Africa - Sed
By Sed Justus Fitzpatrick

Africa house church
This is Africa, one of our many "house churches". I chose to write about this church because it was here that God showed to me how he works in mysterious ways. It all started out when a fellow missionary friend of mine, and at the time, mission partner, Peter and I were called into my dad's office. The good thing was we were not in trouble; but we only had been given a scouting mission. A scouting mission is when you go to unknown villages and see if they have the Gospel or not. Well, Peter and I got our instructions which were, "There is a village called Calapana, they said they needed the Gospel, so I need you to go scout it out, and also, see if there is the possibility of plag a church there, it's somewhere over by Tlamaya Grande, I think they said below it. So after "church" in Cuatepalcatla check that out for us." Peter and I responded, "Yes Sir, we're going to get are backpacks." [Friday] (The brothers are here) "Los hermanos ya llegaron", is what Diego and Juan started shouting happily, as soon as they saw us. Yes, we got here, Cutzontipa, our first stop about 45 minutes away from The Village. Here is where we had a very powerful "Church Service", and stayed the night. A "Church Service" is where we have praise and worship for about an hour, then a sermon or two, to close it down we pray for all the sick and needy, and of course, the ending prayer. (If they are real sick, I send a text to my mom, and then they always end up being tended to). (Saturday) I wake up to Peter saying; "Wake up, Sister Hortencia made us a coffee- hopefully we don't miss the bus! Look its already 4:45 am!" So we prayed and gulped down our delicious boiling coffee, and ran out to meet the old beat up bus. At 6:30am we show up at Cuatepalcatla. We got there 2 hours early, due to the fact that there is only one bus for about 10 villages. So, after "church service", when we were all saying our "goodbyes", it just so happens that, Florentino- the nephew of the pastor at the church of Cuatepalcatla, decided to drop by and say "hello" to his Uncle- whom he only sees every few months. Some may think this was coincidence, I call it God sent. He also so happens to know where Calapana was, and had to pass by there on his way home. So we asked if he could show us where it was, and he readily accepted my offer. You know, its just not every day, that you see a 15 year old White boy, and an Aztec Indian; looking for a Totonaco village. So, we started out at 10am and made it to Calapana by 6pm. In Calapana there was already a small church of 14 people. So scouting mission accomplished!!! Florentino had said that he was from a village called "Africa" which, yes, did have a church years ago, before being abandoned when the pastor figured out he could not make any money off of them. So, most formerly converted "Christians" turned their backs to God and decided to return to their native religion- Catholicism mixed with witchcraft- in which they use the catholic saints just as they would use their pagan gods. Curiosity was killing me to meet this so called "San Antonio de la Africa". I was convinced even farther when Florentino said: "O, it's just up this hill." What he forgot to say is, "Oh yeah, we also have to cross a river, go through some woods, and then go up another half an hour of mountain." I enjoyed seeing God's amazing creation, though. Peter was able to spot a rabbit, a fox, and some parrots. I was able to spot some parakeets, and a toucan, and was able to capture with Florentino's help, a Papan Real which I quickly released, due to his awful squawks. Oh, and managed to be the only one with a leach on his leg. 10pm we get to Florentino's house and his family received us warmly, giving us what they could- a warm bowl of beans with salsa macha, and a few boards to sleep on. No need for blankets in Africa, it's almost always between 80 to 100 degrees F. A bottle of "Off" spray would of been good though, certain lessons you have to feel them to remember them. (Sunday) Around 6am we wake up and Florentino offers that after our breakfast to take us to meet all the "Brothers" that stood firm during all the tribulation. So, we did and with tears of gratitude they thanked God that they were not alone. That he had heard them and provided them not exactly with a blood family but with a Heavenly one. After setting up a House Church in Africa, I handed it over to a more elder and mature missionary, Juan Velazquez. Under the leadership of Juan the church has flourished, but more importantly the abandoned brotherhood, who had backslid, have now turned their backs to the idols, and are now on fire for God. Also, during the time that I was visiting Africa, Florentino accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Florentino was baptized in April of 2012, and is now one of are national missionaries. This was all possible by listening to God and obeying him.

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