Thursday & Friday: Bush Outreach
Our ride to the Bush Outreach was one I will never forget. We rode in the back of a large truck with no seat belts, no seats, and a hole in the wooden floor where we could smell the gasoline fumes from the engine; it was amazing. When we arrived at what Heidi Baker calls, “The Bush Bush,” I realized that I lost my sun glasses and my hat sometime during the bumpy ride.
The first thing we did when we got to the village was set up our tents. While we were doing that, I noticed that some of the village children were outside of their mud huts watching tv; that’s right, tv. Some of the people who lived there managed to connect a live power line to a large tree branch, and used it to power their television and dvd player. I guess everyone has a tv now a days.
After it started getting dark, our missionary team headed over to a remote location where the outreach was going to be held. During Bush Outreach, Iris Ministries plays a movie called, “The Jesus Movie.” After we arrived at the remote location, many people, including myself, sat on the ground to watch The Jesus Movie. After the movie was over, Heidi started preaching. During her preaching, she told everyone that Jesus is still alive, and just like in the movie, He still heals the sick.
Then, Heidi asked all of the missionaries to form a fire tunnel (where we line up on both sides allowing people to pass through us) so that we can all pray for, and bless the village people who need a touch of healing from God. That night, four deaf people heard, one blind man saw, many people that had stomach problems were healed, and many people who had drinking problems could no longer stand the smell of alcohol. Later in the night, everyone went back to the village in the Bush to eat dinner.
From what I had heard, the missionaries were going to be eating separately from the children to avoid a riot; that didn’t work out very well. That night we ate spaghetti and meatballs, and a piece of bread for dinner. After I finished eating, I decided to help the few people who were serving the children food. After about 10 minutes or so, a large group of children started surrounding us, putting their hands out waiting for us to serve them food.
Heidi was also there that night serving the children food, and I asked her, “Heidi! do you think we should wash the plates before we re-serve food to more children? She smiled, patted me on the shoulder, then said “Don’t bother with that, just reuse the plates.” The truth is that there was no time to wash plates. Our goal was simply to serve the children, and recycle the plates when they were finished being used.
After only a short time while feeding the children, they started to get rowdy and impatient. The children started getting uncomfortably close to us, to the point where we needed to tell them to back off and start forming a line. As things with the children progressively became more chaotic, I looked at Heidi, and she was starting to fall asleep. At this moment, I started to see the heart of God in her.
Whether the children were behaving or not, Heidi still loved them and desired to serve them. She never gave up on them, even if it meant that she was going to fall asleep while serving them food. There must have been hundreds of children there that night, and eventually it got to the point where we decided to call it quits for the night, and feed the rest of the children in the morning.
The following morning, all of the missionaries went over to the same location as the night before to eat breakfast. For breakfast, we ate a giant piece of bread and jam; it was delicious. For drinks, Heidi decided to serve all of the missionaries Starbucks coffee and tea. When I got to the front of the line, I talked with Heidi for a bit.
First and foremost, I thanked her for everything she was doing for all of us. Then Heidi told me that she personally goes to Starbucks, which is nowhere near Mozambique, and buys coffee for all of the missionaries as a way for her to honor them. I am truly amazed by the size of Heidi’s heart.
After breakfast, one of the men who rode with me on the truck to our Bush Outreach walked up to me, and said he wanted to show me something. I followed him to his tent, and he showed me a pair on sunglasses and a hat, and asked me if they belonged to me. I told him, “yes!” It was amazing to me that in the middle of all the chaos traveling to Bush Outreach, that I did not lose anything, even when it didn’t appear that way initially.
After this happened, our entire team blessed the village chief with gifts, then made our way back to the Iris Base. When we got back to the Iris Base, we all talked for a bit, then went to bed early because the next day was going to be our final day in Pemba, Mozambique.
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