Latest Update from Josh & Chelsea – May 2021
Hello from Mozambique! Chelsea and I send our love to everyone back home in Canada!
A common theme across many of our updates is how fast the time seems to pass. At the end of this month (April), Chelsea and I are celebrating two years in Mozambique! I personally cannot believe where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday we were just arriving. But it is amazing to see and reflect on how much we have grown and changed in these first two years! Disembarking from the plane and landing in Mozambique, we had arrived with certain expectations on how we thought our time was going to be. If I can be honest, we were quite naïve at the time. We had no real idea of what God wanted to do in us and through us. Although the path has not been straight or easy, and we have had a few detours and bumps along the way, I am humbled and amazed at how faithful God really is. We always hear the phrase, “God is faithful.” But to learn it and really know it does not come when the path is easy and clearly marked. It is when the path is difficult, and the way forward is uncertain. In those times, God’s character shines the brightest. Of all the things that God has been showing me and teaching me in Mozambique, nothing is truer than, “God is faithful!”
These past few months life has slowly continued to return to normal. Schools were finally able to open last month – with many new regulations. At present our students are only able to study three half-days a week, with classes alternating either Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday (that’s right- Saturday classes!). There have still been many covid regulations regarding public gatherings, so we have not been able to start our youth outreach program in the community. But one way that we have continued connecting with the kids in our orphan program is by running weekly bible studies at each orphan house. Chelsea and I wrote a basic curriculum walking through the major stories of the old testament. We have been supporting Pastor Mariano as he uses that material to share with and encourage the families in our program. The kid’s responses to some of our questions have been quite priceless at times. It is always encouraging to see their smiling faces. They are always the highlight of our week!
Chelsea has spent more time away from the mission than here at home the last month. She had the opportunity to travel with Madala and his father to Malawi to be seen at Beit Cure Hospital.
For those who may not know, Madala is a young boy that our health team here has been helping treat since Chels and I arrived in Mozambique. He has had a long journey struggling with a chronic bone infection. Chels had a really positive experience in Malawi. We were thankful to learn that there is no further active infection in Madala’s bone tissue. However, the previous infections have done significant damage. Likely the affected leg will not grow properly, and he will one day need to return for a hip replacement. At present, the Beit Hospital provided a shoe lift to help with the length discrepancy between his two legs. They also recommended some home physio exercises – which Chels and her team are helping to oversee.
A week after returning home from Malawi, Chels left again to serve as an interpreter for an education outreach taking place in Marromeu! It was a privilege and honor for her to work alongside the Mercy Air team as they served the teachers and students at a small primary school there. It was an intense week – full of laughter, learning, adventures, and new experiences. Chels will be the first to admit she still has a long way to go in the language learning department. But, it was encouraging to not only be able to communicate personally, but also help others communicate as well.
With all that the mission does, I always find myself doing just about anything that is needed here. And because of that I have spent a lot of quality time in most of the departments here at the base. This has led to one of my favorite parts about being here in Mozambique. And that is building relationship with our national team members. Over the past two years God has opened many doors for us to build relationships with the locals that work on our base and even people in the community. It is always a blessing to spend time with them, joke, eat “Bolo” (deep fried dough – think doughnuts) and encourage them in their faith. The Kingdom of God is relational and the best way to expand that Kingdom is to make friends. I thank God every day for the time that I have had to make friends here in Mozambique. It is truly an honor to be invited into their lives and walk with them in their faith.
It is crazy to think, but as I write this Chelsea and I are beginning to plan our first furlough back to Canada. We have learned to hold all our plans lightly, but if God allows, we will be back in Canada mid-August. As much as we have loved our time in Mozambique, we are very much looking forwards to seeing our family and friends. As we get closer to the date, we will keep everyone posted! Thank you all for again walking with us and supporting us in our time in Mozambique. We are able to be here because of you!
If you think of us, we ask that you would pray for:
- Our students and teachers as they navigate all the changes during this new school year.
- Madala, that the physiotherapy and shoe lift would allow better use of his affected leg.
- For Chels and I, that we would know God’s heart for the people here in Moz and be able to love and serve them fully.
- For both of us, and the team we will leave behind as we prepare for our first trip back to Canada.
- Healing of Josh’s jaw as he continues to travel back and forth to SA for treatment.
With much love,
Josh and Chels