We want to thank everyone for their prayers in behalf of our annual nation-wide pastors’ conference to take place later this month. All is progressing here, though thus far the most critical jobs appear to be nip and tuck still.
The two-month delay returning from South Africa with our equipment is causing a great deal of pressure completing four months of work in only two months. Nearly fifty workers are putting in long hours every day to get so much accomplished.
Re: the tiles: The hard work has been completed. Hundreds of old tiles no longer available anywhere were removed from the main corridor (seventy metres long!), the old tile cement was painstakingly removed, and then the good tiles were replaced.
There is plenty still to do to put down new tiles in the largest ward of the hospital where we had to remove several hundred perfectly good tiles in order to replace all the ones that were broken in the main corridor and throughout the hospital by thousands of heavy oxygen cylinders recklessly moved about during eighteen months. There is yet time before the conference to do the straightforward work of putting down new tiles—if the new tiles would just arrive! Nearly three thousand pounds of tiles ordered from South Africa are en route to Nampula and were supposed to arrive three days ago, but they did not. We expect them soon though, and we praise God for getting them on the earliest possible truck headed this way from the border.
Our new plumber seems to be extremely thorough. Nothing has been finished by him so nothing can be tested, but he has removed and cleaned all the plumbing fixtures in the hospital, replaced all the damaged equipment, and is now ready to put everything back together. We trust he knows how to do that!
Re: the 3,150 volumes of books purchased from Brazil for the conference, they are supposed to be loaded on the plane this week and to arrive in Maputo the next week—provided they are not selected for inspection by customs, in which case they will not get here until weeks after the conference. Please pray that customs will let them pass without inspection!
Even so, if all goes very well, we expect the books to get to Nampula only one day before the conference because of delays getting them through customs on the Mozambique end. That will place great pressure on the team of volunteers who must do inventory, place price stickers, and display the books in the conference store in only a few hours. It seems impossible, but we are praying.
On Thursday, we were going to attempt the difficult replacement of the 1,350 pounds alternator on the hospital generator. We spent days building special cranes for hoisting it into place. Unfortunately, our South African consultant did not have time on that date to oversee the work via Internet video. He has not looked at any communications from us since that time, so we keep waiting. Pray that he will have time to help us avoid whatever mistake ruined the previous alternator after it was re-attached last January, and that we can get that important and worrisome job accomplished this week!
The guest house is virtually completed except for the two bathrooms. The end is in sight there. (Though all the cupboards and wardrobes must be completed after the conference.)
The shelter for mission vehicles is also nearly completed.
Underground Power Cables and Public Lighting
All finished, all working well!
Julie was ill for a few days recently with COVID-19, which is basically a mild cold here in Mozambique, with anosmia thrown in. Many close contacts have come down with the illness and that is how it spread to us. This is not a good thing to have hanging over our heads as the conference approaches. Please pray that no key players will have to contend with COVID-19 in the coming days! Fifty-one workers and volunteers are involved in hosting the four hundred church leaders. May God keep us all well!
Our main speaker and wife, who is to lead the women’s program, had their visas declined this week when they divulged that they were going to teach at a pastors’ conference. It is now too late to request a “religious” visa, something never required in all our 23 years of hosting Christian conferences but part of the new restrictions on religious liberty. So we are trying to get permission for a visa to be granted on arrival at the airport. Please pray that God will grant us favour in the eyes of the officials who must authorise these visas.
We will have record participation this year—we have beds for only fifteen more out-of-town participants, though more can come if they arrange their own lodging, and with another forty registrations we will reach our maximum of four hundred attendees.
Please pray for God to place his signature most of all upon the spiritual elements of this conference: upon the messages; the literature; the conversations amongst pastors, some of whom are already firmly on board with the teachings of this conference; and safety on the road as participants journey from every province of the nation, some travelling 1,300 miles over difficult roads to get here.
By his grace,