MWOA Participant Testifies of God’s Provision in Africa

Honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God

Months before our trip, Milford Whitaker our team leader, asked us during our praying and fasting to have a scripture that would sum up why we were going on this mission trip.
For me The Holy Spirit gave me my verse very quickly. I just love it when He does that, but then I love everything The Holy Spirit does for me.

I Peter 2:17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God.

By Peggy Winslow

For me that summed up exactly what we were to do on this mission trip. So let me tell you a little about our amazing trip to Africa, Mozambique, Maputo, and Gumbane.

At the February 2016 Men and Women of Action I was asked by Mr. Don Johnson to lead a sewing team to Africa. It was and will forever be such a great honor. I accepted his passionate plea and so the journey began. Three other women that was there at the conference also agreed to go. Sue Routh, Sally Tysinger and Darnell McMath. Their husbands were going with the building team which we combined into one mission trip.
The building team was amazing and got more than was scheduled finished on the trip.
Thirteen houses roofed, another house worked on, solar panels framed, and an extra room built to store the sewing machines was an awesome job done by six men. Milford Whicker, Victor Whicker, Jimmy Routh, Ed Tysinger, Josh Richmond, and Robert McMath were our building team. Great job guys!!!

As the planning and collecting of all the needed supplies began we knew immediately that this was God’s plan and God’s perfectly designed mission trip. I put out word of where we would be going and what we would be needing and it came just like it was straight out of heaven.

We took five sewing machines that were equipped to handle the different voltage and all the needed supplies. A sewing machine by itself but without the needed supplies to go with it would be like a hammer without nails. Having the tool is wonderful but all thread, needles, pins, measuring devices in centimeters and etc., would be necessary to sew.

If you have never been to Maputo, Gumbane let me assure you it is far, far away.
So we had to be very careful on our luggage weight. Airplane companies love to charge you these days handsomely for your luggage so that was a consideration. The machines we were taking weighted 20 lbs.each, so that helped us know how many supplies we could take. We could have 2-50 pounds of luggage each. It sounds like a lot, but when you are taking heavy building tools the pounds add up very quickly.

Thankfully Celia Mendes, the missionary there in Maputo, was in the states visiting us before our trip so she took one of the sewing machines back with her. When she arrived back at Maputo she was questioned about the cost of the machine so they could determine the duty. She told them she had no idea, is was a gift and she had no receipt. So for us that became another consideration was having to pay duty on the machines when we got our luggage in Maputo. But God showed Himself faithful every time and in every way on this trip. This fact you will soon find out as this story continues.

Celia knew that the duty could be very expensive for us when we arrived in Maputo.
She prayed about it and God had an answer. One of the pastors in Maputo was a high racking official at the airport. Celia got in touch with him and asked what he could do to help us. He told her that he would take care of everything. He meet us at our gate when we arrived and lead us to the luggage carousel.

We were told in Johannesburg, Africa, one of our stops, that some of our luggage was only checked to there and not to Maputo. That meant that some of our luggage had to be received there and then had to be checked back in to continue to Maputo airport. Some of the luggage we had no idea where it was. Was it still in the states somewhere or flying to another unknown location??

God showed Himself faithful again. When the pastor took us down to capture our luggage off the carousel at Maputo, every single piece of our very needed luggage was accounted for, safe and sound. We were a very happy and grateful team, but there is still more to the luggage miracle.

The pastor that meet us at the airport gate got us through customs without us having to pay any duty! You read that right! One of the ex-rays showed one machine. They asked about it, but the pastor told the airport official that he was in charge and to let them go. What a very happy miracle we all shared! Prayers were answered. All luggage was there and no duty had to be paid. Hallelujah!!

Before I begin to tell you about the sewing I feel it most necessary to share something that really touched all of the sewing team hearts. When we got to Gumbane we meet Mama Maria. I true saint of God that had devoted her life to making Gumbane a heaven on earth in a dry and barren land for so many. She told us that God had given her a vision about the sewing 13 years ago and she had never forgotten but hung on to God’s promises. What a joy to us that God used us to fulfill His vision and His Promise to Mama Maria.

Let me share two prayers that the sewing team was praying before our trip. One prayer was for an interpreter so that what we taught would be understood. Portuguese is their language. Another was for God to give us two teachers that would have a natural gift for sewing and would enjoy teaching others. It is one thing to sew for yourself but it is quiet another to teach someone else to sew. As this story continues it will reveal again God’s amazing miracles in answered prayers.

Before we got there Celia had sent out word in the Maputo area that she needed an interpreter for the amount of days we would be there. Maputo is the capital city for Mozambique. It is a very large city with millions of people, but God is all I can repeat.
Americo Nhancale answered God’s call to come to Gumbane and live there while we were ministering there. He was an amazing young man. So patient, so kind, and a very hard worker that could sing like an angel. Just imagine for a moment listening to my southern accent and then interpreting every word that I said all day and telling it back in their language. It was God giving His Best to us all so that this work could be accomplished. Hallelujah!!

As the first day began the machines were unpacked and the work began. We were still praying that God would reveal to us the teachers that He wanted for this work to continue after we went home. And he did! One of the ladies I was teaching name was Glada. We had divided the students up two per machine and the team to help with those two. I noticed right away that she was very comfortable with what I was teaching. She listened carefully and followed every direction. Please understand that they had never seen a sewing machine or held a pair of scissors. I told Americo to ask her if she would be willing and able to stay with me every day all day so I could teach her more than the others and if she thought she could then teach others. I hope you caught her name. Glada said she would be “glad” to do that. Hallelujah! One down God, one to go.

In the other class we were looking again prayerfully for another teacher. This time her name was Precious. Precious took to sewing like a duck to water! It was simply amazing.
God answered our prayers again with two wonderful and gifted teachers that could continue sewing classes after we were long gone.

God also gave me a new daughter at Gumbane and her name is Martinha Makateco Raimunda Sive. I call her Marta. She is an amazing young missionary and Mama Maria’s neice. She is brilliant and has a degree in analytical chemistry, but God called her to teach the children in Gumbane about Christ. She will also be a very important part of the sewing enterprise that will soon be started at Gumbane making it possible for the first time for the ladies to make money to support their families and the entire community. She also learned to sew and quickly began helping us teach.

Another concern we had was with power for the machines. They had only one generator. It required fuel so that was a concern for long term use of the machines. Also the generator was needed for other things. Celia had taken money that had been given to her when she had come to America and purchased 4 solar panels. The building team made frames so the solar panels could be tilted toward the sun the get the most use of the sun. The solar panels then filled up a battery with power. The battery was carried to the sewing room and the machines was plugged into it. We held your breaths and prayed. But God, showed up again and yes all 5 machines ran perfectly. He will provide the power free from the sun to operate the machines. Hallelujah!!

One of the things that we did not have to bring with us on the trip was fabric. Africa has the most beautiful fabric in the world and it is very reasonably priced compared to our fabric in America. They call them capulanas. They do about everything with them. Woman wear them as skirts but the cut edge ravels. With the sewing machines they immediately wanted to hem them. They was so excited because they could wear them longer if the edges was hemmed and secure.

The first project we made was a simple draw-string bags. After they all finished those successfully, we felt they were good to go for a little more complicated project.
One of the great needs was for washable sanitary pads. Celia had told us that they had nothing and not just for their personal hygiene, they survive on nothing. They are the happiest and deepest people in the Word I have ever witnessed. They have nothing but their faith walk is daily, something we as Americans have no understanding of doing.

The last day of sewing I asked if anyone had any questions. One brave soul said yes, “What is this?”. They had sewed for days, being obedient and carefully doing every step, but they had no idea what they had made.

Early in the week Celia had explained to Marta what we would be making. I asked Americo to leave for a few minutes so we could have some girl talk. Marta explained and they looked at us with total surprise. Their eyes were wide open in amazement. They were thrilled beyond words. I wish I could explain to you their joy and happiness but there are not enough words to do that. They laughed with joy, they danced with joy, they hugged with joy, they sang with joy. Joy was in the air. The men was working far out from the sewing room, but they could hear us celebrating. One of them asked me when they stopped working for the day. “What was that we heard from the girls”. I said, “that was the sweet sound of freedom”.

I have one more miracle. The Sunday we were leaving another church asked us to come to their service. Because it was pretty close to the airport, Celia agreed that we could come by for a little while. That morning some of the guys had noticed that there was some smoke inside the van and when we got to church there was oil on the ground. We had the great privilege to minister to 7 different churches because we divided up into groups during the week.

We had to get to the airport. It takes awhile to get all 10 of us checked in and get through security. When we pulled up to the right place at the airport we all got out quickly and ran inside to get checked in. Celia was waiting at the entrance to say a final good bye. When some of us got checked in, we went back to get our hugs and say good bye. Celia told us that the van had died. They had to push it out of the front of the airport. Another wonderful miracle! God is so Good!! If we had not got to the airport when we did, we would of had to change all our flights. It would of cost thousands of dollars to do that.
But God is all that I can say.

The sewing was a great success. God’s vision for Mama Maria and Mr. Don Johnson was true. What a great blessing and honor to be used of God to accomplish His Perfect Will. Our lives will forever be changed because we got to know real joy and happiness does not come from what we have or do not have, it only comes from the Holy God we serve! Hallelujah!!

God’s humble servant,

Peggy Winslow

(Source: Men and Women of Action)

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