Jason and I returned earlier this month from a fruitful and productive 3-month stay in Mozambique. Despite being sick a few times while we were there, we still managed to accomplish a great deal.
Relationship & Team Building
One of our primary areas of focus for this trip was relationships and team building.
Several times a week we hosted friends or acquaintances for dinner either at our lodging facility or at a local restaurant. We were also invited to lunch and dinner many times at the homes of others. Ministry is all about relationship, and there’s just something about being able to share a meal together that really invites conversation and true heart-sharing.
We had several opportunities to further develop the relationships between ourselves and our Mozambican team. I was able to share some of my Microsoft Excel knowledge with Tony, our Children’s Services Director, to help make his monthly reconciliation reports easier. We enjoyed many long talks with Abel and Amina, our Mozambican Operations Directors, as well as Joseph, our newly appointed Farm Manager.
In July we had our first in-person all-leadership team meeting since the organization was first established in 2019. It was wonderful to have all our leaders right there in one place. We were even able to get a picture together!
Another important thing that we were able to do during our time in “Moz” was assessing the needs of our various programs and making plans for future programs like our upcoming farm project.
This was the first time for us to personally meet the orphans we support. They were all a bit shy, but it was good to be able to finally see them with our own eyes. It was brought to our attention that one of the orphan boys we support also had an older sister in need of assistance, so we began supporting her as well.
We also attended our children’s ministry program and discovered that it would be much better served with additional plates and more large cooking pots, because our team was having to serve food to about half the kids and had to wash the plates before they could serve the remaining kids. We also saw firsthand how much the ministry had grown. What started out with about 40 children each week is now well over 100. In time we plan to build a community center nearby to better accommodate them and provide for a more efficient kitchen.
At the time of our arrival in Mozambique, we had not yet identified our next student to receive higher education assistance. While we were there, a young lady named Maria was brought to our attention, and she is now actively pursuing her education in nursing.
We visited several farms to see what other people and ministries were doing. We got some great ideas and insight from that. One lady had the most beautiful farm with such a large variety of fruit trees, crops, and even fish. We were very impressed!
We also scouted out several pieces of land for sale and eventually settled on a perfect 15-acre plot of land with a large pond, which we have since paid a deposit on.
This trip was especially exciting because our paths reconnected with at least 5 people we had not seen in over 12 years! We also finally got to meet face-to-face with a ministry partner from California whose organization has been a huge blessing to Hope of a Nation, and we got to meet face-to-face with a couple from Argentina who planted a church in Mozambique several years ago. We had previously only talked with them through Facebook.
Jason spoke at a different church almost every Sunday during our time in Mozambique, including at a conference. I spoke at the same conference and shared at a women’s meeting at one of Pastor Abel's churches. We always enjoy opportunities to minister to others. Many people came forward for prayer for various needs, others to rededicate their lives, and several accepted Christ for the first time.
We also distributed some more Bibles and heard wonderful testimonies from some individuals who received a Bible from us last year. It was a blessing to hear how their lives have already been transformed by having one of their very own.
Next to identifying the farmland we wanted to purchase, one of the biggest achievements during our time there was finding and purchasing our first ministry vehicle, an 8-passenger Toyota van.
Another huge achievement was that we started the path to official registration in Mozambique. While we were already registered in the U.S., we had been operating unofficially in Mozambique. By getting officially registered, many more doors will be open to our ministry, and we will be able to do so much more than we could without registration. This is a process that we hope will be completed before the end of the year.