Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Please find our latest Newsletter on the left side of this blog under the title Quarterly Newsletters. Thank you for your prayers. We really value your prayers for our family and ministry.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Reflections from the Through the Roof Team by Heather Philips

It was a joy for me to return to Mozambique this summer for two weeks to join the team from “Through the Roof.”

As a team we worked together with the local church to deliver disability awareness training to those from the church who are involved with the Helping Hands ministry among people with disabilities. Nigel began the sessions by setting out the Biblical foundations as to why this ministry among those with disability is so important.

Kerry then shared from her own personal and professional experience, as a special needs teacher, practical advice on how to engage with and include people with disabilities. She challenged us to think about how disability affects families as well as the individual.

Jillian (physiotherapist) and Heather (occupational therapist) delivered practical training on wheelchair and walking aid provision.

Re-fuelled with a Mozambician lunch we headed off into the community to visit people with disabilities in their homes each afternoon. This provided a great opportunity for those on the training to put into practice what they had been learning.

A highlight for us as a team was the afternoon for children with disabilities and their parents to gather together. It was wonderful to see the local church taking the lead in organising this event and engaging with these families. One mother shared how it was such a comfort to know other families were in the same situation as them.

The week of training concluded with the trainees becoming the trainers! On the final day they had the opportunity to share what they had been learning during the week with the rest of the church. And what a great job they did!

The following week Jillian and I had the privilege of spending some time with Aimee Howarth on a trip to her new house in Inhambane which Melvin has been working on. We donned the paint clothes and got to work under the supervision of the expert!

By the end of the trip we were shattered but blessed! It was so encouraging to see how the work of Helping Hands is developing. The equipment received in the containers is being put to good use and the church is growing in grace as they share the good news of Jesus in their communities through this ministry. Please pray for the Helping Hands ministry and pray for the Kelly family as they lead this ministry alongside Pastor Carlos. Pray that they would know God’s strength and guidance in the midst of many responsibilities.

Written by Heather Philips

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Autumn Newsletter

Thank you so much for your prayers.  If you click on the link on the left side of this blog you will be able to access our latest newsletter.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Summer Prayer Letter

A copy of our current prayer letter can be downloaded from the left side of this blog under the title Quarterly Newletters.  Thank you so much for your prayers for us and also the ministry here in Mozambique.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Close Fellowship at 'Women with Purpose' Event

On Saturday 4th April, my visiting sister-in-law, Karen, and I had the privilege of participating in the  'Women with Purpose' meeting that takes place every two months.  The meeting was held at Machovana, a new church plant in a rural community about an hour outside of Maputo.  Praise God, that this Church is growing and two of its converts are now studying in a Bible course! Our missionary colleagues, the Almeida family, are dedicated to help nurture growth there at this new beacon of gospel light.

The Women with Purpose event embraces ladies from all the Living Word Churches so we were asked to help with transport.  We had 10 ladies in our car (even one in the boot!!).  Needless to say the car was not coping too well with the humps and bumps on the road!  Our dear sister Isabel decided that we should all put on our hazard lights and travel in convoy! Off we went and praise God arrived in one piece two hours after leaving home.

Karen outside the little reed church at Machovana
The church is a little reed structure.  We all piled in and it was indeed close fellowship!  Karen and I found a little space on a reed mat and the service began.  We soon discovered that we are not as young as we thought we were.  A few hours sitting in this position and our hip bones were complaining.  How do these Mozambican woman of 50, 60 or 70 years of age do it?

The meeting was in Shangaan, so, much of it was a guessing game.  Each lady introduced themselves,  there was a time of hearty praise, and the Word of God was proclaimed.

Close fellowship!
 When it came to the Word, Luisa kindly translated from Shangaan into Portuguese and I translated for Karen into English.  The message was proclaimed boldly from Proverbs 31 and we came away exhorted to be true women of God in our day-to-day lives.  It is lovely to see these ladies grow in their walk with God and see the gospel translated into their everyday lives.  Our colleague, Aimee Howarth is supporting and mentoring the ladies leading this ministry.  God is using her to make an eternal difference.  Many of these ladies also are part of the Nkateko group.

Some of the children.  Many of these clothes came from the container sent from Northern Ireland

Cooking over an open fire
 After the meeting we were served a lovely meal of chicken and rice prepared by some of the young people.
Laura Almeida ministering to the children
After eating, we once again squeezed into the cars and minibus and headed for home.  We arrived home tired, after a 8 hour day, but encouraged by what God is doing. Please pray for this Church plant, that God will raise up strong local leaders.  Pray that the members of the church will grow in their relationship with God.  Praise God for 'Woman with Purpose'.  Pray that these women will be influential in their homes and families and that they will stand up for godly values and principles so that lives and communities may be transformed through Christ.

Train Up a Child: Khongolote Sunday School

Sunday used to be a day of dread for me. Why?  Surely not, I'm a missionary!  How could that be?  Imagine a Sunday service which lasts at least two and a half hours, in 30-40 degree heat, delivered in Portuguese and Shangaan, with 4 children aged 5 years and under!  There have been many Sundays when we came home exhausted and wondering how we were going to survive!  Is there any way that our children could enjoy Church and maybe learn something?  Historically, Sunday School started at 7.30am.  The Church service started at 9am and ended at 11.30 or 12.00.  Our desire is that our children would love church, would make friends there and grow in their knowledge and love for God. Staying at home with our children is not an option.  As a result, we started to take our children out after the first hour of the Church service, along with any other children who desired to come.

We tell a story, teach a memory verse, do a quiz and have colouring sheets for the children to colour in.  It was and still is a challenge to prepare and present the lesson in portuguese! It is nothing spectacular but we entrust this 'little' into the hands of God.  God is taking the Church on a journey!  For many months it was just Melvin, I and two teenage girls managing 30+ children of all ages.  The Church has watched from the sidelines, but slowly helpers are coming on board!

They have cancelled the 7.30am Sunday School that was also under-staffed and so all the children are welcomed and accommodated during the Church service. The children take part in the service for the first hour and then go to their classroom for the children's program.  Melvin and I teach the 11 year olds and younger.  Our Mozambican brother, Abel teaches the 12+ year olds.  Last Sunday we had 60 children in our group.  It is not without its challenges but we praise God for what He is doing.  With those that are now willing to volunteer, it is time to create a rota so that everyone can from time-to-time have a Sunday off.  They are now wanting to divide the group again so we can minister to each age group more specifically.

My heart soars when I hear my children, even Noah, who has just turned 3 years, recite verses of Scripture in Portuguese!  My children love church, they have friends and are learning more from God's Word.  We have the wonderful privilege of investing in the lives of these children - tomorrow's leaders.

Pray for Joyce.  She is a beautiful 10 year old girl.  She has such a hunger for God's Word.  She is eager to learn and has already memorised many verses of Scripture.

Please pray for us as we continue to invest in lives Sunday by Sunday.  Pray for strength, protection, helpers, personal spiritual refreshing, our children, the children in Khongolote, the leadership.

Why not accept our challenge to learn a verse in portuguese!?!

Salmos 119:11Guardo no coração as tuas palavras para não pecar contra ti.

New Experiences, New Opportunities

Last week, Sharon and five pastors wives set up a Nkateko stall at the prestigious 'Joaqium Chissano' Conference Centre in Maputo.  This was a new experience for everyone.  They had the privilege of exhibiting their creative craft products which is something that cannot be taken for granted.  They sold 44 items over 2 days with a gross income of 10,500mts (approx. £210).

Before the event, our missionary colleague, brother Paulo, provided valuable orientation/training for the ladies about what to expect, how to present oneself with tips about how to encourage people to buy.  The Conference was entitled 'Global Issues Service Summit' with 200 - 300 participants from many International Schools across Africa.  Several of the OMS CAM School Students were in attendance.

Praise God that this event has helped raise the profile of Naketko and we trust will provide leads to other sale opportunities.  The ladies are preparing for two end-of-term school events on 9th and 16th May.  We really want these ladies to market their creations locally.  Pray that the ladies will continue to learn from each experience and be able to critique their products to suit their clientele.