I am consumed with my Daddy’s love (aka God/ Alpha & Omega/ sometimes referred to as El Shaddai). He is so good! His love is so full and complete. I want more and more of it. I love getting wrapped up in His arms and just enjoying Him. He is so warm and cuddly! When I start to think about Him or say His name I start smiling and laughing. I can’t help it. Mmmmmmmhmhm I just love His presence. I never want to leave His presence and I don’t plan on it. I know I sound like a little school girl in love for the first time and I am completely ok with that. I am a uninhibited son who loves His Daddy and can’t hold it in. My Daddy is so good. I would just like to say one thing.. get some.. cause He’s in the giving mood.
Hello and goodbye my faithful readers! I have decided to take a break from the blogging world for the time being. My break is indefinite and I will return when I wish. Until then, adios!
I do not understand God.
I went on the street ministry outreach with three 18 year old boys from the center (Manuel, Ernesto, and David) and a woman pastor. We split into two teams in the city. My group went to a police station where we bribed the guards with bread to speak with some of the prisoners. (Bread and Bananas can get you into anywhere in Mozambique). They led us into a cell with eight men. We greeted them and the woman pastor shared the gospel of Jesus. She then asked me to share a word with the men. When we first entered the cell I prayed for the Holy Spirit to melt these men’s heart as they heard the word. I prayed that all eight men and three guards would surrender their lives to the Lord. I sat down on the concrete with the men and shared my story with them. I told them everything the Spirit laid on my heart. Seven of the men got on their knees with me, confessed their sins, pronounced belief in Christ’s salvation, and received the Spirit as we laid hands on them. I don’t understand how God works! I don’t know why some hearts melt when they hear the word and some hearts harden as the eighth prisoners heart did. He got angry and started yelling at us as we shared Jesus. He was angry to the point that he would not even accept the bread we offered him (a big statement for a hungry man). I don’t know much about God, but I do know this: He is good and who are we to question the justice of our creator. Paul responds to this in the book of Romans.
“What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For He says to Moses, “I will have compassion on whom I have compassion”. – Romans 9:14-15 (see all Romans 9 for more on pre-destination)
Does not the potter have a right to do what He wants with His clay!
During my stay in Mozambique I spent most of my time hanging out with the boys at the Zimpeto Iris Center. There are 300 boys and 30 girls living at this center. They live in dorms, go to school and church at the center, and play on the centers grounds. Ages go from babies to boys in their 20’s. There was a group of five 14 & 15 year old boys that I did everything with. There was always other boys around but these 5 boys were always there with me. Sumate, Eduardo, Morgado, Paieto, and Bento are all unique in their own personalities and passions. I had heard about what was going on in Africa and forgot that they are still kids. This trip cleared the dehumanization from my eyes. Every single one of these boys is created in the image of God and unique in their own way. They are not just a sad face with a swollen belly and flies all around them. They are more alive than many of us who have everything. I have come to love these boys through the friendship we developed. The kids living at the Iris center are educated through high school, but there is no money for further education. Mozambique has a 90% unemployment rate at his time. When I asked these boys what they wanted to be when they grew up they just shrugged their shoulders. They were never taught or had the ability to dream! The never got to want to be a fireman or doctor or president. It just wasn’t in reach for them. On the last day of my trip I sat these five boys down and told them I was going to put them through university or trade school if they choose. Myself and my family are putting in the money to support these five boys, but there are more. The cost to put a boy through university is only $8,000 dollars total and only a few hundred dollars for trade school. If anyone of you are interested in putting more of these boys through university or trade school please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The education of boys like these is the key to the future of Mozambique. They need to learn in order to take the betterment of their country into their own hands. Your investment in these kids lives will change their possibilities forever. It will be without a doubt one of the best investmnents you could ever make!
This is a letter from a man living in Zimbabwe right now. While reading it this morning I felt an urgency to share it with you. Zimbabwe is directly west of Mozambique. While I was there we constantly prayed for the situation in Zimbabwe and Iris has been sending teams and relief.
I reckon that these are the last days of TKM and ZPF. The darkest hour is always before dawn.
We are all terrified at what they are going to destroy next……..I mean they are actually ploughing down brick and mortar houses and one white family with twin boys of 10 had no chance of salvaging anything when100 riot police came in with AK47’s and bulldozers and demolished their beautiful house – 5 bedrooms and pine ceilings – because it was ‘too close to the airport’, so we are feeling extremely insecure right now.
You know – I am aware that this does not help you sleep at night, but if you do not know – how can you help? Even if you put us in your own mental ring of light and send your guardian angels to be with us – that is a help – but I feel so cut off from you all knowing I cannot tell you what’s going on here simply because you will feel uncomfortable. There is no ways we can leave here so that is not an option.
I ask that you all pray for us in the way that you know how, and let me know that you are thinking of us and sending out positive vibes… that’s all. You can’t just be in denial and pretend/believe it’s not going on.
To be frank with you, it’s genocide in the making and if you do not believe me, read the Genocide Report by Amnesty International which says we are – IN level 7 – (level 8 is after it’s happened and everyone is in
If you don’t want me to tell you these things-how bad it is-then it means you have not dealt with your own fear, but it does not help me to think you are turning your back on our situation. We need you, please, to get the news OUT that we are all in a fearfully dangerous situation here. Too many people turn their backs and say – oh well, that’s what happens in Africa. This Government has GONE MAD and you need to help us publicize our plight— or how can we be rescued? It’s a reality! The petrol queues are a reality, the pall of smoke all around our city is a reality, the thousands of homeless people sleeping outside in 0 Celsius with no food, water, shelter and bedding are a reality. Today a family approached me, brother of the gardener’s wife with two small children. Their home was trashed and they will have to sleep
outside. We already support 8 adult people and a child on this property, and electricity is going up next month by 250% as is water.
How can I take on another family of 4 —–and yet how can I turn them away to sleep out in the open?
I am not asking you for money or a ticket out of here – I am asking you to FACE the fact that we are in deep and terrible danger and want you please to pass on our news and pictures. So PLEASE don’t just press the delete button! Help best in the way that you know how.
Do face the reality of what is going on here and help us SEND OUT THE WORD.. The more people who know about it, the more chance we have of the United Nations coming to our aid. Please don’t ignore or deny what’s happening. Some would like to be protected from the truth BUT then, if we are eliminated, how would you feel? ‘If only we knew how bad it really was we could have helped in some way’.
[I know we chose to stay here and that some feel we deserve what's coming to us]
For now,— we ourselves have food, shelter, a little fuel and a bit of money for the next meal – but what is going to happen next? Will they start on our houses? All property is going to belong to the State now. I want to send out my Title Deeds to one of you because if they get a hold of those, I can’t fight for my rights.
Censorship!—-We no longer have SW radio [which told us everything that was happening] because the Government jammed it out of existence-we don’t have any reporters, and no one is allowed to photograph. If we had reporters here, they would have an absolute field day. Even the pro-Government Herald has written that people are shocked, stunned, bewildered and blown mindless by the wanton destruction of many folks homes, which are supposed to be ‘illegal’ but for which a huge percentage actually do have licenses.
Please! – do have some compassion and HELP by sending out the articles and personal reports so that something can/may be done. ‘I am one. I cannot do everything, —but I can do something.. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.’ – Edward Everett Hale
During my stay the differences in culture fascinated me. I recorded as much as I could to present you a more holistic view of the country. Mozambique is a very superstitious country. Witchdoctors are prominant. Many who come to faith in Jesus were formerly involved in withchcraft. Cats are feared by Mozambicans as they are used by witchdoctors to curse people. Christianity and Islam are the predominant religions in the country. Christianity is more widespread in the southern part and Islam in the northern part. Pictures are not allowed to be taken in public areas because of the old communist mentality. Also throughout Africa a superstition remains that when someone takes your picture they capture part of your soul, thus some get extremely infuriated if you take their picture. Police remain to be very corrupt. They will stop you often just looking for a bribe to buy them off. Unemployment is at a staggering 90%. Many of the men go to South Africa to find work which causes another problem. They have sex with prostitutes when they are away, contract aids, give it to their wives when they get home, and then any offspring they have end up with aids. This is a devastating turn of events. Education is improving for kids, but still not adequate. Those that are fortunate enough to have/receive enough money to go to school only make it through high school. There is not enough money for university unless they are sponsored by an outside source. The kids who are in centers (like Iris) around Mozambique are the future of the country. They need to receive further education to pull their country out of despair. Kids that aren’t in centers live on the streets. They beg for and steal food and money to stay alive. Transportation is wild in Mozambique. Choppas are the mode of transportation. A choppa is a van like bus seating about 15 people. However, in Mozambique as I soon learned there is always room for one more. Needless to say you get to know people quite well on the choppas. One of the most interesting things I learned is that knees are considered the most attractive part on a woman. It is socially acceptable for a woman to show her shoulders or wear tight shirts but if you show your knees you are considered a prostitute. Well there is a pluthera of information, enjoy!
Instead of going on a weekend outreach I decided to stay at the center and hang out with the boys. My choice was well worth it. Today at church I sat behind a young boy in a makeshift stroller/wheelchair. The boy is sick, very sick. I found out later that he has a number of terminal illnesses, including aids. During the service the pastor asked some of the older boys to pray for the babies who are also predominantly HIV positive. At this same time I began praying for this young boy. He has no meat left on his body at all. He is entirely skin and bone. He is 12 years old and weighs about 40 pounds at the most. I got on my knees and prayed and prayed and prayed. I prayed because the Lord stirred my heart to pray, but nothing happened. After this prayer time they took the boy to Sunday School with the other children. At the end of the service people came forward for prayer. Amongst them a man stood out to me, he was lame. He could not walk or stand up. He had gotten to church by scooting on his butt. His feet and legs are inverted in the wrong direction. Again the Lord stirred me to pray for this man. I laid my hands on him, got on my knees, and contended for his healing before the Lord. Everyone that walked by I grabbed to come pray too. All these young boys with great faith in the Lord, my brothers whom I met at the dump, and myself were on our knees and faces asking Jesus to heal this man. Nothing happened.I left the service sad. The Lord stirred me to pray and I did. Why weren’t they healed. I don’t know why they weren’t healed, but I do know Jesus heals! I have faith that He heals and so I will continue to depend on Him, seek Him, and pray for the sick. Whenever outreach teams go out into the bush from Iris Ministries in Pemba, Mozambique they always ask for the deaf to come forward. After verifying their deafness from village members they pray for them and 100% of them are being healed. Why? I have no idea! I have no idea how God works and I never will. But He does heal and I will continue to seek Him for a breakthrough. Bethel Church in Redding, CA pastored by Bill Johnson prayed for six years with no healings. Then they had a breakthrough and today they have a powerful healing ministry. I don’t know why our God didn’t deliver healing today, but He is good and I love Him.
Mountains upon montains of garbage hovered by smoke of burning piles of sorted trash. There are hunters and gatherers here. Those that hunt for food for themsleves and their families to eat and those that gather recycleables or anything of value to sell on the streets. Everyone knows the schedules of the garbage trucks and when they come it is a madhouse. Fights break out over scraps of rotting food, everyone elses trash is their lifesource. There are some that live in the dump and others live in the community surrounding the dump. Iris Ministries started and built a church amongst the houses immediately surrounding the bocaria. The children sing, dance, and play as they worship Jesus. These kids are more playful and joyful than I’ve ever seen! They jump and hang all over us, longing to be held and touched. I have become a human jungle gym, I never imagined that my lap was big enough for eight kids but I know it is now. We then go up on the bocaria to pray and witness. We pray for two ladies rummaging for food. They are both Christians and one tells us her child is sick and she can’t get a job (Mozambique has 90% unemployment rate) but she refuses to be disobediant to God and steal so she digs for trash to support her sick child. Wow! Such great faith! I see two boys standing at a distance. I hear the spirit say go to them. I grab a “translator” and we go to them. Through his broken english and my very broken Portuguese we tell them about Jesus. When I ask them if they want Jesus inside their hearts they say yes. We pray for the Holy Spirit to fill them and tell them to come to the church to learn about this Jesus that lives in them now. We then go to a group of men atop a mound of trash. One wants nothing to do with us but others ask for prayer. One man (Zito who became my best friend and evangelistic brother) is witnessing to his friends in the dump and so we pray for filling of the Spirit in him to equip him for this ministry. As I am on my knees with my head bowed I see bugs everywhere. Bugs I’ve never seen before crawling in and on everything. By the time we are done praying my pants are covered with these things. One man we pray for is eating a bowl of the healthy diet, beans and worms. After the adult church service we distribute the bread, where I almost got my head ripped off, and we pile into the back of our truck and head back to the Iris center. It doesn’t get much worse than that. I don’t know what to think or do. What can I do? What does Jesus want me to do? I do not know and so I sit and wait on the Lord.
Today I went to the hospital to minister and pray for the sick and their families. Pastor Domingo heads up this ministry for Iris. I love this guy! He is my age (23) and training to be a pastor. His training is to head up the hospital ministry which he has been doing for the last eight years. His sidekick is Remitu, an eighteen-year-old evangelist in training. Their third team member is Alysse, a Portuguese woman who’s husband does sports ministry in Maputo. We bribed the guards with bananas to get in to see the patients (bananas & bread can get you anywhere). I prayed for a newborn boy with a cleft lip, a baby with a removed tumor from his stomach going through chemo, a young boy with a tumor on right side of face, man with tumor in his nose, a boy (Raoul Joaquim) with cancer that is untreatable. His blood is not strong enough for chemo and there is no pain medication. His entire body was in pain and he couldn’t stop crying. Raoul died six days later at twelve years old. I believe our God is a healer! I believe He wants to heal and He wants us to pray for healing. Yet, we prayed and prayed and no immediate healing took place. Why? Why not? Our God can do all things. He can do all things! I believe that with all my heart! However, I know that God is not a puppet whose strings we are to pull. I don’t know why He didn’t just heal these miraculously. Maybe He did heal them and we just didn’t see it right there. All I know is He is God and so I’ll just shut my mouth.
Love… This is the input and output of a Christian. It is the most important thing. When we think of a Christian, love is the word we should think of. I want to love Jesus more. I see these young pastors here who are in love with Jesus (They look younger than me, but are actually in their late 20’s and 30’s. Malnutrition stunts their physical developement). They smile, they praise, they dance, they constantly say amen and alleluia. I find myself wondering where does this come from? I have it sometimes, but they all the time. Last night at the pastors graduation ceremony I was praying for a graduate asking the Lord for a word for him. The Lord gave me a vision of a vine with a branch coming off bearing fruit. I told the young pastor in order to bear fruit he had to abide in Jesus (John 15:5). This fruit is the fruit of the Spirit… love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Love and joy are standing out to me right now. I long for more of both. As I abide in Jesus I bear more of this fruit.