This month we opened the library, started the student cell meetings, and saw the Holy Spirit dealing with many students in their relationships with each other.
One of the subjects I taught this semester was fasting. I emphasized how we cannot exchange a sacrifice on our bodies for any blessings from God and that the only precious payment for our blessings is the blood of Jesus. But then, why fasting, if we are not in the old testament when sacrifices had to be made some asked? So I explained about putting our bodies under submission and how if we satisfy all the desires of our flesh it becomes demanding and soon the spirit is overpower by the flesh. But that God promises to reward our fasting, if we do it in the right attitude. Well, I did get a big reward for our first fasting as a student body.
I had been having a lot of stomach ache (like gastritis) since I arrived from Brazil. Two times it got worse and for almost a week I was feeling it every day. I prayed about it, and asked for prayer from the team. I knew I was healed but still felt pain every day. But our focus on the fast was intercession for lost people we knew, for salvation to come to the lost, and I asked God to help my stomach ache not to get worse because I wasn’t eating that day and didn’t worry about it anymore. So the whole day passed and I didn’t feel ANYTHING! Since then, it has been more than a week, I have been very, very well, with no pain at all! I am healed!
It was such a great healing, and made me remember once that I experienced an immediate healing while I had communion with the team at Inhaminga many years ago. Some people may think that we must do these things (take communion, fast, baptize) out of an obligation, as a religious ritual, but we know that Jesus wouldn’t tell us something that had no meaning. Everything he told us to do has meaning and spiritual power. I know that because I have experienced it over and over!
Some of the students also testified changes that happened during that fast. While we corrected the test we did on that subject, a student got up and out of the blue said: “It was my first fast ever, and I liked it so much! Can we do it again? I can see God doing wonderful things in my life since then!”
On the two years we’ve been in Nacala we’ve had Passover with the students (2007) and with the local churches (2008) but never with both together! This year it was a wonderful opportunity to have all of them in one spot in such a special time.
Preparations started way before the actual date. Just like it must have been in Israel many years ago, when people had to plan their trip to Jerusalem every year three times a year to celebrate God’s Feasts. We started by teaching churches and students about what is Passover. All three churches heard about the Israelites having their first sons protected by the blood of the lamb and the whole people leaving Egypt in the middle of the night, and what it means for us today. They also heard about the Lamb of God who takes away our sins, and that He also died during Passover time, to fulfill all the prophecies. The students had been learning about the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, so they also heard the whole story twice (once in the classroom and once in the churches they visited).
All the physical preparation was also made, with guys searching everywhere for a blameless lamb (ups, goat) for our feast, dramas being prepared and all the churches preparing to come and bring their contribution for our lunch together!
The weekend came!
On Friday night we had a special time as a family (team and students). We first heard and thought about the resemblances between the lamb that was killed during O.T. Passover and Jesus! Then we ate it in fellowship and joy! The team presented our drama which finished just before Jesus was being arrested and from that part on we watched from the Jesus film. And finally we had Communion together! How special to have Communion in such an appointed time!
On Saturday the churches came and we had a big celebration service. Kids were everywhere, a fan broke right in the middle of worship making a big noise, lots was happening outside of the classroom with the workers, but still praises continued to raise up to heaven! It is amazing the growth that has happened in the lives of the people who were here last time. It is a joy to see some families coming together (dad, mom and kids) to church! And those that hardly knew what worship was before can now enter in fully. Jorge brought a good word about the crucifixion and then the students presented their drama! They had planned it alone and we did not know what to expect, but it was VERY NICE! One of the best that I’ve seen so far! It was all in Makua so that the people could understand it well, and even without much resource they presented the story concisely and clearly! I was so proud of them! One of the men from Muzuane told me: “If anyone came without understanding the meaning of Passover, after this drama, they DID understand!”
At the end we had lots of fun distributing toys for the kids. A church in Brazil donated a lot of small toys and I brought it so this was the perfect opportunity to distribute them. It was precious to see all the smiles and the exclamations as they opened their gifts and children and adults curiously checked what everyone else got!
Sunday at sunrise, we had planned to worship together, but everyone was just a bit late, so Debs, Nicky and I arrived first at our meeting place. We were just like the women coming to Jesus tomb and finding it empty. We woke up all the students screaming HE IS ALIVE! They answered from their rooms even before they joined us for worship!
That morning Muzuane home group visited Nacoto with part of the students and the rest of the students went to Rassim! We all celebrated that HE IS ALIVE and what His resurrection means to us! He is the first fruit and we are the rest of the harvest!!!!!