Mozambique (MNN) — The drought in southern Mozambique is taking a toll on the people. Crops are drying up, dying, and refusing to grow. The drought has stretched on for nearly two-and-a-half years. Only a few one-hour drizzles have touched the lands, “which means that there are a lot of people who are hungry,” Audio Scripture Ministries missionary Chad Vanden Bosch says.
“Their fields, their farms, have not produced very well for the past two years.”
People are leaving to join family members in more water-prosperous areas, but others have nowhere to go. So, they stay, hoping for the rain to return.
The Guardian reports no one has died of hunger, but there are above-average cases of illness and malnutrition. If these sicknesses persist, supplies needed for recovery are few and far-between.
Relief Web reported last month that more than 56,000 people were in need of immediate food assistance – this does not include those who are also in need of water.
The southern part of the country is looking like a withered and cracked sandbox. As the dry days drag on, hope for rain, supplies, and food is drying up with it.
Vanden Bosch and his wife are missionaries in Mozambique. Though currently on furlough, the couple will be returning to the country next week. Vanden Bosch says the people are struggling, but God is still moving through ASM Mozambique.
There is a huge thirst for Living Water, and a downpour of God’s grace.
“We just had a shipment of audio Bibles arrive so we have nearly 2,000 audio Bibles, which the Lord has provided for our ministry there. So, we’re looking forward to doing the distribution. Unfortunately, that’s where we’ve had some difficulties.”
The Mozambique ministry base is located in a hotbed of fighting from insurgents.
“It has manifested itself into a low level guerrilla warfare in a number of parts of the country. What that means is that there’s a lot of people who are displaced, a lot of people who are living in fear, not knowing what’s going to happen in the immediate future, if there is going to be an immediate civil war, or if this is something that will blow over.”
There have been attacks along the main roads, most of which surround the operations base. “It makes it very difficult to plan to be able to bring the audio Bibles to areas where they really need to be.”
Further, while on furlough in the U.S., Vanden Bosch received word that the van used for Scripture distributions was totaled. Without the van, ASM team members are vulnerable to attack, and they have less access to people who need God’s Word in audio format.
Vanden Bosch specifies the team does not feel directly threatened, but there is constant uncertainty. “You never know when something’s going to erupt and you could be too close to it and get caught up in it.”
The missionaries have a fundraising campaign for a new vehicle, and have gathered around 75-percent of the funding they need. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to go back into Mozambique without a vehicle, Vanden Bosch shares, but you can help. Click this link to help fund a new audio Bible distribution vehicle.
As Vanden Bosch and his wife return to the nation next week, will you pray for safety over the team and for rains?
“We find ourselves very discouraged and disheartened, but at the same time, we do get those glimpses of God’s glory every once in a while that just make all the hard effort and all the difficulties worth it. Every time we do an audio Bible distribution, we are incredibly blessed to see how God’s people are interacting with His Word.”
Please also be praying for changed hearts and renewed hope as audio Bibles are distributed.