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!
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.)
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!
>>> Lots of new things are happening right now, but God is really guiding us through this transition time. From finding an apartment to the death of my father, our heavenly Father has really ordered our steps, and the Holy Spirit has been our comfort. Below is a clip of our first Sunday in Mozambique. Matt did an amazing job introducing us in Portuguese, but the crowd really loved it when he greeted them in Shangaan, the mother tongue for the Maputo Province.
<<<>>> Please pray for us as we meet with young men and women of peace that can and will change the continent of Africa for the Kingdom. Our God is capable. Thank you for believing with us.
<<< We found an apartment in less than a week of looking, which is apparently a BIG deal, but not for God. This is our new building.
After many stops along the way we have made it to Mozambique. Here is a little bit of our journey.
We are currently living with the wonderful missionaries Lance and Mindy Hines. Please pray we find housing quickly and continue to prayerfully walk alongside us as we work to see Mozambique renewed. Thank you so much. We love you.