Playing off our last blog, we thought we would share about the last seven lively weeks. Since Jean’s “promotion” as the leader of the kitchen, he faces the daily challenge of bringing order and compassion to an extreme volatile area. Because of the center’s explosive growth, this includes the purchasing and distribution of food for over +1100 people per day! This might be hard for some to believe, but some Africans become different people when it comes to their food! Sweet people who love Jesus will yell at the top of their lungs and throw a tantrum if they do not receive what they want. Coming against the god of their bellies is a formable enemy who daily needs to cut down…like a weed, it can be mown down one day but it often grows back again the next day. Add in the daily stresses of overseeing staff, raising up Mozambican leaders for the kitchen, teaching in the Bible school, leading a discipleship group, and learning the accounting for the base (new project☺), Jean still guards his time with the Lord diligently (even if it means getting up at 4 am). He is my hero and an amazing example during this busy season.
On my end, I am so blessed to have this season in assisting Heidi (our director). Her previous assistant Katie just had a baby (see Heidi’s recent update below). Daily, God demonstrates His lavish love and power thru this awesome woman of God and I am grateful to have a front row seat-both in learning and participating! For example, we have a mercy/benevolence ministry to the poor. This ministry helps purchase wheelchairs, build houses, help with funeral expenses, pay school fees, etc. In the past, Heidi often faced the ever-growing cue of people alone. Consequently, two dear Mozambican sisters and myself have taken on this honor. Please pray for us! It can be very overwhelming hearing people’s needs and discerning whom we can help and when to lovingly say “no”.
Another huge project is revamping our widows’ ministry. We knew we needed to review the widow’s list when a few women came to the center to receive food with new babies strapped to their backs! Many of the women can work, so we have placed them in groups that have discipleship on Mondays and learn a trade on two other days per week. Besides sewing, we are teaching the ladies to make bead jewelry and weave local bamboo purses, hats, and mats. Therefore, we can “trade” food for completed items, which we hope to sell online (I will post the proper web info once we get this done).
Most days are long and filled with both testimonies and trials. Joy and heartbreak. Victory and defeat. How can anyone survive in such paradox? Easy…by abiding in Christ! We encourage you, whatever your current paradox may be, abide in Him!
“There is no sweeter manner of living in the world than continuous communion with God. Only those who have experienced it can understand. However, I don’t advise you to seek His presence for the sole purpose of gaining consolation for your problems. Seek rather because God wills it an out of love for Him.” Brother Lawrence
We have more exciting news, but we are saving it for our next newsletter! Check our blog in the next week for our surprise announcement!