Pemba Center: Village of Joy News

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Written by Michelle Turnbull

A group of us from the Visitors’ Centre were taken by Sergio, a local pastor, to the jail to minister to the women there. It was Women’s Day when we went; a national holiday across Mozambique, so there was excitement in the air. We were told it was best to bring something to bless the women with so we brought them rolls and sodas.

We arrived to a warm, friendly welcome from the guards. As we walked in, all the women came running to give us hugs and kisses. We didn’t have to go up to them, they just came to us. The atmosphere was incredible.

Sergio asked the ladies what they would like to do first and they said they wanted to start with some worship. They showed us such hospitality by getting mats out for us to sit on. The worship lasted for about 20 mins. The women were so full of joy and life in this dark place.

Then we introduced ourselves; who we are and where we’re from. Sergio asked us to share a message if we had one. He asked, “Who has a scripture or a short testimony?” Several of us gave a verse and a testimony, which Sergio translated. Afterwards he shared some words of encouragement.

It was then that he told us that all but two ladies in the jail were saved. Sergio shared the gospel with them and the two ladies gave their lives to Jesus. Praise God! It was however, distressing to hear that one of the ladies had a little baby boy with her who was about to spend four years in prison with his mum. Sergio was deeply concerned about him.

Sergio announced that it was time to pray. He started by asking them who needed prayer and then asked them to line up to receive. One of the women needed deliverance, so we prayed for her and watched as Jesus brought her peace and freedom. I prayed for a lady with a bandaged, completely immovable finger and arm. I prayed for her, then asked if she could move her finger. She was able to do so a little, so I prayed further and Jesus gave her full movement in both her finger and her arm. Sergio asked if there was any pain left and she said it had all gone. She was so happy. Thank you Jesus.

One of the team prayed for a woman with a blind eye and her sight became restored a little. We then we moved on to lady with a sore throat and very swollen glands. We prayed for her and suddenly the glands went down. She found great relief and her healing could be seen all over her face. She was beaming and able to move her head freely again. Another lady whose stomach was hurting all the time was healed by Jesus while we were there. The women were so thankful to Jesus.

There was one lady who was lying on the ground. She was older and couldn’t stand well, nor could she even try to get up without experiencing a lot of pain. One of us prayed for her legs then she got up. She could stand and move. The pain was completely gone. Finally there was a lady in her 20s who was holding a cloth over her mouth and had tears in her eyes from the pain in her mouth. We prayed for her too and saw her experience some relief.

Then, filled with joy at seeing Jesus bring so much healing, we passed out the bread and sodas. The women were very grateful for these gifts too. I think this jail visit has been the highlight of my time in Pemba because I expected a depressed place but it was so full of joy and life. Our hour there was life changing.

We fly back home tomorrow, knowing the power of God in a whole new way. We know to keep reaching out to people in the same bold way that He has shown us to do here. We know deep in our hearts that what we’ve experienced of God here is not just for Mozambique, it is for the whole world. Although our time here is over, this is a beginning and not an end for us. We are learning to love as God loves and my prayer now is “Lord, break me”.