He decided to take a different route home from school to avoid the mean kids. The new route brought Messias in front of our church, where he was invited to our kids’ ministry. He became one in a sea of new faces as we launched Hope Baptist Church in Maputo, Mozambique.
Messias and his friend Augusto (inset photo) became the most faithful junior-age kids, though neither had parents who cared whether or not they got up for church. After over a year of not missing a service, they were each awarded their own Bible.
One day Messias asked me how he could evangelize his dad, but he later told me he was really asking for himself, to make sure he understood what he needed to do to be saved. He settled it the same day.
As a young teen, Messias often got into trouble and his dad would ask for our help to “steer” him. The pull toward sin has been strong, yet Messias has grown to stand firm among his peers. Often his testimonies are about nuggets discovered in the Scriptures or opportunities to witness to classmates who later visited church with him.
Messias occasionally did odd jobs for us to earn money for necessities, and he continues to do so. He began playing a flutophone with Zuleide, a former colleague, which flamed his interest in music.
Since churches have reopened, Messias has been more active in the children’s ministry—the place where he began. We teach the juniors’ class together, and he makes the stories come alive as he weaves Bible truths with the lesson.
Always available for a workday, to help with kids’ ministries, or work the sound/projector system for church, Messias has also become a part of our leadership team and has preached on Wednesday nights. I often see him inconspicuously helping in ways that no one else has thought of.
As his interest in serving with music has grown, we have invested in Messias’s piano lessons. After a year he has grown to where he is able to play most anything in our hymnal—with both hands! He is our ONLY musician and gives lessons to others in our church.
Joel and Joanie Troester served in Brazil for 10 years before transferring their ministry to Mozambique, where Brazilian colleagues were serving.