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The Pioneer’s Best Laid Plans

Our teammates spent most of March in Namibia getting work done on their vehicles, and when they returned, we headed out on a reconnaissance mission to the neighboring province of Huíla. We were expecting to spend several days in a remote community to assist the local church in pioneering a mission there. However, unfortunately the permission with the local authorities was not in enough order for us to remain. After much too-ing and fro-ing, the best we could do was be granted permission to stay the night before heading back the next day. After traveling more than 8 hours through tough terrain with six kids under 5 between us, that came as a relief, but of course, none of us were exactly thrilled to be told we needed to go home for more paperwork.

When you strike up story time next to the lake because the husbands are working through administration hiccups and it’s taking several hours, and your story is interrupted by a heard of cows. Yep, this is the life of young pioneer families sometimes!

While we didn’t have permission to stay longer in the bush or to hold organized meetings, we of course attracted attention at our camp, and we weren’t about to ignore the curious onlookers. Fiona struck up a conversation with Lucia, who is from a larger town and therefore speaks Portuguese (the rest of her family are local to the community and only speak the local dialect). With the aim of having a meaningful conversation with her that would hopefully lead to a spiritual one, we started to share a little about each other’s lives. After a while, the conversation did indeed turn to more spiritual subjects, and with Lucia as a translator for the group of young people gathered, we learned that some of them were eager for prayer to be free from troubling demons in their homes. We were able to pray for them, along with another request for healing in a sick child who was not present.

Fiona and 14 year-old Lucia.
Our curious onlookers.

We don’t know when the doors may open for this community to receive more regular visitors in the name of Jesus, but we do know that many of our curious onlookers were very interested in discovering more. And we know that the Holy Spirit is present to continue the work in people’s hearts. Our assignments are rarely black and white, and this was one trip that didn’t go according to any of our plans. But we are thankful for the word that the Lord gave us following our departure from the region: “For God is not unjust so as to forget the work and the love which you have shown towards His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Hebrews 6:10. We know that the plans for these people’s lives rest in His hands and we will continue to intercede for them.

Our camp was situated in the middle of a popular grazing field, so we spent our short visit surrounded not only by the curious locals, but by cows, sheep and goats, much to Faith and Ivy’s delight!

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