Greetings from Nelspruit where we have been delighted to have had a few days to rest and catch up with ourselves.
Our last trip into Mocambique was 'different' in so many ways. As we shared before we left, this was an exploratory trip to see what we could find of amaZioni North of the Zambezi River in the direction of Nampula. Well we didn't quite reach Nampula and at one stage didn't think we would reach the Zambezi as we took a wrong turn at Gorongosa and instead of finding the amaZioni we had planned to stay with, ran straight into a very nervous military road-block (it's a long story, but with Mocambique heading into local elections in November the military are on 'high alert' in that region).
Anyway, they let us go after a couple of hours of intensive searching and without confiscating what they had threatened to confiscate and after crossing the mighty Zambezi (5th longest River in Africa) we started asking 'where will we find an amaZioni Church?', and after driving for 2 hours and reaching Quelimane we surprisingly (to us) had found no amaZioni. That night we slept at Mocuba and heard again 'no amaZioni', so we set off to Nampula. 3 hours later when we reached Alto Molocue and had still not found any amaZioni, I was quite despondent and after hearing that there were some amaZioni at MALEMA (about 3 hours on a dirt road) I said let's ride for 30 minutes and if we find none we're turning back.
Well to cut a LONG STORY short, just outside of Alto Molocue we felt strangely 'drawn' to a lady with a child in tow carrying a chair on her head, looking like 'Church people' and so we stopped and asked. That lady was at the home of her sister and it turned out her sisters family had been exposed to amaZioni teaching but had not found a Church and were very welcoming believing God had sent us TO THEM ! THAT took us to the local chief and THERE we met another young man with a similar story, he, too, had met some Zion people but wanted to know more, and THAT contact led us back to Mocuba where we were introduced to another amaZioni man who was leading a small group of believers and just wanted someone to help them to know more.
So we spent all our time between these three contacts and WE were richly blessed. Before we left a group of about 25 people gathered at Alto Molocue, friends and neighbours who were invited to 'come and start a Church' in an area outside of Molocue where there are NO other Churches. The young man in Mocuba gathered a number of his friends and the night before we left about 20 people stood to receive Christ and pledge together with the young man to join together to study the Bible. The other pastor in Mocuba pledged to visit these other groups and try to disciple them.
We don't know the future of these small groups but we came away with this very strong conviction. God had gone before us and prepared hearts, and as much as we know that the Holy Spirit works in us to fashion us in Christ's image, He is now at work in these people and so we look forward to when we will be able to go there again and see what God has done.
IN THE MEANTIME we need your prayers:
Richard and Geraldine