Letter From Francois
Isa 5:20-21(20) Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
(21) Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
As the year is rushing to an end we are still in the midst of this unbelievable enemy of mankind, locking us down under the pretence of being just a “sickness”, a “disease”, when its roots are totally demonic! The background and the origin of the Covid pandemic is clearly an onslaught on humanity and its freedom! Its very existence has a totally negative effect both on mankind and on our Christian lives, our church lives, and our fellowship with one another.
Add this to the unbelievable, illogical outlook of the world, the gender and abortion laws being pushed through, the Word of God being silenced and nullified in the process and the church being side-lined and ousted from schools, government and so many other institutions, and you get to the conclusion that we have stepped straight into the ‘foothills’ of the pages of the Book of Revelations!
On my recent trip to Mozambique in October, It was a huge privilege for me to be invited to teach a part on one of the topics of our 4th year study course. What a fantastic Godly event we had! You can read more about our seminar elsewhere in this newsletter.
While I was at our Rivoni Ministries HQ in Mozambique, I met with our district supervisors, at their monthly meeting and had individual meetings with staff on the work to expand our territory towards the Northwest, from the town of Massangena. This work will, God Willing, eventually take us across the Savi River, into the central parts of Mozambique. We also decided to have our year end function on the Saturday before I returned to SA. This event is held with our district supervisors and their spouses attending, as the spouses are not usually at other meetings, in order to save travelling costs.
I am blessed by our team’s focus on the purpose that they had been called by the Lord to do there! Our mission has not changed its focus. We are still teaching the Word of God, the Walk with God and the Work of God in rural Mozambique, as when it started under the Lord’s direction to Ben Lubbe in 2006. I truly rejoice at the tremendous team of men and women the Lord placed in Mozambique under the Rivoni banner! To our God all the glory!
May you be blessed as we share some more.
God Bless You
a Beautiful event
“… there is nothing more precious to a service then when the Holy Spirit of God shows up!”
When I spoke with my brother Nelson in Mozambique, in September, he informed me that they were planning a seminar, to teach on the topic of the Holy Spirit, at our new fourth-year course in Chokwe, on the Monday and the Tuesday after I arrived for my visit. It was a huge privilege for me to be included to teach a part of such a Glorious topic. Being based in South Africa, I am not usually available to assist with teaching.
What a fantastic Godly event we had! All the Praise and all the Glory to our God and Father for orchestrating this event. It was amazing and I’m sure that the lives of many will forever be changed because of that event! We already received calls from local pastors that we should have another seminar, this time, focusing on equipping the leadership of the churches.
I believe there is nothing more precious to a service, than when the Holy Spirit of God shows up! He is truly Beautiful, Marvellous, and changes the whole atmosphere of any church meeting into something Glorious!
As we headed to Chokwe on Monday 18 October to start the 1st day of training on a two-day event that will be focused on the Holy Spirit of God, His gifts, His calling, His power, His presence and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, there was nothing more and greater that we could desire, than that the heart of people would be open to the Holy Spirit and that He Himself would appear and make Himself known to everyone there! And He did!
Rivoni Mozambique works in the rural areas of southern Mozambique. It often happens that people are not well trained, and they are not familiar with the concepts that we want to teach. Visiting pastors and teachers will often focus on the coastal strip going up from Maputo north. Thus, going in-land was the area that God chose Ben Lubbe for, to ensure that those people, often living in small villages where you could find as few as 15 to 50 people, would also hear the Word of God and be taught to understand and practise (live) it.
We started teaching on the Godhead, the Trinity of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit and how each of them has a different function, yet it is the same God that we serve! The One and the Only, True God, Who, created heaven and earth and every plant, animal, bird and the whole human race, starting from Adam and Eve, by the spoken Word of God, the same Word Who was later manifested in the flesh, on earth, as Jesus Christ our Lord, through the Virgin Birth of Mary.
I often find myself amazed at the beauty of the knowledge and the wisdom of our staff, who themselves are trained pastors. They have been further developed and equipped by Rivoni to teach the Word of God in these rural areas. We started off a bit rocky on Monday as the concept at some points would be quite foreign to our students, trying to understand the trinity of God, but as the course were taught over the next day, the atmosphere changed and there was an intense interest in what we were teaching. By late Tuesday afternoon, I was tasked to close the seminar and as I stood to pray, at some point asked that Holy Spirit would touch us with His fire, there immediately started cries and prayers in the audience, which grew louder as some people cried, some cried out, some were just praising the Lord in loud voices, others started singing and praising and worshiping! The Joy of the Lord overtook all at the meeting! For the next, what felt like it could be half an hour, the whole gathering erupted in praise and worship and prayer, in the beauty of the Lord. The atmosphere was absolutely electric, and the Presence of God was tangible.
As this meeting was our 1st rollout of topical studies, and we were still planning how we could best introduce it to the new students, we realized that this groundwork was what was needed to be laid. The teachers could now continue to build on top of it, with the rest of the topical studies, over the next several months, with a class. But it was clear that, had it not been for the students sitting through that training for 1 and a half days, being soaked in the Presence of God and His Holy Spirit, there would never have been such a mighty effect, as opposed to when all of the topics were presented, one class at a time over several weeks.
We are looking forward to what God will do with the rest of this course and we are expecting a Mighty outpouring of God on His children. He is such a Faithful God and Father to us! The mission of Rivoni has always been, that we are here to bring people into a relationship with God! Much more than just merely teaching the Word of God! We have seen many people who have had a lot of teaching, others with almost none! Yet, without a relationship with Father God, neither of these had much success in their lives! No victory in overcoming wickedness and darkness.
Our prayer is that God will continue to use this movement of His, to bring a Mighty outpouring of Himself on the children of the Light in Jesus name. Amen.
Accidents or Attacks- The Follow up
In our previous newsletter we reported on the accident which our vice-director had in October 2020, while traveling home with the mission’s vehicle from Maputo, when a pedestrian walked onto the road, in front of the car, crossing the road from the field. By God’s Grace, this man has recovered and is at home.
The Nissan though, still had some battle scars! After its initial panelbeating and repair in Mozambique, the vehicle was brought to South Africa in April to do some repairs on the suspension and to service it. It was taken to Nelspruit by brother Nelson while he stayed over for a few days, waiting for the vehicle to be serviced and repaired. On the day that brother Nelson was to go and collect the vehicle to return to Mozambique, our friend Derek at Mbombela fitment center called us to inform us that there was a noise in the engine.
We decided that we could not let the vehicle return to Mozambique in that state, as this sounded serious. The engine would have to be opened to see what the cause of the noise was. Brother Nelson was accompanied on the trip to SA by brother Adalberto, and the two of them had to travel back to Chinhacanine in Mozambique by taxi.
When Derek opened the engine, they realized that the noise was coming from the crankshaft. The problem was serious, and the engine would have to be overhauled. We decided to move the vehicle to Pretoria where another friend of the mission, Abraham Coetzee, and his son Jaco at ABJ motors could do the work for us.
As usual with a mission(?), we were on a very tight budget, and we had to import some of the parts to cut cost. This eventually led to the vehicle only being ready at the end of June, since its arrival in South Africa in April. Just as we were ready to return the vehicle to brother Nelson at Nelspruit, the Covid level suddenly were hiked up and our borders closed again. No one was allowed to travel in and out of the Gauteng province. Thus, it took another month and a half before we were again ready to hand over the vehicle at Nelspruit to brother Nelson to return with it to our mission HQ at Chinhacanine in Mozambique.
This trip was not the end of all our vehicle troubles as a week or 2 later brother Nelson took the vehicle to a Chokwe mechanic to investigate some vibration on it. This turned out to be the center bearing on the propshaft that was worn out and needed to be replaced.
The mission’s vehicle works under very harsh conditions. A lot of the traveling is done on dusty, corrugated gravel roads and then there are potholes(!), such as the ones on the road between Macia and Chokwe, which are so bad that cars are often driving off the road, or on the wrong side of the road, just to try and avoid some of these potholes.
Following the accident, the vehicle was taken for wheel alignment but since we are working in rural areas, this is easier said than done. The vehicle needed to be taken 90 km away, to the town of Macia where there is a garage with the necessary equipment to do the wheel alignment.
The bad roads took their toll again, and this time, the 2 front tires were now running down unevenly. In the 10 months since we put those 2 tires on, they had to run down to the point where we needed to replace both of them and redo the wheel alignment. Brother Nelson undertook another trip of 90km to Macia to redo the alignment, only to hear that the technician was not at work! Oh, the joys of not being in the city where all tools and spares are available and several shops to choose from to do the exact same work! The tires were eventually replaced and the wheels aligned, after taking it to Maputo in November. May God now grant us some unchallenged, many, many, good kilometers of travelling!
Soaking in his presence
By Francois and Nelson
On Friday morning, 22 October, we gathered as a leadership team at Chinhacanine at the Rivoni Ministries HQ. We celebrated in praise and worship, and then François shared a Word on the letter given by the king to commission Ezra to go and do the work he was called to do (Ezra 7v11-28) . Each of our district supervisors gave feedback on what was happening in their areas as well.
As we were sharing, it became clear that several of our staff members or their families experienced some form of attack with various illnesses. We promptly decided to have a soaking meeting that Friday evening, where we would praise and seek out the presence of the Lord for our loved ones. We started our soaking meeting after dinner that evening, and then prayed for each other and our families.
The next morning, on Saturday, I was told by brother Baloi that sister Gloria had a very unusual night. Gloria had mentioned that earlier in the year, the doctors told her that she had some sort of a heart condition. Gloria also had a Covid injection and since the 2nd injection she had problems lifting her left arm. The arm couldn’t lift above her shoulder height and was very painful.
After retiring to bed that Friday evening, sister Gloria suddenly started feeling very ill, and experienced nausea and diarrhoea. She had gone to the bathroom for the 2nd time when she started feeling extremely cold. As she went out for the 3rd time in this condition feeling extremely ill, she asked the Lord “Why did you bring me to die here at the mission?” Then, she felt the Lord saying to her he did not bring her there to die.
As she returned to her room after this 3rd event, she started to feel heat coming into her cold body. Where she was extremely cold previously, she now started feeling so hot that she had to step outside to cool off and when she went back to her room, got back into bed and slept soundly. The next morning, she woke up filled with joy. Her arm was now fully restored with no more pain. Her chest felt good and she believes the Lord has completely healed her heart. Her face beaming with joy, she gave all the glory to the Lord for Him protecting and healing her. Thank you, Lord, for protecting and healing this precious sister of ours!
Our Yearend function
When my travel plans to Mozambique became fixed, our Rivoni Ministries brothers in Mozambique decided that we should have our year-end function on the Saturday before I returned to SA. This event is held with our district supervisors and their spouses attending.
We aim to have this event at the end of November every year, but as we suspected that the government would close the borders again, which they did last year and at every school holiday so far, we decided not to take a chance. We arranged for the Saturday to have our yearend function with husbands and wives joining us for a time of celebration, praise and worship, sharing the Word of God, encouraging one another, and eating a home-cooked meal.
It was a special event that started the arrival of the ladies the Saturday morning and being welcomed with some special coffee brought from SA and freshly baked bread rolls from Chinhacanine’s own ‘padaria’(bakery). Our meeting started with joyous praise and worship, voices harmonizing beautifully, as only our African brothers and sisters can do! This was followed by the Word of encouragement shared by Francois and then we sat down to eat! A team of ladies was brought in specially to do the cooking so that our district supervisor wives could relax and join in all our festivities. The visiting, talking, laughter and fellowship kept on till late afternoon when we eventually all said goodbye and brother Nelson went to drop of the people going to Manjange and Chokwe, while I went with brother Dan to drop of Titos and Zulmira at Tomanini. Thank You Lord for the privilege that You blessed us with to have this sweet fellowship of brethren!
In September, while talking on the phone with my brother Nelson in Mozambique, I just realized it was time to get out there for some face-to-face time with all our brothers and sisters in Mozambique! I set out immediately to plan a trip which realized on 17 October when I travelled down to Mozambique for a weeklong visit. I had to test for Covid again, at the exorbitant amount of R850 for the test. This amount of money seems to be only required when it is for travel purposes (?) which is just another way of making money off this evil monster.
The trips now have additional costs with an amount of Mzn750 (About R190) to be paid for the vehicle at the Mozambican side when entering and coming back to SA, if your trip lasted more than 6 days, you would need to do a Covid screening test for another R300 at the SA border where there are two companies available to do the testing. This will take you roughly another half an hour if the queues are not too long.
Just before Maputo the bridge connecting the TRAC highway to the ‘new(?)’ ring road has finally been completed and at two places on the ring road towards Xai-Xai, massive toll gates are being erected in all earnestness! Clearly the time has come to pay ‘the piper’ (or in this case the Chinese) who built the road.
From Macia we turn left, going inland for about 90km to Chinhacanine where our mission HQ is located. This road from Macia to Chokwe, is at places extremely bad due to potholes all over and cars and trucks will often at the last moment swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid the potholes.
On a good note, from Chinhacanine to Mabalane, some 70km away, the whole road has at last been tarred, making for a very easy drive if one needs to go that way.
At Mabalane I inspected the new toilet/washroom that we had built at the mission’s district supervisor home with the mission funds and our very talented brother/district supervisor/teacher/treasurer for Rivoni Mozambique, Adelberto Matusse. The sandy area was a threat to the people using the old pit toilet, as the sandy soil would sometimes cave in, necessitating the need to build a pit with a brick wall. We had to do this at 4 sites. Also, as we desire to take more visitors with us on a prayer journey / outreach event, this ‘modernised’ amenity is a ‘must have’ for our western society.
I was blessed by all the events that I was able to attend including individual meetings with some staff members on the work of expanding the territory that we are working in towards the Northwest from the town of Massangena which will eventually take us across the Savi River into the central parts of Mozambique.
Although it had been 11 months since I had last seen our members face to face due to border restrictions with Covid, I was pleased that our staff are still focused on the thing that they had been called to do there. Our mission mandate has not changed. We are still teaching, as we have had from the beginning, the Word of God, to Walk with God and to go do the Work of God! What a tremendous team of men and woman we have! We can only give God all the glory for Him working that through them!
We envisage at least three trips to Mozambique in 2022 and would love for you to join us on a trip. The first trip will hopefully be around March 2022. The second around June, July 2022 and a third trip in October-November 2022. Duration of trips vary. Please contact Francois if you are interested in joining us on a visit to our staff and students.
MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Thank you for what you give to this mission. To some anonymous contributors, may God who sees in the secret reward you in public. Myself and our staff are indebted to all of you who are giving so faithfully every month to continue this work.
God Bless You!
In the love of Christ,
From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised. — Psalm 113:3