Mozambique Missions

We are a missionary team in Mozambique who seek to make the Name of Christ great among the nations


1 Comment

Thank You, Lord

And the one who lives! I was dead, but look, now I am alive – forever and ever – and I hold the keys of death and of Hades! (Rev 1:18)

“Flower! Easter lilies! Speak to me this morning the same dear old lesson of immortality which you have been speaking to so many sorrowing souls.  Wise old Book! let me read again in your pages of firm assurance that to die is gain.  Poets! recite to me your verses which repeat in every line the Gospel of eternal life.  Singers! break forth once more into songs of joy; let me hear again the well-known resurrection psalms.  Tree and blossom and bird and sea and sky and wind whisper it, sound it afresh, warble it, echo it, let it throb and pulsate through every atom and particle; let the air be filled with it.  Let it be told and retold and still retold until hope rises to conviction, and conviction to certitude of knowledge; until we, like Paul, even though going to our death, go with triumphant mien, with assured faith, and with serene and shining face.” ~ Streams In The Desert

What an Amazing God we serve. We here in Xai-Xai just want to bow down before this great God. He has been long-suffering and patient with us for many years, and we cannot in words say enough thank you for what He has done for us.

The Lord works in mysterious ways and truly His ways are not our ways. We have been praying for revival for years. Then the Lord starts to answer our prayers and it is not always in the way that you think, but it is still so amazing to see how He answers those prayers.

Our Mozambican young Christians have been growing so much in the Lord these past 4 months. We see how the Lord is really working in their lives. The Bible studies on Sundays afternoons are growing,  Most of the time the young Christians try to come together at least once a week to watch a good Christian movie or a sermon. They invite the youth of the church, friends and family to these meetings as well. About 6 weeks ago they watched the movie ‘War Room’ and the young Christians that work with Isak and Juan just felt that the Lord wanted them to have a prayer meeting every week after watching it. The Lord honoured these Christians’ desire for prayer. He visited them that first prayer meeting as they confessed sins and asked the Lord to use them more. They prayed for their lost families, friends and the youth of the church. The Holy Spirit is truly working in these weekly prayer meetings. After 2 weeks the young men who are the youth leaders, Jorge, Noé and Vasco decided that they need to bring the Gospel to the young people in the church. There are so many of them that do not know the Lord yet. The young men had some difficulties at first, but they have now started a weekly youth service.  The Lord is faithful and He is honouring their desire to reach out to the lost. They started with the youth meetings and the youth started to come in bigger number than what they thought would come. In these meetings the Lord has started to move through His Spirit and young people are coming under conviction. There is one such a girl that we need to pray for. She is 14-15 years old, already a heavy drinker and lives a very promiscuous life. She knows the Gospel. She came to our children’s Bible classes on Sundays since she was a little girl. The Lord is working in her life and convicting her of her sins and she wants to be saved, so please pray for her.

These young people are also coming to the prayer meetings now. They really seek the Lord through prayer and tears. In Mozambique it is not strange to pray for unsaved people while they are sitting next to you. So, our Christian people are pleading for these young people in the prayer meetings. And the Lord is answering those prayers by convicting the unsaved ones of their sins and their lost state before Him.  Just this week we were overjoyed to hear of one more soul saved, a young man named Gilberto who is the brother of Alcidio, who himself was saved just last November!

Amazingly so many youth are seeking the Lord now. We stand in awe before the Lord in His mercy and pray that the Lord will bring in a huge number of young people that they can go out and spread the Gospel in Mozambique. The Lord is so good. He is really encouraging our young Christians by answering their prayer requests. One such a testimony is from a young lady by the name of Nelma. Nelma’s parents are in the Zionist church, which has so much witchcraft mixed in the with Christianity that it is more a witchcraft church than anything else. So, her mother wanted her to visit the church with her all the time like she used to before she was saved. Nelma really did not want to go back there, but was finding it very difficult to deal with the pressure from her mother.  After we prayed for her, her mother did not ask her again to go with her to the church and overall things are better at home. This is such an encouragement for her and she rejoices in the Lord. Thank you, Lord!

If I look at what the Lord is doing, I am in tears. What a blessing to see the Lord move, and we will keep praying that Revival will bring people to the Lord. May we as Christians grow in our love for our Lord and may we love Him with every thing we have. Worthy is the Lamb. Please Lord, make us holy and use us as instruments in Your hands. Mould us and form us to Your image!

~ Wiesie Westraad


2 Comments

Update From Xai-Xai, Mozambique

Dear Friends & Family in the Lord,

We apologize that it has taken so long to put an update out here.  The Lord has been so good to us and the work here, and we are excited to tell you about it!

In October the Nazarene Youth Rally at our church where I (Isak) was asked to preach, went really well.  The Lord helped very much in the messages, and our prayer is that lives were changed.  There were probably about a hundred people attending, and there were many fun games, contests, LOTS of singing, and some dancing too.  Mozambicans love singing and dancing!! I’m adding a short video below of the youth from our church entering the church that Sunday morning dressed in traditional kapulana and dancing a traditional dance.

Sadly many of these young people, even though they are regular church goers, do not know the Lord yet.  The messages that were preached focused on Christ as Judge, how escape the coming judgment, and being saved by grace alone.  We continue to pray for these young people, and this coming Sunday (Christmas night) we are hosting a Christmas youth event at our church.  There will be games, a short evangelistic film, and a Bible study.  Please pray that the Lord will bless this time!

This past Sunday, I asked one of our youth to lead the Bible study for the first time.  Noé has been helping with the children’s classes for a while now, and he truly loves the Lord and is a man of the Word.  The previous weekend he and a few of the other guys spent the weekend at our home and I had some really encouraging conversations with him. He is a quiet young man and a deep thinker.  When he led the Bible study yesterday, I was really blessed and encouraged!  The Lord really helped him and I can see he is a natural teacher with a good understanding of the Scriptures and a love for theology!

20161122_204315-2In other news, we are SO excited to share with you that last month the Lord saved two more young people, Alcido and Nercia!

Alcido is 15, and has been coming to our Bible studies for a couple months now.  As he shared in his testimony the other Sunday, he told us that he had already been sharing the Gospel with others when the Lord spoke to him through James 4:10, where he realized he had never humbled himself before the Lord, never truly repented and given himself over to Christ.  So for two weeks we did not see him, as in that time he earnestly sought Christ, humbled himself before the Lord, until he found Him!  Seeing the joy on his face when he pulled me aside the next Sunday afternoon to tell me the Lord has saved him, was so precious!  We are so very thankful and encouraged, and we are glad to see him continuing to follow the Lord.

On the very same day that Alcidio told me that he had been saved, a younger girl named Nercia (14 years old) came to tell me how the Lord had saved her just the previous week as well!  Nercia has been coming to our children’s Bible classes since she was a little girl, and has been part of our Bible study group for a long time as well.  She shared in her testimony that she always thought we were faking it when we prayed, that God did not really exist, or if He did, He did not really care about us.  Through the Bible studies the Lord began working in her heart, and finally one night after watching God’s Not Dead 2 with us at church, the Lord opened her eyes to see that God is real, that He really cares about her and loves her, and so she surrendered herself to Christ and entrusted herself to Him.  She has become a completely different girl!  In her testimony she shared with me, she sat crying as she told me what a terrible sinner she was before, how she rejected Christ over and over, but how amazed she is that Christ has forgiven her and saved her!! We are so grateful for the work of salvation that the Lord has done in her life!  Please pray for her twin brother who is not saved yet.

20161215_154638In regards to our family, we are all doing well. December has been a very busy month for us with work, ministry, and visitors. Last week we had dear friends from South Africa here to visit, and it was a precious and encouraging time of sweet fellowship; we hope to have them come visit again! In the picture to the right you can see Daniel who was kind enough to catch and remove a young python that had been living in our backyard. 🙂

My sister Anneke just arrived this past Saturday to spend her vacation with us, and we so glad to have her with us! We miss her and are looking forward to spending time with her this Christmas break. My father continues to work in the construction business to support the ministries here and he will be finishing this week for a much-deserved Christmas break.  Juan and I both will also be busy with ministry and work this whole week, finishing on Sunday night with the Christmas youth event.

My parents will be travelling to South Africa for their Christmas holidays to visit family and friends, while Anneke, Juan, and myself will be staying home.  We are looking forward to plenty of swimming, snorkeling (it’s summer here!), walks on the beach, fourwheeler riding, visiting with friends, reading, and SLEEP!! 🙂  Not to mention some awesome brother/sister time! 😀20161201_121408

Looking back over this past year, we see how we truly have so much to be grateful for.  We thank the Lord for good health in our family, the saving of lost souls among the youth, spiritual growth among the young Christians, the raising up of local leaders, new ministry opportunities, and so much more!  So please join us in thanking the Lord for His continual faithfulness, grace, mercy, and love towards us.  We serve an amazing and wonderful God!

In closing we would like to wish you all, our dear family and friends, a very

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!!!!

Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and support.


4 Comments

Lord’s Workings Among the Youth

Dear Friends and Family,

In my last update I promised to do another blog post to tell you all a bit more about what the Lord has been doing in the lives of the teens and young adults at church.  The Lord really has been good!

20161015_131455 (2).jpgAs you may remember, for the past few years we have Bible studies every Sunday afternoon for the youth, and in the past year at least 4 young people have been saved.  Most recently a young man named George (on the far right) was radically saved by our Lord Jesus!  We have known George since he was a little boy and he used to come to our children’s classes, but he stopped coming when he entered his teens.  In these last few months he started coming to Bible study again and he also went with us to the August youth camp in Chokwe.  During this time the Lord did a work in his life and he was truly saved!  I am so blessed and encouraged to see how the Lord has been transforming George’s life, and how he loves the Lord and seeks to follow Him with his whole heart.  I am very excited to see what the Lord will do in his life!

The Bible study as a whole has really been blessed by the Lord lately.  We have more young adults coming, some with a real hunger for the Word.  Not all are saved yet, but we pray for those who are lost.  We are so grateful for the true believers who come and with whom we are blessed to study God’s Word and fellowship together.  We are SO excited to see what the Lord will do in their lives!  It is such a wonderful blessing to fellowship with them, and to see them grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Many of them really love the Lord, and even though they are often surrounded by lost family and friends, an ungodly culture, they press on to follow Christ!

20161018_203107 (2).jpgTo create opportunities for fellowship, we now get together with the youth twice during the week too.  We usually have one night of ‘fun’ where we either watch a good Christian movie or play games, while the second night in the week we either listen to a sermon, have a prayer meeting, or have a sharing and discussion time over the Word.  It has been wonderful to be able to spend more time with the young people, get to know them more, and to become more a part of their lives.  They also have said that they really are glad to get together in the week too, as many of them are surrounded by lost people all the time, so it helps and encourages them to meet with other brothers and sisters.

20161015_151242 (2).jpgSix of the youth now help me every Sunday with the children’s Bible classes, and this has been a huge help to me!  (In the picture to the right, they are busy preparing songs for class the next day). They are leading the classes mostly on their own now, while we just help them when needed.  Our goal is that they will be enabled to go into their own neighbourhoods and teach children there about the Lord too, as we do at church.  As missionaries, one of our main goals is to train up others to continue with the work of the Lord here, and that is what we seek to do specifically with this group of teachers.  This past Saturday they spent the day at the beach with me to celebrate my birthday, and we had a blast! Below are some photos. A few friends/siblings came along.  🙂

All the girls, from left to right: Assie (Muslim neighbor), Irene (a teacher), Naira, Stella (recently saved, loves the Lord!), and Delfina (a teacher).

20161015_115322 (2).jpg

All the guys, from left to right: George (recently saved and teacher), Noe (a teacher), Isak, Alan (Assie’s little brother) and Vasco (saved as a boy in our children’s class, one of the leaders in our youth; also a teacher!).

20161015_130134 (2).jpg

Playing in the water!

20161015_130355 (2).jpg

 

Playing a netless version of volleyball 🙂

20161015_120550.jpg

As you can tell, we had a lot of fun on the beach that day!  It was a great blessing!  😀

Lastly I would like to inform you that the youth rally I had mentioned in my last post, had been postponed.  It will now be this weekend on the 22nd and 23rd.  I will be preaching 2 sermons, hosting a debate, and giving Bible quizzes. The program starts Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. and does not finish until Sunday at noon!  Please pray for me as I finish preparing this week and please pray for all there that the Lord will work a great work, as most of those attending do not know the Lord yet.  Pray that souls may be saved!

In closing, here are a few prayer points:

  • Thank the Lord for the work of salvation He has done in the lives of several of the youth.
  • Please pray that the Lord will save many more.
  • Please pray that the Lord will help the young Christians, that they may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that they may know and love the Lord more!
  • Please pray for help and wisdom for those of us who lead the Sunday Bible study.
  • Please pray for the bi-weekly evening meetings to be blessed by the Lord as well, that it may be times of sweet fellowship and spiritual growth.
  • Please pray for the 6 new teachers who are helping with the children’s Bible classes.  Pray that the Lord will help and enable them, and that they may become effective witnesses for the Lord.
  • Please pray for the youth event this weekend, that the Lord will give much grace, and that He will do a great work in the hearts of those attending.

Thank you all so much for your faithful love, prayers, and support!  We truly appreciate each one of you so much.

~ Isak for the Mozambique Team

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”” ~ Revelation 7:9-10

 


2 Comments

Update From Xai-Xai, Mozambique

Dear Friends and Family,

It certainly has been a long time since we have posted an update on the blog!  For that I sincerely apologize.  Lord willing, I will be posting more regular updates from now on, and I apologize in advance that this post is a bit lengthy.

20160906_111714 (2)First I would like to say that our family is doing well!  The Lord has been very good to us, and we are all healthy and fit. We are so grateful for this, as some of you may remember that we have had our share of health battles.  The Lord is good!  One of our recent blessings is that on the 4th of September my parents celebrated 34 years of marriage.  They are truly such a precious couple and are still very much in love with each other 🙂 ❤ Anneke, Juan, and I are so blessed to have grown up with such a beautiful example of marriage and love!  We love you, Ma & Pa!!

Now for an update on the work here, which I know is very overdue.

IMG_20160902_162725In the beginning of the year, Juan started teaching English to a group of young people.  He has been doing this for several months now, and is about to finish this beginner course he has been working through with them. This is a wonderful opportunity for Juan to touch the lives of these young people, especially since several of them are true believers.  They all love and appreciate Juan very much!  Right now we are looking at different curriculums and English courses for him to continue teaching English, so please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom as to how exactly we are to proceed.

20160803_093959Some of you already know this, but Lord willing, we are planning to open an English Christian school here in Xai-Xai in the future. We are very excited about this! Mozambique is in such desperate need of good education, and the best way to give that to them is together with the Gospel and the Bible, and that is what we want to do! We are planning to use the A.C.E. curriculum, as it is our favorite curriculum out there.  Not only is it wonderful academically, but even more importantly it focuses on the Gospel, Biblical teaching, and character building in an exemplary way.  We have our own property and right now we are in the process of constructing our first building.  If the Lord wills, we will open in January of 2018 with the first few grades of primary school.  As the students move to the following grade each year, we will expand the school until we are a full school from pre-school to grade 12, Lord willing!

DSC_0079You may remember that before we had a Literacy Center where we would teach a group of students for about 3 years.  We finished with our first group at the end of last year, and decided to take a break this year.  The Lord has been laying it on our hearts to continue with the Literacy Centers though, so Lord willing we will be opening a new one in the beginning of next year. At least one (possibly two) of our Christian young people will be helping me teach, with the goal that they will learn to run a Literacy Center by themselves in the future.  To remind you, at the Literacy Center we take a group of between 20-30 students ages 8-10 who go to public school, yet who cannot read or write.  We teach them basic English and how to read and write using A.C.E. curriculum for about 3 years.  Most importantly, we share the Gospel with them and teach the Bible to them.  We have found that the Literacy Centers are very successful, and it is such a wonderful opportunity to pour into the lives of these precious children who need Christ so desperately!  Right now we are in the planning stages, so please pray for wisdom in that.  We will likely start in February 2017.

As for the Sunday morning Bible classes for children and the Sunday afternoon youth Bible study, it is going very well!  Especially the Bible study has been going very well with more young adults attending.  I will soon give you all a more detailed update on the children’s classes and Bible study that will include the testimony of one of the young men who was recently saved.

In other news, two weeks ago I attended a youth camp in Chokwe (where Anneke is) with 9 of the young people from here in Xai-Xai.  The Christian school where Anneke works hosted the youth camp which was given by a Brazilian ministry called Palavra Da Vida (Word Of Life), and it was excellent!  It was a fantastic time of fellowship, much fun and games, and excellent messages by the Brazilian pastors.  We liked it so much that we are hoping to host them next year here in Xai-Xai, so they can give a youth camp here!  It truly was a blessing to be there and I know that our young people from here came back very encouraged and helped.  Below are a few photos from the camp.20160818_08540520160819_11004820160820_141728

Lastly, I briefly want to mention that I (Isak) have been asked to be the guest speaker at the yearly youth rally the Nazarene church we attend hosts.  It is the youth of several churches who come together for two days of fellowship, games, and messages, and this year they asked me to preach.  I will be preaching two messages and I will also be hosting a debate (yikes!).  Several of the young Christians from church told me that the majority of those attending are somewhat religious, but still very lost!  So this is an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel with them.  Please pray for me, as I so desperately need the Lord’s help!  It will be on the 17th and 18th of this month.

I would like to close with a few prayer points:

  • Please pray that the Lord will keep us close to Him, that we will come to know and love Him more, and that we will glorify Him in our lives here in Mozambique.
  •  Please pray for the A.C.E. school we want to start here, that the Lord will finish it, that He will provide the right staff and students, and that His Name be glorified there.
  • Please pray for the Literacy Center for next year, that the Lord will give wisdom and help in all areas as we plan and prepare for it.
  • Please pray for the children at the Sunday morning Bible classes, that the ones who are saved may grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ while those who are lost may come to our Savior and be saved
  • Please pray for the Sunday afternoon Bible study, that the Lord will cause great spiritual growth there for all of us, and that those in the group who are lost will come to a saving faith in Christ.
  • Please pray for the saved children and young people.  Pray that the enemy will not cause them to fall back into sin, but that instead they will be completely surrendered to the Lord, obedient, and loving and following Him with all their hearts.
  • Please pray for the youth rally where I’ll be preaching, that the Lord will give me great wisdom (which I desperately lack!!) and that the Lord will work in the lives of youth so that they might be saved, and those who are saved may be blessed and encouraged.

Thank you so very much for your prayers, love, and support!  We are truly grateful.  May the Lord richly bless each of you in this day.

~Isak for the Moz Team


Leave a comment

Plans…

As you may see from the previous posts, our residence permits in Mozambique have been denied and we are heading back to the USA tomorrow. These last couple of weeks have been a bit more like a dream than reality, as we say our goodbyes, and pack our luggage. We have also had several farewell gatherings.

With all the people we know, there is one question we hear often. That question is “What are you going to do when you get back?” or “What are your plans when you get back?” That is a hard question to answer, as this was a very sudden thing and we didn’t have time to plan everything, but that really got me thinking of plans.
What are plans? Why do we make plans? Why don’t our plans always work?

Well, if I think of what this world would be like without plans, I know that they are needed. We make plans for everything, everything from the way a government works, to how a car is built to how a surgery is performed.
This world would be chaos without plans. But then we also have our “Personal plans” we make plans for what we will do the next week, the next month, the next year, but do they always happen? No! In Proverbs 16:9 it says “The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” We were already starting to make plans for the next year, but the Lord was directing our steps elsewhere.

In the days after the call from the immigration department, there were several verses that came to my mind, one of them was James 4:13-15 which says:
“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapour that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”

We can always make plans, but in the end, they are just that. Plans.

But anyway, we are going back to the USA for at least temporary. I do not know the future, but God does, He is the one who said ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

The Lord has lead and guided us to this point, He used this time here in Mozambique for so much in our lives, and we know that He will continue to work more in our lives wherever we are.

I want to thank you so much for your prayers for us in this time as we have prepared. It has been a busy time with preparation. I had several things on the cars and four-wheelers which needed to be fixed before I left, and Joy had other things to finish up. We also wanted to spend some time with friends here. Of course we also spent time on the beach, as we may not be able to go there for a long time!

Now we have come to the last full day in Mozambique. We are leaving tomorrow at 3:30 pm our time (7:30 am CST). Isak, Juan and a couple other friends will bring us to the airport where we will meet more friends for lunch. Then we will be flying out and leaving Mozambique. We do not know if we will return, as we do not know the future, but we know Who holds the future. He is in control, and His plan will be accomplished!

Here are a few photos of these past few days;

width="739"

Joy getting “beach time” before going back to the winter time.

Photos from snorkelling.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Fixing the car.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Four-wheeler riding.

?????????????

With friends.

541

526Eating lunch at this dear family’s house.

 

We will miss our friends and adopted family here, but we know that the Lord is in control! Please be in prayer for us, we know that the Lord has a plan for us, and we will rest in that. Maybe we will not be coming back to Mozambique, maybe we will. That is in the Lord’s plan.  Either way we want to rest in the Lord’s plan!

 

 


Leave a comment

Goodbyes…

DSC_0040

Well, this will be the last blog post that I will write from this side of the world, at least for a while. The last couple weeks have been a flurry of tearful goodbyes, trying to visit everyone that we really want to see before we leave, and also enjoying the warm (or more accurately HOT) weather while we have the chance. I think we will miss it once we get back to the States in wintertime. 😉

Hearing that our residence permits were denied, and that we would have to go back to the USA for at least a time, was quite a shock to us. We were aware of that possibility ever since we started the process, but sitting in the immigration office, and hearing that we might only be able to stay for 10 more days was like a slap in the face. I think we were all stunned for a while, and it still is hard for me to believe that we will really be leaving on Wednesday, the 16th. As a result of delays with immigration, we still don’t have our exit visas in hand, but Lord willing we will get them tomorrow (Monday).

I think the hardest thing for us is the unknown of the future… will we come back after a while? Is God closing the door for us here? If so, what is His plan for our future? Many questions like this fill our minds, and I can only be thankful that our God holds the future in His hands, and we know that His plan is the best. Whatever He ordains is right, and we want to submit to His will, without fighting for our own way, or what we think is right. There is a song that keeps coming back to me…

I don’t know about tomorrow20151129_085618
I just live from day to day
I don’t borrow from its sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don’t worry o’er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I’ll walk beside Him
For He knows what is ahead

Many things about tomorrow
I don’t seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

I would like to ask for prayer for Seth and myself, as we seek the Lord for His will in our lives. And thanks to all of you who have been faithful in prayer already!

We are very thankful for the time we have had here already, and the precious relationships we have been able to build. It’s hard for us to leave just as we are getting to know the people and the language well, and we hope that this is not “goodbye forever”, but “until next time”.

It is especially hard to leave our “African family”, the Westraad family… They are truly like our own family, and we will miss them greatly! Please keep them in your prayers also, since the work load will be heavier on them after we are gone, and while we are leaving one family to see another, they don’t have that to look forward to.

Here are a couple photos from the farewell that the church did for us. They gave us traditional gifts, sang, and we said our thanks and farewells…
(Sorry for the bad photo quality.)

20151209_17102420151209_172641

So, we will be flying out on Wednesday, the 16th, and landing in Kansas City Missouri on Thursday. It will be a very happy reunion with our family there. 🙂 We have not seen most of them for a year and a half now.

We’ve taken plenty of photos with different groups as we say our goodbyes, so I’ll include some of those photos here.


2 Comments

Sad News

072.JPGDear friends and family,

We have occasionally shared with you before that we have been struggling to get Joy and Seth’s residence permits for here in Mozambique.  On Thursday last week immigration called us, and asked Joy and Seth to come the next day with my father.  When they got there on Friday, they told us the sad news that Joy and Seth’s residence permits have been denied 😦 .  The officials here at the local provincial office had approved their permits, and were actually very sad to tell us that it was denied, but the denial came from Maputo (capital of Mozambique) and so the local officials cannot do anything about it.  They gave Joy and Seth a short amount of time to leave the country, and so we are looking at two different dates right now.  They will leave Mozambique on either the 10th or the 17th of December.

The local immigration officials advised Joy and Seth to go back to the USA for several months, and then if they so wish they can come again and apply a second time.  The accountant who did their paperwork for the applications made some mistakes, and there were also some other technical details that caused Maputo to deny the application.  If Joy and Seth choose to reapply in a few months, we would do it with the help of the local immigration officials under the Nazarene church (with which we work).

At this time Joy and Seth do not have clear leading yet whether the Lord wants them to reapply again or not.  They both personally desire to come back, and we all certainly want them to come back too, but we know that the most important thing is not what we want, but what the Lord’s will is.  So for now Joy and Seth are returning to the USA, and it maybe for a few months or it may  be permanently.  Please do pray for them, that the Lord will lead and guide them in the right way.  He has a plan for each of their lives, and He knows best!

Our family here in Mozambique will certainly miss them very much, as they have been living with us for a year and a half now.  They are family.  But we know that the Lord has allowed this to happen, and we have peace, though we are sad too.  Please pray that the Lord will help us who stay behind, that He will guide us, strengthen us, and lead us in His perfect will.

We are so grateful for this past year and half we were able to have them here with us, and we also thank the Lord that He allowed them to finish with the Learning Center before their applications were denied.  It has been a blessing to have them here, and I think we all are changed for the better after our time together.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” ~ Proverbs 27:17

DSC_0181+1.jpg