E-mail Edition - October 4, 2003
CONFESSIONS OF A LESS-THAN-TRUTHFUL MISSIONARY
Before we left the US, we had the privilege of visiting a lot of churches
and telling them a bunch of stuff that wasn't true (ahem). There
wasn't any intent to deceive, just some miscommunication, and a
fuzzification of Kevin's memory in the four years he was away from
So, in the interest of integrity, we offer the following retractions and/or
corrections, right here at the top of our newsletter. That's right, while
some major newspapers bury their corrections below the tide tables
on page B-19, we here at The Mozam' Beacon put them above the
front-page fold. (As this is the e-mail version, you'll have to imagine
1. We told you that the Bible training center operated by our
organization, Good News For Africa, was on the verge of replacing its
one-year program of teaching Mozambican preachers and teachers
from all over the country with a two-year program. This, we said,
would double the number of students (some of whom would be new,
some of whom would be returning for year two) and leave the school
short-staffed without our arriving to help bear the load.
In fact, the two-year program hasn't begun yet. We're going in that
direction, but the scope of the undertaking seems to grow the closer
we get. To make it work, we will likely have to establish a primary
school on our compound so that any two-year students can move their
whole families down for the duration. This means a lot more planning
and a lot more fundraising. In the meantime, our one-year program
While there was quite a bit of correspondence between us and the
missionaries on the field during our year of preparation, the
discussions were mainly about housing, fundraising, and security
issues. Oddly, the delay in starting the two-year program eluded our
discussions. All turned out, though, according to God's providence.
One of the other two families here had to make an unexpected trip
back to the US this week, so there are now two men (Don Hulsey and
Kevin) left to finish teaching in the current program.
Now for the most embarrassing part (ahem again). It was only a
couple of weeks ago that Kevin realized the students he'd already
been teaching for a month were here for a one-year program. (We
arrived in a rush and jumped right in without seeking a lot of details.)
So, if you visit our website before it's updated in a few days, the first
thing you'll see is a paragraph with some nonsense about a two-year
2. We told you that our compound was now surrounded by a high
razor-wire fence and secured by two armed guards at night, due to the
armed robbery in 2000 in which one of our missionaries was killed.
In fact, the fence surrounds only the area in which the missionaries'
houses are situated, allowing people from the community to use much
of the compound as they always have: playing soccer, having choir
practice, fetching water, etc.
And the armed guards are present day and night.
3. Kevin often described the compound as being "about the size of
two football fields" (the football field having become somewhat of an
American standard of measurement). But it's obvious, after our
having returned, that it's more like six football fields. It's quite a place
we have here.
4. "Fuzzification" isn't really a word.
(This would be a good place for you to imagine the fold.)
MILK--IT DOES A BODY GOOD (BUT YOU'D BETTER TAKE YOUR
A particularly trying difficulty for Mindy since our August arrival has
been her digestive rejection of the milk here. It's only been in the last
couple of weeks that we narrowed down the source of her troubles to
the local dairy products, and only a couple of days ago that we
acquired some pills here for lactose intolerance.
It was quite a task finding the right medicine in a Mozambican
pharmacy (all the printed information accompanying the drugs here is
written in very challenging, medically technical Portuguese). Though,
we think we scored a touchdown. Today (Oct. 4) is the first day she
has consumed the dairy products without suffering for it. It's also
been the first day Kevin could drink a glass of milk in front of her and
not suffer for it.
MIND IF WE SWING BY?
We are planning to be in the US during the summer of 2004 while the
program here is on break. If your church has begun to plan ahead for
your VBS or week of church camp, we'd be thrilled to be your
presenting missionaries. We'd also be happy to come on a Sunday,
Wednesday, or another day if you'll have us. The easiest way to set
something up is to contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
With thanks for your prayers and support,
Kevin and Mindy Beck