‘House of Ants’ visit 2014 – Mozambique

Thank you for your prayers for Rob, Gary, Liz and Paul in Mozambique. These are the emails we have received from Rob this week. Be encouraged to continue in prayer as our brothers and sisters minister in Africa on our behalf.

10th June 2014 (Morning)

Finally arrived all safe and well 23:00 at the hotel. What a journey! Praise the Lord for safe keeping. It was great to meet up with Gaz, and he was so relieved to meet up with us having arrived 10 hours before us and not being able to speak a word of Portuguese.

There is a real feeling of unease, though I think we’ll feel better when we’re settled in a bit. The surrounding area makes Moss side look glamorous.

Delci and Alfredo will pick us up at midday tomorrow for us to get our bearing and begin our program. Thank you so much your prayers, it is a real blessing to know you are thinking of us.

10th June 2014 (Evening)

What we thought would be a relaxing morning waiting for Delci and Alfredo to pick us up for the afternoon, ended up being quite stressful. This was because the hotel where we are staying informed us that our rooms where only booked for 1 night’s stay rather than 10. This was compounded by the fact that we’d left the card which we’d paid on was left at home. After a number of intense calls and frantic internet searches, we think it’s now sorted! (Hopefully).

Anyway, it was great to spend the afternoon with Delci and Alfredo, and meet up with some of the children at her flat.  We were able to have a significant conversation with Delci re her future / house of ants / and her personal circumstances. All this was very useful, and will aid us in our meetings with the leadership of house of ants in the coming days.

One initial concern for Delci is the seven flights of stairs she has to negotiate each time she needs to go out. The lift is in complete disrepair! We need to make this a matter for prayer as Delci is on the wrong side of age and health to sustain this for much longer.

11th June 2014 (Evening)

Once again it has been extremely humbling to see the poverty and degradation of a culture and society so different to ours. Today was our first trip out to the house of ants. Driving through the outskirts of the city and beyond we were all struck with a tiny glimpse of how difficult life must be here. This was more sharply brought into focus when we drove through the surrounding area of house of ants.

It was a real blessing to see both the practical and spiritual oasis that the house of ants has become to so many young lives.

God seems to have planted this work right in the heart of so much spiritual and practical need.

It was good to meet with the leadership of house of ants, who were as much a blessing to us as we to them. We brought warm greetings from Trinity Grace and all the sponsors in England and were encouraged to hear first-hand from some of the younger leadership, their spiritually mature perspective about the work of house of ants and its future. We shared together for most of the morning and came away with a clearer picture of the direction they would like the work to go. We can share more detail on our return. After this we were shown some of the practical class-rooms and facilities before the kitchen staff cooked us a beautiful lunch Mozambique-style!!

Alfredo took us to the suburbs of Maputo this evening to visit a church that he and house of ants have been involved with for some time now. (Driving to this place is an eye opener and makes you feel very uneasy indeed).

The Pastor and the interpreter were both students of the House of Ants bible training classes. After a real Mozambique welcome and exchange of greetings, we were all asked to give a short word of testimony before Gary brought a wonderful message from God’s word that was very applicable to them. To say they really appreciated it was truly an understatement. We were asked to pray for many of them and were all full of love for us as they expressed their appreciation. It is so humbling to see that God can use small, ordinary people from Ramsbottom to bless His own people on the other side of the Globe! We are so thankful to the Lord for all your prayers and encouragement.

We wait with a curious and apprehensive sense of anticipation to see what the Lord had in store for us tomorrow.

12th June 2014 (Morning)

I am having problems with the battery on my video camera!  It is not holding its charge. I’m very upset about this situation as it will seriously affect the video I hope to produce. Please pray that I might be able to buy a new one in Maputo. I’m not sure if it’s possible???  Thank you.

12th June 2014 (Evening)

Today, Delci and Alfredo took us to see two of the people that house of ants had been helping. First we went to see the lady whose sight is severely impaired.  She lives quite a way from house of ants but her three children attend.  Her nephew stays with her to look after her. Her husband abandoned her when she was diagnosed with glaucoma.  Delci is in regular contact with her.

Secondly, we were taken to see Apolinario, the man who is severely handicapped and lives alone.  It was extremely moving to meet up with him again, and great to share the scriptures with him.  His situation has been compounded by a fall whereby he fractured his femur and is not able to attend house of ant at present.  Despite the complexity of his personal condition, he remains cheerful and thankful to God for His goodness to him.  Apolinario has been saving his money to build a small church building which we met in.

The Lord wonderfully answered our/your prayers regarding a new battery for the camera. After asking Alfredo to take us to all the most likely places to sell one of these batteries, amazingly, on our last hope we were able to purchase one.  Praise The Lord! What a wonderful prayer answering God we serve!  Also spent a little time at house of ants. A very humbling day!

13th June 2014 (Evening)

Your prayers have been a real blessing to us, thank you so much. I couldn’t attempt to describe how life is here in Maputo.  We have not been here long enough to give you an accurate political picture by any stretch of the imagination, but there seems to be a complete breakdown of infrastructure and no sense of order. Everything seems neglected, pavements roads; there’s no order in the traffic where the roads are completely overrun with bangers with tar-like-smoke billowing out their exhausts. Smog fills the air and the dense population trying to sell any bit of tit-tat along the streets and street corners is often an obstacle course we’d rather avoid. We still feel unsafe unless we have someone with us. So we are grateful for your prayers and Gods keeping power of us.

Thanks to the Lord Liz has been kept relatively well so far, but I’m afraid Paul, Gary and I have been affected pretty badly with the Mozzie tummy bug. Praying it will pass SOON!!!

Our day has been spent at house of ants and the children have enjoyed us being there, especially during the break times.  Most of the children are in good health for which Delci and Alfredo are particularly thankful.  On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the leadership of house of ants meet early in the morning to pray and discuss any arising problems. It was our privilege to join with them this morning and bring a short word of encouragement as we prayed together.

Thanks again for your faithfulness in your prayers for us, they are really appreciated.  Our prayers are with you.

14th June 2014

We were all moved by the testimonies of 12-15 students that have been with House of Ants for more than 10-15 years. They had and have hearts that are deeply grateful for all that the Lord has done both in salvation and in practical provisions. Though they have been born in to a poverty that we can barely understand, the life and facilities that Delci, Alfredo and House of Ants have provided has given them opportunities that have far exceeded their expectations.

They gave testimony to taking all they have received from the Lord and giving back to their communities both in practical and spiritual ways. What we saw in these lives today is the end result of all Delci has longed and prayed for in taking young, broken lives and giving them a brighter future now and for eternity. Brothers and sisters, we must give praise to the Lord for all He has and is doing in House of Ants, and that we also have had a small part to play in bringing hope to what can only be considered hopeless lives.

15th June 2014

We had the privilege of visiting Alfredo’s home village today. Though it was a couple of hundred miles drive north in stifling heat, it was an experience to see the real Africa and meet real African people.

We worshiped in a grass hut church where I was asked to preach. As you can imagine there were a couple of slight translation issues but all good on the whole. A very ‘African’ service!!! We then enjoyed lunch under the shade of an avocado tree. On our way back we stopped at the roadside and bought freshly caught fish (still trying to breathe), bananas, and fresh roasted cashew-nuts.

Though it is hardly surprising, we sadly saw an accident on our way home. Thanking the Lord for His safe keeping of us.

16th June 2014

We spent quite a bit of time with Alfredo and his wife Mufalda and some of his family at the home he has built here in Maputo. He has six children in total, three sons and three daughters. Mufalda is a lovely lady and served us a beautiful lunch with one of his daughters. Our time with them was very profitable and a real blessing, discussing the future of house of ants, Delci’s health and the aspirations of some of the younger administration team.

Because of our links with Ambassadors in Sport through Cathie and John, we were also able to link up the AIS director (Daniel Moina) in Maputo with Alfedo, which will hopefully be a great opportunity for the children to enjoy some constructive sport with a solid Christian foundation.

During our stay in Maputo we have been helped by an Indian Muslim man called Imran. He was instrumental in helping us book our hotel here as his wife is a friend of Liz. Sadly they are separated due to visa complications. Imran has to live here in Maputo until his visa is cleared. We have all been touched by his story and found him to be an extremely honourable and caring man. He has been very sacrificial in helping us here with any difficulties we’ve had, and we believe The Lord has brought him into our lives for a purpose. Last night we were able to share our faith with him in the most wonderful way. Please pray for him and his wife Saleha, that they will soon be reunited together and more importantly may come to understand the saving work of The Lord Jesus and His love for them.

17th June 2014

Yet another humbling day today as Delci and Alfredo took us to the blind people’s centre.  We learned that this group started meeting after our visit 7 years ago.  Delci gives a small donation each week to help with transport costs for each of them to come together, and a small food hamper.  They receive no state benefits and they find it difficult to earn any money. House of Ants also gives one day’s salary to a Christian man to minister one day a week. His name is David and would love to be the pastor there.  We were asked to preach God’s word and share fellowship with them.

We encouraged them to know that we bring Christian greetings from England and that we would be remembering them all in our prayers.  We were all moved to tears after we’d shared the message as one by one they stood up and gave thanks for what they had received.  This was very moving and we all testified to them being the blessing to us – truly!

Tomorrow is a busy day as we meet at House of Ants for the last time, visit another blind person, and minister at another church in the evening. Prayer highly valued and truly appreciated.

This may well be our last report as it will be so busy tomorrow.  Thank you all so much for your prayers and support and encouragements along the way, it has all been a real blessing to us.

20th June 2014 (Evening)

Just touched English soil! Praise the Lord for a wonderful trip!!!

The Moz Gang!