Quote a long time back I posted “Fast Forward”. Now things have changed and I am doing “Slow Forward”.
Backing up a bit, Twyla and I moved to Mozambique in 2010. We loved the people, the location and the work that Papa God gave us to do. In May of 2016 .. just a few days after our 6th Anniversary in Mozambique .. Twyla suffered a severe stroke and after a few days passed away.
Her death left me in quite a daze. I mean, we KNEW intellectually that something like this could possibly happen. We had Missionary friends who died on the field. We were not young and the possibility was always there .. except I think I felt we were kind of exempt. Whatever. It was a hard thing to take.
My daughters flew in from the States and helped me close out things as much as we could in a few days, then we returned to the U.S. and began the process of finding life again.
I am living near Georgetown, Texas on my daughter and son-in-law’s place. I have been doing ranch work – fixing fences, cutting grass, fighting fire ants … and learning to live without Twyla. I have been able to set up my reloading bench and bullet casting stuff which has been very therapeutic for me. I don’t have much of a place to shoot yet, but I just joined a local private shooting range and will soon have access to that.
Since Twyla’s death I have been working to get a computer classroom built in Pemba, Mozambique in her honor. She had trained a local Mozambican to run the class and after her death I gave him all the equipment. He has been doing a great job! Soon we will have a building dedicated solely to teaching computer. It is named appropriately, Mama Twyla’s Computer Class. I will be traveling back to Mozambique in May to help dedicate the building.
I am not sure where I will be going from here, or what I will be doing. And I appreciate your prayers in that regard.
The is the building at the present .. almost finished!
Hmm… seems I last published something on here in 2002!!! Oh well .. let’s fast forward to the present. In 2008 I led a Short-Term Mission Team to the African nation of Mozambique. The trip lasted 3 weeks and burned an indelible impression upon all of us. Twyla and I determined that we would return.
Over the course of the next year we were in touch with Iris Ministries about various projects and the end of it all was that they agreed they would like us to come in 2010. We went to work and sold basically everything we owned. I sold almost all my firearms, keeping only family heirlooms and a few special ones. Twyla sold all that was dear to her. We felt we wanted nothing holding us back. In April we sold our property in Missouri and May 5th we stepped onto Mozambican soil in Pemba!
The first month I helped prepare for the incoming Harvest Missions School (which is run twice a year). We attended the Missions School for 3 months and after graduation began working at our jobs in earnest. What we are doing is developing a herd of milk goats to produce milk and milk products for the children in the Center.
This is no easy task as it seems to have not been done here before. And in Africa, everything is one step forward, two steps back at times. Yet the Lord has been good to us and we are making wonderful progress.
We have initiated classes teaching Goat Care and Management to the older boys and girls. Loving animals is not a normal part of the culture in this part of the country … especially with the village children. So we are teaching them how to be kind to the animals, to make friends with them, to love them, pet them and handle them gently. It has been neat to see the response.
We have a milking barn under construction and it is nearly finished. We have run a water line into the goat pens and built a trough so the goats have a constant supply of water. And we are having new fences built all the way around plus a separate pen for the male goats. Separating the males and females has not been done here and so we are introducing new ways of doing things. Introducing new things takes a long time! Just like Church!
I have not fired a gun in year but truthfully, I cannot say I miss it. The work here is challenging enough and we are so into learning a new culture and language that I haven’t had much time for it anyway. I did wish I had my shotgun when a spider about the size of my baseball cap showed up on the back porch! That sucker could run fast than me! The stuff of nightmares.
Anyone interested can follow along on our website http://www.sarayuinternational.org … we have more up to date photos on the blog there.
I have been “in the ministry” since 1970, getting started first of all in street ministry during the “Jesus People” days. I preached and witnessed on street corners in Phoenix, AZ and hung out at the various Christian Coffee Houses then flourishing all over the city. The main two that I frequented were The Searcher’s End and The Open Door. By God’s design I ended up running the Open Door (along with a friend who was older in the Lord than I). We saw many people come to Jesus, delivered from drugs, alcohol, crime etc. in those days.
Eventually I started attending Bible School at nights and was ordained in 1973. I have not pastored very many Churches, having never moved around much. I helped start a Missionary work in Cave Creek, AZ in 1972-73. In 1978 I moved to Oracle, AZ and took over a new work there, working with the Lord as He built the Church. It is a thriving work today. In Jan. of 1990 we moved to Mt. Vernon, MO and took up the work here where we are today.
In between all this we did Mission Outreaches into the Baja Peninsula, some itinerant preaching ( I hate to call the work I did “evangelist”), worked as a Correctional Services Officer for the State of Arizona at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence, AZ, and in the middle “80’s” began writing for Gun Week as a contributor and later as a Contributing Editor. Firearms have been a part of my life from the time I was a small child. On the ranch I was raised on they were just part of the tools you used every day and were taken for granted. That is, you never went anywhere without one.
We raise a few cows still and, in addition to the Church, I do website development and design. My wife and I have a small home-based business called Just Write Word Processing.
My wife Twyla and I have been married 28 years and have 2 daughters and 4 grand-daughters. The daughters are OK 🙂 the grand-daughters are WONDERFUL!!
My vision for the Church is a people through whom Jesus is seen, no matter what job they have or where it is. If Christ is real in us, He will be real whether we are Prison Guards, writers, lawyers, farmers, ranchers, and whether we are working or hunting or playing, He is still real in us. No matter what life throws at us we should be able to face it and get through it with His help. That is one of the main thrusts of my teaching.
The Church I shepherd is called “Christ Chapel” and is located on Highway 39 just north of the town of Mt. Vernon, Missouri. I have been here a little over 10 years now. The Church family here is a close-knit group who care for one another in practical ways. If you are in the area please feel free to drop in and visit us.