Pastor, I wanted to meet with you because in 2003 I came to the mission to request help because my family was starving, and I had no way to feed them. The mission helped and we made it through a very difficult time. I am here to bring this 3,000 Met (the equivalent of almost a month’s salary) offering to support the mission and to say thank you. These are the moments that make my day!
This man, who will remain anonymous, has served as a volunteer trainer with our Bible and Leadership training program for almost 18 years and he was here to participate in yet another week of intensive training. Our week of training was blessed once again with the presence and participation of Rev. Nigel Traynor and his dear wife, Erin, along with a team from Mercy Air who supported, taught, and served in so many ways.
It has been an honor for us to provide training to these faithful and dedicated men and women for many years now, and I have constantly been amazed by how they persevere under very difficult conditions. On Thursday of the training week Pastor Pires, our supervisor from one of our zones, came to me and asked if I had a few minutes to meet with 4 pastors representing 5 schools just North of the Zambezi river. I had some time immediately so met and asked them to share. “Pastor,” they said, “we know that three years ago we were helped by the mission with seed and food and as participants in our associations we have worked to pay that help forward. Unfortunately, since then we have had three years of drought and we have been reduced to beggars again. The mud blocks our association made still sit because no one in our area has money to buy them for building. The garden we tried to plant produced nothing because the ground water disappeared making the pump we have useless! Each of us is here, but we go home not knowing how we will survive for the next few months. Each of us is doing his best to find a way to earn a little so we can buy food, but the maize in our area is very expensive.”
My heart sank yet again as I did my best to encourage them that we would pray. But more importantly, we would trust that God would make a way where there seems to be no way right now! As with most ministries, we always seem to have many more needs than resources with which to meet them. I frankly shared with them that they, and we, had to keep our eyes on God and trust that He would provide as only He can.
Later that evening, as we shared a meal with the Mercy Air team and our missionary team, I unburdened my heart as I do with you now. Jesus tells a story about a man whose friend paid a visit, but he had no food for that friend. We are told that he went to his neighbour at midnight to request bread. The neighbour said, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything!” Jesus then says that although he would not give him any bread because of friendship, “yet because of (his) shameless audacity he will surely get up and give (him) as much as (he) needed.” (Luke 11:5-8)
We have around 75 fairly desperate leaders in 5 communities, and we do not have the bread they need. Besides praying for them, I have decided to be shameless and audacious and ask if anyone is able to help. Ideally, they would need $250 per family for maize and seed to carry them through three months. During this time, so long as rains come, they could grow a crop for the year ahead. Our unique Christmas gift promotion has already gone out this year and this is a critical need we were unaware of, so I have felt compelled to share in this way! Thanks for your prayer and help!