An open letter to our supporters – 18th October, 2016
Greetings from Mozambique and the heat!
Lynn and I returned to the mission two weeks back after our 9 months in Canada and have jumped back into the effort here. Notwithstanding the moments of sadness of having to be away from our aging parents and now our grand children! As you may know Amanda (our daughter) gave birth to our first grand baby (a boy they named Asher) when we were in Canada in May. This past week our son Russell’s wife gave birth to a beautiful little girl (who they named Natalie Lynn), our second grand baby who we will only likely see in a year or so. This is a part of our calling and we embrace it but certainly covet your prayers for grace and strength.
Thank you all for your gracious encouragement and attention while we travelled and shared and once again for your generous financial support and prayer over the years. So much has been accomplished because you have faithfully persevered with us to save lives and declare Christ in this nation of Mozambique. Coming back has reminded me yet again of how important and critical your role as a supporter and prayer partner is and you are appreciated by more people than you can imagine.
Much has happened since our return already. Due to your generosity, as soon as we landed in South Africa, I was able to source a new 14 seater van for the mission. This mission support vehicle is one of the projects we promoted during our time at home and just this Friday, this amazing vehicle finally arrived safely here at the mission in central Mozambique. Although we do need to raise an additional $5,000 due to the cost being a little more than anticipated, the vehicle is on-site and already a huge blessing.
This vehicle arrived just in time! Four days after our return Josh and Chelsea McManus from the Father’s House in Morinville arrived for a two-month visit. They feel called to missions and are prayerfully checking out our work. Keep them in your prayers.
Less than a week later, 2 ladies from Prairie College arrived to do 6 month practicums and will be serving in the areas of youth ministry and health. One more lady also arrived from Switzerland to help in our school and literacy program. She will serve for a two-week short term. Needless to say, they are a big help, but transport would have been a challenge without this new vehicle.
The four supervisors of our Bible and leadership training program arrived this past Tuesday, after two days of travel for some of them. They were here to report on our extension schools as well as to report back on the results of our food (maize) distribution and the current hunger and political situation. They wanted to make sure I thank all who gave to enable us to distribute food which has certainly helped during this very difficult time. One story will help you to understand a little of the challenge these people and their churches face.
Pastor Pires is from Sinjal on the Zambezi. His village, like most of the central provinces of the country, have faced desperate hunger for more than 9 months now. One of their efforts to produce food has been to plant sweet potato in low moist areas after the Zambezi river withdraws due to the dry year. Just as some of the sweet potato was ready for harvest, 70 elephant crossed the Zambezi (also very hungry due to the drought) and moved into their area invading every green thing in sight. Four residents of Sinjal were killed by the elephant while trying to protect their precious food. And now people, desperate for something to eat, are returning to harvest a lily fruit in the river exposing them to the crocodile and hippo for food that is hardly edible! A bigger challenge yet is that with the anticipated rain season (projected to be better Lord willing), people have no seed to plant because most have had to eat the grain they normally retain for seed. Please pray with us and consider assisting us to purchase seed for distribution, at least to the pastors and leaders we serve.
I have to tell you that these dear people have worked hard to “pay forward” the help they received. Communities who received food aid organized themselves and worked to honor the food aid received. They either worked together to plant a garden and water it, or they made bricks and baked them in an effort to sell them and buy yet more food in. One community who received 20,000 Mets (or about $400) in food aid, made 25,000 bricks and was able to sell them earning a further 21,000 Mets which they are using to buy in more food. It is important for those who give to know that these gracious, resilient people are doing what they can to work for what they receive. We are yet to move into what are normally the hungriest months until the crop comes off next April, so please keep these brothers and sisters and their families in your prayers.
On Thursday and Friday this week, Andy (our Swiss pilot), Josh and I were able to fly to Marromeu on the Zambezi Delta where Mercy Air serve us and the YWAM team with their helicopter to get into remote villages to share Christ in as many ways as possible. In one of the 6 villages we dropped into, besides assessing ways to address the food, health and education needs, we had the privilege to share the gospel to over 50 people who had likely never heard before! Mercy Air will be receiving a second helicopter they have purchased and equipped in the States and we together are looking at how we can further team up to reach more people more effectively. The YWAM team is also looking at working with us to extend our Bible and Leadership training program into communities they serve.
Finally, we have prepared our Unique Christmas gift promotion once again and request you consider promoting this to your congregation once again. We have posters and brochures available and would love to send you these to assist in this promotion. Naturally, the project will be on our web site as well.
Thank you for your time to read this and thank you again for your ongoing partnership in this venture and with these challenges/opportunities. May the Lord richly bless you and your congregation!
Dwight and Lynn Lagore
For our entire team