. I was impressed with their giving. They really sacrificed, EVERYONE was contributing, me too (1000 cement bricks)! And on that same day they raised ALL the money for the church building!!
Since Mutare is right across the border and I couldn’t organize anymore to go with a team receiving a phone call from them the day before I went by public transport … .
Early the next morning (sunday) our guard took me with his bicycle to the ‘bus stop’ but there was no bus, so I asked him to take me to the main road going to Zimbabwe trying to catch a ride with somebody and we hadn’t even arrived there was already a shapa (minibus) coming … where from I have no idea, but also it doesn’t matter, it had one empty seat so I hopped on … it didn’t stop too much on the way – so I was quite quick getting to Manica … from there I still had to find a way to get to the border (about 20 km) … I decided to go to the gas station and just ask people … getting there there were 2 south african guys on their big (!) motorbikes asking me if I was lost … I answered them that I wasn’t lost, just looking for a ride to the border … “well, if you are brave you can hop on” one of them said … trusting the Lord’s protection and since there is no law to wear a helmet in Mosambik I decided to take their offer and as you can image I was at the border quite fast … no problems passing … . They were going to Harare . Mutare is on the way so they offered to just take me there – may God bless them! When my zimbabwian friends who had come to pick me up in town saw me on the back of a big motorbike they were quite impressed how I got here and that quick ! God always provides if we are doing his will and ministry I’d say …

In & around Chimoio …

There is some sad news … Pastor Amoz, a good friend and at the same time the director of our center died in an accident going with public transport … it has been hard and sad for us to loose him …

There is such warfare … it hit me as soon as I touched ground here …
Please please pray for my protection as I am driving around here or taking public transport … there are so many accidents and people dying …
The Lord spoke to me about a scripture you find in Acts 12 … the diffrence between James being kept in prison and being killed and Peter being released from prison alive and well in a supernatural way is that the church was praying for him!! I understood clearly that as getting attacked severely is not a rare thing with all that witchcraft, cursing, warfare and alike here … often the mosambicans (esp. leaders) perish whereas we (missinaries) overcome and survive because we have people praying for us. Please pray whenever the Holy Spirit puts it on my heart, God might use you to save my life …

I thank God for the fellowship of missionaries here in Chimoio … there is such love, help and support for each other … if it wasn’t for them many of the missionaries might have already given up ‘cause it is already hard here, difficulties and more difficulties every day, things that want to discourage us and when you then have people “back home” saying things that are not helpful …, knowing everything better even though they don’t live here and don’t know how things are here, it doesn’t make it easier for us here …

I’ve been going to the hospital again …
Many of the people there are suffering from accidents taking public transport as well as people with burns all over their bodies, even kids (it’s a miracle that they’re still alive), women who lost their babies … it’s really sad … on the other hand God has been moving each time we went … we are not seeing very many obvious miracles at the moment, but usually when we come again the next week they’re gone, so for most of it that’s a good sign I think … often there are one or 2 two zimbabwians who don’t get many visitors cause their families are far away and they feel lonely cause they don’t speak portugese and somehow it has been special everytime I met one of them, they were really encouraged …

About the ministry in the prison …
God is still giving me supernatural favor there. When I came back in august the prison was closed for anyone from the outside. NOBODY was allowed to go in, but I (and those with me) just walked in … . The guard had told me though that I needed to meet the director and he will tell me what things are like there at that moment. The problem was someone had managed to steal a gun from one of the guards and escaped (he was caught afterwards but still…).
Anyways after having a little chat with the prison director we went on as if there was nothing. God is good.
The director of the prison had invited me to visit & preach at his church and when I finally had a free sunday I went, taking some of the youth of our centre here in Chimoio with me, we had a really good time. All the leaders from all over the country of his church had come to get to know me and talk to me. Sometimes … . Anyways it’s been good to meet men of God, to fellowship, have lunch together and lots of cokes and fantas … :-).
This past week God put on my heart to teach on forgiveness. I felt God’s presence and him moving their hearts. I believe they got it. I made it very clear to them that we all need his forgiveness and if we ask we get it, but only if we forgive those who wronged us. If we are not willing to forgive those who sinned against us God will also not forgive us. It’s a tough message, but the bible is clear in Matthew 6:14-15.
The joy of the Lord is increasing every time we go. There is joy in His presence!! People who don’t have much reason in the natural are dancing and rejoicing in Him. This week a number of the prisoners who weren’t allowed to come were complaining that they want to participate, but the decision who comes and who doesn’t is not ours, we’re just the ones who are ministering there. So they sang, claped their hands and danced in their prison cells as we were praising & worshiping … where is this going to end?!
Besides who wants to give his life to Jesus (there is always a number, about 10-20 each week) I usually ask them who is sick and wants to have prayer. Many have been testifying that they got healed and the number of sick people there is decreasing – praise God!
The other missionaries who are working on the other side of the prison (the prison is divided) are back from their furlough (they had been gone for 7months), which is good ‚cause they don’t allow big gatherings (it’s a maximum security prison so those in there stay a while and they’re afraid of not being able to control the people) in the prison so more people get to hear the gospel and are being taught God’s ways. Them being gone for a long time explained to me why I was told some months ago that nobody is doing a church service in the prison these days.
I’ve also been able to give them bibles, steras (strawmats to sleep on) and soap to wash their clothes and dishes – thank God to everyone who has been giving to me so I could give!

I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting me and what God is doing here financially. I’ve been able to buy new clothes for our children, sandals for each one of them, sheets for their beds, things for the kitchen, will buy new moskito nets this week … and could finally repair my car so I am ready for future adventures!

My health …
Last month I had been sick, constantly feeling like throwing up and having diarrhea for about 2 weeks, so my body became a bit weak … it wasn’t so good, really … I didn’t know what to do … the medicine you can get here doesn’t help anyways, so there isn’t much point of taking it … so on a monday during one of our prayer meetings I asked the other missionaries (and at the same time some people overseas via email) for prayer … the next day I already felt much better and the day after I was completely fine!! Praise God!

Upcoming things …

School holidays are starting at the end of this month, so we are praying about how to best impact our children at the centre during this time. We’ll probably do something like a holiday camp with them, teaching them from the Word, having times of worship and prayer as well as practical work, also inviting other youth from the community and/or other centers … we’ll see what God will show us …

I’ll be going back to Zimbabwe next week. There are 4 cubic tons of maize seed in Harare waiting for us to be distributed. I am excited and thank God for everyone who contributed. We’ll also have sound equipment (including the Jesus film) with us this time so it’ll be easy to doevangelism and church revival meetings. If God puts it on your heart please be praying for usduring this busy time. We’ll be leaving around October 15th and stay for about 2 weeks. We’d like to distribute the seed in the way God wants it to be distributed, touching peoples lives with His love and provision. It is our desire to see God’s kingdom come more and more in this country, gathering in the harvest, see people healed and set free, drawn closer to Him, getting to know Him more and following Him more radically … .

I’m also planning to go to Malawi again with a team at the end of this year or beginning of next year … I’ll keep you updated …

Thank you to everyone who cares, supports us here and stands with us in prayer!
May God bless you a hundredfold!!

Love & greetings from Mosambik,
Claudia

Juli 2008

Sorry, no english version!