LATEST NEWS

  • December

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    Dear reader,

    It was the best of times and the worst of times…2016 has been a year of bumper crop harvest for us as a ministry! In many ways, it has also been an intense year, full of stress-inducing pressure.

    First the ‘harvest’; more people, and on a deeper level, have been helped in their faith through the work of Mosaic. We are seeing the Word of God and practical Christianity being rooted and established in our beloved Maforga community as well as in a variety of locations further afield, in Nharashongwe, Gorongosa and Mudaserracao, with much of the work being achieved by local evangelists and students. Next year we have been invited to start discipleship schools in Chimoio and Nhamatanda as well! (Below a picture of the Graduation of the Bible School)

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    The Maforga Christian Primary School continues to flourish and improve this year, with both continuous structural renovations and more importantly academic standards rising, and this against a back drop of nationwide closures of schools due to economic and political pressures. Jesus is alive!

    Some years ago we had a prisoner die while we were in the prison for ministry! We decided something had to be done so we made an agreement with government, they would provide nurses, we would build a clinic/sickbay for prisoners to be treated. The official opening was in October with government officials present and a lunch which included all the prisoners. Matthew25v35/36:”I was in prison and you visited me, I was sick and you looked after me” (picture below)

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    The year has been rounded off with one graduation and end-of-year celebration after another; the Bible school on the 12th of November with over 150 students graduating, the women’s group on the 16th (see picture below) and the day of the handicapped on the 3rd of December and the 7th grade graduation still to come. Most of which we had the privilege to organize, host and finance! We give thanks to God for our strength being sufficient and to our precious partners who pray and/or give! We love you!

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    Regarding the intensity of times; the pressures are greater than ever before…political tensions are high, with many more thousands having lost their lives as a direct result this year alone. Hundreds of schools have had to close. Economic collapse looms on the horizon, the Government has announced that as of January next year they won’t be able to pay civil servants. Already various sectors haven’t been paid for a couple of months and there are shortages of all medicines in the hospitals. Climate change seems to be a reality as the rainy season this year has been only 3 days. Another fact is the continued stripping of rain forests. Whatever the cause of the drought in our region of the world, hunger is a daily experience for the average man, woman and child in rural Mozambique. Fasting is not a choice…I have a growing crowd appearing for my breakfast prayer meeting. Unlike the Western world, nobody asks ‘why do I need God?’ We begin with “Baba wedu…zita Renyu ngarikudzwe,” – “Our Father…hallowed is Your name”. “Give us this day our daily bread…” a good prayer! Only God can send the rain and heal our land…2 Chronicles 7:14 as we choose to DO what He asks. Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

    Our time in South Africa is drawing to a close, we have our daughter back for ‘good’, pure bliss! Our thoughts are turning towards the work of Christmas for the children of Maforga. Those of you who have taken part in the past know what a great time that will be. Food, fun and a drama to focus on the greatest gift of all, God’s beloved only-begotten Son, Yeshua!

    Happy Christmas and we wish you all His blessings for the New Year,

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  • August

    baptism 2016-001 (600 x 431)Baptism of students of the Bible school

    Dear Readers,

    With love for you in our hearts we write from a warm Mozambique. Life seems to fly by, year in, year out. Many times the needs of people we live among threaten to overwhelm us. We try to make a difference on the levels that we have access to; the people God has given us like the boys at our centre, people in our community, the widows, handicapped and the prisoners…

    They often just need a little hope to continue on in their walk. We can offer that partly because of your help. It starts in the morning at Sarah’s breakfast club, bringing the poorest of the poor together for some food and prayer to come through the day. Or last week we painted the prison clinic, we’ve just built and the prison complex; prisoners were allowed to come outside to help the students from the Bible school! It was a glorious day of joy and laughter and I believe God used it to build relationships and give them hope in the possibility of a better future.

    At the same time, another team from the Bible school was at the Center for the Handicapped and transformed the building inside and out with a fresh coat of paint, ready for the up-coming conference for the deaf. I believe God loves making His children smile and here it doesn’t take much! Life is hard for Mozambicans; due to drought there is little locally grown food and shop prices are rising. The battle between the political parties doesn’t seem to stop which is affecting the economy. We help out as much as we can especially among the most vulnerable.

    prison 20161-001 (600 x 430)painting the clinic/sickbay at the prison….

    But spiritual help is even more important and this aspect is growing fast. The Bible school has an experienced leadership team who minister in various places. This weekend they go into the war zone of Gorongosa to meet with all the pastors and ”spoil” them a little with spiritual and physical food, those believers are suffering and need encouragement not to give up!

    The disciple school is fully engaged in outreach in areas where not many people come. They visit every household, organize meetings to teach and to pray and to have fellowship. The results are wonderful: people are saved, brought into the Kingdom and give great testimonies, which results in many others joining our schools. We have over 200 students at the moment and we held a baptism ceremony  in which 23 students were baptized, as always a special moment!

    muda-001 (600 x 431)Bible students on outreach to teach,pray and have fellowship..

    Another development has been the creation of a second year for the school. We have a group of just over 20 students who study the New Testament books in depth. The goal is to understand the why, the how and the who and to whom the books were written. Section by section is studied and analyzed until they build an overview of each book. It’s wonderful to see young Mozambicans engaged in the Word of God and getting revelation. The Word is alive and like a double-edged sword that works on the inside of us when we receive it. Every meeting has fresh testimonies of God working in their lives! To see this gives us joy and deep satisfaction!

    Our time in Europe was a blessing, with the highlight being Sarah’s Mum’s ninetieth birthday weekend with the family at Centre Parks, Longleat. It was also great to see our family and friends in Holland, though it felt so short and time races by…

    Now the final stretch of the year is before us with busy months of conferences, seminars and with the big graduation ceremony rounding off 2016. Pray for us for strength to continue, protection from the enemy and a daily filling of the Holy Spirit to make a eternal difference.

    Thank you all for your prayer and support, together we can do so much more,                                                                                                                                 Blessings and love, Kees and Sarah

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    -June update:

  • childrens day 2016-001

    Dear Readers,

    Last Wednesday, the 1st of June, we celebrated International Children’s Day at the Primay School but this year was different. A month before we had written out an art competition with the theme: ”the future of Mozambique through the eyes of a child”. How do the kids see their future in thirty years time? By then they will be the leaders; the ones running businesses, the teachers, nurses and doctors. From the many entries we chose 12 winners in four categories with surprising results! Radio and television had come and made it into a show to reveal the most interesting art works. Earlier in the day we had different activities, drama and an art workshop of course and the day finished off with a special lunch for all (over 700 kids) for which Sarah and the boys had made lots of the cakes over the weekend (Sarah Baker!). It was a wonderful day, especially for the winners who were thrilled. As it says in the book of Joel ‘In the last days, I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, old men have dreams, young men have visions’… The older generation dream of a wonderful new generation stepping into their visions, which should start at a young age. This is our task as an older generation to help the young ones come into their vision for the future. It really sums up our ministry, helping kids to step into their vision…

    below: building a playground for the pre-school…

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    As our Light shines brightly, the darkness around us gets darker: the war is increasing, Mozambique needs to be on the map of your prayers. Several weeks ago two pastors got brutally killed in Gondola and last week a man in our village, a father of eight disappeared. Close to our village troops have set up camp and they patrol at night; 8 pm is curfew. At night there is random shooting around us. We have also been investigated several times, visited by secret police etc. as government is very suspicious of people harbouring members of the opposition party. The Bible school has students from different parts of the country which made it suspicious apparently. We were cleared. The course we run in Gorongosa had to stop as it has become too dangerous. Pastor Costa, the school leader, has brought his family to stay with us and he visits Gorongosa to bring materials to the pastors who are in the course. Pray for the local people who have to be brave, many lost all their belongings, their churches and houses have been burned down and they have fled, deep into the bush to be out of the way of the fighting. Inspite of all of this, our daily lives go on as normal and we try not to take any notice.

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    At the Center for the Handicapped we had an encounter which has given us a new building project. An old man from deep in the bush came to the center to ask for help. He had a daughter who was mentally handicapped and needed help with everything, from being dressed to being fed, she was lying on a mat outside all day long. He said that he and his wife had coped fine but they are getting old and helping her is more difficult. ‘What if they fall away?’ was his question, ‘Who will look after her?’ They obviously love her very much and they are concerned about the future. In Mozambique, many mentally disabled are left to be cared for by grandparents and when they have died, they are just left to starve. There are no homes for this group of disabled and so we felt as if Lazarus had been brought on our doorstep. What can we do to help this very vulnerable group of people that nobody wants? So we made a plan. Next to the center is some available land where we could build a home for the mentally disabled. They need a lot of care which means a big commitment but aren’t they most on God’s heart? We made plans and will take it from here. Pray for this group and if you have experience, contact us. The center is really doing well since we have an overseer who is faithful in guiding all volunteers involved. The classes for the deaf and mute have grown to 15 which is wonderful. They meet twice a week, which draws them out of isolation. Another class being run by a qualified teacher is that of the handicapped children who have never been to school. We had two American friends from Master’s Heart, two doctors who came on a special seminar for all the handicapped to encourage and teach about health issues.

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    the Assembly Hall at the Primary School with the burglar bars turned into the Gospel in seven pictures

    This month we hope to come to Europe for three weeks with the focus on England as Sarah’s mum will have her 90th birthday! We will be celebrating with the family and stay some time with her. The weekend of the 3rd of July we will be in the Hague, Holland and hopefully meet everybody…

    We will leave Farai and Reuben behind in Africa, both studying hard for exams, Reuben is 10th grade and Farai now 12th grade. It will be her last year in South Africa and last week she had her matric ball, all grown up. (see picture below)

    Times flies…we are in the middle of the year already! We give thanks to God who is faithful to keep His covenant to a thousand generations. We want to inspire the new generation and help them to fulfill their dreams. God created each one of us with a plan and a purpose, wherever you live, in the West or in Mozambique….only through Jesus will we enter in!

    Thank you all for your prayer and support, together we can do so much more! If you are willing to support any part of this ministry, please contact us,

    Blessings and much love, Kees and Sarah

    ”Always pray, never give up ” Luke18v1

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  • March

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    Dear reader,
    Easter has arrived, a most important time for a believer, a time of reflexion on the passion of Jesus who came to deliver us and set us free and to bring us into our destiny, the fulness of life! This is what we experience, a life to the full, in fact too full as so much is going on that we can only just about cope with it: war, hunger and sickness…

    At the boys’ centre Jon and Michelle, our American friends, had to leave suddenly when Jon became very sick; he was in hospital in South Africa for operations and is about to recover. It was a shock for all of us to find out how serious  his situation was but we are grateful it has been dealt with. Their year in Mozambique was coming to an end anyway just earlier then expected. They are a great loss as the full work load of the center is back to the two of us.
    We have taken on a lady who has been trained to look after children and she will live at the centre and supervise the younger boys day and night. Since the beginning of the year we got five new boys with two still to come, we often feel overwhelmed and need prayer and support to continue to look after those boys who belong to God, we have the priviledge of bringing them into His plan and purpose.

    war redemption-001 (600 x 430)The war is going on around us: two weeks ago three bodies where found just outside our gate. Fighting moves from area to area but most people just get on with their lives. It doesn’t affect us directly as we are not their target. We do ask your prayers for peace upon this Nation as the tensions and killing threaten to escalate. War is a terrible thing that only destroys…

    The hunger season is bad this year! The rains have failed and much of the crop has dried up in the fields. As a consequence people go up to several days without eating their staple diet, they are just surving on wild leaves.
    People from the village come for help and so Sarah has a big ”breakfast club”, they all get a bread roll, pray together and get some maize flour for a few days.

    At the Primary school the question was asked how many kids didn’t have supper nor lunch the previous day and 16 out of 35 put their hands up. Therefore we are now providing a ‘lunch’ for the pupils which is a massive undertaking: just bread, hot tea or juice and fruit for 700 kids. We made a start and all the pupils are coming to school now and are super happy! Donations welcome to help cover this!

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    The Bible School is running at four places this year with over 200 students in total and a second year with 20students. The first year is a Christian foundation, getting to know God, getting to know who you are and make Him known through ministry. The second year is a inductive study of every New Testament Book, hard work but for those interested an amazing experience! Below a picture of the students praying for the world…

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    At the Centre for the Handicapped we have re-started all the projects with a supervisor to try to make better progress. We have also made a list of the children who are handicapped and so have never been to school in order
    to make a class for those kids to learn to read and write with a special remedial teacher. Next month we hope to have our first conference for the handicapped for this year. As you can see there is plenty of work and as the workers are few, pray for laborers to come!

    Personally we are well, we look forward to be united with Farai and Reuben for the month of April. Reuben is flourishing in Beira, partly thanks to the family he is staying with; they have been an answer to prayer. He will be finishing his 10th grade and Farai will be concluding 12th grade. After this year she will have to make a decision what to do next…

    Thank you all for your prayer and support, together we can do so much more! If you are willing to support any part of this ministry, please email us or go the page ”Giving” on this website,

    Blessings and much love, Kees and Sarah

    ‘And he said to them, do not be amazed and terrified; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth,Who was crucified, He has risen, He is not here” Mark16v6

  • December

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    Dear Reader,
    December has arrived: this year is drawing to a close and how it has sped by!
    We have so much to be thankful for as a family and as a ministry as we approach 2016. Not least that we are all still alive after the 25th of September (Dia de Armada) that was marked at Maforga by heavy fighting and many casualties. The enemy does not want Mozambique to live in peace or to develop into a free nation with opportunities for all. Mozambique needs your prayers as it struggles to fulfill its potential as a young democracy. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul tells us that it is not against people that we fight. The spiritual battle here at times is intense even to the point of claiming many lives. (Eph 6:18). The Book of Daniel reveals the unseen realm that affects the destiny of every nation and encourages us to pray and trust God who is able. His Kingdom come, His will be done…

    At the beginning of this month we had the annual Day of the Handicapped which was held in Gondola and although we were not present this time the event was organized by the team and our wonderful colleagues, Jon and Michelle Scherbenske, allowing us to be on a family holiday. Farai and Reuben had just completed their exams, 11th and 9th Grade respectively and so it was great to be with the four of us for a few weeks. Next year Reuben will move to Beira International School and Farai will continue 12th Grade at DSG, which will probably be her last year in Pretoria, South-Africa.

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    November saw the Graduation Day of all our Bible students, from all the various locations, four different schools. Amazingly, 130 students successfully completed a year of study. Also despite road blocks and opposition from soldiers, the whole Gorongosa delegation managed to attend what became a joyful and glorious celebration. The new primary school assembly hall was prepared on the theme ‘the Kingdom of God, glorious!’ and a very joyful day was had by all as they received their certificates and rejoiced with one another. Nharashonge Bible School demonstrated note-worthy teamwork, as they studied together throughout the year and made sure that the weak readers could keep up. Their love was rewarded with a 100% pass rate of that school!

    The Primary School had it’s 7th grade graduation as usual both 5th and 7th grades sat external exams.We made it special for each pupil leaving our school with a Bible and a candle lit from the Menorah. Jesus said in John 8v12 ”I am the Light of the world, who ever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the Light of life”. We are so grateful to our partners for making it possible to bring about improvements to our Mission school this year! A complete coat of fresh paint inside and out, a new assembly hall and chairs, an improved staff room, and a new prayer house mean that the whole area is talking about our school with optimism and healthy pride!

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    The boys’ center also continues to grow and change. We have many boys who have joined in order to be able to continue their High School studies rather than having grown up at Maforga. Most of the time they have recently been orphaned or finally lost their grandmother who helped them through Primary School. Education is the door to a more hopeful future. It is our privilage to be able to facilitate young Mozambican men to get established. Two boys, Farao and Joseph finished Technical School and will work as mechanics. Joao finished Teacher’s training college and might come and teach at our Primary school. Dinis passed his 12th grade exam top of his class and is enrolling in university to study Law and Frank hopes to study History and Geography.

    On a personal level however we have never felt so tired. Our life style is becoming more of a physical challenge as we get older, especially for Kees who carries much responsibility. We value your prayers for our health and stamina, we need wisdom how to maintain the ministry. The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.

    Thank you for the news letters that we have received already; we enjoy hearing your news too. Every hope for a blessed Christmas season and a prosperous and healthy 2016! Again, please keep us in your prayers, even as we pray for you.
    Unto us a Son is given!
    Love, Kees and Sarah, Farai and Reuben

    nana

     

  1. HI Kees and Sarah,
    As I read and looked at all the pics I could not hold back the tears of joy and longing to go back to Moz. It has never left me and one of my prayers has been that God allow me to show my children-that God has a world out there that needs us to change it and be life to others. Kees you would get on with my husband, Simon
    so well. He is artsy and crazy for God and fun just like you Kees and has such a child-like heart but is is warrior man of God as you. I miss you Sarah. You have always been amazing to me in every way as a woman in God.
    I already begin asking God to take us to Moz even if it is for just 2-3 weeks.
    You have been used to stir that in a mighty way. I know it will come to pass. How are you? How may I donate to you? I am blessed by you both and your children are beautiful. Simon Peter and I ( that is my husband’s name) have 3 little boys. Bejamin Judah who will be 8 1 month, Joseph Boaz, who just turned 6 and Micah Asher, he will be four at the end of August. How old are your children?
    Hope to hear from you when you get a chance.
    Will be praying for you.
    Many Blessings,
    Much love and admiration,
    Christianna

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