I've been wanting to go on outreach to the bush ever since I got here...but my job requires that keep close to the center, so alas, my hopes and dreams have been dashed. anyway, whenever the opportunity came up, I could never go. Then I knew Emily was coming and I wanted her to experience it too. I am thankful we got to experience this together. I have felt the Lord stirring my heart more and more for the community....for those that live in the extreme poverty here, not just near where I am at the center, in the richest part of the country. I've been longing to serve those that have never seen a television, rarely see a car, don't have electricity or running water, that live simply, that have a heart that yearns to know Jesus, to develop a relationship with me, and is willing to learn anything and everything I can teach them to better their lives here. This last weekend, I got to be a part of that for 48 hours. We travelled 3 hours north of Maputo (where I am) and way into the bush. We had sent word that we were coming this weekend so the community could come and here us speak and show the Jesus film. When we arrived, we found out that the pastor had only been told that we would be coming soon and that the same messenger would come back to give an exact date later. He was in South Africa, working to bring money back to his family. No one was expecting us. There was no one at the church and the doors were closed. So through the help of some community members, who also happened to be church members, we were led to the pastor's home where we spoke to his wife....she took us to the assistant pastor's home, who welcomed us with open arms. The one problem: they had no food....we were starving. Normally when we go to the community to preach/share, they are so blessed that they share everything they can with us; they are offended if you don't let them bless you in repayment. We hadn't eaten in 6 hours....so we loaded back up and drove 7 km back into the tiny "town" to try to buy some tea and bread to have for lunch and also to share with the family. When we arrived back, a few of us used their latrine (aka hole in the ground covered by a larger rock) to take a bucket shower (all very customary and normal for them) while others ate lunch.

Next, we headed to the church to show the Jesus film. While we had been eating and showering, members of the church had been spreading the word. By the time we got to the church, set up the film, and started we had a quite a crowd. At first it was a bunch of children, full of eagerness, excitement, and curiosity...especially cause they were getting to see 2 novelties: a film, and 2 white girls! But as the time passed, more and more of the community came in. In fact there was a whole group that had come by train, brought food to sustain them for 24 hours and had planned to stay all night for a prayer vigil. Even though they can't use phones out there and didn't know we were coming...the word had spread and they had come a long distance to hear God's message. God is good. We still don't understand how this happened.

We showed the film and then Clara, one of our missionaries, shared a little message about Jesus and then asked anyone who wanted to commit their lives to Jesus to come forward.
Then we sang and danced and praised the Lord. Look how happy all these little ones are.....

Then we went back to a church member's house where we sat in the dark and ate the chicken and rice they had prepared for us....then off to sleep in their own beds they offered to us.

The next morning we woke up early to tea/coffee and bread and headed off to the church for more preaching. By the end of the service, the tiny church was packed and filled with tons of people praising the Lord and hearing His good news.
When we were finally done, we ate a meal the women had spent hours preparing for us.

Then packed up the car to head back to the center. I was so impressed by their generosity, how genuine they were, open to hear our message, and how shy the kids were to see a white person (so different to here where they see a white person and immediately run up to you begging you for anything you can give). I have a lot to sort out and pray about after this experience.....here's just a few moments I caught on camera to show you.... me with all the kids after the Sunday service

sharing a few words during the service

the house of love..... Emily and I waiting for the Sunday morning service to start (the church is behind us)

a little girl outside their "pantry"

woman outside her house in the early morning fog

3 girls fixing dinner for their family (their latrine is behind them to the right)

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