God directed our paths to meet in this amazing country! What God prepared for those who love Him was beyond what any eye has seen, what any ear has heard, or the heart of man ever imagined (1 Cor. 2:9). What God did is alive in all of us, and there are no words to convey all that transpired this week and a half in Mozambique. He met us all differently in His power and might, and we are all transformed by this miraculous place where Heaven comes to earth.
We started out meeting as a small group of fourteen from the Unites States, Brazil, Canada and Switzerland to encounter what our Holy Father is doing with a mighty nation, a nation full of spiritual blessings and many physical discomforts. The people of Mozambique are remarkably touched by His Presence and beauty. Their cries to heaven are heard. Their song is envious. Their true worship and thanksgiving was enlightening to us all as we learned how to dance for the Lord, leaving past barriers behind.
To stay at the Iris Global Zimpeto base was an experience to remember. In the middle of a chaotic city was this resting place flooded with children of every age and every need. This place is a home to many. This base welcomed us as foreigners, but never treated us as such. They brought us in and gave us the honor of joining in all they have because of their grand hospitality. From all different backgrounds, God had a purpose for each one of our team members to instill to others what He designed for this time. God imparted gifts of Himself for us to take home for the ability to redeem what is lost around us. Truly to witness such life in Mozambique is freedom. The joy of the Lord is their strength (Nehemiah 8:10); may it be ours!
The many wonders of life at Zimpeto follow the simplicity of letting God provide for all their needs and then graciously clinging to His leading throughout the day. The trip started with getting oriented with how they do what they do, and then they asked us to jump in, wholeheartedly believing God was giving them something from us. We were there for a purpose; they were sure of it. Expectant of God for it. What we experienced daily was multiple interactions with what Holy Spirit is doing. We saw children interceding and learning the power of prayer. We saw how worship with the pastors, children, and staff showed off their entanglement of love of the Father. They poured out hearts of praise and danced throughout the week at their many church services. Many of us have never moved like that in church before. It’s simply all about Jesus’ pure love and adoration for His people and our love for Him. You could feel it in the air. How He desires them, He desires us all. We were able to love on the children one-on-one or in a group as they surrounded us for a game. Everyone poured out their Mozambican warmth and hospitality. They gave out of their lack. They gave love and acceptance and true belief in His faithfulness. They offered us a chance to see life differently, and we are grateful for it. We got to lead home groups with all the different dorms and speak the same language, joy! We got to give small gifts and watch eyes light up in wonder for something new. We got to bring lessons to their church services, but more lessons were given to us just being able to be a part of this culture. We got to speak with many throughout the day and impart words of hope and encouragement that Holy Spirit gave.
Outreach was also a part of our days and began with taking some bread to the homeless, but before it was passed out, we started having “church” in a pile of rubble. We sang and danced and gave testimonies of God’s goodness and grace. We learned more about thanksgiving and how in ALL things and ALL circumstances God miraculously uses our thanksgiving for hope and encouragement and most of all His glory. Men were saved, hearts cried out in wonder. This is what church is supposed to look like for us. What Jesus asked of us in His word is what they do! We were changed. God showed us we can do this in Mozambique, but there are homeless everywhere, and we can bring this anywhere we are in the world.
We saw the brokenness of the city, saw that the people needed more. We went to a hospital to pray for the sick and to pray for the doctors and nurses. We went to lay hands on the patients and speak to the families waiting to join them. We prayed for God’s goodness and grace to fall and transform what can’t be touched without His miraculous cure. We prayed for miracles. We believe God did many.
We traveled to see other bases that have been started to meet the needs of the children, such as the transition of boys to men. On our drives to other ministry spots we saw how the long sandy roads are filled with despair; homes turned to rubble and stores sitting empty. Many people walking the long roads to get home. Work seems to be what is in store for each day with so little amenities available. Running water and electricity are a luxury and for many not a reality. But there is hope because God is working and bringing change. He is enlightening them to His more and bringing in necessities and care from all over the world. Only He can do that!
One of the saddest sites was seeing the bocaria, the dump at Hulene. The horrific stench of burning trash assaulted our nostrils, but for them this was a normal way of life. They lived here, worked to find anything of value here, and sadness broke out on our team. What must life be like for these people? A shift happened when we saw children and gave out balloons as a small gift. One act of love and simple generosity can change a person’s day. His love changes the atmosphere. God desires us all to know we are seen!
One of the most impactful parts of this trip was the weekend outreaches done by two different teams. We went separate ways to join pastors in what they were doing in their community. We got to shake hands with many beautiful people along the way. We got to minister to the sick, the hurting, and needy. We got to share the gospel of grace and mercy. We got to share love most of all. What was beyond amazing was their capacity to receive. Whether that was time, prayer, a word, or song, they received with joy. They hid this in their hearts like a treasured object. Ought God’s word and touch be so for us, the greatest of treasures? I love what we gained. It was true insight into the kingdom of heaven and His goodness. How can we relate with these people when we barely understand the language and life here? Christ was our divine intertwining of connection. His strength and passion was poured out like we have never seen. He gave multiple glimmers of hope to them and to us. He showed up in power and might and spoke powerful words of encouragement to a hurting nation and gave us as a team boldness and courage to walk in all God is calling us to do. It more than made up for the lack of resources we had at that time. We would all gladly lay it down again.
Some of our team stayed at the base and poured out love over and over to children desperately needing it. They gave words of life, hugs of encouragement, fun gifts with toys, face painting, games, hair braiding and true passion for God’s children. Rest was given in all that God was doing around us and in us. We were able to see clearer here what God has entailed on those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
To us there is no true conclusion to this trip because we are taking it home with us. We are forever changed in the best possible ways. We are redeemed to a grander life, one filled with the wonder of His love!