I didn’t know what to expect coming to AMT in Mozambique. I certainly didn’t expect to go on an expedition to a remote village. I thought to myself, “What are these guys thinking? They want us to go minister the gospel to these people, but they haven’t even taught us how.”
Tuesday was our first day out in the village. I think it was obvious to everyone that we felt very unsure of ourselves. We hardly spoke at each house we went to and when we did speak, we kept it short. I know that I personally had very little confidence in the gospel. When we were discussing our day after dinner, I commented on how wrong my idea of evangelism had been. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much of the villagers’ time we were taking up. It didn’t seem right to me to spend hours talking to them about the gospel message.
As we went and ministered to people throughout the week, I was slowly realizing that the time we took didn’t matter. If they had better things to do, they’d let us know. I began to really see the effect our message could have on these people. I still don’t fully comprehend how they’re willing to let complete strangers, foreigners no less, come in to their homes and preach to them. We told the villagers that we were sent here by God, but I didn’t truly believe that. However, God kept showing it to be true through the desire these people had for truth. I had been so wrong in my idea of what the people of Mozambique would be like. When I’d try to minister to people back home in the United States, you’d have to build a relationship for months sometimes just to get them to listen for a few minutes. There’s no real hunger for truth. The people in the village of Legogo are hungry for truth. God truly did send us to Legogo. He gave us Bread of Life, and sent us to people who are hungry.
Wednesday we went out in two groups. I got more comfortable speaking to the people and was gaining confidence in the gospel message. We met the first person who asked us for a bible, so he could understand better. After lunch, we found out a police officer was looking to speak with us, so we went to the police station. It took a little while and some phone calls from the people at the station, but the man looking for us eventually came. We had no idea what to expect from this encounter. After introductions and some conversation, he said that he wanted to hear the message we had. That kind of blew my mind. A police officer in an important-looking uniform just openly stating his desire for truth. As the gospel message was preached to him, I could see with my own eyes the effect it was having on him. It was beautiful.
Thursday was a really good day. In the morning we ministered to a family and prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit on them. I had never done that before. I ran out of words really fast. I had no idea what to say. I had also never prayed in tongues before. I had no words. I was laying hands on a complete stranger, but he is also a brother in Christ. My spirit desperately desired to pray for him. Immediately, words I did not know poured out of my mouth. My mind could not comprehend them, but my spirit was lit on fire. We did the same to the next guy we ministered to as well. I barely shared anything at either of those houses.
At lunch time, I resolved to turn my brain off for the rest of the day and just be who God made me to be. We went and spoke to two women in the shade of their tree. I know that I did most of the speaking, but I don’t recall what I said. I know I went through the whole gospel message, start to finish, but don’t know how I said it. I’m making that point because I do remember the impact the words were having on the women. From start to finish, their demeanor changed and they were engaged the whole time. I learned later, from our translator, Carlos, that the words I was saying had an impact on him as well. He said that it was like he was being fed and had to digest what he was receiving before he could translate it to the women. They accepted Christ as their savior and understood that they were now new creations. We laid hands on them before leaving and they were each healed of chronic pain. The younger woman’s neck had hurt for three years and she was healed. The older woman was healed of eye and stomach pain. I cannot accurately describe in words the joy I felt later that day looking back on this event. The fact that God used my mouth, a mouth that for many years spoke destruction and evil, floored me. John 7:38 says “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” I had never lived that before. I told everyone around the campfire later, “This could get addicting.” I wasn’t wrong. Every day since then, in my time here, has only deepened that dependency.
Friday was fairly ordinary day compared to that one. But can you really call a day when someone gives their life to Christ ordinary?
The children in the village absolutely loved my daughter, Hope, and kept asking what her name was. She even let some of them hold her without fussing too much. That’s Richard in the background playing coconut bowling with some children.