The trip that didn’t seem possible
Published: October 26, 2016

In April 2016, in the middle of a busy ministry of church planting and training pastors and leaders, Brazil missionaries Bill Kettlewell received an invitation to teach 34 pastors in Mozambique—and he would have to leave in just four weeks. Strongly sensing the Lord’s leading, Bill and his wife, Dorothy, quickly prepared and sent e-mails to supporters explaining the trip, its urgency, and its expense. Soon, they were overwhelmed with promises to pray and provide financial support.

God’s breathtaking provision

The Lord provided in many amazing ways. The day before Bill left, a Brazilian man unexpectedly stopped by with 10 high-quality Portuguese study Bibles (Portuguese is spoken in both Brazil and Mozambique). After some tense days of waiting, the visas for Bill and the Brazilian pastor traveling with him, Valdir, arrived just in time. Bill and Dorothy wondered, “If just getting this far in our journey was so God-ordered and breathtaking, what was the rest of the journey going to be like?” They were not disappointed.

Arriving in Maputo, Mozambique, Bill and Valdir thought they had cleared customs until the agent asked for payment. Without thinking, Bill handed the man one of the paperback New Testaments he brought. The man let them go through. Bill and Valdir were greeted by Divino, a Brazilian missionary serving in Maputo. Divino brought them to the home of Joel and Joanie Troester, BMM coworkers who formerly served with them in Brazil.

I didn’t sleep all night!

Joel shared how 22 young men showed up at their church in January with many spiritual questions. They had been studying the Bible for two years on their own while seeking someone to answer their questions.  On Friday night, two of the young men, Eduardo and Nelson, came over for a fellowship. Nelson showed Bill his well-worn and marked-up Bible. Bill asked what he desired most to help him study the Word. Without hesitation Nelson said, “A good study Bible.” Bill excused himself and came back with two of the study Bibles from his suitcase. It was as though he had given candy to kids. The next morning Bill casually asked Nelson how he had slept. His response was, “I didn’t sleep; I spent the whole night studying my new study Bible!”

Hanging on every word

The main goal of Bill and Valdir’s trip was to teach 34 pastors from remote areas of Mozambique. Many of them traveled two or three days by truck, bus, train, and foot to attend the workshop. Preaching to them was an enormous joy, as they hung on every word. Bill and Valdir also spoke at youth meetings, where the young people spent an hour asking questions that revealed they were not only listening to the preaching but they were also reading and studying their Bibles. Finally, Bill and Valdir visited a rural area, where they spoke to a gathering of seven churches full of people eager to hear God’s Word.

When Bill received the invitation to teach in Mozambique, he initially wondered how God could make such a trip possible. In the end, God provided for every need. Not only that, but the Mozambican believers, so hungry for God’s Word, brought Bill much joy and demonstrated a remarkable example of focus and dedication.