News from Moz… and some important information

Hello All!

First of all, we want to thank all of you who have supported, encouraged, and prayed for us over the years that we have been serving here in Mozambique. All of you are an indispensable part of our work, and we want you to know how grateful we are. As our partners in this mission we want to tell you that God is bringing a close to the Dondo chapter of our life. We have been praying about this for some time, and when we originally signed up to work with Iris we committed to 2 years in Dondo which will be up soon. We will be flying home to Missouri at the end of May, and at this point we don’t really know what will come after that. In fact, the only thing we know is that we will be leaving! International missions is still very much on our hearts, so we don’t plan to be in the States indefinitely, but we felt it was time for another season of training and learning. Our time here has taught us many things, and we realized we are woefully under-equipped for the ministry God has called us to. We might go back to school for graduate studies, we might learn how to do church planting by joining a young church, we might join an inner-city ministry in some metropolis somewhere… right now the options seem endless and God seems to be playing His cards close. Our hearts are fully given to ministry and the gospel, especially in foreign countries, and we plan on being back on the field in a couple years. Anyway, we thought you all deserved to know this ahead of time, and please be praying for us to finish strong here.

And now, on to the news! There are some places where it seems like the only thing that is constant is change. Dondo is one of those places. Here are some of the recent and upcoming changes (with a few pics):

Tielson and Michelle, the Brazilian couple who joined us in Dec 2009, left this month. They felt God was calling them back to Brazil to help resurrect a fallen church, so they don’t plan to return to Mozambique at this point. Those of us who are left have had to pick up the slack and take on their responsibilities, which is a sizable amount of work. For Jon, he has had to take back on being in charge of the maintenance crew, evangelism, and transportation, and another missionary, Julie, has begun working more with the local church. Please pray for Julie, as she is finding her new responsibilities a little heavy for her right now, pray that she’ll be able to know what she *really* needs to take on, what can be delegated to others, and that she will be able to find joy, peace, and rest even in the midst of the whirlwind.

Our new preschool opened up this week! There are now about 50 little 3-5 year-olds on base every morning, and boy are they cute in their little white uniform t-shirts and tiny backpacks! Most of them are the children of our workers or church members, and the parents are all excited to have this opportunity for their kids to get a head-start on schooling. The educational system in Mozambique is really lacking: too many students, not enough teachers, not enough teacher training, and too much corruption basically sums up the schools here. To have this chance to get some education before even entering the schools is a big deal for these kids. This is another project of Julie’s, though most of her work was just in getting it set up, registering the school with the government, preparing the classrooms, buying all the supplies, etc. Now we’re hoping it becomes less stressful for her as she can take a more background role and leave it in the hands of the two Mozambican preschool teachers.

Our new preschool students at the opening ceremony of the school!

Jon and I have both begun teaching classes in the Bible School for the first time. That has gone very well so far, my class is called “Our Relationship with God”, which has been a great subject. I really pray my students come away from school here with more than just a head knowledge of the Bible, but a personal relationship with the Author of Life! Jon’s class is about the attributes of Christ, and even in his first class he had a number of great questions and topics, where students were wanting to know how to separate the truth about Jesus as presented in Bible from the the teachings of cults. We both enjoy teaching, and right now I’m wondering why I didn’t start sooner!

Me with my class of Bible students! Yes, I have to wear a white lab coat as my teaching uniform. Yes, it is very hot.

Jon has also started teaching some classes on how to take video and pictures and put together DVDs. We bought a camera for the base that he has been teaching a few people how to use, and twice a week they get together to see what they have filmed/photographed and learn how to do it better. He hopes the church will be able to use this as a small business venture, recording weddings, conferences, sermons, worship concerts, and events and then selling copies of the DVDs.

Jon converts our dining room into a classroom for his film/photography/computer class.

We will be welcoming back two missionaries this week, Calli, who was here Dec 2009-June 2010 and is coming back long-term, and Laura, who was here Jan-Mar 2010 and this time is coming for 6 months. Surprisingly enough, they’ll be arriving in Dondo on the same flight this Saturday!

Calli works with the kids, and we are all excited to have her back! She’s a fun Texas girl with a lot of spunk and really loves the boys here.

Laura is an artist from the same suburb of St. Louis as Jon’s parents, and is a good friend of Jon’s mom. She wants to start up an art school and will also probably teach in the Bible School.

Kyran is still a much-loved member of the base. He’s 11 months old now, hard to believe he’s so close to his first birthday! He can stand on his own for a little while, but he hasn’t started taking steps yet. Pretty soon I’ll have to do a more thorough job of baby-proofing the house as he gets more mobile! It has been very hot here, and almost every day he spends some time outside splashing in water basins to cool off. He still has some heat rash in spite of all I do to try to keep him cool, but as the weather gets rainier I hope it will be a little less ridiculously hot. (I know, it’s strange to be talking about our heat while most of the people reading this are experiencing snow and ice!)

“Uh, Mom? Do you think we could get a bigger kiddie pool?” Kyran sharing his water basin with a friend!

Speaking of the rain though, please do pray that the weather predictions don’t come to pass that this may be the worst flooding Mozambique has experienced in 10 years. The floods in 2000 were devastating, and the La Niña weather patterns this year are threatening a repeat of that. It has already started hitting other parts of the world, and is expected to arrive on our coasts as well. So far only a few of the main rivers in Mozambique have exceeded their banks, but it is supposed to get worse next month. Please pray for lives to be spared and crops not to fail as a result of the rains this year!

Well, that’s about all we have to report for now. Thanks again for your prayers, please keep them up.

Love and blessings,
~Carla, Jon, and Kyran Reinagel

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