quinta-feira, 28 de julho de 2011

Experiencing Heaven Right Here on Earth!

Experiencing heaven right here on earth. Seeing His kingdom come right before our eyes. Feeling the Heart of God inside our limited and weak bodies and walking in His power when we feel the weakest! That is what I feel we have just experienced here at Inhaminga, just a few moments ago.

We have a new Conference Centre filled with women from all over the Central part of Mozambique; women that came from different backgrounds, but mostly from bush areas and carrying a huge baggage of suffering and pain. What they have been through, our minds can hardly grasp. Just last night we talked with about seven of them that have been sexually abused. As they told their stories, my heart was broken and I wanted to run out and cry. But how could I? They were the ones hurt, and here they were standing with boldness telling us how they had been so badly hurt, and with their own words forgiving those who had wronged them and receiving freedom and forgiveness themselves!

This morning we received a Word during our team prayer time that we should focus in the things from heaven, that joy is greater than sorrow and blessing greater than the curse, therefore we shouldn’t take the long way around trying to deal with our sorrow and dealing with the curse, but we should receive God’s joy and His blessing, because sorrow and curse were nailed to the cross and joy and blessing would overpower everything else.

We walked into the hall as the women were already worshiping and, as we worshipped and led the women in worship, we could almost physically feel and see heaven coming down, God’s presence being manifested in our midst. It’s something impossible to describe in words, but as I lifted up my face and saw 200 women kneeling before God, some speaking in tongues, some worshiping in dialect, some with their faces on the ground, some with arms lifted up high and glowing faces turned toward God I was overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the privileged and the honor of being here in such a time as this.

How can such a transformation happen in such little time? Since the first day the women arrived, they have been going from one place in God to another. In the first morning worship many were already filled with the Holy Spirit for the first time. Many manifested demons, more in the beginning and as the days passed and they are being set free and walking in their freedom, less and less are manifesting.

Fear has no place in our midst when heaven comes to earth! Joy, healing, fullness, strength; that’s what we feel!

terça-feira, 28 de junho de 2011

I love tomatoes!

I planted a tomato plant in a vase that I keep next to my kitchen door. It grew and was full of beautiful green leaves. I had some flowers and it looked very good! After a while, some of the leaves and branches didn’t look as nice, but the flowers had become little green tomatoes!

A friend of mine came around a day and said I should cut a few of the little branches off, take out some of the excess leaves and leave only the productive branches. I followed his advice, and harvested a nice little bunch of tomatoes.

I was about to take the whole plant out and plant something else when I saw what looked like the beginning of little new flowers! I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to just leave the plant for a little longer to see what happened. I cut off a few more branches and pruned the extra leaves of others and after a few weeks I had a new little bunch of tomatoes!

“Well, now it has given enough”, I thought to myself again! But a few days ago I saw it had even more little flowers! So, again, I pruned some branches, cleared off the excess leaves and today I was surprised to see 3 or 4 more little green tomatoes growing!


It reminded me of what Jesus said in John 15: Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

On a Mission - by Ellie Hein

Dear Friends,

We are on a mission! The mission field is full of adventure, opportunities to reach souls in hidden places, church planting, ministering to the poor and hungry.

Praying for the sick, casting out demons, compassion, tears, laughter, frustrations, anger, sorrows and great joy with fun thrown in between.

Missions is people. Sometimes more people than you feel able to cope with, and sometimes you are so very alone.

Missions is much more than can be listed here. It is a call, a desire, a fire, a passion and a love mixed with periodic exclamations of ‘I can’t stand it any longer. I want to go home!’ So yes, sometimes it is a love/hate relationship.

Then when you really want to run away, you realise this actually has become home, you know there is nowhere else to go. So you stay, for you have become a love slave. ‘Cos in the end, it’s just between you and Jesus and He says, “Will you also go away?” and like the disciples you say. “Lord, where would we go,? (John 6:67,68)

Now, that old serpent the devil in on a mission too. His mission is to remove us from our call.
He is so afraid of us, so afraid of the love that burns a blazing trail of light and salvation through
the darkness that holds people captive.

Beloved, hold fast to your mission, keep the vision ever before your face. Be not moved by your circumstances and do not stumble at the obstacles. Do not trip up over the trap he has set before you. Be watchful, be alert. Keep your life pure, keep your mouth in line with the Word of God. We are running a race, we are running to win.

For those of you who are at home, at the workplace and not on the foreign mission field, remember you are on a mission too. Your field simply happens to be where you are. The same opportunities, trials and victories are right there in your midst. The same urgency is compelling you to give yourself, to run. Jesus is coming soon!

Thank you for running with us through your prayers and giving,
Your reward is with you.

In His Love!
Rod & Ellie and Team

quinta-feira, 5 de maio de 2011

A Note on Procrastination

People that only work under pressure are very funny and many times illogical. I am one of them. We are the description of “procrastination”.

Many times I can take hours, days or even weeks to do something I don’t feel like. Even if it is something I enjoy doing or believe very firmly I should do. It makes no sense, but I just can’t get around to do it. I will do everything else, even harder shores, difficult tasks, annoying stuff, but NOT THAT MOST IMPORTANT THING.

Then all of the sudden, inspiration will come down, or sometimes I just get super annoyed with that pressure on my back, or maybe the dead line is in a few minutes; it is only then that I do it quickly, painless and well done! Go figure!

Today I had one of those moments. It has been almost a month since the pastor of my church in Brazil asked me to send them a video. I had thousand of ideas, made many plans but didn’t move a leaf to put any of them in practice. I scheduled set times in which I was going to start, I separated whole afternoons just for that… but nothing came out of it. I felt bad for taking so long, and I just kept doing the urgent little things that came up, or the useless big things that came to my attention.

Then this afternoon, after a very busy day, I came back from a meeting with the women in Ontupaia, happy, inspired by the beautiful sunset, my favorite time of the day. So I got home running, set up the camera, minutes before there wouldn’t be enough light to shoot the video, sat down and recorded the whole thing. Minutes before the inspiration came I was tired, feeling the only thing I wanted was a shower, some food and bed. But I’m just that illogical! When it comes, it comes and I must use it before it goes away again!

segunda-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2011

Youth Track

And the Youth Track, Extra Page:

Suka News - January/2011

Latest Suka News:

Street Kids

For a person who has lived at Inhaminga, “in the bush”, where when it doesn't rain 70% of the population go hungry, poverty shouldn't be something new. But the impact urban poverty has in my heart reaches deeper, and makes it ache to the point where I feel it tight, almost wanting to pop inside my chest.

It is true the people in the rural areas do work a lot, walk long distances, and have many struggles. But there is something about the bush that is comforting to me... I don’t know if it is the beautiful landscape or the stronger sense of family life and community… or maybe it is just the lack of trash lying all around! I think that’s it!

The crowed cities: the noise, the lack of privacy, the bad smells, trash everywhere, lack of security… all these things have always made me avoid city life!

When God brought me to Nacala, my greatest comfort was that the school was 7km away from town and the campus was at the beach, where we could have a taste of “bush”, out of crowded civilization!

But need always takes us in, to downtown, to the middle of all that mess! What can we do? Each time we go, it is the same fight... kids begging, kids leading blind people begging, old people begging, blind old people begging!

In the beginning you don’t know what to do. Sometimes you give, sometimes you don’t! When you give you feel bad because you know that a coin is really not what they need! When you don’t give you feel even worse thinking if that person will get enough to eat that day! There is no way out of feeling bad!

Quickly you discover that if you give to someone, soon enough you’ll have a multitude of beggars around you everywhere you go in town. Like vultures around dead meat the common thought seems to be: "New meat in town, let’s take advantage while we can!"

At this point you are losing your patience, because amongst the beggars there are always the thieves, and even the ones who aren’t professional thieves will rob you if they get a chance! You stop giving anything to anyone. You find out that if you are very rude to everyone, never give anything to anyone, gradually you get bothered less; you can do your shores quickly! But something else, that you might not notice soon, also starts happening: you stop noticing people, you only see them as obstacles you must go through to get “what you need done”!

And one day you wake up and notice that even though you came to that place to help people, your heart is so hard and your attitude is not helping anyone!

So then, what do you do?

I went through each of those phases and finally came to understand that I must be attentive to the Holy Spirit! I have no obligation to give anything to anyone, but I’m also not forbidden to do it. I must listen to the whisper inside, pay attention to whom that whisper is directing me and most and foremost: LOOK AND SEE PEOPLE!

When that happened to me, I didn’t see beggars and thieves anymore. I started to look deeply and see WHO was in front of me. That changed everything...

I started to see the old people, who really had no more strength to work. Jesus said that the poor we would always have with us... these old people are that kind of poor!

I started to see kids... teens! They are everywhere in the city; the little ones making “hungry faces”, asking for a coin, wanting to “watch your car” or clean your windows with a dirty rag.

Soon they stopped being just random “kids” to me... they started being Abubacar, Cinaro, Sanito. Each one with their own smile, their own personality, their request, their history (full of lies, most of the time).

Abubacar was the one who moved my heart. He is about 9 or 10 and is very smart. He runs every time he sees my car. I let him watch my car a few times and every time I met him back there, quietly watching the car. He asked my name, where I lived and if he could come with me. I always turned the questions back to him. He said he didn’t have mom or dad… but I knew it wasn’t true.

Soon, more than just seeing, I started to care, really care. What would be his future? What will he become, just roaming through the streets like that? Probably a thug, like so many others that are already there. His perspectives weren’t promising... no study, no skill, no job, no money! Even as a thug, competition is pretty high in Nacala!

I started to look for him every time I went to town and took him wherever I went, to “watch my car”. Between one shop and the other I asked other questions and tried to find out more about this sweet funny kid!

Finally this year I decided to go a step further. But first, I counted the cost. So many of them need help… but even so, only a few make good use of the hand extended to help them change their lives. But if we don’t start with one, if we don’t believe in one… what difference will we make? I weighted and decided to move forward.

I set up a day with Abubacar to go to his house. By this time he had admitted he had a mom. I couldn’t go the day I had set and he spent a great deal of the morning waiting for me and thinking: “What’s wrong with this lady! She said she would come, but didn’t” Another day I looked for him everywhere but couldn’t find him!

Last Friday, I was going with Rito (one of the teachers) to see some schools he was interested in studying at... and I found Cinaro (another street kid). I visited his family and found out he has a dad, a mom and 4 siblings. His dad is a very uneducated man, very rough but with a good heart.

They live in complete poverty, as I described above...

On that same morning, I met Abubacar on the street again. He took me to see his house and we found out he is Cinaro’s neighbor! His mom complained that he doesn’t behave, is never helping at home and always runs to town to beg! Sometimes he brings a few coins but never much! He doesn’t shower. So I gave him a small loving lecture! :)

None of them go to school (Cinaro and two of his brothers that are old enough to study and Abubacar and his older brother). None of them have documents and none has ever step foot on a classroom… but the school is less than two minutes from their houses! We agreed to make their documents this week and put them in school next year! We set a date and place to meet!

When I arrived at the set place this morning Abubacar came in my direction: “I was looking for you… where is that lady?”, but with a huge grin in his face he shows me he is not a bit upset! I meet his mom who is also ready to go to the registry. The other family is a bit more complicated, but we gather everyone and there we go!

Nothing works at the registry BECAUSE NONE OF THE PARENTS HAVE DOCUMENTS EITHER!! What a weird situation! But it’s local reality! Now we are on a fight to get documents to the parents, so that the kids can have their documents and next year can go to school!

One thing really encouraged me today though. It was Abubacar’s mom encouraging Cinaro’s mother when someone told her that if they are enrolled to school they will run away from it, she said: “Since the day this lady went to my house, Abubacar has been showering every day and even combing his hair! It is possible for their hearts to be changed!”

I want to be guided by Your Spirit, Lord!

I want to see them as You see!

I want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps

And love them with Your love!

I want them to know that You love them,

I want to see their future transformed!
I know I have no power in myself,
But You are the One that can change the heart!

Written on October 2010, but translated to English just now!