E-mail Edition - November 13, 2004
IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN
Halley's Comet makes a visible pass by the earth every 76 years. With similar frequency,
our website is updated with fresh pictures and relevant content. The most recent update
was completed, well, this morning. So for the first time since we came to Nampula, you
can see our fashionable apartment, the Mustard Seed ministry center, shots of people
we've visited in remote areas, and much more. You can even read this issue of The
Mozam' Beacon in a format fancier than plain text. But hurry! These items will be gone in
another 76 years or so.
The address: http://mozambecks.org
HAVE GUM, WILL TRAVEL
In addition to our regular ministry activities, we've been on the road a good bit lately. Of
particular interest was a teaching visit to the combined churches of Nova Nabúri with
Jacob and Jaynie Michael. Kevin first visited this remote area ("Go out to the middle of
nowhere, then hang a left") in 1998. You'll find interesting pictures of both these visits on
our website (another *cough* shameless plug *cough*).
In late October we went with the Michaels on our first visit to Malawi, to see Mr. and Mrs.
Lendal Wilks, Church of Christ missionaries set to retire after 40+ years on the field. We
also visited a large orphanage/school/Bible college mission founded by one of our friends,
Dr. Gardiner Gentry, a Baptist minister from Louisville, KY.
Next week, we'll head to the coastal town of Nacala for our annual meeting of all the
missionaries of Good News for Africa. We should be back at the apartment in time for
Thanksgiving dinner (we're trying even now to track down a turkey).
A NEW LABOR OF LOVE
For some time Kevin has been kicking around an idea that he has finally decided to
implement. While there is noteworthy benefit to teaching preachers and church leaders in
a classroom setting, or on location where they live, this approach has some undeniable
limitations. Realistically, most church leaders cannot afford to leave their families to study
at a school far away. And trips out to where the preachers live are limited by expense and
the shortage of missionaries.
So Kevin has begun a project to put Bible teaching in book form for mass distribution (a
missionary can be in one place at a time; a thousand books can be in a thousand places).
The first undertaking is a verse-by-verse commentary of the Gospel of John, the goal of
which is to provide a highly simplified study (with a lot of repetition) for under-educated
church leaders to use in teaching their congregations. If it is well received (if, say, people
are rioting in the streets clamoring for more), then other works will soon follow.
The John commentary is being written first in English (which can be immediately useful
elsewhere) and will be translated later into Portuguese, likely by Mozambicans well-versed
in English. Kevin has received permission from the publishers of the English Standard
Version of the Bible to use that text in the English version. Other arrangements will have to
be made for the Portuguese version. You can keep up with the progress of this project,
reading the text itself, by visiting our website (*cough cough*).
And rest assured that when the time comes for publishing and distributing these books,
Kevin will be asking for "charitable assistance."
IN THE MEANTIME...
The other activities in which we are involved are going swimmingly. The Mustard Seed
center for evangelism and discipleship continues to have growing influence, showing a lot
of potential for a lasting impact in Nampula.
Kevin is continuing to make new contacts in churches for visits of preaching, teaching, and
Mindy is looking into the possibility of putting her medical assisting skills to work in the
local hospital. We're trying to acquire a copy of her transcript so the health officials here
will be able to certify her locally, comparing her education to government requirements.
She is likely to become the chief neurosurgeon (just kidding).
Thank you as always for your prayers, support, and reading down this far.
Kevin and Mindy Beck