Thursday, May 9
It takes alot to catch me offguard-today was one of those days...
Mahushu(mah-hoo-shoe)about 45km north of Nelspruit(where we live). We met
the Pastor who is overseeing 3 feeding sites along the way. One site is
close, one in middle and one far(that's how you explain distance in Africa..
lol) we arrived at the close site(Mganduzweny(emgahn-dooz-weh-knee)-a
beautiful open field(for sale(hint hint)) where we are feeding 100-120 kids
twice a week. (first 2 photos) This site will also serve PERFECTLY for a
church plant from the USA (hint hint again)(am I being subtle enough yet?)
Adjacent to the site is something that caught me off guard. Pastor Richard
looked at me and said-"Mitch, have you been to my home?" I said no... he
said "I was too ashamed to show you before, but since you are here...well,
here it is". He has lived her (from Uganda) for 3 years. The lord called
him to plant a church in this area and he has been obedient...for 3 years,
he has humbled himself and put the needs of the community children and
church family first. I have NEVER seen such sacrifice. Wood slatted walls
with tarps on the outside to block the wind and rain. Concrete blocks on
the roof to hold down the well weathered tin. And as you can see- a HUGE
smile on his face. Oh how I love this man.
You see, my heart was bothered by Richard until today- everytime I spoke
with him or saw him-there was another problem that needed attention($$), if
it wasn't wood, it was electricity units(prepay), or additional foods(we
supply rice, mealie meal and beans for now)-and as we have yet to find an
American church to adopt this project-we are VERY limited in funds-we have
been funding it out of our donors very generous giving to Char and
myself(PRAISE GOD FOR YOU!!!)-ok, back to the issue- I saw his real heart
today- and in looking back, I realize- he has NEVER asked me for a penny for
himself(and after seeing his living conditions-he had every right to ask).
He fights and screams for the kids and the community!!! Is that NOT what
Char and I do every time we communicate with you?...as the shame washed off
me(thank you Jesus) I recognized Pastor Richard for what he is- a beautiful
child of God who is standing in the gap screaming for help for those around
him. -Oh Jesus, thank you for this today.
We went on to Mashadza and then on to Mahushu(where the existing church
is)-you may have seen pictures of poles with tin on top and a rough tarp
covering 1 side..this is his church. 30-40 adults(mostly women) and 40-50
kids come each Sunday...the average Sunday offering is 19-20 rand (about
$2.25)...you see, only 3 of the church goers have jobs...everyone else is
unemployed. (Oh JESUS help them, provide for them, LOVE them more)
Richard lives by faith, and I am a better man for having him in my life. I
have learned so much in what has not been spoken from him. I hope you can
one day meet him and perhaps connect with his church(and future church
plant). Our August missions team will spend several days here-and will be
cleaning the site, doing some gardening and hosting VBS for awesome
chocolate kiddos! PRAISE GOD-we believe that a structure is coming, and
believe that every child will be sponsored...more importantly-we believe
that GOD is at the center of this and is making Himself known in this region
because of people like Pastor Richard.