December 2013 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
The first Christmas .. God’s infinite love was demonstrated in coming to rescue us from our sin. The message never gets old because it is what has changed our lives and gives us the reason to be here in Mozambique.
And we’re off
What a year this has been. On the 10th of December we received notice that our request for use of the sought after property had been accepted!!!! By faith we had gone ahead and purchased a block making machine. At this very moment there are five guys from our church and two more from the church in town, all working together to make blocks for building our church. Their enthusiasm and initiative has been great to see. They have no money but they have time and energy. Our wonderful sending church and several others made it possible to purchase the machine so we are furnishing the material and they are provide the labor. It is their part and they are stepping up. They have made over 1,000 blocks so far. With the making of blocks comes hungry workers… Joanie makes them a morning lunch and a big meal for when they’re done for the day.
The work has just begun
Along with making blocks we can now put up a sign and begin clearing the space. There are at least 5 large tree trunks and, since the rains have begun, a great crop of weeds. Please pray for wisdom and strength on my part to keep up with furnishing the materials, organizing the construction and all of the other responsibilities of the normal ministry.
We would like to offer you the opportunity to get involved as well. We can only make bricks and build walls when we have the resources to purchase sand and cement. We need to clean the property, remove tree stumps and bring in fill dirt and level. From there we can begin to build.
Our Tuesday night Bible studies explain the plan of salvation and have four objectives; (1) to help the lost to understand their need to trust in Christ alone for salvation, (2) for the saved to confirm their salvation, (3) to prepare the saved to present the gospel to others and (4) to train leaders of these same studies. We had 13 folks or more on several Tuesday nights. The first ones have now moved on to other studies where they learn to study a passage and make their own observations. It is needful because these folks are so used to being fed everything, so for them to have to think is a challenge. (Maybe for us too.)
Launching our church in our present location in August has provided new exposure to the community. The wife of the owner of our building, Rosa, has come out a number of times. (Her husband, Vasco, is retired and in poor health. He needs our prayers for salvation and physical healing). God has given us other fruit since our move… Nelson, Eliabe, João, Edilson, Celço, Célia, Francisco, Dulce, Lúcia, Susana, Selina, Gloria and Felix among others. This last Friday night Felix was held up as he was on his way home and ended up getting stabbed in the back. His brother roused me out of bed at midnight to get him to a good hospital. By God’s grace, he is recovering well. He has been in our evangelistic studies on Tuesdays and still has a way to go in his understanding of the gospel.
We are grateful for changes that have taken place in the lives of some of those whom accepted Christ three years ago. They started out well but the excitement passed and then the cost of following Christ became a reality. Some have floundered but some are making decisions to follow Christ in a greater way. The pressure to follow the world is extremely great.
Joanie and I have been teaching English on Thursday nights to help our people and to generate a few more contacts that would otherwise not come.
Panorama of the Bible
We have once again launched into teaching through the “Firm Foundations” series (panorama of the Bible) on Sunday nights. Our folks need the basics. Pray for God to work in hearts through these studies.
It has been a great year of serving the Lord. We are looking forward to what the Lord has for us in 2014. Thanks, to so many of you, who sustain us financially and through your prayers. May God give you wisdom, guidance and strength to serve the One who was born to be our Redeemer!
Joel and Joanie Troester