Going Beyond the Comfort Zone..

After years of running from God, I got to a point where I had to stop running and just be obedient to what God wanted me to do. Obedience is more often than not, paired with sacrifice, but, the blessings FAR outweigh the sacrifices.

I, like many people, had taken on the label of being ‘christian’, but, I wasn’t entitled to it. I did good things, I wasn’t a bad person, I went to church, read my bible occasionally, and because of all these things I was now entitled to go to heaven (or so I thought). By going to Mozambique I was presented with the simplest but most profound revelation – Christianity is not religion, it’s not about ticking all the boxes, it’s about a relationship with God, it’s about living a lifestyle that reflects Christ in everything we do. Being a Christian goes far deeper than most people tend to realize.

A Christian is a follower of Christ; it denotes one who, from serious thought, embraces the religion of Christ, believes his promises, and makes it his chief care to shape his life by Christ’s precepts and example.

We’ve all read these promises of God in the bible; 

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19), 

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

How many of us live this out in our daily lives? How many believe this to the core of who we are? The answer is simple, not many!

Of the many things God taught me in Mozambique, the one thing that stands out for me most is the fact that our comfort in life increases our dependence on ourselves, and lessens our dependence on God. If I had to challenge you and ask “when was the last time you stepped out in faith, trusting solely on God?”, majority of people would have to think long and hard about it.

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In the western world (and in many respects South Africa is more like the western world than Africa), we live comfortably, selfishly. We look after ourselves first, and foremost, when it comes to time, money, space, ‘stuff’, and then we offer what’s left to God and to others. We get so caught up in our careers, our material wants (not needs) that we forget what being a Christian, a Christ follower is all about –

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’ (Matthew 22:37-39)

By serving the local church in Quelimane, I was able to see first hand what it means to be Christian. I got to spend time with people who live lives which are founded on the promises of God. God isn’t just ‘plan b’ to them – God is the ONLY plan, He is everything to them. What they ‘lack’ materially they make up for spiritually. They live with the bare basics in life (e.g. a minimum wage of R600 a month, clay houses which are easily washed away by heave rains), yet, they are filled with a joy, peace and love that is contagious to everyone they come into contact with. They love people without prejudice, and they give out of their nothing. Imagine having R600 a month and giving to others who don’t have, or inviting others to come round for lunch or dinner, etc (for those thinking that things are probably cheaper in Mozambique – they aren’t!).

Going beyond the comfort zone isn’t easy – it has its challenges and struggles, it requires one to do things one wouldn’t normally do, it will require one to give (time, money, space, stuff) and it will require crazy faith. But, the one thing that outweighs all of the negatives is…God!

God will reveal Himself in ways you never thought possible, He uses you because you have given Him more space and room to work in your life, and in so doing, He glorifies Himself through your life. We weren’t called to do things the way the world does things, we weren’t called to stick to the status quo, we were called to be set apart…

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

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Otilia Muteacomo’s Testimony

Boa and Otilia

 

 

 

 

In May of 2011 Otilia and her husband, Pastor Boa, were preparing for the birth of their first baby. But then, due to gross negligence on the part of the medical staff, the birth resulted in a stillborn. Not only that, but serious health issues arose for Otilia following her pregnancy. A blood clot formed in her leg then moved to her lung, and she was also diagnosed with cardio myopathy. She was confined to ICU as her health continued to decline, multiple doctors were indicating that she wouldn’t live, and at one point one of the doctors even took Pastor Boa aside and said “prepare to lose your wife today.” But in the midst of tragedy, God intervened and gave her a miraculous recovery. After two and a half months in ICU, a trip to Maputo for further treatment, and lots and lots of prayer, Otilia is now back home and even healthier than before. Her experience has not only strengthened her and Boa’s faith and dependence on God, but has also served as an inspiring testimony for her family

Life Church Maputo

The Life Church family is a community of people, reaching the unsaved and discipling the saved – both young and old – in 5 cities in 3 countries.

Life Church Maputo is a growing ministry in the capital of Mozambique. It’s focus at this (early) stage being mainly university students, with the vision of expanding this in the near future. Wilsone Rondinho and Dinho Malua, who are currently studying medicine and electrical engineering at Universidade Eduardo Mondiane, are overseeing the ministry in Maputo.

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Every Monday, Wilson, Dinho and the cell leaders (also students) meet on a residence rooftop, and intercede for their city, believing for a changed nation, a changed city and a changed people. Cell groups are held throughout the week, in four different locations, with the leaders meeting on a Wednesday for the leaders cell group. On Sundays, the cells come together for celebration

Having been apart of the leaders cell, it was encouraging and refreshing to see the passion and transparency of the leaders. They left no stone unturned when it came to their struggles and their triumphs – spiritually, emotionally, physically. Each one being intentional about creating community and growing spiritually so that they, in turn, can spread the word to cell members, classmates and friends.

Like all ministries, they are faced with daily challenges, keep them in your prayers, encourage them, and do life with them.

A Christian Is Fearless

The Lord challenges us to suffer persecutions and to confess him. He wants those who belong to him to be brave and fearless. He himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by courage of the Spirit. This is the testimony of the apostles and in particular of the representative, administrating Spirit. A Christian is fearless.

-Tertullian-

Berihoska Mora

My Name is, Berihoska Mora, a missionary for almost ten years, working in Quelimane, Mozambique. I am from Peru, and I have been sent by AOG Peru to be apart of the Life Church team in Quelimane, to work in the areas of preventative health, as well as the children’s ministry and the worship team. I studied Pharmaceutical at university, and the knowledge gained has given me the opportunity to give the students, and community, natural ways in which they can improve their health.

I returned to Quelimane in February for the third time, this time for a longer period of time than before.

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Children’s Ministry: My focus is discipling the leaders of children’s cell groups, helping them to develop the ministry under the auspices of the Church. There are 27 cell leaders, aged between 12 and 19 years, in the city of Quelimane. These leaders lead and take responsibility for almost 200 children located in the city, as well as the various zones in Quelimane.

Health:  My focus in this area is preventative health. We started the preventative health program in the Peace School, where we equip the students by teaching them the theory and practical areas of preventive health. We also encourage them to take what they’ve learnt and teach it to their family and community members, thereby equipping the new generation, and impacting the local community at the same time.

Another area that I am responsible for is the Okalawo Health Project. We want the community to be able to care for their health using natural products. We look to build a lab in the near future, and in so doing we will be able to produce products to treat prevalent illnesses. Income generation is another aspect of the Project as this will enable us to financially assist the main Okalawo Project.

Prayer Request

We would like to ask the family to keep Inoque’s mother in their prayers.

She’s been diagnosed with uterine cancer, and the doctors said she needs to go to South Africa as soon as possible to undergo an operation.

Let’s keep the family in our prayers, and pray for her healing. NOTHING is impossible for our God!

Sam Dunnet

My name is Sam Dunnet and I’m a doctor from the UK.  I have been living in Quelimane for about 2 years working as a health advisor for an NGO here but also loving being part of the Life Church family. I have previously worked as a doctor in a number of different African countries as well as in the UK and Australasia.

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I have learnt so much about the local health problems, health systems and community structures through my secular work here and am excited to see how God will use that experience to build His Kingdom as we start working with the communities in Namuinho and Gogone to help people improve their health. I will be working fulltime with Life Church from July onwards and focusing on building key relationships within the Ministry of Health staff and the local clinic and empowering communities to prevent key diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and HIV through the local church.

 

A New Generation of Fathers

Life Church Mozambique has begun the long and lengthy process of changing the mindsets of the community, by leading from the front, by being the example. Pastors have shown what marriage is all about, by being faithful to their wives, by being physically present to raise up their kids, instead of relying on others to do it for them. Not only this, but they have taken it upon themselves to be the spiritual and ‘substitute’ fathers for many of the younger generations – moulding them to be the future leaders of the church, the community, and the nation of Mozambique.

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Paula and Acacio’s Wedding

The church was pleased to celebrate with Paula and Acacio on their wedding day – a joyous occasion, celebrated as one family

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self- seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Life Church Malawi

This past weekend Inoque and Nathan visited Life Church Malawi and spent time with Jarvis, Catherine and Sharon.

Some snippets of the service held in one of the zones

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