Saturday, December 13, 2014

In Our Eyes -- The Girls

Last Friday, we went out to do a seed project. 
(See our parent's post for more detailed info.) 
This post is to show a little about how we feel going out to villages 
and doing projects like this.

We were partnering with BGR to give out seed in the village where our mission church is. 

We left our house at about 7:00am then went to pick up some church members to go along with us. 

When we first found out that we were going to be going to distribute seed, to be 
honest, we were not super excited. 
It is very hard for us to feel like we belong when we go out to the village. 
When kids are staring at us constantly we feel very out of place. 
We try to have joy while sharing the love of Christ, (who wouldn't) but when it is hot and you feel like the whole world is watching you, it can be uncomfortable. 
We prayed and asked God to give us peace about the heat and people looking at you and He really did help us find joy. 

Lilly and Meghan love to take pictures!

Let me just tell you how many flies there were. I mean hundreds! 
And we were sitting up against a mud wall with many ladies pressing up against us.
Poor Emma had some cultures shock and had to go outside for a moment to regroup herself. 
We think that they were attracted to our shoes (who knows why?!?) and then they found us. 
I tried to take a picture, but you are going to have to use you imagination. 
Try to imagine 100 flies trying to land on you!

Some of the flies that were landing on us and the women around us. 
We then went out side to watch two trained men teach the
 Mozambicans how to plant a good garden. 

There wasn't very much shade there and it was so hot. 
The women watching the demonstration. 
We were thankful for clouds that gave us some relief from the sun.

Eventually the sun just kept on coming so the girls headed over to a shaded spot.

Then we walked into the church to get away from people and 
the heat for a couple of minutes. 

A nice lady from church gave us some of this stuff. 
It was peanuts and some kind of orange sticky stuff. It was very good at the time. 
Enjoying a snack and a break form the heat.

Then, we started distributing the seed. We were able to bless about 75 people with seed.

 We all wanted to see what was happening outside, but it was just so hot. 
Here everyone is trying to get in the shade, right before we left to go back to Nampula . 

Mom fanning her shirt in the heat, Emma scratching a mosquito bite and lot of boys staring at us.
A little on-looker.

Please pray that we will be able to find joy in going out to villages. 
It can be challenging at times to enjoy the heat, flies, dirt, and people staring at you. 

The Girls

Cossore Baptist Church's Anniversary

This year our home church, Igreja Baptista Jesus é Rei de Cossore, celebrated their 11th anniversary. On Sunday, November 30 we celebrated together with a big lunch after the church service.

First we started with Sunday School. This is Montinho.
He is the teacher of the children every week and does an outstanding job.
(Don't you just love his orange pants!?!?)
This little darling is watching Montinho tell the Bible story.
Lilly sitting amongst the other children.
This is an accomplishment. 
The classroom is outside in the motorcycle parking lot :)
This is the youth class. Lee is the "facilitator".
Each week he meets with one of them and helps them prepare a Sunday School lesson.
Then on Sunday morning he sits with them and helps them teach the lesson.
This is what you do during church to stay out of trouble.
This is Armenda.
She needs your prayers.
She is pregnant with her 4 baby. Her first baby was born healthy,
but the next 2 she lost in the last few weeks of the pregnancy.
This time she is under the care of a doctor.
Pray for this precious child that is growing inside of her.
Tracy doing what she loves…..dancing and singing with the ladies.
Tracy's little friend
The youth and their new "uniforms"
Nap time!
Our yummy lunch!
The cooks
The table that was "set" inside the church. It has the fancy rice (the one with peas and carrots in it), the potato salad,  the grilled chicken, the cake, and the sodas. The men and us missionaries served from this table. Everyone else got their plates behind the church where the cooks were.

These little ones are passing around a bowl of food and sharing.
The ladies eating inside the church.
More children eating out of the pot.
Finally the cutting of the cake by our pastor, his wife, the lady that made the cake and the president of the women.
How do you pass out cake pieces to this crowd?
Tracy's friend, Ereba, and her 6 children.
Another one of the ladies and her two daughters.

It was a long, but sweet day at our home church here in Nampula. Come visit and we will introduce you to everyone!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sowing Seed in Jesus Name

Our home church in Nampula, Cassore Baptist Church, has a mission church, or church plant, about 45 minutes out of Nampula in the village of Nacuia. They are a small body of believers that we wish we could visit more often. When we learned of an opportunity we had to receive funds through Baptist Global Response for a community development project, we knew exactly what we should do. We were led to distribute corn/maize seed to the believers and others in need in the community.

So, earlier in the week our deacon Jamal, who is the liaison for the mission, went out to Nacuia to get everything organized. Jamal met with the head of the village, or régulo, and the leadership of the church. He asked the régulo to identify 75 families in the community that could benefit the most from this project. 

The goals of the project were to improve the yield of maize harvested per hectare, provide more for the people to eat and improving their overall health, strengthen the relationship between the church and the community, and open doors and hearts to hearing and accepting the Gospel.

On Friday of this past week, we loaded up lots of corn seed and some brothers in Christ from our Church and headed to Nacuia.

Heading out of town.
And further out….
And we kept going.
It was the most beautiful morning and the mountains were amazing.

Arriving in the village of Nacuia.
The little church building.
Here are Lee, our Pastor, some of our deacons, the leaders from the mission church, the village official and two guys we brought with us to do some farming training.
They were organizing the program for the morning.
Inside the church building the people have gathered.
The church members sang song after song as we waited to get started.
Finally we are getting going.
Pastor sharing the Gospel
Part of what we wanted to do to help these families was to maximize their harvest by teaching them better farming technics. (For those of you who don't know, Lee has a strong agricultural background. So this is very important to him and something he really enjoys.) 

In Nampula there is a agricultural college, Ebenezer College, run by Australian missionaries who intertwine theology with "Farming God's Way" teaching. We asked the leaders of the school to let us borrow two of their students, Lázaro and Nito, for the morning to lead our farming training. They did a great job and the teaching was well received by those who were there.  Many in Mozambique still use farming principles dating back 50-60 years.  They are open to new farming practices, but do not often have opportunities to learn about them.

Hear they are getting started with their teaching demonstration. 
We used a space next to the church 
in a church leader's yard to plant a demonstration plot.
The women watching as the men were teaching.
It was a warm summer day. The girls were watching, but wishing for shade :)
We were so glad that God provided some clouds to give us a little reprieve from the sun. 
Here they are demonstrating how to measure for proper row spacing.
They had pieces of wire which had been cut into 70cm sections and then twisted together to form a 6 meter "chain".  They used this "chain" not only  to space the rows, but also to allow for proper spacing between the plants in each row. After they showed how to do this the ladies all started searching the yard for sticks that they could break into a 70cm length and take home with them.

The farmers do not use commercially available fertilizer because of price and availability. However, there are many people who raise chickens in this area so chicken litter is readily available. Our teachers taught on the benefits of using this great fertilizer. They put a handful of chicken littler in the bottom of every hole. 

Lee enjoying a conversation with Lázaro who was one of our teachers.
Putting 3 seeds in every hole.  Once they germinate the weakest of the three plants will be culled to allow the other two to thrive.
Covering up all the seeds 

After the demonstration was over, we all went back into the church to organize the seed distribution.

Here is one of several list that the church leaders were using to call individuals to receive their seed.

People waiting for their name to be called. 
One by one they each received 10kg of corn seed.
Here is a lady receiving her seed.
Then she put the seed into the center of
her capulana…the wrap-skirt with a thousand uses.

Then, she took the opposing corners and tie the capalana around her seed.
Next her friend helped her get it up on her head.
Then she started her journey home. 

Lee relaxing in the truck in between people.
People trying to get some shade.

We had some people on the list that did not show up. Then, of course, there were some who came that weren't on the list. So here Pastor and the leaders are deciding what to.

A little one looking on.
Here the girls are looking as if they are enjoying themselves. See their blog post for a different prospective.
Missionary life is not what it seems. 

In the coming weeks the church members will be going to visit the homes of those who received seed. They will be using this seed as an outreach tool and we pray that God will use this to call the people of Nacuia to Himself.


Lee and Tracy