Monday, June 30, 2008


Grace. God's grace. "Amazing", "Marvelous", "Unmerited favor", -we use many words to describe and define grace. One of Webster's many definitions of grace is "divine love and protection bestowed freely on people; the state of being protected or sanctified by the favor of God; an excellence or power granted by God." Protected, sanctified, loved, favored. Those words bring to the surface deep emotion. Especially when we look at the "material" He is bestowing His protection, love, favor, excellence and power on: broken , bruised, undeserving human beings.

If you've ever felt "disgraced" by anyone or anything, it conjures up all too many horrible feelings in contrast.

After listening to our friend Brad's online sermon, these words have been etched in my mind all
all week, "Justice is God's perogative, grace is our privilege." It's the privilege and mandate that Jesus gave us throughout Matthew chapter 5, but especially verses 28 and following. I love the way The Message version says it:

"Here's another old saying that deserves a second look: 'Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.' Is that going to get us anywhere? Here's what I propose: 'Don't hit back at all.' If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat. Live generously."

I live with a very gracious man and he demonstrates grace to me so often, waking me out of the stupor of just getting through another day to the beauty of intentional grace giving. He's had his experiences of being maligned and practicing the principles of Matthew 5, but I'm talking about something different. I'm talking about how he "bestows" love and favor on people in his daily life. He has lived grace before me in many ways this last few weeks. Here are some examples:

Papa Joao, one of the workers at the egg project,recently lost his 14 year old daughter to malaria. I am usually at a loss at a time like that, especially in this culture where death is so commonplace and people so stoic about it. My husband wrapped Papa Joao up in a warm and gracious embrace.

A young guy rear-ended our Mozovos vehicle one day. He was at fault. A little boy of about 5 in the other vehicle was afraid and crying. Instead of just dealing with the business at hand, Rodger picked the little boy up to comfort and reassure him.

A drunk was interfering with our weekly soccer game, going out on the field, being a loud mouth. He continued with this behavior after the game when one of our guys was giving his testimony to the young men from the community. Rodger sat with his arm around this foul-smelling drunk guy. The guy calmed right down and even rested his head on Rodger's shoulder.

What do you think all these people in our community will be doing from now on? They will be doing what I do; watching to see if this guy is for real and what makes him so different.

Hopefully, they will learn what God is like from him before we even open the Bible to share the gospel.

Hopefully, I will learn to "follow his example, as he follows the example of Christ." I Corinthians 11:1.

Just thanking God today for someone who is really important to me.
Thanks for reading.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 22: A Special Day!

He played guitar in church for the first time!
Enjoyed sunday lunch with our interns and our colleague Jim.
Ate his pineapple birthday cake!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dreams are coming true!

Community soccer, Agostinho Neto
The chicken cages are being installed this week!

Daudi and Americo with "Papa Joao".

The work continues in 25 de Junho and we are seeing dreams become realities!

We are becoming more and more a family with our interns.
We are growing along with them in our understanding of how Jesus lived.
We are seeing the interns grow in their understanding and ability to teach God's word.
We are reaching out into the community and seeing relationships grow through our weekly English homework helps, community basketball and soccer.
We are within weeks of the grand opening of MozOvos.
Our church services on Sunday have grown from 12(our family and our interns) to an average of 24.   All are from involvement in the community of 25 de Junho.

These are the things we dreamed and prayed for.  But God ALWAYS gives more than we ever dreamed could be possible!

We searched for months for property for the business in the community of 25 de Junho.  It just wasn't to be found at an affordable price.  That brought questions and discouragement.  Instead, by faith, be purchased property 17 kilometers away in an area called "Agostinho Neto".  

The community outreach has spread to that area as well.  On Saturdays, about 40 people are showing up for community soccer and to find out what all these people with the bright hello MozOvos t-shirts are about!  We are anxious to see what God has planned in this area as well!

Prayer Need for this week:  "Papa Joao"  the man with the ball cap in the last picture, is a day worker hired from the community of Agostinho Neto to work at MozOvos.  His 14 year old daughter died of malaria this last week.  She was receiving treatment and they thought she was better.  She took a turn for the worse and died very suddenly.  Please pray for this grieving family and for all of us as believers as we minister to them.

The most peaceful place on earth!

Do we look like an ad that has a caption "We're going to Disneyland" underneath it?So not true!  The caption should say, "Just came back from the most peaceful place on earth!"

Maybe the pictures will capture some of it.  Think: sitting on a deck, reading in the sun  or watching whales and dolphins, walking on a completely deserted beach, the sound of ocean waves crashing to lull you to sleep at night, s'mores EVERY NIGHT!  We are so thankful for our friends, the Van Vuren's, at Nascer do Sol(birth of the sun) in Chizavane, Mozambique who have made this quiet, restful place available to us each year for the past 5 years.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sounds of our life

Laughter and singing at 5:00 a.m. as the interns prepare to go to work at MozOvos... basketballs bouncing.., Mozambican radio...This is our favorite, though. Guitar and singing. Our friend Valerie summed it up for us when she was visiting. She said, "I have a beautiful view from my house to see every morning but I could sure get used to listening to hearing these guys every morning." We get to!! God is SO good!