While 2015 will involve a lot less travel than 2014, it promises to be just as exciting for the Equip Mozambique team. We continue to relish our role of discovering, partnering, and empowering - finding out what God wants to do in the church, the city, and in individuals then equipping them for that role.
The church just got the equipment for most of a radio station from Brazil. They have been actively praying and seeking this opportunity for 5 years, and now it’s within reach. While there are individuals in the church with experience working a radio station, no one has put a station together before or understands how the equipment works together. As always, God seems to have a plan and Jon at least understands the basics. He has been poring over manuals and physics equations from his college days in order to fit the station together in the best possible way. When we left the US, we never thought ‘bearing much fruit’ (John 15:16) would include a radio station, but here we are!
We have all enjoyed working under the leadership of Peniel. Even though we’ve only been here a short time, the church really does feel like a ‘home church’. Pastor Mario is a man who has a thorough knowledge of the Bible, a vibrant relationship with God, and is passionate about equipping other Mozambicans to bring positive change to their society. He speaks the truth in love, but he isn’t afraid of causing offence or taking a stand against the ungodly aspects of some of Mozambique's cultural norms. We have all benefitted from his teaching, and have been encouraged and challenged by the dedication with which the other church members live out their faith.
A BLOG from Jon about various job opportunities here in Mozambique.
Kyran balancing between two puddles on our street. It has been raining a lot lately, and much of Mozambique is flooded. Thankfully our area isn't that bad!
Janie has been blogging about her many encounters HERE.
Equip Mozambique is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so all donations are eligible for tax-exemption.
Our interest in helping Mozambique in the area of education is taking on new and exciting turns that we never would have expected. In order to get a better picture of the education landscape and opportunities, we've been interviewing some teachers and parents to get their opinions on the current state of schools and what is needed. One parent told us that some teachers don’t even show up for whole weeks at a time, and if they do come, they’re drunk. She was upset that the kids are expected to pass the standardized tests at the end of the school year when they have so little instruction. Another parent said a student could have 9 classes on their day's schedule, but only 3 teachers would show up that day. Two college professors lamented that many of their students - who graduated from high school - can’t even read. They simply passed from one grade to the next, and then to graduation, by bribing the teachers for good grades. This explains two other major issues: corruption and the fact that students of all ages just don’t seem to be motivated or care about learning. These are sadly common stories we’re hearing, so it’s pretty clear that some drastic changes are needed to ensure a higher quality of education.
Parents as Teachers
Carla has started homeschooling Kyran and Jariel, thanks to another missionary family that generously loaned us a complete kindergarten curriculum and set of books. The kids have been loving it, and are learning in leaps and bounds. Through conversations with Mozambican parents, we've come to realize that it is a completely foreign idea for them to be actively involved in their children's education. They've been shocked that almost-5-year-old Kyran can read and do two-digit addition problems, and 2-year-old Jariel knows the alphabet and can locate several countries on a world map. They didn't even realize that such young children were capable of thinking like that! This has given Carla the idea of starting a 'Parents as Teachers' kind of class at church to help parents give their kids a headstart with a desire to learn. This could transform at least some of Mozambique's educational woes from the bottom up.
Jon has also been busy looking for business opportunities and finding the right people to take advantage of them. If you want to know more, read his blog post “Want to Quit Your Job?” Please be praying for Bernardo and Dino, brave Christians who had great jobs but whom God is calling to step into the unknown.
Janie’s been spending time with several other girls from church in order to form friendships and keep learning Portuguese. Every day is a new adventure, whether it’s being asked to cook ‘American food’ for a friend, committing hilarious linguistic blunders, or having random conversations in stores and parking lots. She also got to do some photos for the wedding of a Mozambican couple. The wedding included multiple locations, lots of dancing, and lots of food. The whole affair lasted for about twelve hours, and it was a great experience, though it made for a very hectic day.
Janie got the chance to photograph a Mozambican wedding.
In order for us to do any ministry, there is a lot of administration that has to take place in the background. We have finally succeeded in getting our residency approval! It has been a long process including unexpected flights, emergency documents, and mailing shenanigans but God is good. We are so grateful for all of your prayers and the support of those here who have helped us through the process. To give some perspective on how big of a blessing this is: Jon and Carla were here for three years previously, and were never able to get their DIREs (the Mozambican equivalent of a US green card). This is a major praise report for us.
Thank you for your prayers and partnership!
We're thankful to finally have our DIREs!
We were able to find and buy a vehicle that looks like it will suit our needs well. It's currently en route from Japan and should arrive at the end of March.
For God's faithfulness in opening doors and showing us more areas for ministry.
For the kids' homeschool curriculum and the inspiration it provided to help other parents.
That our car would arrive safely and that we wouldn't encounter any problems with the import process.
That God would continue to guide us to the right people who need equipping in order to live out their calling.
For Bernardo and Dino, the two brave men who are looking into starting their own businesses with Jon's guidance.
That we would know which projects to take on and which ones would only distract us from the best that God has for us.
Reinagel family at the beach
Thanks for reading, please remember us in your prayers!