Last night (Friday April 25) I joined a few fellow missionaries and Mozambicans on a one hour trip to Manhiça (a few villages over from here). We were joining with a couple Mozambicans that work with Campus Crusade for Christ in Maputo, to show the Jesus film. This would be the first time to show the Jesus film in this village. We arrived before dark, and then guys set up all the sound equipment, screen, and film projector (the old reel kind, the film was in 4 reels!). Ellie and I prayer walked around the area until I got called away by the Mozambican ladies to help prepare dinner. They gutted the fish and I peeled and cut up the tomatoes, onions, carrots, and peppers (and that was fine by me. I hate gutting fish!). We knelt on a reed mat and prepared the ingredients over pots. Then went to the cooking fire where we cooked a pot of beans, a pot of fish and sauce, and a pot of rice (a staple here). As we cooked it was quickly getting dark, and soon there was no light at all to see what we were doing. So the ladies would hold a stick in the fire to light the end, then hold it up over a pot so she would have enough light to check the progress.
The only noise we could here was the bugs and tree frogs chirping away, and the little generator being revved up. The sky was incredible, layers and layers of beautiful stars! Here, without the glare of city lights, we can experience the true and natural beauty of God's creativity. Millions and billions of stars, layers and layers deep, flooding the sky like sparkling gems! And every so often a shooting star flies across the sky. AMAZING! God is amazing!
That morning Pastor Andre had received the final go ahead from the village chiefs to show the film. Before then he had been told no, and he kept asking again. So the 2 men showed up in their little white pick up truck to see what this movie was all about. We put out 2 chairs for them, and soon a crowd had gathered, seating themselves on the ground or on grass mats. And the movie was begun. This edition was in Shanghan, their native language.
I was still standing by the ladies and the cooking fire and their comments were something like this: "Oh, but they didn't really speak Shanghan did they? They spoke English right?"
"Look, their baptizing them." "Look at those beards! Oh, they must never cut their hair!"
It was quite amusing:-)
I moved over to where the people were sitting, and they were really enjoying it. Then about 20 minutes into the film, the picture cut out! The men gathered around trying to fix the machine, but couldn't manage. So Pastor Andre preached a little, then Ellie's husband Alex preached. And they invited people who wanted to know Jesus to raise their hand, and many did and accepted Jesus as their Savior! Then they asked who is tormented by bad dreams at night, and many more raised their hand, and we prayed for them and told them in those moments they need to call on Jesus. He is the only answer to bring them freedom from evil spirits tormenting them.
The guys handed out tracks and bible story booklets. I hate that part because it turns into a mob everyone is pushing and shoving and fighting to get one of these booklets. I stood guard over the projector so no one would knock it over.
Everyone was invited to come back on May 16th to watch the movie again. We blessed the chiefs with a bible each and several of the booklets, then we prayed for them and fed them beans and rice.
The night was getting sooo cold. Many of the children who had come had sleeveless shirts on and bare legs. I can imagine they must freeze at night when they go to bed in their little grass houses, unprotected from the wind and rains.
When all had gone, we sat down on grass mats with the people living there, and ate together in the dark. I love beans and rice! It's my favorite meal here. We said good byes and thank yous, and squeezed too many people in the truck, to find our way back in the dark on the sandy path ways we call "roads".
At 10:30 we arrived back home, and I was showered and in bed with my fleece sweatshirt on in 20 minutes.
I love being in Mozambique! I love being out in the villages and sharing in the joys and sorrows of the people here. I love ministering to a Pastors wife while cooking over a fire with her, and speaking a few shanghan Fraze's to the old ladies sitting on the mats. I love washing dishes in little pans, drinking tea made with water boiled over a fire, going into the bushes to go to the bathroom (or in some places, going into the little grass outhouse with a hole in the ground to squat over). I love seeing and hearing and smelling and breathing God's nature and feeling His love for the people here. They are my family and we are God's children!