April started off with new challenges for us both. We remind ourselves –
“Consider it pure joy, my bothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” James 1:2
With hope in our hearts, our trip back to South Africa was fruitful and we finally received our visas. Our God is a very faithful God. Faith and trust!
With me as happy as pie with my 2 dogs in the back of the car, we headed back to Malongane to continue our work there. The dogs adjusted to the heat within a few days and running around as if they own the place.
We started setting up our camp and as usual, our little friends from the neighbouring homesteads came to visit. What a blessing they are to us, such friendly, happy little ones. So first things first, it is time to introduce the dogs to the kids so that there are no issues somewhere down the line. The Labradors are generally not aggressive but I did not want to take any chances. At first, a bit wary, Joao, the eldest of the boys, was the first to come meet the dogs. After the other kids realised the dogs are friendly, they also came closer. Each wanting to take the dogs for a walk. While we were setting up camp, the dogs rested near us in the shade of the trees.
A few quick repairs to the torn tent and we are set up. Derick and Elisio installed the new borehole at the bottom of the property and casted a concrete slab over it to prevent it from being stolen again. General clean up work took up most of our time. Cutting monkey ropes from the trees, digging out the roots that one trips over very easily. Our compost heap has now grown into 3 heaps. Derick installed the antenna (donated to us by Tony and Janice, thank you so much) up in the tree in the centre of our camp. We now officially have wifi.
It was time to let the dogs to go to the beach for the first time. Wow, what an experience. We know that labbies love water but Vickie gave it new meaning. She absolutely loved the water and once or twice she nearly swam out to ses, to our horror. Jack quickly learned that these rolling white walls of water knocks one off their feet so he did not venture too deep.
On Sunday, Derick did a devotion at camp, under the shade of the tree. Salomao from First Baptist Ponta do Oura, walked 7 km along the sand road to Malongane to translate. On his arrival we realised that he had the flu and wasn’t feeling too well. Bless him for making the long trip, without grumbling or complaining.
We ventured into the village where Derick quickly got the attention of some young men, and started sharing the gospel with them. This is a fairly easy task as they fortunately spoke some English. Derick showed them a short video clip on Matthew in Portuguese just to make sure they understood the message.
On a different occasion, Candido from First Baptist Church in Ponta do Oura came along one Sunday after church to evangelise in the village. To evangelise is one of the reasons we came to Malongane 😊. Again, the Lord sent God ready youngsters our way and Derick was able to share the Gospel with them. The young men listened with great interest as Candido translated.
We have now set up the camp more or less the way we like it and is practical. Our Guest/Visitors tent is ready to receive its first vistors. After a long hard day’s work in the sun, Derick caught 40 winks in the hammock in camp. The dogs needed a cooler place and decided to go lay in the tent.
Again, we are so blessed to see all kinds of little creepy crawly’s. Sometimes we stumble across them in the bush where we work, and other times they come into camp to say hello.
On the 28th of April we had our consecration as Mission workers at First Baptist Ponta do Oura. Pastor Ernesto blessed us and we received a small Mango tree from a fellow brother in Christ from Matola, signifying our growth and bearing fruit in our works here in Malongane. Sister Norcencia made our beautiful local attire for special occasions.
Amos came to help us for a week and we commenced building the first reed casa. We found a gentleman in Majejane on the tar road to Maputo who sells the materials we needed. On the 23rd we took another trip to Maputo to hand in the last of the paperwork required to have our residential visas validated. our trip back from Maputo, we stopped off by Alfredo and filled the back of the pickup with reeds, laka laka (lats) and gum poles.
Amos and Elisio quickly got started with digging the holes, planting poles and starting with the reed walls.
Our evening devotions are just after sunset and we continue to thank God for calling us, and for placing us here in this beautiful area to do His work.