He pointed, “They came in from over there.” Standing in the smoldering ruins of what was once a vibrant village, we listened as the village elder recounted the night of the attack. The insurgents, who have now claimed over 1000 lives and affected and displaced over 165,000, had come at night, bringing with them destruction and death beyond comprehension. The villagers spent the first night in the mangroves, hiding their children, and hoping they wouldn’t be discovered. Over 100 houses were burnt down that night and with them the hope of the village. In the days following the attack, more than 90% of the village would flee, leaving behind just a few families that decided to stay.
Since Cyclone Kenneth we have visited this village many times bringing food, clothing, household items, and most importantly, the Gospel in the form of NT Audio Solar Bibles. This was our first visit after the attack and we had brought building supplies to repair their school from cyclone damage. Our eyes and our ears could not believe what we were seeing. Where children once met us with singing and dancing, we were met with drawn faces and anxious eyes. The fear and exhaustion were palpable; almost everyone had left including the village chief, schoolteachers, and most of the families.
This story would be told countless times over Northern Mozambique as we minister among the displaced families and forgotten villages. At times we are met with fear and at other times with pure joy at seeing someone who cares. Among these unreached people, of whom only 1% are Christians, we have become a well of life in a dry land. Each week our teams go out to see what God will do among the destitute and dying. We pack kits of clothes, toothbrushes, buckets, and soap, setting out by truck, plane, and boat. For us, love looks like something. Sometimes it looks like food, other times like school supplies. But it must look like something.
Each day dozens of families arrive in Pemba carrying the few precious belongings they are able to escape within the night. Our churches are quickly becoming shelters and feeding centers. In the nearby districts, the village centers are overflowing with new arrivals. Recently our teams brought food and supplies to 200 families. Each family filed through our small church picking up a box of food and an NT Audio Solar Bible. Outside we preached and prayed, desperately seeking to give our new friends the bread of life that will last beyond today. Many of these families have never heard the name of Jesus prior to our arrival.
We are now positioned, as we have been many times before, to see revival among the least of these. We are looking for what only God can do; he is our perfect provider, sustainer, and lover. It is our hearts’ joy and desire to go to the place of greatest need and therefore, to give the Lamb the reward of his suffering.