Thanks for your prayers as we travelled through Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Here is a report of what was done. We were very conscience of God having created many opportunities for us.
Thursday, 17 Sep: I travelled to Maputo alone and en route had breakfast with my daughter, Grace, in Middleburg. At Zacarias’s house in Maputo I unloaded 6 Boxes of books for the Logos Hope, for February 2016. Slept at Casa Koinonio, a Christian Guest House in Maputo, where I had two interesting discussions with people there.
Friday, 18 Sep: I was joined by a Mozambican who (gratefully) travelled with me for the next two days. At Macia we visited Volta a Biblia Bible School where they were having their annual graduates conference. It was encouraging to see our books being bought and being appreciated. Time and distance prevented me from visiting more places in Moz en route. We camped out at Maxixe.
Saturday, 19 Sep: Travelled up to Casa Nova where a graduation service was to be held on the Sunday.
Sunday, 20 Sep: I attended the graduation service of the Zion Evangelical Bible School where Zacarias officiated with Richard Akers, of the Zion Evangelical Ministries in Africa. There were 12 who had completed their four year course. Recognition was also given to those who had completed part of the course. In the afternoon Zacarias and I travelled on to a mission station near Gondola where I had to deliver a box of specially printed books for them. We slept there at Mafoga Mission.
Monday, 21 Sep: We planned to travel all the way to Harare where we were scheduled to meet with the leaders of The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM) at 10.30 am Tuesday morning. The morning started well with a visit to a Bible School after passing Chimoio (still in Moz). Then after crossing the border into Zimbabwe we visited the offices of the SIM in Mutare. Time was getting short so we hurried on towards Harare. But about 40 km out of Mutare the security system of the car failed and did what it was designed to do and that was to stop the car dead in its tracks! We then accepted a 32 km tow to Rusape and spent the night in the car in the grounds of their police station. That evening by God’s grace Zacarias was able to find an auto electrician who was able to remove the offending security system.
Tuesday, 22 Sep: We planned to move on very early in the morning only to find that the petrol was still being restricted by the removed security system and our progress was again hindered. We limped into Harare and arrived at 11 am, late, but still in time for the important parts of the meeting. In the afternoon we were able to fix the car properly and from then on it worked well.
23 to 25 Sep: We planned to visit as many Bible Colleges as possible with the help of one of the local ladies who knew just where to go and who to speak to. The list that follows includes a few other interviews:-
Wednesday, 23 Sep:
- Central Baptist Church of Harare;- the Assistant Pastor and briefly the Senior Pastor.
- New Life Bible Institute,
- Domboshawa Theological College,
- Living Waters Theological Seminary,
- Africa Multination for Christ College,
- Goshen Bible College. and
- Harare Theological College.
Thursday, 24 Sep:
- Heartfelt International Ministry,
- Christian Audio Visual Advance (?) (CAVA). A literature ministry in Zimbabwe,
- Zimbabwe Christian College,
- Triune Bible College,
- United Theological College,
- Pan Africa Christian College,
- Marshal, the caretaker of the guest house where I stayed. He bought a number of books,
- Zacarias visited some of his family and they called their Pastor to ‘come and see these books’.
Friday, 25 Sep:
- Grace Tutorial College,
- Scripture Union,
- Bible Society,
- Salem Evangelical Bible Institute,
- Faith Ministries Church and Bible College,
- African Christian Theological School ( ACTS ),
- Christ College, and
- Celebration Church and College.
Saturday, 26 Sep: We travelled to Gweru. But along the road at Kodoma we were able to speak to the Baptist Men who had gathered for their bi-monthly regional ‘Men’s Breakfast’. Here we met up with a man who has a bookshop and he bought a good supply of books.
Sunday, 27 Sep: We worshipped in the Lundi Park Baptist Church where Zacarias preached the sermon. We were given a good opportunity to present our books. The Church, however, has a serious problem with the roof of the church building. The roofing material is of heavy concrete tiles and the rafters were breaking under the weight. It was a poor design from the start and the church members spent the rest of the day removing all the tiles from the roof. They plan, somehow, by the grace of God, to repair the roof before the rains come! Many of the 20 rafters will have to be re-made but to a better design. The church building is clean and well maintained.
Monday, 28 Sep: We left for Bulawayo early in the morning and there we visited the Theological College of Zimbabwe. The Principal, Ray Modzi, was keen to ask Zacarias all about the Zionists and Zacarias was willing and able to oblige. We then went on to Gwanda where we met up with Stallion Ndlovu, who has planted a Baptist Church in that town. Stallion has had Theological training in South Africa and has often attended our home church here in Pretoria! He was delighted to be able to help us and to provide us with accommodation. He also took us to Bread of Life Bible College in Gwanda. Another good visit.
Tuesday, 29 Sep: Stallion took us to the Ekhuphileni Bible School about 30 Km outside of Gwanda where I was able to renew my acquaintance having been there twice before. We then dropped Stallion in town and we headed for Pretoria and arrived home at about 9 pm.
Wednesday, 30 Sep: Zacarias spent the day with us and returned to Maputo by bus on Thursday 1 October.
There were many more individual people that we spoke to and with whom we shared our Literature Ministry.
We thank the Lord for His protection over the 4000 km that we travelled. Also for the books that we were able to distribute at each point, trusting that the people would read them and that those who do so will be drawn closer to our Lord. None of the officials at any of the Bible Colleges had seen anything like the Topical Concordance in a local language that is now available in Shona (and Shangaan and Portuguese). The other book addressing the wives of the Pastors was also very well received, as this is a need in the Pastors’ homes. Please pray with us that these books will be a blessing to the Church and that the Church will rise to the challenge of providing even more books for their people. We are grateful for those who have bought an initial stock of books to sell.
Bulawayo and Gwanda are Sindebele speaking areas and so the people there also understand Zulu. The Zulus have a great heritage of good Christian books which the people of Bulawayo could read and benefit from if only they knew! I have tried to tell them about these books that are available from the Union Bible Institute in KZN.
There could be a great blessing if the ‘Shona’ Church and the ‘Ndebele’ Church would take hands to get the UBI books translated from Zulu into Shona. This they could do and my promise to them is that if they do the translation work I will print the books and make them available as cheaply as possible. However they must do the translation work. I cannot! Please pray that God will raise up a person or group of people to do this work.
Another prayer request is for us to be able to meet our goal of placing 40 boxes of books on the Operation Mobilisation ship, the Logos Hope, when she visits the port of Maputo towards the end of February 2016.
The Lundi Park Baptist Church in Gweru is facing a physical and financial battle at this time. Remember them in prayer.
Thank you again for your love and support,
Hedley and Sandy Stead