Hospital Ministry and Naming Babies

Today has been a very special day for me. I got to go do hospital ministry with Love More, Chad, and Zhenya. We went on foot because the hospital is not very far from here. Love More wanted to take some bananas to the hospital patients, so we walked through the village and down to the market to buy them. Walking through a Mozambican village is certainly an experience! The kids all got really excited about seeing white people, and followed after us yelling "muzunga!" and "good afternoon!" in Portuguese. Muzunga comes from a Swahili word that means (I think) 'the restless people'. That fits Americans pretty well, doesn't it? We also passed a mother sitting beside her house with a newborn baby. Love More stopped to talk to her for a moment, then turned to us with an unexpected request. "She wants you to help her name her baby." He said. Well, baby naming was about the last thing I'd been expecting to do, but Chad, Zhenya, and I put our heads together and managed to come up with a few name suggestions. Love More passed them to the mother, and she chose Miriam, a name I'd suggested. I named a Mozambican baby today! How awesome is that? The rest of the way to the hospital, I prayed for little Miriam. I asked God that she would grow up into a strong, healthy young woman with a passion to serve Him.

All of the hospital patients were little children. Several of them were suffering from malaria. We gave some bananas to their mothers and prayed with them. I'm not sure what was more heart breaking - seeing the sick children, or seeing the desperation and hopelessness in the eyes of their mothers. I felt really led to sit down next to the mothers (many of whom are about my age) and ask God to grant them strength, peace, wisdom, and patience, as well as drawing them closer to Him. Love More and Zhenya ended up talking to the mother of one little boy for a very long time, so Chad and I pulled off and went around the room to pray for the other children. I could feel a lot of demonic darkness in that place, especially after I prayed for a little boy who I think had some kind of mental problem. I could feel a lot of hatred and malice coming from the corner of the room where that baby was. I cast Satan out in the name of Jesus, and asked God to send His Holy Spirit to fill up the place. The demonic presence started pressing in on me, but I reminded Satan that I am a child of the King, and he has no power over me. The evil presence left, and God's peace washed over me. While all this was going on, Love More had been sharing the Gospel with one of the mothers. She accepted Christ, and we all prayed with her and her boy. Her child has a lot of problems. I believe he is semi-paralyzed and has malaria and an ear infection/disease. It will be awesome to see what God has done in their lives when I go on hospital ministry next time.

On the way back home, Love More started teaching us some Sena. Sena is the local tribal language and I think I want to focus on learning it so I can speak to the people in their mother tongue. Carla told me that it's really special to the Mozambicans if missionaries can speak Sena. Sena has a lot of really cool guttural sounds made with the back of the throat and the tongue. I think it will be a lot of fun to learn!