Saturday, 18 January 2014

Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done ...


We would like to encourage you to plan to come along to at least one of these events.  Invite others to come too!  We will talk about the Helping hands project in Mozambique and are very much looking forward to the opportunity to hear each speaker share their story.  We pray that these events will help all of us consider the realities of disability in the light of God's purpose, love and grace.  Might there be someone that you could invite to come with you?

Saturday, 23 November 2013

News and much more!

On Friday 1st November at 1.52pm, we welcomed Lydia Violet into our family!  View our latest quarterly newsletter for photos (click link on the left).  Also, keep an eye on the right hand side of this blog for a list of our forthcoming speaking engagements.Photo: Beautiful Lydia, the latest addition to our extended family!

African or Northern Irish???
"Wow, Abi, look at all this sugar!" proclaims Joshua!  When we asked some of our African friends if they knew what snow was, they responded with the idea that it was like mist!

We encourage you to pray for Mozambique as political tensions have been running high over recent months.  We praise God that local elections passed off on Wednesday 20th November without major incident even though the fear of violence and rumours of war are very evident.  It is tremendously worrying to learn that the main opposition party boycotted the polls because they claim that the elections are flawed and unfair.  There is very real danger that significant numbers choose violence over peaceful dialogue.  Pray that Mozambique will seek God and his intervention. 'And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You' Psalm 9 v 10.

We rejoice that on Saturday 23rd November the first graduates from the Maputo Bible Seminary four year full-time program will graduate!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Home and Away

Praise God for the mobility aids that have already been distributed to people in need from the container which came from the UK.

 Rute received a chair and has since begun to attend church.  A very practical act of love!
 Pastor Dinis, Pastor Juca and Brother Carlos among a consignment of wheelchairs, crutches and walking aids destined for the north of the country (more remote and underdeveloped).
 Brother Samito and his bride with the Pastor and his wife.  Samito has worked with the mission as a carpenter for several years.  It is encouraging to see his grow up and mature spiritually.


 Pastor and 'Chef' Abel and 'Pretend Chef' Kelly preparing a meal for all the Pastors and their wives at our quarterly couples event.  Our desire is to strengthen the marriages of the leaders as a means to see families and churches built up.  A discouraged leader can never encourage anyone else!
 Sharon and I cutting a cake!  Coincidently, the date fell on our wedding anniversary!
 A tree house built on our residential compound in Maputo.
Joshua building the walls of Jericho!
Naomi with Abigail, Joshua and Noah on 19th August, the morning we left Mozambique!
An exciting discovery en-route ...
... the twentieth time ...
And then timeout ... 
Notice Joshua setting the trend with his sunglasses in the dark room when wanting to nap!
Waiting for boarding!
 All aboard! This is Noah before slipping onto the floor while continuing to sleep!
The children are really enjoying their time here in Northern Ireland though they could not understand why we call it 'home!'  They understand Maputo to be 'home'!  Home and Away!







 In tune with current affairs in Northern Ireland but maybe not 100% British or Irish! Not a bad 'Statue of Liberty impersonation!
Another milestone! Twins first day at playgroup!

Thank you so much for your partnership!






Sunday, 9 June 2013

Blessed to be a Blessing!

We are sorry that it has taken us so long to update our blog!  The past months have been extremely busy.  We hope, however, that you have received our prayer letters.  If you have not received paper or email copies you can access our prayer letters by clicking on the link down the left side of our blog.  If you would like to be added to our mailing list please email us at (melvinsapo@gmail.com).

It is impossible for us to write about all that has been going on here in Mozambique in the past months but we want to give you a resume so you can join us in praise to God for His faithfulness!

'Mãos Ajudando' (Helping Hands)

Step by Step the 'Maos Ajudando' (Helping Hands) ministry among disabled people has been developing.  As foreign OMS missionaries, we have been working in partnership with Igreja Evangelica Palavra Viva so that this project might unfold in the hands of the Mozambican Church.  Please pray for understanding and courage as we seek together to advance God's Kingdom.  Carlos recently gave up his job to partner with us in the development of this project through the Living Word churches.
Carlos, Tina and Joanna
Pastor Carlos' primary role is to help our Living Word church leaders and members to understand the vision and mobilize each church to participate in the project.  We pray that every church catch the vision and touch the lives of numerous disabled people in their locality through the general witness of the church and specific involvement by volunteers visiting, befriending and helping them.

Heather Phillips' heart to both encourage the volunteers and visit the disabled has been a real blessing.  Her expertise as an Occupational Therapist is very useful in so many respects.
Heather with Isobel.  Isobel is the Dirctor of the preschool at the T3 Church and has a real heart for disabled children.  Please pray for her and her staff as they work with the 4 disabled children she has accepted into her preschool!

We are learning new things each day about the culture and desire to shine Christ's light into dark situations.  We are finding that many people with disabilities are not able to read as they have not been to school.  We have been able to buy Audio Bibles in Portuguese and in the local dialect 'Shangaan' and desire to give them to those who are illiterate so they can listen to God's Word.  We are also learning that there is a great need to empower those with disabilities by giving them vocational skills so they can support their families.

Praise God the container arrived safely and we were able to complete all the paperwork to receive it!  Heather has been selecting appropriate wheelchairs to suit the people with whom we have been in contact.  We have so much to learn as we are doing this for the first time!  We need to listen carefully to our Mozambican brothers and sisters to ascertain the most appropriate way to give these chairs to families so that they understand God's love and take responsibility/ownership for the chair they receive.
The container's arrival after many hours of waiting at the port! 
Organizing Clothes Donations
Wheelchairs of all types and sizes!
Thank you to all who put in many hours work to pack the container!
Joshua enjoying his new bike which Granny sent in the container!
Melvin and Stephen McClure have been mentoring Victor as a wheelchair repair technician. This young man is a member from our church in Khongolote.

As we develop this ministry we realize more and more the vast need.  We often feel overwhelmed and inadequate but also know that this is the ministry that God has called us to and are so privileged to be part of it.  We are so aware of the need for more workers in this ministry.  Our hearts desire is for God to bring people to join us who have a calling to empower the church to minister among marginalized people.  We need people with Pysiotherapy and OT training.  Also people with practical skills to mentor those repairing wheelchairs.  Ministry in Mozambique is not easy.  Time is needed to become proficient in the language in order to minister effectively.  However we have no doubt about the need.

John Paul (João Paulo) receiving his repaired and adapted wheelchair today at the Chamanculo Church.
On Friday we had an opportunity to visit a Government centre for lost and abandoned children.  Very often children get lost in the busy suburbs of Maputo.  Until their parents are located, the children are dropped off at the centre.  Sadly, many children are never claimed.  Many other children are abandoned because of their various physical and/or mental disabilities.  With 71 children, the director at the centre told us that they only have contact with the parents of one child.  This was very shocking to us.  As we left, our brother Carlos said that it made his stomach freeze which would be our equivalent of saying that it made us sick to the stomach.  What would it feel like to be abandoned and not have anyone visit you?  What is God asking us, his followers, to do to shine His light in this situation?
Edmundo, one of the precious abandoned disabled children at the centre.    He responded so affectionately to our voices, our smiles and our touch.

'Nakteko'

It has been wonderful to work with Pastors wives in order to disciple and teach them new skills so they can be a blessing in their families, churches and communities.  The ladies had their first opportunity to sell their items at the CAM school fun day!  This was a great experience for them.

Nkateko means 'blessing'

The ladies working on making labels for their crafts!







We have been buying items to see if we can find a market for them in Northern Ireland.  We also desire to open up markets both in Mozambique and across the world.  If you would be interested in becoming a trader for us and selling some of these goods please get in touch.  Presently we are working with the ladies to hand over responsibility of this project when we are on furlough.  They are exploring the possibility if having a stall at the local craft market.  Please pray that God will bless and provide for these ladies and that this project will grow from strength to strength as we empower them to bless others.

Visitors

What a blessing it was to have Stephen, Ali and Lily McClure ministering alongside us for over 2 weeks!  They taught English and IT classes to leaders from Igreja Evangelica Palavra Viva!  Stephen also helped Victor repair some wheelchairs and organised items in the container.  Together we visited various people and projects related to 'Maos Ajudando'!



Abigail, Joshua and Noah loved spending time with their new friend, Lily!
We look forward to receiving Ian and Sharon Thompson in a few weeks.  Pray for them as they prepare to come to minister here!  As we continue in ministry we need to think carefully about handing over responsibility to others while we go on furlough.  We also need to pack our house and prepare for deputation.  These are days of much transition.  We really value your prayers especially for our children as we desire to guide them through these transitions.