The last months had flown by with an incredible speed. At times it
literally feels as if we are just holding on by the skin of our teeth! It
also seems that many of you did not receive our last email newsletter… So
here follows a short summary of our year:
• In January a missionary, Grant Franke and his helper, Ali, came for a
visit to “scout” out what we do. He was very impressed with the Church
plant in the sense that many Mwinika have taken ownership of the work. He
wanted especially to get a Literacy program similar to ours running in the
Nahara people group where he and his wife minister. We tried via email to
make it work, but eventually it was clear that we needed to get together so
that I could help him and his team to write the program. That happened in
April when I joined them in Nacala for two weeks where we worked from 6 am
to 6 pm each day with a team of 5 helpers. I left them while they were
still busy writing their last Primer and continue to give as much support as
I can via email. What a privilege to use what the Lord has deposited into
my life to help others! We pray that the program will soon be up and
running (there are still a LOT of work left before that is possible!) and
that many will learn to read so that they have access to God’s Word in their
Photo 1: Grant and Ali with Raja and Nadia Photo 2: The Makhuwa Literacy
* In April Nadia and Marina, our Literacy Consultant visited the Yao Church
Plant where they started with their first Literacy class! It was a
privilege to learn from Marina and see Jennie (working under the Yao people)
in action. They have 12 students and are doing very well.
• More on Literacy: Abar’s two literacy classes under the Mwinika/Marevone
people ended in February and Phil, Elin and I joined them for their
certificate ceremony. A big crowd of people arrived, including some pretty
important government and local officials, all praising the work and the
witness of Abar and his wife (our first Mwinika missionaries). Praise the
Lord for doing his work through this couple! They need prayer however to
receive wisdom in proceeding forward. The small fledgling church is still
young and vulnerable. New Literacy teachers have been trained… and passing
the baton needs both wisdom and courage.
Photo 3: Certificate ceremony for Abar’s two Literacy classes
• As we have written in our previous newsletter, two new works have been
opened this year. As always we use Literacy classes as our entry strategy
to prepare a group for the Bible lessons. We emphasize that we want them to
be able to have direct access to God’s Word and not just accept whatever we
teach. So in March this year Raja, one of our Literacy teachers, started a
new class in Moenoega (a small village about 30 minutes from here). He is
doing this work as a volunteer, and stayed in the village for the first 2
weeks to get the pre-literacy classes going. He continues to visit them
weekly and they are learning to read and write in Mwinika. Soon we hope to
start the first Bible lessons in this group. Continue to pray for the
Mwinika church, that their heart will be to reach out to others and to
spread the good News of the Gospel.
Photo 4 and 5 Road to Moenoega; Raju and some of his students
• The second work is in Hoedi (in our last newsletter we wrote about how
this work opened with Antoen) where another Mwinika teacher, Auwa has
started a class in April. This village is so excited that with the first
meetings they presented us with two pages with lists of names of people that
want to enter the classes! Pray too that the Gospel will be accept here as
the Lord prepares hearts to receive his Truth.
Photo 6 Meeting hat Hoedi
• Francois has been very busy travelling this year in his capacity as field
leader! Our ministry is not just to the Mwinika and this Church Plant, but
also reaches further as we use what the Lord has taught us, to further
church planting in this whole region… and beyond! The visit that stands out
to us this year is Francois’s trip to the UK in March. He was invited to
talk at a NTM Reach Conference where many young people were challenged into
missions. He also took the opportunity to visit others in the UK that have
been praying and supporting us over the years. The visit was very blessed!
Soon he will be travelling to Zimbabwe where we are working with the local
church to reach an unreached people group just over the border into
Photo 7 The Hattinghs in April this year
On the Home Front
Our three kids are doing well! All three are in high school (grade 8 and
10) now and it keeps their mom and teacher on her toes! There is a
possibility for a volunteer to come to help us with the home schooling for a
few months later this year. We are very excited and pray that the doors
will open if this is God’s will.
Also in the coming months:
• A team is visiting us to make video recordings of the Mwinika CP work in
June. We pray that it will be to the glory of Him who is doing the work –
that the focus will be on Him. We are very aware that He is reaching the
Mwinika despite our many weaknesses!
• We are also expecting an outreach team from South Africa in August this
year, the home school volunteer, other visitors and a possibly of a couple
on our team to live here for a few months so that they can get more in depth
experience on church planting in a remote area.
• Some of our team mates who are not allocated to a Church Plant yet, will
visit us for a few months at a time so that they can learn what village life
is about. The first couple will stay with us.
• Francois also has visits nearly every month to work with and disciple
others in church planting.
Thank you for your prayers that make it possible for us to be and work
here. God is able and He is the One that changes hearts. May we (all) stay
obedient to his calling.
Francois, Nadia, Franco, Heide-Mari and Waldo Hattingh
NTM South East Africa