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