Seeing Fruit

Carlos is on the right giving a thumbs up. 

A couple of years ago God began to grow a vision in our hearts, one of a redeemed Africa through transformed cities, realized in the lives of renewed university students. The road so far has been difficult at times, and complicated, but thoroughly satisfying. Nevertheless, my greatest joy yet happened a few days ago. I was sitting across from Bonomar, one of our committed leaders, and we were discussing how things were going. His eyes were on fire, and with passion in his voice, he described our movement from his perspective. It was like looking into a mirror and seeing the deep desires of my heart, as if God had transplanted what is inside of me to the depths of him. His excitement for what God is doing is contagious. Lives are being changed, the lost are coming to follow Jesus, and believers are hungrier for his presence.

The ministry here is comprised of groups that meet on the various universities. Made up of around 8-12 people, they are focused on creating spaces where discussions about scripture and Jesus take place. Through a facilitated conversation, the groups discover together the truth that's in specific passages, and then together find ways in which they can be obedient to those truths. There are many reasons God has led us to use this method, but one is that a lot of people who wouldn't normally come to a seemingly "churchy" thing, are participating, and being transformed. Our groups have succeeded in eliminating some of the traditional barriers that have kept this generation from encountering our living Jesus.

One of the many incredible stories from our groups is about Edson, a guy with whom the leader of the group, Carlos, has a lot of history. Carlos had tried, in semesters past, to share the gospel with him, and talk about the things of God, but Edson didn't want anything to do with it. He was convinced that Jesus was a fraud, and wouldn't even allow Carlos to talk, as he would berate him with arguments and accusations. Fast forward to this semester, and Carlos starts one of our bible studies. He invited Edson, not thinking much about it, but to Carlos' surprise he accepted. Carlos was worried as he didn't want Edson to come in to the discussion and dominate it with irrelevant arguments, and distractions, but he trusted God. Edson came to the group, and praise God, he participated in the conversation about the scripture, and experienced the love of God as he was welcomed into family. He was able to see Jesus with fresh eyes, and experience him truly for the first time!

We are convinced that there is no person who, given the ability to see Jesus for who he truly is,  would reject the Lord. That's why the scripture says that "every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God," because on that day everyone will see God for who he truly is (Rom 14:11). Jesus is giving our community here in Mozambique fresh eyes. Please pray that more Edson's are found, and brought in to discover their identity as sons of God, and culture shapers of Mozambique.        

Summer Update Video

We are working to see a new dawn in Mozambique. God is faithful, and is ever expanding his influence, his kingdom in greater ways. Please continue to pray for the future leaders of Mozambique, some of which you will see in our latest update video above. We wouldn't be here without your prayers and support. Thank you. Isn't Jesus wonderful?!?!

Cedar's 1st Adventure

We are incredibly blessed to be from the ARK. Our wonderful leadership decided it would be a great idea to bring all the missionaries back home to help celebrate the centennial of the Assemblies of God in Arkansas. This decision, paired with the fact that Cedar came 2.5 weeks early meant that we wouldn't miss the celebration, and that we would be able fly home for a couple of weeks. God is the God of miracles, and we don't need to shortchange him whenever he does incredible things; sometimes he divinely heals diseases, and sometimes he divinely arranges babies to be born early, and emergency passports to be issued so that spoiled missionaries can show off the new member of their family. Oh the stories we have just trying to get our little sonic tater tot a passport. We have a great father! Imagine all the elated faces of weary grandparents when they found out they would be able to meet the bundle of giggles so soon. Without further ado, allow me to present the first voyage of Cedar, photographic edition!



Cedar Asaph

Our wonderful baby boy, Cedar Asaph Marlin, was born on Palm Sunday, April 13. He was 5 pounds 9 ounces, and 18 inches. God is so good!

the birth of a movement

After all the prayers, preliminary meetings, asking permission from pastors, meeting individually with those interested, available, faithful, we had our first meeting together with most (hey it's Mozambique, everyone can't make it all the time) of our leaders. (Did you read that? We have leaders!) These are the guys that will begin creating spaces on their campuses (PLURAL!!!) for God to move. These are the open doors to change the future of Mozambique. The movement has begun.

Andrea and I sat humbled as one by one the guys thanked God for being chosen to be a part of this group. "He could have chosen anyone, with better skills and talents, but he chose me to help start this movement," relayed Zecka, one of the most talented and visionary Mozambicans we have met (He's the one to my left in the super-fly striped bowling shirt). 

As we discussed scripture I was taken back to the emotions of the first small group I attended in Chi Alpha, with all of the excitement and challenge of a life lived in true community, and the deep sense of opportunity that such an environment offers. The vision has been cast, hearts are burning with anticipation, and now we are following God into the unknown, towards a destination none of us have ever been.

Please pray with us as we seek to establish this true family, with its unique African (and a little American) DNA. Please pray that we walk close with Jesus every step along the way. This is not our baby; it's God's.

(Sorry for the birth references but, Andrea is pregnant with our first.)     

beautiful

We recently spent a week in Kenya with the awesome missionaries Brent and Rosemarie Hanson to experience what God is doing on the campuses of Nairobi. Can you say BEAUTIFUL?!? We were blown away by what is possible. It was so encouraging to see what we formerly had no idea even existed in Africa; a living body of college students pursuing Christ together. As we looked around a room full of about 100 students praising the Lord, all I could think was -What if Brent and Rosemarie had not come? -What would these students be doing tonight? Now, with ministries on three campuses, the gospel is being proclaimed to hundreds of students week after week. That will happen in Mozambique. God will bring in a harvest among the future leaders, the educated, the determined, and He will send them and use them in ways we could never imagine. Some will be lawyers, teachers, doctors, and others will forsake the "American Dream" and walk onto the mission field in countries where we could never go with our bright-white skin. Like I said, beautiful. God move on the campuses of Mozambique! If you will, please pray that out loud now. Thank you for believing with us. Thank you for your faith. We love you.

Below is a photo of us about two and half hours outside of Nairobi in an area where the Maasai people live. The formation behind us is called "God's Home". The formation in my belly is called a baby boy; I'm 30 weeks!

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