Just wanted to give you an update on the different teaching opportunities God has given Tim the past month. Most of you read in our newsletter about the teaching time in Itepela and Metangula on Lake Niassa. Tim was in Itepela for 4 days and in Metangula for 3 days and did teaching on marriage and family. It went really well and in Metangula, one man even brought his wife up in front in everyone and told her how much he appreciated her and loved her, which is something that is NEVER done here. It was such an encouragement to watch them put what they were learning into action.
In the beginning of September, we also had a Simply The Story training here in Lichinga, that was done in Portuguese. If you don't remember, STS is a method of inductive Bible study that is done orally for people who cannot read or write or just learn better from an oral style of teaching. We had 25 people attend the 3 day course and through out the 3 days, each one of them was given a chance to share a story and put into practice what they were learning. We are anxious to see what happens now and if the people share their stories and take initiative to learn more stories.
Also the past 3 saturdays, we spent in the village of Mapuje doing a parenting seminar. We had about 20 adults each week. Marriage and family is so difficult here because of different beliefs and traditions. It is difficult to even know how to approach the subject. We are only beginning to realize and coming to understand the complexities involved in family life here. It is so different from our traditional relationship with our husband or wife and kids. There really is very little "relationship" in their family life. It is only about having someone to take care of you--for the husband, someone to cook, do the laundry, etc.--for the wife, having someone to provide financially or materially. So we just start right from Genesis and show them directly from the Bible what God says about marriage and parenting. We don't want them thinking we are just giving them our "western" traditions, because we think we are better than them or know better than them. We just share exactly what God says about it in the Bible. They really do not invest at all into their children either. Children are important here, but only to carry on family lines and to have extra help in the fields and at home. We encourage them to read the Bible together as a family or listen to it on the solar powered mp3 players we provide, if they can't read it. We also emphasize the importantance of being an example to our children, in prayer, Church attendance, and just behavior in general. It is hard to change traditions that have been done for generations, but we just pray that God will produce fruit from the seeds planted.
Currently, Tim is in Mocimboa de Praia, on the coast of Mozambique, doing a two week course for 6 pastors, on Old and New Testament Survey. Please pray for him, for the teaching, safety in travel, and his health. He will return on the 16th of October. Then on the 27th of October, we all head to Kenya, where Tim will be doing a couple teachings, and we will be observing an oral Bible school, and visiting collegues. We will also be involved with a STS training there with another couple, who are missionaries from our home church just outside of Nairobi. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement over the past month, we've really appreciated it!
The group in Metangula.
The STS training, here in Lichinga.
The whole STS group.
The group in Itepela.
This is harvest time here in Mozambique and everywhere you look there is corn. People are shucking, removing the kernals, pounding, or drying corn. Jurnee loves the empty dry corn cobs. They are a great toy and there are plenty to go around!