March 2015 Don & Elizabeth Kantel Update
Adversity comes in many forms: natural, human, and spiritual. In the Western world, with its history of Christian influence in social and personal values, there is a degree of what’s sometimes called “common grace” that seems to protect societies and nations from wide-scale extremes of adversity. But Mozambique has no such history of Christian influence in culture and society. And that is profoundly evident as missionaries seek to establish a beachhead for the gospel for the first time in the nation’s history. Recurring natural calamities set back many attempts to move the country forward. Recently, the four northern provinces were without electricity for nearly four full weeks due to heavy rainfall and flooding. And where else do 300 people a year die from crocodile attacks while trying to get water for their families from dirty rivers?!
In the past year, the government has been restricting visas for missionaries who are serving the nation’s poor. Don was told a few years ago by the man in charge of registration for Mozambique’s 300-plus NGO’s that the government was looking forward to eliminating all NGO’s within 10 years. Perhaps that process has now begun. Our Iris missionary contingent in Pemba has been decimated as visas, which were routinely issued and renewed in the past, are being routinely refused today. And international visitors to our Iris bases are finding it increasingly difficult to even enter the country.
The gospel has enjoyed a wonderful window of opportunity over the past 15 years. Hundreds of thousands of new Mozambican believers now fill thousands of new churches all across the land; and Mozambican evangelists and church-planters are on the leading edge of this continuing expansion. But we need to pray for an easing of these new restrictions…because the missionaries and resources of the Western Church are still needed for a season to continue to disciple the indigenous leadership and help ensure that the infant Church can remain true to the Word.
Lord, let your Kingdom come in greater and greater measure to Mozambique…and to all the earth!