We just wanted to give a little update on the marriage seminar that we have doing during the month of August. It has gone very well. We actually extended an extra week and they still don't want it to end, so they have requested another week. We will be doing another week on the 18th of September. We have had between 30 and 40 people each week and we have had great discussion and response from the people attending. Tim has been teaching straight from Genesis and also using Ephesians. Many of the people didn't even know that the Bible talks about marriage or that it was created by God. They don't have any confidence in their marriages because they end so suddenly. Being a matrilineal society, the wifes family can take her back if they are unhappy with anything the man does. So the men don't take their marriages very seriously. We have talked a lot about leaving and cleaving and the importance of the marriage relationship in God's eyes. Tim teaches in Portuguese and then it is translated into chiyao. We have a couple strong believers who have really led the discussions for us and at times they are all talking and discussing in chiyao for up 1/2 hour at a time and we just sit there. They are really taking seriously the areas that the Bible and their culture conflict in the area of marriage and the roles of men and women within marriage. For example, last week they had a very heated discussion about the traditional role of women and doing the laundry. Here the women always do the laundry and they do it by hand. They have to either go down the river or stream or to a well and scrub by hand all the clothes. It is a very tough job and takes a long time. So the men are wondering if they wanted to be helpful to their wives and help them in this task, how can they do this without looking totally crazy by joining all the women in the area at the river or well and washing clothes. It is good that they are wanting to do something about it, but we also see the struggle in it as it would be awkward. This is not a minor issue for the most part, but you can see where traditions and culture can hinder their marriage relationship. They are wondering how they can follow God and the Bible, while still keeping the traditions in their heritage and culture. It is tough for them as we have talked about at times having to go completely against their culture to follow Christ.
Also, we have an exciting update about Caia, where Tim has been going to disciple the new believers every friday since we arrived here. We had a baptism last sunday and 4 of the new believers were baptised. There a few more women who would like to be baptised now, so we may do another one in the near future. It has been an exciting step forward as it has been a slow process to get them to this point. We had quite a crowd watching, so we are hoping the questions will draw more people into the small church there.
These are the four guys who were baptised sunday.
This is Peri-peri, who was baptised on sunday. He has been one of guards in Lichinga for the past year and has grown spiritually by leaps and bounds.
We had to take a walk down to the river for the baptism. We had to literally climb down to the river.
This Pastor Musa, who did the baptism.
Here is Tim with some of the men from the marriage seminar.
After each meeting we eat lunch together.
This is where we meet for the marriage seminar out in Mapudje.