“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Mark 16:15
As Adventure In Missions, we have heard this call and have decided to respond. A team of 22 individuals from the ages of 7 to 60, heard the specific call to climb into a small fishing boat, cross the ocean to arrive in Mangulile, a small coastal village that had never received missionaries before.
Mangulile is not accessible by road. To arrive at the shores of Mangulile, you must travelalong the Atlantic coast for 25 minutes by boat. The blue waters shine with beauty and are the key source of income for the main industry of fishing, along with the agriculture of plantains and corn that dominate in Mangulile.
Upon arriving at the coast of Mangulile, one first notices the beauty of the pure nature. The sandy beaches have never been crowded with tourists, the waters have not been reached by cruise ships, and the mountain’s jungle has never been cut back. It would be easy for one to be overcome by the beauty of this magical place, but the injustice and poverty that its people face remains.
We introduce you to Angie (right), a girl with the most tender and loving heart that truly captured our hearts. She loves the Lord Jesus Christ and wants to serve him. But she is also only sixteen and a single mother of a tiny baby. She, like the rest of the children living in Mangulile, has only completed grade six. She has no real hope, because there is no real work for a woman in her village. All she can imagine is asking the Lord to send her a good husband who can provide for her and her son by fishing or farming.
The injustice that the people of Mangulile face does not allow them to fall into self-pity, but rather encourages them to seek the face of the Lord. We introduce you to Doña Paula (right) and Doña Bachita (left). These incredible women were ecstatic to meet us as we arrived in their homes, exclaiming, “We have been waiting six years for the missionaries to arrive!” Indeed the Lord had spoken to them six years ago that he would send a group of Western missionaries to support them. Praise God we were able to be the ones to respond to that call!
Upon receiving this word from the Lord, Doña Bachita began to save all her money to build a house for the future missionaries to stay. Simply by faith, a single woman, living in a village with no other cement houses, saved to put down every cement block to build a house with multiple bedrooms. She organized a car battery to provide the power needed to have one light bulb for us. And cooked for all 22 of us on her little clay oven. These women are heroes of the faith and we are blessed to serve alongside them and pray in faith for even greater things to be done in Mangulile.
During our time in Mangulile, we served alongside the church in children and youth ministry, worship and teaching, medical care, and construction. We desired to show them the gospel not only in our words, but our actions. God had sent us because he had seen their suffering and desired to bless and encourage them. We had the opportunity to build a home for a family of six.
This is the old house where the children slept, with water leaking through the roof and flooding the dirt floor during rainy season. The mother cooked over an open fire, burning her eyes and filling all of their lungs with harmful smoke. This family will now have a tin roof and cement floor to protect them from disease.
One day as we played on the beach with many of the youth and children, and they invited us to go on an amazing adventure. To walk to the most beautiful place covered in tropical uva trees. They called this place Puerta Escondida, meaning “Hidden Door”. And it truly was a magical place as we realized that it was hidden from the rest of the world. That no other missionary had arrived to share the good news of Jesus with these beautiful people. And that we were the first ones to walk these beaches, leaving our little footprints, but allowing God to use us to leave enormous, beyond our imagination, impacts in the lives of those we met in Mangulile and our own lives.
As we prepared to leave Mangulile, the church of Christ was there to say their goodbyes and their thanks. It was incredible and humbling to be thanked, and to realize who deserved the thanking, as they had taught us what it meant to have faith and to trust and to love and to serve.
Mangulile has captured our hearts, just as it has captured God’s.
He desired to send us there to stretch us, without the availability to running water, or electricity, or the comforts of a bed, and to show us his love for the nations. We have accomplished God’s initial call to go and completed the prophecy, but we pray that God will take us back!