[notice]Sean Feucht, founder of the worship and prayer movement, Burn 24/7 and a group of Burn 24/7 worship leaders from various nations, have just been on a short mission trip to support IRIS Ministries in Mozambique. Sean wrote this report for the Burn 24/7 website. Burn 24/7 coordinators in Port Elizabeth, Pete and Ali Gooch provided the pictures.[/notice]
Mozambique is a nation that has largely been neglected and lost amidst the many growing global crises breaking out in the media. Although you will rarely see this third poorest nation in the world peak through the headlines dominated by Isis infested Iraq, Ebola filled Liberia or the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the issues are very real and severe on these dusty streets. Our covenant friends at Iris Ministries (lead by Rolland and Heidi Baker) based in Pemba are currently experiencing some of their most fierce challenges in their 20-year-long history.
Not only are they still battling to recoup from some of the worst floods in the nations modern history (while fighting hunger, sickness, corruption and poverty) but government officials have maliciously and severely targeted them. Even as IRIS has faithfully and consistently served the poor, needy, sick and dying for two decades, virtually all-longstanding work visas have been denied and new ones are almost impossible to attain. This has resulted in the forced deportation of 90% of their long-term staff and brought many of their feeding, educational, training and outreach programmes to a screeching halt. They even had to relocate their 20th annual Harvest Missions School to South Africa during this trying time.
A holy crescendo
It was in this devastating context that 22 bright-eyed Burn 24-7 leaders converged on the hot Mozambiquan soil from 6 different nations. Leaving the comfort, convenience and safety of their first world realities (USA, Canada, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa), we showed up with a song resounding in our hearts and a hope blazing in our eyes.
Just as the prophet Jahaziel declared to King Jehoshaphat as the vast and mighty Moabite army was bearing down upon him, our message to IRIS and the believers across Mozambique was the same:
“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” – 2 Chronicles 20:15
For the first time in history, emboldened and hope-filled Jehoshaphat then mobilized and rallied worshippers and musicians to go out in front of the army and “praise him for the splendor of his holiness” (Verse 21). As the crescendo of their vertical worship filled the battlefield, the Lord set ambushes against the camp of the enemy and they were all destroyed.
It is on the precedent of this victory and many other Biblical and historical testimonies that we send worshippers into the war zones, slums, the Red-Light districts and every other hopeless situation on the earth. So it was in this spirit that we showed up during the darkest hour for IRIS and the nation of Mozambique. A holy crescendo was about to be released.
The first astounding miracle that took place was the reality that we all were allowed into the nation! This was the first team IRIS has hosted in months that has successfully gained access. Many previous teams have been turned back at the border. Our objective and goal on the ground was simple: Release the song of hope and breakthrough everywhere God would bring us. This ranged from far away outreaches to Muslim communities in the bush to the weary and heavy hearts working on the IRIS base.
We could fill pages and pages of testimonies from our short time there, but here are a few highlights of the Burn Mozambique 2014 short-term mission trip:
- Taught and lead worship for six sessions of the IRIS harvest school in Nelspruit, South Africa
- Daily prayed, sang over, fed and held hundreds of poor street kids
- Prophetic ministry to the Baker family and IRIS staff members
- Taught, trained and prayed over local pastors at equipping seminar
- Overnight bush outreach to a predominantly Muslim village
- Greeted and prayed over the three chiefs (main leaders) of the Muslim village.
- House to house evangelism and prophetic ministry in the village (crazy testimonies)
- Two nights of power evangelism crusades resulting in many salvations, healings and deliverances
- Most notable miracles was a deaf woman hearing for the first time and a demoniac women receiving complete deliverance
- Filled and hosted first ever 24 hour Burn at IRIS Pemba with International and Mozambiquan worship leaders
During the first evangelism night meeting, one of the most powerful moments was when healing began to break out across the multitudes. Our team was activated and praying for anyone and everyone that came down to the front. The village was hungry to encounter the miraculous and God was eager to give it!
A deaf woman came forward with barely any hearing in one ear and none in the other. As our team swarmed around her in joyful prayer, Heidi Baker began to instruct her in the local dialect as we backed up behind and began to call her name. First we yelled it from a foot away, then from 3 feet a little softer an then from 10 feet even softer. Even with the noise of the music on stage, she could perfectly hear her name all three times in the deaf ear and cried with thanksgiving! It was one of the most natural-supernatural moments I have ever seen! There was striving or pressing, but just an ease and grace for the miracles to happen!
This was a depiction of the grace that filled the entire trip from start to finish. From obtaining visas to organizing 22 flights from different cities and nations to setting up more than 25 different tents (without instructions and some with missing parts) in the bush for our team and IRIS staff, the flow of grace and miracles prevailed!
What a historic team and memorable trip to be apart of!
Against all hope
Possibly the most defining and moment forever emblazoned on my heart was the precious time with the Mozambique pastors. They are the real heroes of the faith. They are the real hope bringers, truth seekers and joy carriers. Only one day spent with them and I feel more poured into and blessed than I could possibly have given out in all our time there. It was that significant to my heart and the team.
This is the way if often goes on short-term trips. Although it is a sacrifice with high financial cost, lots of travel, time away from family and the catapulting into an unfamiliar culture, the benefits and takeaway far outweigh it all. For every open heart, there is an impartation to receive from their stories, struggles and resolve.
Pastors who lead thousands of church plants traveled in for the training. Over a plate of rice and beans cooked on the nearby fire, we began to hear their stories. When the floods came several months ago, the water was rising fast and covering so much that they had to move their entire congregations, families and children up into tall trees. For several days, many of them were stranded until the water receded and they could return to their damaged homes. Stories of widespread persecution, intimidation and fear tactics used by the hardline Muslims and government officials riveted our hearts as they recalled moments of deliverance and moments of pain. Even as they were recounting all their sufferings, they smiled with big white teeth and eyes permeated with hope! It was one of the most powerful moments of the trip!
Like Abraham carrying the promise of God for a family lineage “as numerous as the stars” while facing the grim reality of his old barren wife, so too these pastors were carrying the dreams and words in their heart stronger than the floods and persecution.
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed…” – Romans 4:18
Not only did our team come to release hope over Mozambique, but we also received it.