E-mail Edition - November 8, 2003
WE'RE MORE APT TO PLANT FLOWERS THAN CHURCHES
Strange thing for missionaries to say, isn't it? Especially in an
e-mail sent to many supporters and some potential supporting
churches. But it's true. While Mindy has planted dozens of
gorgeous flowers around our concrete house, we've not lifted a
finger toward planting a church in Mozambique.
Mind you, we're not opposed to church planting, and we're
thankful for the many organizations in our brotherhood who are
doing just that. But as we are a part of the Good News for
Africa team, our particular strategy is to focus on churches
already in existence.
There are countless churches here who acknowledge the God
of the Bible and name the name of Jesus, but entertain such
practices as wearing cords on their wrists to ward off sickness
and evil spirits, and engaging in remembrance rituals so dead
ancestors don't become offended and send some affliction their
way. Some churches are sacrificing animals in an attempt to
please God because they've come across the instructions for
doing so in the Bible.
While God's Word is available in many of the tribal languages
here, illiteracy, a cultural apathy for reading in general, and a
lack of sound biblical instruction have largely kept many
churches steeped in unholy traditions founded upon false
doctrine. But to our advantage, at least the churches are in
existence, having their own makeshift buildings to which people
come every Sunday to hear a message, and they are open to
our instruction. We gratefully accept their invitations to preach,
and we provide classes for many of their current and future
leaders in the Bible training program at our center.
So many thousands of people here have a zeal to serve God.
It's our desire to see this zeal married to a true, saving
knowledge of Him, that they can worship in spirit and in truth.
Yes, it's only the flowers we plant, but it's the churches we really
want to see grow.
MISSING: THE PITTER-PATTER OF BIG FEET
This past Wednesday, Kevin and another missionary took the
GNA Class of 2003 down to, well, a very large parking area in
Maputo from which many buses leave early in the morning
bound for nearly all the different provinces of Mozambique.
Having finished their studies here, they have left to go home.
As this is being typed on Saturday, some are still probably
traveling, anticipating a Sunday or Monday arrival in northern
Mozambique. (We're in the southern tip of the country, which is
about twice the size of California, and some of the roads are
barely passable as you go further north. The buses typically
have two drivers and travel day and night.)
Thus ends the 2003 program. We expect the class of 2004 to
arrive in February. In the meantime, Kevin will be trying to
make contacts and preach in new churches, studying the
Tsonga language in hopes of a future evangelistic outreach to
area children, and writing materials for next year's program.
Please pray that the students who've just left will put their
knowledge to fruitful use in their remote areas.
SUMMERTIME, SUMMERTIME, SUM-SUM-SUMMERTIME...
As Christmas approaches, it's not too early to start thinking
about next summer (ahem). We plan to be in the US during the
summer of 2004, and we'd love to be the missionaries for your
VBS or week of church camp. We'd also be thrilled just to
come to your church and give a presentation about what we're
doing here. If you'd like to set something up, send an e-mail to:
firstname.lastname@example.org (it's cheaper than calling).
Apologies to those of you who have that "Summertime" song
going through your head now.
MOZAMBIQUE ECONOMIC INDEX (as of 11/8/03)
1 US dollar = 23,009 Mozambican meticais
Gallon of milk: $4.11
Gallon of gas: $2.53
Box of frosted flakes: $1.82
Dozen eggs: $1.30
Bag of corn meal (2.2 lbs): $0.52
Dozen oranges: $0.65
With thanks for your prayers and support,
Kevin and Mindy Beck