The Yao of Mozambique hear the gospel for first time
Eleven years ago, God placed a dream in our hearts to teach his Word to people in Mozambique who have never heard his message.
By Alfred and Belinda,
Eleven years ago, God placed a dream in our hearts to teach his Word to people in Mozambique who have never heard his message. In 2008 God led us to the rural Yao people and, by God's grace, we have lived here for six years. One year of building a house, four years of language studies and now 50 Bible lessons later, we will finally present the story of Jesus' death and crucifixion in the Yao language. Soon we will show the JESUS Film in Yao for the first time. The years of groundwork are finally paying off.
Some are so ready to take the last step of faith. At the end of each lesson, people would say, "We know we are sinners, we know we cannot make our own sin go away, we know Jesus was God's Son ... what must we DO now?" They are looking for a list of things to tick off so that they can be made right in God's sight, but we know Jesus did it all. We pray they will come to know this and accept what Christ has done for all of us: paid the ultimate price, death on a cross to make us right with God.
There are many challenges here. The Enemy is not happy with us and, especially in the last two years, we have had many difficulties. A couple of times we were ready to pack our bags and quit. But by God's grace and only through His strength are we still here.
The power of God's Word cannot be discounted. The Yao are eager to hear God's narrative unfold as we regularly share with them in the backcountry.
We have had many conversations with people in our village, explaining the salvation message of Christ. Recently we sat with a dear older lady and explained the gospel story to her for the second time. We talked for a bit and then our local friend asked if he could say something to her. It was raining heavily as we sat huddled under her small roof. Smoke was curling lazily from the cooking fire nearby. We were so blessed to sit there listening to our friend's testimony that he so naturally told of coming to faith in Christ. Once again we were moved by God's power to change lives. We pray more will follow Jesus and spread God's truth throughout the Yao.
It is amazing to see how God is preparing and encouraging them as they learn and ponder God's Word. A recent Bible lesson was Jesus as the Bread of Life (or as we say here, their staple maize Ugadi of Life) and many people were touched. It is our passion they will come to know and love Jesus as their Ugadi of Life.
Our local workers and most of their wives are now believers and every morning we have a special devotion with them - a time of discipleship using the book of Acts.
The new believers here have so much in common with the new believers in the book of Acts. When the Yao believers read about the new Jewish believers meeting together, they also decided to meet together and share a meal over God's Word. When they read of the persecution and insults of Jesus' followers, they could easily relate as the same things are happening here today. People have insulted the Yao believers, ridiculed them and tried to scare them with threats. But the Word of God is showing them how to remain firm, how to trust God in all circumstances. The cost of following Jesus is high among the Yao, and it might get higher as time goes on.
God has a plan for each of us no matter where we are from. And God longs for the Yao to turn to Him as many have heard the Good News. The Yao have many hurdles to overcome but God cares for each of them. We pray that his Word (oral and written) will encourage us as well, to continue going out into the bush - drawing many to Christ.