When most South Africans head to Mozambique during their school vacations it is to swim in the clear ocean water and eat king prawns. But Marilize Jordaan, a mathematics teacher from Boland Landbou High School in Paarl, just outside of Cape Town in South Africa, is spending her school break serving with Stephanie Williams at the Maforga mission station in Mozambique for two weeks as part of a short term mission trip. She has been assisting wherever she can at Maforga, helping to take care of the orphans and with the general maintenance of the outpost. Calvary Chapel Africa got into touch with her recently to hear about ins and outs of her service as well as her experience of short term missions in her own words.
“I am having the time of my life. Things are getting serious with DIY though. I am currently making beds for the coming guests, hanging mosquito nets, filling buckets with water for the house – seeing as though there is no water in the taps, and I am still painting the roof. I have learnt the difference between acrylic and enamel paint; enamel paint doesn’t come off your hands, or your legs, or your face.
And in between all of this, there are kids everywhere that can’t wait to get hugged and loved. The kids love being on your lap. At church on Sunday it was the first time I ever saw three kids all managing to sit on one adult’s lap at the same time. They will climb on your lap silently and sit for hours, and when they eventually get up your lap will be empty for no more than thirty seconds before the next child climbs on. They are so hungry for contact.
The church services are amazing for me to see. The teens are the worship team and they sing and dance with passion! Even the interpreter translates the sermon with the same passion as the pastor. When the pastor whispers, he whispers, and when the pastor shouts, the he shouts!
The other day we went to the Ishowe market to pick up Mariana, a German nurse, who trains people in natural medicine using trees, roots, leaves and plants. We went for a walk together and she pointed out leaves that deworm, seeds that have a natural antibacterial property to them, and apparently papaya is a whole pharmacy just on its own. She gives the local witchdoctors training in this so that they can do proper healing and not try to call down spirits. It is all a part of evangelism. Stephanie asked Mariana to come and give a topical medicine course over three days at the mission station.
Through this Mariana gets to have a break from the violence in the more dangerous parts of Mozambique and the nurses here get free training. And all of this gives me a chance to be with the orphans in the morning, which I love!
Natural medicine is a big part of the treatment here.
One evening Stephanie treated twelve sick, coughing girls. She had to examine them in her lounge because the clinic is not legally open yet. It was amazing to see her gentleness and the caring way which she spoke to them, explaining what she was doing. She told them to chew garlic since it is a good antibiotic for early infection, even telling them to mix it with honey if they do not like the taste.
At the market I was introduced to barbecued mice – yes, they eat them. Toilet paper at the market was also over R10 (about $1 US) for a roll, a luxury item. Later a small truck filled with veggies arrived at the station; a farmer donates them every Friday. All the girls assembled to help carry the vegetables to the kitchen; some of the girls helping were as young as four year old. It shows their gratefulness for the donations. The sawmill at the mission station which mills the wood from the trees around the compound is their primary source of money for food.
Recently we had a prayer meeting with five people from four different countries: America, Holland, England and me from South Africa. While we prayed, I realised that these people pray for very different things than we do. Here they pray for car batteries to become available. They pray for children who are sick with malaria. They pray that their water pumps would not get stolen. They pray for people to return safely from their journey to Zimbabwe with the police convoys (of course the country is in a civil war and certain roads which they travel on have frequent shootings on them.) They also pray for permits and passports and papers that the government needs to supply. They pray for sawmills to get through customs so that the children’s home can have money for food.”
Even though you might be on the opposite side of the world to Mozambique, we can unite with these servants of God in prayer. By coming alongside them in prayer and lifting up their needs to our Lord Almighty, we share in their work on the frontlines of their ministry. We encourage you to remember them daily in your prayers and remember that the fervent effective prayer of the righteous avail much.
Marilize is a mathematics teacher at Boland Lanbou High School in Paarl, near Cape Town in South Africa. She attends Calvary Chapel Paarl and spent two weeks with Stephanie Williams as part of a two week short term mission trip. For more information about Stephanie Williams and the ministry currently happening at Maforga please see our interview with Stephanie and her recent audio update.