from Jon and Margaret Scott in Mozambique
SCOTT NEWS in JUNE 2006
Pictures at http://public.fotki.com/jonpaulscott
- BLESSING. Three-months of furlough, filled with family & dear friends.
- RELIEF from writing as dissertation for PhD is submitted at the U of Pretoria.
- RECONNECT in April with colleagues in JoBurg & Maputo Bible School
- ADVENTURE. Overland travel, animals, visit to Mary Moffatt’s tomb.
- EXCITEMENT. At last, many extension school students are finishing.
- AUTHENTIC EMPOWERMENT. District licenses means empowerment.
- JOY. Beheld and shared in many places
- FATIQUE. Well, yes.
- CHALLENGE. That, too. [details follow ... just click]
BLESSING. Since the Lord has given us such wonderful stories to tell, deputation is always enjoyable and Jan-March 2006 was no exception. Jon did almost all the traveling alone. He enjoyed district tours in NORTHERN CAL, OREGON PACIFIC, MICHIGAN, PITTSBURG, plus churches in Gaithersburg, MD, Auburn, NY, and Kirkland and Puyallup, WA. Margaret spoke in three churches but usually “played the grandma card” as Andrea calls it and stayed in the East, storing up hugs and lap time with our three charming granddaughters – Zoe Elisabeth Scott in Philadelphia and Maria Gabrielle and Maia Carina Popa in Quincy, MA.
RELIEF. Every one who has written a dissertation as well as every mother has experienced the sweet relief of the actual delivery of the baby/thesis! Everyone around us from just after Christmas until May10th patiently helped us bear the weight of the task. “Margaret’s” thesis, using a participatory action research design documents learning among the pastors-in-training across Mozambique, thus had many people work on the field research. She wrote almost 400 single-spaced pages which Jon read and reread.
RECONNECT in April with colleagues in JoBurg & Maputo Bible School. We picked up the reins to move forward again with Jon coordinating the Jesus Film Teams in Mozambique, Margaret coordinating theological education by extension and both teaching modules at the Bible School in Maputo. Many families have experienced the death of loved ones – disease takes such a toll here — the passing of several around us are sobering.
ADVENTURE. Our Field Director, now called Field Strategy Coordinator was in the States during June so he asked Jon to preside over 16 district assemblies, all over Northern and Central Mozambique. Overland travel to the sites is definitely full of ADVENTURE. Our missionary colleague, John Fillmore, going to Nampula for the first time, helped Jon drive North. Then Margaret joined Jon for three weeks, for 10 assemblies. Jon is still holding others.
ANIMALS. We saw several pretty cool animals in our travels on the roads of Mozambique: lots of monkeys, small wild cats—probably one a genet, a jackel, a couple of mongeese, spotted hyenas, several snakes, rabbits and varying-sized rodents and large birds (ground hornbills, eagles and a bustard), and a beautiful bright green backed, red throated bird. Night had almost fallen when we drove into the Catholic enclave where Mary Moffatt linvingston is buried. There in the cemetery on the bank of the Zambezee, the mosquitos were thick but the pinks, violets and orange hues of the sunset were exquisite as we stood near a place of significant history.
EXCITEMENT. After many of us working on the extension curriculum since we arrived in May 2000, at last, many extension school students are finishing the one of the certificates of the three-certificate ordination track. If the students are pastors and approved by their district assembly, completion of the first certificates means that they can be licensed by their district. Then they can serve communion and baptize in their local churches. Results?
AUTHENTIC EMPOWERMENT and JOY were the results. What a privilege to be in six district assemblies in which pastors received their first certificates and district licenses! Now they are authorized to serve communion and baptize in their local churches, empowering them to be “real pastors”, hence, the broad smiles, applause, and joyful singing in celebration of their real achievement. One of the six district superintendents, especially happy because he has no other licensed ministers in his district, stuck tight to his 3 licensed men after the assembly, sat them at the head table and excitedly made plans for their further study – with him as their trainer. Three other district superintendents in other districts are also active pastor-trainers.
FATIQUE. Well, yes. After the assembly in Nampula West, as we traveled to the city of Nampula, only 221 km (140 miles). We had averaged 70 km/hr. the day before on dirt roads, even when we were driving at night. But the ruts from vehicles which had been mired in the mud during rainy season and the gullies gouged in the road kept us to an average of 20 km/hr…for 11 straight hours. That was the most tiring of our days.
CHALLENGE. That, too. Remember the old song, “I can see for miles and miles”? As we get older, we sometimes wish we could see farther down the pathway. Missionary service certainly has changed in the over-30 years now that we have been serving, but it has especially changed in the last 5 years as so very many missionaries are leaving. One of our colleagues counted over 100 missionaries have retired, transferred or left Africa so, of course, leaving the field is a common option to think about. We want to continue to hear the Lord directing our steps. Please pray with us for that acuity, and for wisdom and love to carry out our responsibilities, and for our Mozambican leaders who are shouldering so many responsibilities. A gift from heaven will be the coming in October of a Work and Witness Team from Puyallup, WA, one of our home churches, to finish the TEE center in Nampula. Halleluia! With this large local church and other mission groups, we partner for the reaching of the unreached people group in the North, the Mwani.
Trusting in God and thankful for you,
Jon and Margaret Scott