Brethren, this is a plea for prayer for the 15th annual Fiel (Faithful) Conference for pastors and church leaders in Nampula to be held next Tuesday through Friday. Our theme is Spiritual Warfare, and as usual at this time of the year, we are engaged in the practical realities of that subject.
250 church leaders have signed up to attend, coming from all parts of the northern 2/3 of the Mozambique. This is considerably less than the 330 people we were accustomed to hosting in years past, but there are many fine African brothers in the congregation and we thank God for the opportunity to minister to them.
Please pray for unction, power, and compelling content on the part of our speakers, and for sensitive God-fearing and God-hungering hearts on the part of the hearers.
Especially pray that the books we ordered for the conference would arrive in time to be available. Months ago we ordered $27,000 worth of books to sell in the bookstore at half their cost to us, but only about a third have arrived so far. We regularly see clear manifestations of opposition by the evil one, and he must be cast down through believing prayer. Amongst the books ordered were 95 study Bibles from various publishers. For African pastors who have only four or five books to their name, a Bible atlas, dictionary, concordance, commentary, and Bible all bound in one volume is a useful tool. Not surprisingly, while hundreds of other books have made it into our hands, not one Bible has yet arrived, and we are only six days away from launching the conference.
Please pray that this important aspect of the conference ministry would not be neutralized by the enemy of our souls who hates the truth of God.
By His grace,
I am amazed and grateful for the generous response to the challenge grant for the literature and conference ministry mentioned in March 2014 Prayer Points 8. After only three weeks, our treasurer says donors have provided $14,095, exceeding the $12,500 available in matching funds. I thought it would take months to fulfill our commitment to the donor! THANK YOU.
Though we have reached the goal set for us, I do not mean to discourage anyone who still would like to support pastors with funds for good literature. I have recently ordered over $20,000 in books to be available for sale at the next Fiel Conference in June. One third to one half of that money will be recovered when the books are sold and will be applied toward paying the expenses of the conference.
Later today I will be leaving for South Africa to make annual purchases for the various ministries and our family and to bring back a truckload of used equipment for the hospital. Please pray for a productive trip with efficient use of time. There is a great deal to be done and my goal is to return in three weeks to begin preparations for the 15th annual Fiel Conference in Nampula.
In particular, if our budget can sustain it, I hope to purchase the necessary equipment to produce Mission Ekklesia’s “monthly” theological journal. An agent in South Africa has organized several options among the various machines that we would need. Please pray for wisdom and guidance from God and for the necessary funds if we are indeed moving in a right direction with this project.
I sent the truck on ahead to Maputo with our motorist and the helper who assists me with administration. We all thank God for an uneventful trip that covered the 1300 miles in three days. Because of the outbreak of hostilities a year ago between two warring political factions, a 70 mile stretch of the road must be traveled in a convoy with military escort. There have been no hostilities for many months, but the convoy still runs and apparently everyone still uses it. Our men had to wait five hours for the convoy to leave, and when it left it was one very long trail of vehicles!
I still have two local color stories waiting to be sent out from the set of 13 Nampula updates. These tales are related to some of the administrative challenges I have faced over the past year and which have consumed considerable time. However, I plan to defer those updates until after my return so I can focus my attention on getting the work in South Africa accomplished as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your wonderful generosity. Thank you for standing with us in these undertakings. Thank you for your prayers!
By His grace,
The attached is from Gracie. She is so involved in service opportunities here and the lives of many Mozambicans that sometimes while laboring at my desk I think that of the two of us, she is the real missionary.
So I asked her to prepare a report on her life on the mission field, in part because sometimes people come to visit us and wonder, “How could I be of use in Mozambique? I am neither a pastor nor a doctor or nurse or other trained career servant. I would not want to waste my life suffering for the Lord (not a waste if it did happen) and accomplish nothing of usefulness.”
But it is impossible to waste one’s life in Nampula if there is love for God and people and a desire to serve – because the needs are everywhere. Even teenagers can make a big difference. So I asked Gracie to show that by writing of her life as an MK in Mozambique.
For those who have time for only the gist of the matter, there is red print in this report.
By His grace,
This update is all story, no red print – related to weddings African style, and what goes wrong when missionaries from the West try to function as godparents in Africa, for those interested in local color. But one can look at just the photos and captions in less than a minute.
Attached is news about our family. Those who want information fast can get the main points without the stories in under three minutes reading just the red print.