Monday, 5 October 2015

Saturday service

October 4th

Friends, family and supporters,
The last few days have been really busy with the funeral on Friday, Saturday service in a nearby village and Sunday service at Mbulumbuzi.
I will have Sheila post this report on the blog, see top of page, and also post pictures of the services. It takes a lot of time to send pictures with e-mail reports and time is money as I use a home hot spot and it is chargeable like phone minutes. No Wi-Fi at the house. That really costs money.
Saturday; Rackson, Grace, Sheila, Taylor and I left the house mid-afternoon and headed out to a preselected village within walking distance from Njuli or Mbulumbuzi about 5 miles from each where once again we were greeted by singing. Approx. 20 adults and 25 children were waiting for us. Once service started Taylor took the kids outside the compound a few buildings away and taught. I was with great ease left to teach the adults from John 1:1-13 and using other verses brought a salvation lesson and at the conclusion of the invitation given by Rackson, 9 souls called on the name of Jesus as their Saviour. We never fail to pray that the Holy Spirit goes before us and
touches the hearts of those who will hear and give us just one soul. God is good and He is good all the time.
Today Sunday we had the opportunity to teach at Mbulumbuzi. Attendance was small but the faithful were there and ready to learn, there is a hunger for the Word. I brought a lesson from Matthew 5:1-13 I ran a little long because as I asked them to turn to the place to start, Rackson said I did not know you were going to teach that lesson. The Jehovah witness have been teaching on that passage and teaching that the Malawians would not go to heaven if they did those things Jesus said but have all the blessings only here on earth. That is all I needed to hear and I corrected that notion much to the pleasing of the people and the Lord.
Rackson was to preach after I got through but he only added a few comments of his own and we closed with prayer. When we got home I asked him about the short lesson. I cannot tell you how pleased with the complement he paid me saying I covered the scripture so well he did not want the people to have anything else to think about other than what they had heard in the lesson. Sometimes the simpler the lesson the better.
Today was the first Sunday of the month and we could visit Rackson Jr. at school. We stopped and got his favorite; a big chicken dinner with all the trimmings and went to the meeting area. He was very glad to see his family but I saw a sadness in his eyes, he is really missing his mother. It took much encouragement from both Rackson and Grace to have him stay
there and not quit and come home. Not easy being a 12yr old boy away from home.
I told Sheila I knew how he felt I felt the same way when I joined the Navy. She looked at me like I was nuts and said I was 19 not 12. I told her I was not as mature as Rackson Jr. and it was tough. I got no sympathy with that story.
We are all home and ready for a little rest and bible study and it is bed time. We have much business to take care of tomorrow, John will be up as our container is in and we will have to get the papers from the lawyer so we can get it unloaded soon. It has 500,000 John/Romans in the native language and many things John needs for their living comforts in Tengani.
Please pray for the work here. We have a need and I will share it with you all at a later time. We have about come to the end of what we can do with what we have.
Because of the Cross,
Chuck, Sheila, Taylor and the rest of the gang

Saturday, 3 October 2015

October 2nd

Good afternoon friends and family,

Today (Friday) was a full day and one that was not planned. Slept in till about 0600. I heard Grace up and around getting Heath ready for school so I got up and washed my face and combed my hair and started the day with hot coffee, Rackson was still in bed so I made the coffee, ugh! when he got up he made the second pot. As I stated in the last report Bro. Collins mother died Thursday while we were in Mozambique. Today was the funeral. Collins called and invited all three of us plus Rackson and Grace to come. We did as a show of support. There were well over 300 people, family-friends and members of her church. The body was in the house and the women were preparing her for burial. It was a long process being interrupted often my family members coming in and mourning long and loud. We got there about noon and sat around waiting for the service to begin. At noon Collins came and got us and we moved into the courtyard where we were put in the front row so we would see and hear all. He wanted to move us to the shade but that would mean someone would have to move and make room for us we said no, I won’t make that mistake again. After 2.5 hours in the sun all three of us were in need of water and shade, PTL for a cool breeze throughout the service. The singing was good. They had a 40 member choir who also served as mourners and flower barriers. When the body was brought out and placed in the front yard the family made noise as only mourners can. While comments were being made several women went into the house to clean up from the preparations. New dirt and water were brought in and a clean floor was put down, when dried it was swept and made smooth. It concluded with a nice talk by the priest and we were dismissed to go to the cemetery which was a loooong walk from the house for the many hundreds. Bro. Collins mom and dad got saved about 3 years ago when Rackson and I went soul winning. His dad attended Bible Way but the mother could not break with the catholic church, this was a sadness for Bro. Collins. We started home after a hard walk to where we parked. We were hot and tired and the traffic was horrible, it was backed up for miles. We did not have lunch so I thought I might die in Malawi but my son said I would make it. What does he know? As for the others? Who cares. Rackson knew a way around the back-up but it took us way out of the way but we were moving so it must be progress. Stopped at a nice restaurant for dinner and I became a lot better person. We ate our fill and came on home about 1800. I had a warm/cool shower and feel much better. I wish we could have taken pictures but it was not at our church and I did not want to embarrass anyone. It was a very different experience from an American funeral. Tomorrow is Saturday service is a village to be announced. Pray that souls will be saved and the Lord glorified.

Because of the Cross,            

Chuck, Taylor and Sheila

Friday, 2 October 2015

more pictures of Mozambique/phalmobe

Taylor helping Collins

October 2nd

Friends, family and supporters,
Some days are just better, yesterday the 1st  was one of those. We were scheduled to visit a little church at in Phalombe on the border of Mozambique. They wanted us to come on Sunday but we are preaching at Mbulumbuzi so we decided we would go and meet on the 1st.
Rackson had us up at 0430 so we would be ready to leave at 0530, I was already up already as the muslim call to prayer was at 0430. Bummer way to wake up I must say.
With all that we had to do we managed to be on the road at 0545 with the first stop being to pick up Collin’s one of the lead men from Njuli.
The first 30 minutes of travel was on good road but soon we hit some not so good road as much of it was under construction and we had to leave pavement and travel on dirt side roads. After about an hour we hit the Phalombe cut off and things went from bad to worse, wide dirt to narrow dirt wide bike path to very narrow bike and ended up on goat/cattle trails. Cows and goats can and do wander anywhere and so did we. After about an hour of hard travel we were there. We now know where the middle of nowhere is. Everyone talks about it, we have been there. It is a place where you cannot find a Coke (Taylor was looking for a Fanta) to drink. The last several miles was flat and barren and only a hut every so often.
We were met by singing and warm greetings as the pastor who asked us to come wasn’t sure we would come, he has experienced too many broken promises. I was very surprised at the turn out as it was a work day and better than 50 adults and a bunch of children were waiting for the man of God. We were a little early so we sat outside in the shade and listened to the singing. Rackson said they did not have song books so they made up songs about the goodness of God. As the attendance grew and while we were waiting Taylor was trying to get close to the children but they would have none of it, we were the first white people they had ever seen and they were very afraid of us, they tell their children that we would eat them. It is their form of teaching “stranger danger”. I still am trying to get my head wrapped around the fact that Sheila, Taylor and I were the first white missionaries to be the first to bring the Gospel to these people, the first white people to be in this village church. This is the village that Rackson and Collins have visited several times preaching and teaching and have a good core of believers. Rackson showed where he had to go to baptize the new Christians and all I can say is better him than me, snakes everywhere and crocodile’s seemed plentiful enough and water the color of mud. Rackson said he let Bro. Collins baptize(quickly) while he watched for croc’s Rackson is one smart fellow.
At a little after 0900 services started with singing of just one song and a prayer. Before I was asked to preach the pastor asked Taylor if he would teach the young and all the young got up and went out with Taylor and we continued service. Rackson interpreted for me and Collins for Taylor. Many in attendance were members but I know that good teaching is a must but that is up to someone else. I told them I only had one message and that was Christ crucified and that is what I preached. At the conclusion I extended the invitation and 10 precious souls came to the altar calling on the name of Jesus for salvation. The Word has power and the Name has power, power to save. I only wish I was a better messenger but I thank God for what little we have to offer.
The church had prepared a meal in our honor but Rackson told me he had made reason why we could not stay and so we prepared to leave and I must say after the children had got to know us a little better and that Taylor would indeed not eat them they warmed up to us and were just too sweet. It broke my heart to have to leave them. I know Sheila was sad to leave as she was the best looking blonde in the whole area. She got many long stares and I thought the women would go nuts when I kissed her just before I was to preach. A little teaching on husbandly affection is badly needed in village life.
As we drove away many of the kids ran after the van and kept waving and smiling. It was easy for them as the trail was so bad we could have walked faster than Rackson could drive. There were rocks sticking up all along our route that were about the size of a hatchet head and just as sharp. No wonder tires don’t last, we had to buy two just so we could go to Mozambique. I am afraid to check this morning.
We got home mid-afternoon and all I could think of was a shower and sleep and that is just what all of us did. It was one of the best days I have ever had and I was sad it was over but we will go back someday I pray.
Please pray for us as the field is white with harvest and we are few and weak. God give us strength.
We will be attending a funeral today, as Collins’ Mom passed away while we were in Phalombe.
Because of the Cross,
Bro. Chuck, Sheila and Taylor 

Thursday, 1 October 2015