SAM Ministries

SAM Ministries – Rick and Heather Neufeld

Rick and Heather (2015)

www.rickandheather.blogspot.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neufeld’s Email Update- July 2016-

I can hardly believe that in less than two weeks we will be starting our journey home to Canada. There are so many emotions running through our brains and hearts that it is hard to even express them all.  Suffice it to say it is a time of excitement, and looking forward to the future, mixed with a time of great sorrow and grieving the “loss” of a people, country and purpose we have dedicated ourselves to for 8 years.

 

In addition to the complex emotions we are confronted with, we have also been dealing with political tensions all around.  Our stretch of highway has now had a military escorted convoy for a month, meaning nearly all traffic in or out has been stopped except those coming with long lines of vehicles coming with one or two military tank type vehicles armed to the teeth driving in front of them. Thankfully the police have allowed us to continue our work as “normal” and we have been able to get to town and back without using the convoy which saves us a lot of time and stress for sure!  (pic is one of the military escorts for the convoy)

Unfortunately this convoy and the accompanying political tensions, as well as a sudden death in the family of one of our close colleagues here, has meant that Rick’s entire schedule of seminars and trips north had to be cancelled. It was frustrating and disappointing for him that he was unable to visit and fellowship with several of the communities that we have been close to during our time here, but we trust that God had a plan and knows what is best. As a result he has been able to assist with several other projects here on the farm and we have been able to tie up some loose ends as well which has been very helpful.

 

Just over a week ago, I (Heather) went out with Pastor Mariano and Marco to deliver orphan food for the last time.  As we told each granny that this would be my last visit to their home my heart broke a little- one of the grannys wiped my tears with her Capulana wrap and then wiped her own tears declaring “there, now we are TOGETHER”.  Others asked if we could leave a picture of our family with them so that the children would not forget their “mother from ASAM”.  It was an emotional day for sure. But it also cemented in my mind and heart that the last 8 years have not been in vain- they have made a difference- in their lives AND in mine!

 

The Simukai program has been moving along as well. Several of the literacy schools in our direct area have not been running right now as people tend to be more nervous when there are convoys and such going on, and so the “extras” seem to get left aside.  I am hopeful that in a month or so when tings seem more “normal” that the ladies will be confident to begin meeting together again and continuing with their studies. The craft room ladies however have been working hard and have continued to make a number of wonderful products.  Our last craft sale in Tete had a great turnout and we have sold quite a number of products.  It is exciting to see the women take pride in their work and eager to hear if people liked it at the fair.  Simukai were also featured in a English Language newspaper recently, that has a distribution area covering the Zambezi region- stretching thru Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, etc. Was really neat to be able to share about their work and the literacy program to a much wider audience than we normally reach!

 

We have also been able to fit in a few quick visits to friends- including one to our favorite Moz getaway- our friends lodge. They donated an animal for us to take the meat and use for our feeding program, so we made a quick trip up so Rick could hunt some yummy “nyama” (meat) for the feeding program at our school. We came back with an impala and there were a lot of VERY happy students the next day! We are so grateful for the friendships we have made over the years that have resulted in wonderful gifts like this being provided for our students.

 

The next two weeks will be a flurry of goodbyes and last minute sorting and packing. I am amazed at how much stuff we have accumulated! Rick will also be teaching at our Intensive Seminars for the pastor Monitors in our Faith Bible Seminary program which will be running for a week, starting this coming weekend.  We are praying for a good time of fellowship and learning with the pastors and that our time together will not be complicated too much by the stress of the convoy and situation around us at the moment.  The day after the seminars end, the staff here at the mission have planned a “festa” for us, to say goodbye and send us off – im quite certain it will be a time of dancing and singing as we remember our time here and the laughter and good times of ministry we have shared, but also a time of tears as we say goodbye to the mission staff who have become like our family, and whose families we will miss as well.

 

As previously mentioned we are talking with the mission to see how Heather may continue to be involved in the work of SAM Ministries. As the mission grows and as the base of support widens across Canada and the United States it is becoming more necessary to have someone on the ground in North America who can travel to various events, churches, conferences and schools to represent the mission, sharing about the various needs and projects and reporting on what God is doing in the field, especially in areas further away from the home office in Edmonton, and when there are no field staff at home on furlough.

 

A proposal has been made to the board that would allow Heather to stay on with the mission, co-ordinating sponsor admin and communication for the overall orphan program as well as being a representative for SAMM at various events, promoting the mission, it’s needs, special projects and sharing with churches and at conferences, etc.  The position would also allow her to maintain contact with both the Mozambique and Brazil teams by visiting them periodically to get updates, assist with projects, be involved with training, etc. The position has yet to be confirmed by the board, and obviously there are still some details to work out, but we are looking forward to being able to share it all with you soon. We also want to let you know, the intent is to have this be a part time position that Heather would receive a small salary for. She will be responsible for raising the support needed to cover the costs of her travel within Canada, her ministry costs, and any costs for ministry related trips to the Brazil and Mozambique fields, and as such would be needing monthly supporters and prayer supporters.

 

Again, at this point nothing is certain, as the SAMM Board only has their meeting towards the end of this month, after we have already left Moz, but we did want to give you a heads-up before we left, so you can both know how you can pray for us, and also how you can continue to support if you desire to do so.

 

In the coming weeks and months we know we are going to need a lot of prayer as we adjust to living in Canada again, leaving our home and work here in Moz, and all of the emotions and stresses that will come with that, for Rick and myself, but also the kids.  Specific prayer requests, and praises include:

 

-Health and Safety as we drive and fly.

-Smooth air travels with no delays etc, as well as easy border crossings, and no baggage/shipping issues.

-That our new home in Canada will be ready for us.(and we for it!)
- A smooth transition to school for the kids and that they will not be too far behind their peers.

-For the local staff and leaders we are leaving behind who we have worked with for years and who will now have a greater responsibility to shoulder.

-For the rest of the Missionary Team here who will now have to fill in the gap- and pray that God will call a family or couple who can come and assist with the ministry here. There is a great need.

-Praise for 8 years of ministry here in Mozambique! Praise that we are leaving, wishing we could stay longer, and not the other way around! Praise for the relationships built, the friendships made, the lives changed, the many time we have seen the hand of God in our lives and in the lives of those around us. Praise for the lessons we have learned and will carry with us in our hearts now covered in the dust of Africa. Praise for the provisions we have seen as we start our new chapter- a home, friends and family who are helping in so many ways, a vehicle for Rick, friends who are willing to pick us up during long layovers, etc.

Thank you Again, and God Bless,

Rick, Heather, Tendai and Ryan Neufeld

Thank You and God Bless,

Thank you again for all of your prayers and support. We appreciate you all so much, and covet your prayers in these last few months as the goodbyes loom and the stress of starting over again inches closer!

Blessings!
Rick, Heather, Tendai and Ryan Neufeld