2018-08 Bileam visit to Nampula and Nacala

Preparation

Through the grace of God, my flu slowly started to subside when I arrived in Milange. It was very good
to rest for a day and plan the trip to Nampula with the church leaders.
I had to start Bileam after being inactive for a long time. As I know his personality it took 3 of us to
push and beg till we were exhausted, but then Bileam started to roar with pleasure. I borrowed some
spanners and set the chain for the road. It was good to connect with the others in Milange, and we
had a good meal together the night before the trip

Day one on the road

It was an 8 hour trip of 400km to Alto Molocue. I loaded the suitcase and a bag on the back with tube
rubber and loaded my tent, coffee and other equipment. On the market pastor Joao gave me more
tube rubbers and the elder prayed for the trip. They admired this pastor to undertake this trip on a
motorbike. We all know that much of this work is humanly impossible, but we took hands and trust our
Father.
Eight hours later I met pastor Jussa and his family in Alto Molocue. In this circumstances, it is with
great joy when you meet with old family in Christ. That is when you also know it is what you should
do, visit and encourage each other. It is worthwhile and critically important.
I had a bath and good Mozambican food. I discovered that this food became nice, even some that I
struggled to eat in the beginning of the ministry.

Alto Molocue

I pitched my tent on the veranda of pastor Jussa’s new house and after a needed bath I went and
sleep.

The next day we had a meeting with everybody available and talked about God in Alto Molocue.
The Capel is made out of grass and we were about 15 people connecting with one on other and
shared our relationship with God through the Spirit that makes us one. There are so many challenges,
and we confirmed our salvation through grace and made that our base for handling life. It was a good
experience and the Lord guided our conversation in such a way that pastor Jussa commented as
follow: “It seems as if you knew what is happening here and with whom it happens.”

The afternoon we went to pastor Jussa’s vegetable garden and walked through town. His house is on
top of a hill with a wonderful view around. I made a video of them to deliver to the congregation in
South Africa that supports his work.
I went to my tent early.

First day in Nampula

After greeting my Alto Molocue family I left for Nampula. Bileam carried me 200km further through
beautiful terrain. I left before breakfast and after a while became hungry and stopped at a guy selling
bananas. He was very open and friendly and I ate 5 bananas for breakfast discussing the community
with him.
Further on the way you go through beautiful forest arias and some towns. The mountains are really
beautiful granite outcrops, sometimes for hundreds of meters up in the air with steep cliffs. So many
people along the road and they are so open, but I know how little was done in true Biblical work.
There should really be more workers available to help. See how far I drive to see some people, but
how many are in between!


Arriving in Nampula I could not get hold of the pastor, and went to Fiel’s centre. This is a centre to
promote the Reformed tradition. They were happy to see me and there pastor Laurenço came to get
me.
After I ate with his family and his right hand Paulo, we went to a house in town following small
footpaths through markets and furrows cut by water in the rainy season. There we sat under a tree
and talked to people about God. Especially the children were very open.

Nampula is mostly a city of Musl&m people. If you talk church you sometimes lost the opportunity.
Some people walked by and gave negative comments. The work here is new and started with one of
our pastors son’s that gave a building and house he built for the Church to start a new ministry. The
synod sent pastor Laurenço to start evangelization. He managed to form groups in the community
like this one and on Sundays started a joint meeting in the new building. Rev Lourenco is very
enthusiastic and is doing a great job. The subsidy money is not enough for his survival and he only
has his garden in Milange district to help for the rest. As it is a mission area there does not provide
enough income to help his family. He will go and sell his beans and hope to survive on that. Maybe
the synod needs to think about his situation as the presbytery is not very strong.
After the meeting, we started planning the time together and decided to visit a group of people in
Nacala the next day.

Visit to Nacala

After preparing we loaded Bileam and the pastor’s motorbike. Me and Paulo are on Bileam and the
luggage and Laurenço on his. This is 200km and therefore 4 hours ride to Nacala the harbour city.
Paulo was clearly not prepared for sitting four hours on a bike and how tiresome that is. He became
so sleepy that on stages I was afraid that he will fall off.
Arriving in Nacala, Vodacom was offline and we could not reach another Paulo from Nacala as our
contact. We phoned Beira Milange, Maputo and after an hour we finally met up with him just around
the corner from where we were.
The city is dusty with most smaller roads not tarred, most buildings are not painted, there is electrical
wiring hanging from poles, and water from bathrooms, are running behind houses. It is really hot. Our
hosts took us to a house behind a very neat hotel, the sun hotel. There we met Paulo that is working
for a tyre company transferred to Nacala from Beira where he was a member of the IRM.
He took us in his little car to our meeting place. The brake pads of at least one wheel is long gone
and squeaks each time you apply the brakes. We drove dust and uneven roads through the market
and people to a house where there are a few families hiring. Two of the families are attending the
meetings outside in the yard. The meeting shifts around as the shade of the trees shifts. We sat on
plastic chairs and there was a lot of joy receiving us. Some of the families there are not Christian and
everyone is scared that they may be negative about the meetings.

They gave us a very well prepared and tasty meal as our first food for the day. After that, they asked
Danie to talk about the basics of christianity. It is here that we discovered that there is a good
understanding of the structure of the church, liturgy, Sunday school etc, but that a real understanding
of a personal relationship with God is something they want to know more about. They experience
different temptations and do not know how to deal with it. They know when something is not good,
but it is not possible to resist. We talked about living through the reality and guidance of God, in a
relationship given to us in Jesus and in the interaction with God through the Holy Spirit.
In the evening we went to the centre of the city in an unpainted flat building on the second floor. The
entrance is dark dirty with broken steps. In the inside is a lot of wastewater running in the yard with
green moss growing on the walls. There is a lot of mosquitoes breeding. The entrance of the flat is
used as a kitchen with charcoal fire little stoves making a lot of smoke. Inside it is clean and the
owners keep it neat.

We three received a room where I pitched the inside of my tent on the broken vinyl floor. That kept
the many mosquitos at bay. We could not open the window because of the mosquitos and it was
very hot and humid. We had a very nice delicious meal before we went to bed. The family is also
coming from Beira and are very friendly and open people. They have three children serving us and
watching cartoons on a bigger tv.
The next day we had breakfast and went back to the meeting place and because they like the
structures, we had a proper church service with liturgy choirs of the women and children and we
sang from printed papers with some songs they know the best. Rev Lourenco  preached and after
the service we talked further about the work.

They tried to find a place to meet, because of the fear of the reaction of people where they meet.
Places is very expensive as soon as the owner's hear it is for a christian church. They do not want to
be associated with christianity. It is a totally new ministry if you work in a area where christianity is not
acceptable. Some asked up to 800 000 Mt for a place with nothing on it. After a lot of asking around
hey found a place for 60 000 Mt and are looking into it. It is sometimes possible to buy the half of it
and start functioning on it finding the rest of the money to pay the rest.
On a Sunday they get more or less 130 Mt for church offering and once in a month they ask for extra
and then can get up to 700 Mt. The other challenge is to find funds to build.
They are very excited now to meet a pastor that takes responsibility for them in the church meetings.
We will stay in contact to help where possible to establish a ministry in the city. It is so important for
the mostly rural church to start operating in the cities.
The two contacts in the city is the leader who took most of the responsibility on himself namely Paulo
Mucandir 84 275 4297 pmucandir@tcm.co.mz and Mister Joao Mashava from the flat, 84 512 1684
also operating with Whatsapp.
After the meeting we went back to the flat to have something to eat and from there we returned to
Nampula. We arrived after dark and struggled with lights of the motorbikes that are not set properly.
The Lord guided us back safely.
Sunday we had a church service in Nampula and Danie was asked to preach. They are still finding
their way in the liturgy and songs, but it went well. Here we focused on receiving God's grace and
how to be a child of God.


Luis Vicente, who gave us the church building was also present and we had a good time afterwards
talking to him. The most important work of this ministry is not in the building but with the groups
outside where they meet 3 times a week and talk to the children and some adults.
Paulo and Lourenco went to visit a group but left me to rest for my trip back to Milange the next day.
In the evening we went and eat at Luis Vicentes house and again it was an exquisite meal. It was
good to know him better and pray for one another.
On Monday Danie went back to Mocuba that took 9 hours on the road. The same evening Rev Joao
Herbath arrived and stayed with us at Bernadette's place. The next morning we had a meeting with
the council members of the Mocuba congregation to discuss the priorities of the church building. It
went very well and will help the supporters to have a better understanding of the needs and priorities.
We could not do very much about the budget, but could go to a shop to see some of the prices.
Danie wrote a small report about this, you can read more at:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HXPy9wVXKnuLJGY5l_YKlEXFRhIeJ0l1sjvJMpDE7dI

After the meeting Danie and Joao returned to Milange where we arrived more or less at 16h00.
All the honor to our Father who did all the good work.
Danie Murray

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