A trip to Niassa - October 2016
It is interesting that at this same moment in time when one door seems to close for a while, God opens another door increasingly wide for ministry; this time among other prisoners, the Yao population of Malawi as well as the much larger Yao population across the border in Northeastern Mozambique. The capital of the Yao people, is in the small rural community of Chikonono in Niassa Province of Mozambique. Their tribal king even lives there, in his “palace” and he is called Sultan.
Kees was invited to come to Lichinga, the capital of Niassa Province, to work with the staff of the one-year-old FOT radio station. This station is in the middle of an almost entirely Muslim world. Amos has known the founder of FOT Radio, Bright Sonjera, for a number of years through a common connection of TWR. Since FOT started broadcasting on FM with powerful equipment and a 45-meter-high antenna, they have used Amos’ programs with a tremendous impact. The station has a staff of about ten Christians who are all just volunteers without any pay.
Kees and Amos went visiting a number of FOT’s “listener clubs” which became a real eye-opener. People were excited to meet Amos, and when Kees was allowed to preach about God’s love and introduce the ABT, the people everywhere became very happy; they wanted to know that God LOVES them, and long to get to know the Jesus of the Qur’an.
Twice Kees stopped the car along the road just to ask an Imam, or just three older Muslim men, if they had listened to FOT Radio, and if they would like to be able to listen to the Bible about God and Jesus. The people always responded with excitement.
We returned to Blantyre, Malawi on Friday, 7 October, and Amos wanted to meet up yet with a couple of YWAM people along our path who have been working in a rural chiefdom Itepela of fifteen smaller villages with some 11,000 people; for ten years now. The chief has become a Christian while he initially had fought hard against them About 300 other Yao people are members of house churches in these fifteen small villages. The pastor, one of the YWAM-ers and Pastor Pedro, hold frequently classes for the local Mosque teachers so that most, teach about the Jesus of the Bible in the Mosques. Pedro just about wept when Kees offered him the assistance of the Audio Bible Teachers. Kees and Amos gave him the last 12 of ABT's they still had as they can use them with high results in large quantities. Kees plans on bringing them another 300 of ABT's. These will be programmed for Mozambique with the Chichewa and ChiYao programs, while adding a Portuguese Bible.
There is A sense that a huge revival is brewing here among the people of Niassa Province as each ABT can do just about the work of a missionary.