In 2008 whilst walking in the bush of Vilanculos we came across an old lady picking up berries in a tin can. When we asked her what she was doing she told us she was gathering food to eat. We asked to visit her. Carlotta’s total worldly possessions consisted of a reed house that was falling down, a blackened pan, a broken bowl and a tin cup. That day it was as if Jesus opened our eyes to the plight of the elderly in rural Mozambique and as we walked hours into the bush we found more and more need. Old people abandoned and living under trees or bits of plastic, struggling to fetch water with buckets that had holes in them. Hardly any clothes. No latrines. Surviving by growing a few peanuts, mandioca, and corn. Here we found ‘the least’ and felt God’s compassion and call to show them His love by providing new homes, food, pans, water buckets. Many of them were sick and so Mandy tended to them. We visited together with a Mozambican team of Christian ladies and it was wonderful to pray together for each person and share encouragement from the bible. Some people couldn’t understand why we would spend ourselves on such old people who seemingly had not long for this world. But God’s love has no limits: from a baby to an aged grandmother, God desires each person to know the love of His Son, Jesus. And that understanding often comes through our acts of compassion.
In 2010 we managed to raise funds for our first vehicle! And so we extended our reach to the surrounding villages of Vilanculos. In partnership with Aglow Mozambique, a Christian organisation whose focus is prayer, unity and love, we set up small village aglow groups which became our focus for ministry. We would visit to preach, pray and see the sick and assess and meet any desperate needs. In the Aglow Centre of Chiruala Mel and Bento put on a yearly bible course for the poorly resourced church leaders and welcomed many villagers some of whom walked for hours to attend.
Since 2008 Mandy has trained many village health workers and every year has seen and helped hundreds of sick people with various diseases ranging from Malaria, TB, Aids, Elephantiasis, to asthma, worms, high blood pressure, various tropical infections and wounds. We have carried many sick folk to the hospital and provided for their needs.