This is the latest update from Robert and Karis Koehn and family in Mozambique:
Ashley Ashmore, a special-needs teacher who will be with us for 9 months, and the Fuller family, Trey and Ashley and their girls Hannah and Noelle with another on the way, the first of three families to arrive. Everyone seems to be settled and is in the thick of learning both the Sena language and culture. Ashley A is homeschooling Caleb and working with Joseph. She is also working with a gal, Fatima, in our community who longs to go to school but who was rejected by the school system years ago following a stroke. Fatima is loving the attention and teaching from “Professora Ashley” and is also learning that she’s pretty special to her Creator.
You can pray for our new team members in their adaptation to life here and in the huge undertaking of learning another language. It’s an endeavor that can be accompanied with varying emotional highs and lows. Pray that we will coach them well. Also, please pray for the Bruza and Lill families as they continue to raise support to come join the team. There are discouraging days, especially when those they had hoped would be supportive, aren’t. Pray that the body of Christ would encourage these families and that all members would play their role in reaching the world.
Last month Rosário and Sara were married. They actually had been traditionally married for a while and had two children, but recently they decided to have a church wedding. Rosário wanted to communicate to his wife that he was now serious about their marriage and wanted to be faithful to her. Even though Rosário has had various leadership positions in the church, he has always avoided us, leading a secretive life. He is a masterful singer and quite charismatic, but a prisoner to the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. In the planning of the wedding Rosário began to visit us. We could see he was searching, wanting change in his marriage. He asked if we would give them marital counseling after the wedding. We shared that new life was what was needed; he agreed that they, especially Sara, did need to understand God better.
When the wedding was over, he approached us again, serious about wanting to make their marriage work. They were looking for rules to follow, a recipe for a happy marriage. They have heard countless times that for all to go well, for God to be pleased with you, you must comply with His rules of “Don’t”’s. So, what are the rules? Yesterday we met for the third time, and Rosário said, “OK, we have heard the stories from the Bible that you have told us. We understand that no one is just. Now, we need you to know that we want to be like you both. What is your secret? What kind of magic do you have? Share it with us.” It was time to focus on the Good News. This process amazes us. Two people are searching and wanting to know, but they are hearing strange words of God’s grace. Yesterday, they didn’t yet know how to process this Good News that is so foreign to everything the world and the “church” has ever taught them. Please pray with us that the Holy Spirit irresistibly draw them to Himself, open their eyes to the truth, and give them the new life that they need.
Rosário has had a rocky relationship with his dad for years. At the end of our time yesterday, he shared how his dad is calling his whole family together this weekend. The witchdoctor has said that their dead grandmother is the one that has been causing sickness in the homes of family members. The family with the witchdoctor’s help must summon her to see what she wants of them in order for her to stop punishing them. Rosário does not want to go. It will take much courage to refuse to obey this order. Things could get really sticky, but God . . .
Family news and other prayer requests: Daniel has now returned to Rift Valley Academy and is enjoying a good start to 11th grade. Robert is thankful to be finishing up construction of house #2 for the Bruza family. As we visit new churches with the Fuller family, Robert is called upon to preach each Sunday. I will be teaching a group of Sena women in another town this Saturday during their yearly church conference. Please pray that God’s Word will find good soil that will yield much fruit.
Not only has God made the accomplishment of His global purposes of Salvation hang on the preaching of the Word, He has also made the success of the preaching of the Word hang on prayer. God’s goal to be glorified in a world full of white-hot worshippers from every people and tongue and tribe and nation will not succeed without the powerful proclamation of the gospel by people like you and me. And that gospel will not be proclaimed in power to all the nations without the persevering, earnest, global, faith-filled prayers of God’s people. This is the awesome place of prayer in the purposes of God for the world. -John Piper
Please pray that God will raise up true Sena followers that will then disciple others.
We are so thankful for you, our support team,
Robert and Karis Koehn, Daniel, Joseph and Caleb