The biggest thrill for Louise and me, in everything the Father has us doing among the unreached, is exemplified by a recent experience. We were asked to travel to a very remote village on Inhassunge Island in the mouth of the Zambezi River near Quelimane, Mozambique – the endpoint of David Livingstone’s famous west-to-east crossing of south-central Africa in 1856. Justino, who I’d trained in a Yao village in northern Mozambique and who’d staffed the training I did in South Africa two years ago, is catalyzing a church planting movement among the largely M*sl*m Karungu people group on the island. As if that weren’t enough, Justino is also training up harvesters in a School of Frontier Mission right on the field!
The opportunity to teach in a location like Inhassunge Island is not an attractive one by any worldly measure. It involves very expensive, time-consuming, and exhausting travel; conditions are the opposite of comfortable; disease and other physical dangers abound; and it pays nothing. The students and staff are all Africans and, like every YWAM worker, they live on whatever comes in as gifts and donations. In their case, this means next to nothing. For the teacher from outside, this means that time, travel, everything needs to be seen as a donation and investment in the Kingdom of God. That is exactly how Louise and I view this privilege! We save funds for opportunities like this to invest in eternity. The return on what we invest is stunning.
The training took place in a village of less than a dozen mud huts with no electricity or running water. To get there I had to fly from Arkansas to Texas to London (7 hour layover and a free city tour with some short-term missionaries I met on the flight) to Johannesburg (overnight layover) to Maputo (one more overnight) to Quelimane. I was taken by car to board a ferry across the Zambezi River. On the other side, we tied my luggage onto a motorcycle, and two of us rode it for a half hour to the village. Whew!
Let me tell you just a little about the saints I was able to pour into during my training. All twelve are from southern Africa. The common language is Portuguese, though two speak English at home. They come from eight different nations (people groups) and four countries (Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique). Five are called to join Justino among the Karungu (the people in whose midst we trained), and the others are heading out to start movements among Yao, Tonga, Moniga, and Somali tribes. Their average age is 29, and there are three married couples training together. Their gratitude, dedication, and teachability were amazing. It was clear that, like my previous times training African workers, these disciples go and immediately put what they learn into practice. They just do it! These are men and women of whom the world is not worthy.
The fruit that comes from trips like this is immeasurable. Louise and I both feel it is one of the most powerful and effective things we do. It is worth the expense, the discomfort, the time apart, the inevitable attacks. (Satan HATES seeing the Kingdom advance like this!) Even being laid out for an entire week by malaria upon returning home did not dampen my enthusiasm over this advance of the Kingdom.
(Brian Hogan is a church-planting coach with Youth With A Mission and travels extensively to train others to start church-planting movements in unreached people groups. He lives with his wife, Louise, in Arkansas.)