August come and gone
Thanks to all who have been praying for us, I’ll start with a couple testimonies and then move on to what still needs prayer:
The two conferences in July and August were a lot of work, but a huge blessing. About 1,000 people attended the latter, and we had Heidi and Rolland Baker, Marc Dupont, and Georgian Banov as visiting speakers. The spiritual climate over the base shifted during that time, and we can feel a greater peace now than was here before, so praise God for that!
Jon has been able to start up a small Bible study to disciple some of our workers, and I (Carla) have been able to participate in the jail ministry more often, leaving Kyran with the other missionaries (who are all very willing babysitters!). These opportunities have been such a source of life for both of us, they help us stay focused on why we’re here in the first place—to make disciples and bring the gospel and hope to the needy. It is such a breath of fresh air from all of our administrative and otherwise “boring” duties! At the last jail ministry outreach that I attended, 12 men gave their lives to Christ, and it was so precious to pray with them leading them to the Lord.
Now the prayer requests… The man taking us to court agreed to “drop” the case… if we pay him a bribe of about $700. We said we wouldn’t pay, and now we’re waiting to see what will happen. At this point, knowing more about Mozambican law, we know he has almost no chance of winning if the case does proceed to court – praise God! However, it is still a little stressful so please be praying that this situation will finally be resolved. It’s so funny to us that we almost didn’t come back because of this court case because we heard we could have been thrown into jail, but it’s all been just scare tactics. Had we given in to those fears, we would have totally missed out on this year of ministry.
Our visa / residency situation is still up in the air, though we do feel God is leading us to stay in Mozambique longer, so we’re sure He’ll make it possible somehow. As a last-ditch effort we are going to try and see if we find favor at the embassy in London, England. We have heard they are nicer to missionaries and that the process might actually be cheaper to go through them than to do it here in Mozambique, even including the flight to get there! So Jon is planning to fly to the UK this week, then I will travel with Kyran and meet Jon in South Africa next week (we still need to leave the country too since our current visas are expiring). We found out it is possible to apply for residency at embassies, so we will try that first, but if we don’t get it we will see if we can get a one-year visa, which we heard London sometimes grants. Either way, please pray for lots of favor and that whatever the outcome, we get to stay in Mozambique as long as God wants us to be here!
The two missionaries who left definitely left a gaping hole in our staffing, but those of us remaining are doing our best to fill in for them. They might be coming back, but it will be a while even if they do. Please pray especially for our fellow missionary Julie, Jon and I are doing our best to take on what we can but she has been left with a lot of new work that has been a little stressful for her. We also just found out that the “new” Brazilian couple is also planning on leaving in January (they had originally said they would stay for minimum two years, but changed their minds to just one year), and they will leave another huge vacancy as they have been very good with leading the church, Bible school, and evangelism outreaches. Please pray for replacements to come soon!
In other news… I’m back full-swing in my hospitality ministry for the base. The conference time was hectic, with trying to meet the needs of about 50 foreigners in addition to the 1,000 Mozambicans! After that we had a team of 20 for a while, but things have slowed down a bit since then, which is nice. We have a team of 6 here now from South Africa who have been a big blessing, and they love keeping their schedule full so I’ve been staying on my toes! They have done projects with our kids, put on a leadership seminar for church leaders and pastors, gone on all of our outreach opportunities, and this week they’re going to paint the new preschool that we’re trying to start up. I enjoy working with these short-term teams, and we’re looking forward to the visit of one of our college friends and his mom soon. I also want to start teaching English classes again soon, I did a little last year before we had a million responsibilities dumped on us, and all my former students have been asking me ever since if I would start the classes again. Those times were also a great source of joy for me, so I’m looking forward to getting back into teaching.
Jon has been working on organizing the finances of the base (see paragraph above about “boring duties”), which passed through many people’s hands while we were gone and needed some serious reorganizing. Though in the midst of the humdrum paperwork, yesterday the Iris airplane (a little 4-seater Cessna) crashed several hours from us, and Jon went out to the site to help with the crash inspection. The crash miraculously did not kill or seriously hurt the pilot (who was alone in the plane). The propeller had come off in mid-flight while the pilot was just starting his descent to the airport closest to us, and even though it was dark out he still managed to crash land in some trees in such a way that he was able to walk away mostly unhurt, though the plane was demolished. Jon had to drive through rivers and hours of rough riding over terrain that didn’t even have a road to find the plane, all along the way stopping to ask locals, “Did you see a plane go down? Where is it?” to get directions. While he was driving back from the wreck site, he picked up a lady who had just been bitten by a deadly mamba snake and took her to the hospital, hopefully in time to get treatment so she may live. Another day in Africa…
Kyran is still growing and is well adjusted to life here. He does great with all the attention he gets, and is flexible enough to roll with whatever our crazy schedule throws at him. He just turned six months old and has started eating solid foods, with bananas being his all-time favorite of what he’s tried at this point. He’s the perfect missionary kid so far!
Thanks again to all of you who continue to hold us up, and please, well, continue! Also feel free to write us anytime, we love hearing from people back home.
~Carla, Jon, and Kyran Reinagel