In November 2012, I was in Mozambique, Africa on a short term mission. Our team learned some amazing lessons about how one grows through the “unknowns” in life!
We have all experienced unknown events in our life, or have walked forward into a situation in life that was full of unknowns. Part of the mystery of life is that there is a God, and you or I are not Him!
My team of roughly thirty people from all around the world came with an agenda (a plan formed in our subconscious), and I believe though some of those expectations might have been met, what actually happened in our time together was eye opening, stretching, growing and unifying because of the unexpected events that occurred. I wanted to share some of the biggest highlights that hit me personally and speak to the voice of unity that we all faced during this amazing adventure of love and hope in Mozambique, Africa!
Sent by Global Awakening to Iris Ministries
I have been fortunate over the years to learn much about life and the love of God throughout the world as I have traveled to an array of countries, both for missions and for travel. However, this was my first trip affiliated with Global Awakening, a local apostolic network based in Mechanicsburg. They help people encounter God and minister to the spiritually hungry across the globe. If you are looking to serve and grow in your understanding of powerful work through the Holy Spirit in our modern world, you should definitely further explore their International Ministry Trips for the upcoming year! I chose to go to Mozambique not because it was on the top of my bucket list or travel top destinations. No, I went specifically to seek out the work of Roland and Heidi Baker’s famed ministry, Iris Ministries.
Iris Ministries currently feeds well over 10,000 children a day, as well as various members of many other communities, including 4,000 families in Malawi. Its network of churches also numbers more than 10,000, including some 2,000 churches among the Makua people of northern Mozambique. Iris operates five Bible schools, in addition to its three primary schools and its school of missions in Pemba. Current major projects include continuing outreaches to very remote coastal regions via Iris’s recently acquired boat, expansion of Iris’s air transport abilities, investment in a range of cottage industries, and a special well-drilling initiative. Iris, having recently acquired a drilling rig by generous funding from several U.S. churches, intends to transform life in desperately dry villages everywhere possible. One village at a time.
Top Highlights Including a Life Saved!
I started this post talking about how my team and I grew through the unknowns in life on this trip. Many times we don’t realize how much we strive to live life daily through a struggle for a “sense of control”. We want our daily life to be regimented in such a way that it is expected, manageable, predictable, and comfortable. That is how many people live in first world countries like the United States. Our time in Mozambique couldn’t be more different and simply put – it’s a beautiful way to live! My goal in sharing these insights is to challenge you in your daily living and to inspire you to travel the world and to be willing to serve when opportunities arise…
- After traveling nearly 48-50 hours, I finally arrived at IRIS ministries. Rather than being pampered, we woke up at 5 AM and embarked for a trip that was 8+ hours in a bumpy truck through dusty roads. Once I was able to get past the conditions, this quickly became the trip of a lifetime!
- We were a part of playing the Jesus Film to unreached Muslim communities in the bush in Palma. During our time there we were involved with water baptisms, the dedication of a soccer field and school, and many hugs and smiles as the people of Palma poured out there love for us in a very raw and real way. In my home town, people struggle to extend friendliness even in seemingly opportune moments. These people made it look easy. This was very convicting, but proof that those who live a simple life understand true need for their Creator.
- I was watching an amazing fisherman named Rambo, who told us he didn’t want to be confused with Rambo from the movies! He came in a small man-made dingy boat about 6 feet long, with a sword fish that rivaled the size of his boat! He speared this fish, drug it into his boat in the middle of the ocean, and then rode in to shore on top of the fish. This amazing kill would have sustained he and his family, since swordfish are a commodity in this locale. This sparked a fresh perspective in me to see, tangibly, what it is like to work hard and earn a day’s wage!
- We came with the expectation of seeing the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit. We certainly did. We saw healings and deliverance, in particular with a young woman during the 2nd playing of the Jesus Film. She violently shook on the ground and showed signs of a demonic manifestation. It wasn’t the sort of thing you see at the gas pumps or grocery lines in the states. It was eye-opening and God’s power was surely evidenced. However, the most amazing thing that happened to our team was the saving of a man’s life.
One Life Saved!
We drove in a bus, perched atop the very boxes of water that would hydrate us on this day, bumping along. A few thin metal bars supported a pack of over 30 people in the truck. To ease the difficult ride, we purchased several boards to serve as benches for the truck’s cramped gallery. While driving home in the scorching heat the truck driver stopped as a man ran across with a gazelle he killed, and strapped it on the hot metal truck for us to take back for dinner. I couldn’t find the courage to investigate where this game was being cooked! However, as we continued on, the driver stopped again and bought what seemed to be a simple straw mat to sit on. We couldn’t understand the significance of this buy until later.
One hour from our base camp we approached a semi-truck that was flipped over in a bad wreck. A few local men were there but didn’t seem like they were going to do anything as we saw blood on the side of the truck and expected the worst. We urged our truck driver to stay and help. We couldn’t just leave these people behind. We had nothing to really flip the truck over or break in. In a 3rd world scenario you don’t have “jaws of life” or paramedics at the ready. You normally are left to your devices. What God did next was amazing.
On our team we had lawyers, actresses, business owners, nurses, teachers, and medical first responders, etc. It was a very diverse group, and just the right mix for God to do the miraculous. He certainly knew what he was doing when He assembled us. Seconds after arriving on the scene, the first responder in our group was lying in the truck after we kicked in the glass to get a vital sign read. Others were in the back window holding the man’s hands, praying for him as he cried out “momma,” since he couldn’t speak English well at all. He was probably fearing his life was ending as he should have been in this traumatic event. Older men in our group had supernatural strength as they used tree limbs and the like to attempt to bust another door off of its hinges. We found keys in the man’s pocket to open the tool chest and there found a compressor jack.
We blew up the one side of the door where the man’s leg was mashed. We were not sure if his leg was severed or not. We were able to wriggle him free and pull him out of the rig. We then used the boards and mat that were purchased that day to build a make-shift stretcher to get this man on our truck. Though we were not sure of the vital signs of any other passengers, since all we could really gain access to was this man, we were faced with the decision to try and save his life then and there, or spend more time exploring the rest of the rig, and risking this man’s life as time ticked on. So, our team headed for the hospital at high speeds. We got there and praise be to God the young man survived! God taught our team that although we came to see God work in powerful ways through healing, deliverance and miracles, we should always be prepared to join hands with the miraculous in ways that maybe we cannot anticipate! God is looking for those who are willing to show up and serve. Many times he does His most amazing work and miracles through unexpected (but willing) vessels like our team was on this trip.