Visas, Outreaches, Thieves and the Miraculous!

Visas, Outreaches, Thieves and the Miraculous!

A recent update from Bill and Linda Mercer, PAOC Global Workers in Mozambique

Greetings from Mozambique!

It is hard to believe that we have been back here for a month already. It has been a busy time renewing licenses and getting road-worthy tests for vehicles, and making some necessary repairs. Then we had to renew our residency permits. There have been some changes in the law in that regard, and so the whole process became time-consuming and a bit challenging, but praise the Lord all has been miraculously resolved, and the Lord willing, we get our residency documents at the end of this month. Besides her other duties, as always, Linda has been caring for the sick and needy that come to our door. She has a listening ear and a compassionate heart.

As you know, we have just finished a week of meetings on missions. Steve, Pierre Paradis and João Luís did a fantastic job in the teaching sessions each morning as well as in the evening services. Meetings were held in the Bible School chapel each morning  from 8 am to 1 pm. At night there were services in a couple of the churches. The guests stayed in the mission house. Since we now live in the basement, the upstairs was free for them. João Luís returned home on Friday afternoon.

Saturday we were invited to a special youth rally, were Pierre ministered to about 100 enthusiastic young people, an offshoot of the work that Linda began with the children and youth many years ago. I was asked to interpret Pierre’s English into Portuguese. Yesterday Steve, Linda and I went to one of the churches (Pastor Inguana) in the suburbs of Maputo. Steve had spoken so much at the seminar, that his voice gave out on him, so he asked me to preach at the church yesterday. Pierre and Mariella were taken to preach at a church about 100 km away from Maputo.

We are grateful for the Lord’s provision and for His protection. Late last Wednesday evening after the missions meeting in one of the churches, Linda and I took someone part way home, and then began our return to the city, and home. The road we were on runs beside a large drainage ditch, almost like a canal. We had to stop at a traffic light, and as we did so two thieves opened  our car doors. The fellow beside me put his hand on my pocket and said “money”. As he talked he held a knife about five inches long a few inches away from my face. He said I will kill you. The other fellow grabbed Linda’s purse out of the car. We immediately started shouting at them in Portuguese: “Saia em  nome de Jesus! Saia em nome de Jesus” (“In the name of Jesus get out of here”. We shouted this many times. The fellow on my side reached for my car keys, turned off the motor and pulled out the keys. The guy on Linda’s side ran off with her purse, which thankfully did not have much of value in it. As I kept yelling in the name of Jesus at the guy on my side, he  backed off a little bit, and suddenly threw the car keys back into the car, and he was gone.

We praise the Lord that He miraculously spared our lives. Another miracle is that the thief that took my keys, threw them back into the car. He could have just as easily thrown them into the canal, or taken them with him. My house keys were on the same ring as the car keys. So, we praise the Lord for His protection, and for giving us our keys back. There is power in the name of Jesus!!

The Health Centre is almost finished now. There have been some extra expenses that we had not counted on. The big challenge at the moment is to get the false ceiling in the upper part of the building.