Josh & Chelsea McManus went as missionaries to the nation of Mozambique. On today’s episode of The Evangelism Podcast they are going to talk about the preparation to get to the mission field, what they saw God do while they were on the mission field, and what their return to Canada has been like.
Connect with SAM Ministries in Mozambique: https://samministries.org/
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Josh & Chelsea McManus went as missionaries to the nation of Mozambique. On today’s episode of the evangelism podcast. They’re going to talk about the preparation to get to the mission field, what they saw God do when they were on the mission field. And then what their return back to Canada has been like. Let’s listen to their story as they share about their mission’s adventure in the nation of Mozambique.
Evangelism Podcast Host (00:29):
Jesus said go into all the world and preach the gospel. Everyone who calls in the name of the Lord shall be saved. Welcome to the evangelism podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews, full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now here’s your host missionary and evangelist Daniel King. Welcome
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:05):
To the evangelism podcast. I’m Daniel King. And I’m excited about telling people about Jesus today. I have two very special guests with me, Josh & Chelsea McManus. And they have recently returned to Canada from being missionaries in the nation of Mozambique. And so I wanted to talk to you today about the whole journey of how you prepared to go to Mozambique and then what God did while you were there. And then this whole process of coming back to Canada and experiencing Canada after having lived in Mozambique. And so Josh kind of tell me, what is it that really prompted you and your wife to have a desire to be missionaries and to go serve the Lord on the mission field?
Josh McManus (01:55):
Yeah, so for a long time, I’ve really wanted to to experience missions and yeah, I’ve, like I said, I’ve had the desire since I was a young child, so met my wife, we got married, we both had a heart for missions and we weren’t exactly sure where we wanted to end up, but kind of through a lot of neat connections and a lot of divine, I would, well God’s Providence. We ended up finding Sam ministries. And so I remember the one night we had coffee with the field director or the, the mission leader named Dwight Leor. And I just love him. He was such a cool guy, super honest. He just really challenged us to just to try out some ministries and see what they’re all about. So yeah, through a couple more vehicles, I ended up getting a small time off of work while still maintaining my job. Chelsea quit her job. And we met Mozambique, I think in 2016 for two to three months. And we just fell in love. It was it was a really, really fun.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:55):
Now you didn’t just go for a short term missions trip. You actually put a lot of work into preparing to go to Mozambique. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> even learning Portuguese, which is their, one of their main languages that people speak there. And so you went to Brazil for some, some language training, and then they have a small Bush plane. And so you even got your, your pilot’s license. So talk to me through that preparation time of what that was like Chelsea.
Chelsea McManus (03:28):
So after we went to Mozambique for the first time we came home and we really took some time to pray and trying decide to discern if this was somewhere that God had some kind of long term future with for us. And so we both really felt in our heart that, yeah, this was where God was leading. And I think that was the first biggest step was just praying through, you know, this, the process and really trying to discern if this is where God was calling us and gathering some wise counsel. And for us, that was a huge part of the preparation, because I think after the fact as we started going through the other steps we kept going back to that, that reassurance that this is where God is leading us. This is what God has for us. We’ve done some checks. We’ve had some really strong confirmation.
Chelsea McManus (04:08):
Then the next step was to go to Brazil and learn Portuguese. And so we spent three months there and when we arrived there, we, we knew all of hello, goodbye bathroom, you know, all the essentials. And during our time there, we were just totally immersed in the culture and the language learning. And initially we were kind of resistant to the idea of learning Portuguese and Brazil. We wanted to get straight to Mozambique. We were a little impatient. We thought we could do our language learning on the field. But we were really strongly encouraged by the director and our colleagues that it would be difficult to learn on the field, just cuz you’re busy with other things and looking back, I’m so thankful we did that because we got there and, and we were able to communicate, not perfectly, probably our grammar was pretty broken, but being immersed in the language, being immersed in the culture and then arriving in Mozambique and being able to communicate with the people just opened so many avenues and doors that we wouldn’t have had without the language training.
Chelsea McManus (05:01):
And then the next step was to raise the financial support to go. And for us, when we saw those initial numbers, we had to raise a certain amount of monthly support before we were allowed to get to the field. And then of course, once we were at what the team would think of a stable base, we continued to raise support on the field and it was a huge leap of faith. Those numbers seemed so huge. You know, we had to raise a monthly support and we had to raise a startup cost. But we were so blessed. We just prayed. And then we, we shared some letters. So we sent some letters to churches within our, the fellowship of Christian assemblies, which is our denomination. We sent letters to friends and family and we prayed and God just opened the doors. And then it just felt like little by little by little, the money just came trickling in.
Chelsea McManus (05:46):
And what seemed like an impossible mountain to climb was actually just this journey of God’s provision. And we were so thankful that God led us that way because once we got to the field, the, the faith walked didn’t end. And so it was just like God was preparing our hearts as much as we were doing the preparation on the ground here and sharing the story and visiting churches and visiting friends and family members and just sharing about the work that was happening in Mozambique. And then of course the final step before we left was to saying goodbye. And for me that was both like the most exciting and the most difficult part, cuz even though we were really excited to go to Mozambique there was still part of me that was grieving what we were leaving behind. And so it was that awkward tension of going back and forth and, and just trying to struggle through just all those emotions and all those feelings of saying goodbye, but saying hello and letting go, but trusting for the next step.
Chelsea McManus (06:41):
And then of course we had a struggle with our visas. So I don’t know if we ever shared that with you. But when we were in the process of going to Mozambique, we had to apply for visas there to be a work visa to be working there. And we initially got declined because of some challenges that Sam ministries itself was having in Mozambique. And so we wound up being delayed and having to wait and having to wait. And we were so frustrated and it was lots of politics and lots of paperwork, but it also just was so thankful looking back that God, again, took us through this journey of faith and just prepared us. And it was just all every step was just trusting God, trusting God, trusting God and then seeing him show up. And so I think that was a huge part of our own heart preparation was God just preparing us to just lean into him and trust him a little more with each step, as much as we were doing the work of sharing, the things that were happening here.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:28):
I think that’s so wonderful to, to see how God brings us through. And sometimes when people look at missions, it looks like a huge adventure and no one knows all the work that goes into raising money dealing with visa problems. I’ve been having some challenges with those just this last week, you know, with some of the countries that we have coming up and no one understands how much goes into actually getting to the mission field. All right. So you, you have this, this long period of preparation and you 10 years where you were preparing to go to the mission field. And so then you, you ended up in Mozambique, you’re on the ground. Josh, tell me a little bit about what you were doing there in Mozambique and how you were impacting the lives of the people there.
Josh McManus (08:20):
Yeah, so that the nice thing about same ministries is that they’re very multifaceted. So, you know, I always laugh like when we, when we signed our employee contracts at the very end of the contract, it says, and you will do whatever is necessary for the needs of the mission. So I went there as like the youth ministries coordinator. So essentially kind of like a youth pastor. My wife Chelsea was obviously she’s a registered nurse, so she was running the the healthcare and the school clinics and all that stuff. So again, like I was running youth programs for our orphan kids. It was super fun. I was just helping on the farm as a farm hand running equipment. I did a bit of Bush piloting as prior to going to the field. I also got my pilot’s license, which was a lot of fun and yeah, I just kind of did basically whatever the mission needed. When we had first gotten there, there wasn’t really a really well established ministry for the kids in our, in our care. So as Chelsea and I kind of learned the culture, got used to the kids, we started implementing this program and it was so much fun with the kids. We taught them like basic Bible stories, just built relationships and really to show them the love of Jesus. It was for me, it was the highlight of my week, every week was just hanging out with the kids and just yeah, loving on them.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:35):
And so Chelsea, you are trained as a nurse. And so you were helping with medical care. What were some of the, the problems, the medical problems that people face there that maybe people in north America wouldn’t think about? Mm
Chelsea McManus (09:51):
Yeah. So for me it was a huge learning curve because obviously the health problems we face here in Canada are not the same ones we faced overseas. So malaria was a huge one. We saw, especially kids, young children, they would come to the clinic really, really sick with fever. Having seizures, having vomiting. And we often would know that’s, you know, do a test low. And behold is malaria. We saw lots of worms, lots of malnutrition, which comes with having no access to clean water. Lots of skin conditions, lots of molds and fungus and growth on people’s skins. And then of course, all the complications that come from HIV that often is an underlying challenge. There. Another aspect that was really special for me was that we did an infant milk program. And so a lot of times in the communities, if mom had passed away or grandma was the caregiver and she was unable to provide for the children, these little babes would come to the mission and the mission would be able to partner with that family to provide milk.
Chelsea McManus (10:53):
And so then we covered all the other basic healthcare needs and it was incredible for me to watch these little babies come and they were tiny and they were underweight and they were sleepy and lethargic and they come back two months later. And these they’re these healthy, happy, chunky, lively babies. And that was really a unique thing for me, just because I think here often we don’t think of malnutrition. We often don’t think of hunger as a medical need, and yet it, it’s a very real thing that impacts all aspects of life. You know, if you’re hungry, your body doesn’t function well, your brain doesn’t function well, you can’t study, you can’t learn, you can’t grow, you can’t communicate. And as soon as you start meeting that basic, basic need, everything else starts falling into pro into place.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (11:33):
Josh, what was your favorite part about being on the mission field?
Josh McManus (11:39):
Well, there’s so much I definitely, again, it was the children. I just love kids. And so every week we’d hang out with like, again, our orphan kids, there was about 30 of them. And then obviously we’d invite the community kids as well. So like when we first were there, we’d have up to almost a hundred kids on like a Friday and it was just so chaotic, but so much fun, like just loving on them, playing games, telling them really cool Bible stories. It was really interesting cuz like a lot of these kids, they go to church, but there’s not really like they’re, they don’t really understand the Bible. Like they don’t even understand like know what half of the, like the stories that we grew up with learning in Sunday school, they don’t, they don’t know. And so like, you know, we just started with really basic stuff and seeing them respond to the stories was, was really cool for me. And then the next thing was obviously flying cuz I love, I love airplanes it’s it was really cool.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (12:34):
Now I, I heard a story about how one time a, a lion needed to be flown from one place to another.
Josh McManus (12:41):
Yeah. So there was a lion on the Southern border of Mozambique on the Northern border of South Africa that was in a community and it was actually trying it’s terrible. It was actually trying to eat, eat some, eat some kids. And so they darted it and then Dwight, my boss took all the seats out of our airplane, shoved the line in the airplane with a vet, sedated it and flew five hours north seated first sedated first. And yeah, they, they brought the lion to a game park, which was actually just north of our mission, but like to see the lion, like it was, it was very big <laugh>
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:19):
I think that’s one of the things that you never think you would do on the mission field that is suddenly required. And I think you’d just be praying. Like I hope I sedated it enough that it is not gonna wake up in the back of the little plane. So Chelsea, sometimes it’s difficult being on the mission field. What were some of the biggest challenges that you faced with being there and, and how did you overcome them?
Chelsea McManus (13:44):
So I think for both of us, one of the biggest challenges was just feeling a little bit isolated and lonely. You know, we, we came from here in Morinville, AB where we have a really huge loving, supportive church community, a great family, a great network of support. And we went into a tiny little community in Mozambique and it took us a while to find our footing. But we, of course, one of the things we did was he prayed and, and God was just so good. He brought people into our lives. We built some really great relationships there. But also we were really blessed to have people that stayed connected with us here. And so FaceTime and messaging and WhatsApp and just those regular connections at home helped a lot. And then for me personally, another struggle was just the needs seemed so great <laugh> and often we just couldn’t meet them.
Chelsea McManus (14:28):
And I don’t mean in the sense of like we failed and weren’t doing anything, but just seemed like we just couldn’t do enough. You know, every time that there would be something, maybe we felt like we had accomplished or been able to support one family through a challenge or met a need in a community, there just seemed to pop up 10 or 15 more. And so it was just this real re realization that, you know, in our own strength, we just aren’t enough. And I think it was just this journey of learning to trust God and being responsive to, to what he is saying and what the needs he’s presenting to us to meet and then trusting that what we can’t meet, he’s still going to, to work in those situations.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:06):
And so now you have come back to Canada for a time. Josh partially because you’re getting work done on your teeth here and then Chelsea, you got pregnant. Yep. And you now have a little baby girl, Charlie, who is super cute out how old is Charlie
Chelsea McManus (15:24):
Now? Seven months tomorrow,
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (15:26):
Seven months tomorrow. And, and so it’s so wonderful. And, and, and so now you’ve, you’ve come back to Canada and kind of reintegrated here. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> what has been some of the biggest challenges of coming from the mission field back to Canada and, and now you have that experience. What’s been the challenges of coming back.
Josh McManus (15:49):
I can, I can speak to that. I think one of the, one of the main things that I noticed was for me was sometimes how unappreciative people can be for things that we have in the west. I know that was hard for me even like when I first started a job that I had got when we had come back, I just noticed some people were behaving in a certain way. And I just was like, kind of shaking my head. And I was thinking, man, if they lived in Africa, they’d have a completely different perspective to to what real life is actually like for most of the developing world. So for me that was, that was a challenge.
Chelsea McManus (16:27):
I think too, for me, it was like trying to find my footing again, of like, this is my community and this is my home, but now I’ve been gone for more than two years. And so it doesn’t feel like my community and it doesn’t feel like home. And just trying to figure out like, where do I fit now in my relationships? And of course a lot had changed, you know, like we’d been overseas, people here had moved on with their lives. You know, lots of people had babies. We’d had a baby. Our perspectives had changed and just feeling like I belong, but I don’t belong. And that just kind of uncomfortable tension of just finding home again and processing all the things that we’d seen and just the needs and the, the suffering and the beauty beauty of the people there. And then coming home to a, a just completely different culture.
Chelsea McManus (17:10):
And of course, coming home in the middle of COVID. So when we came home, we were still in the middle of, I think the fourth or the fifth wave. I can’t remember which wave, but, you know, so we came home into a time when people were still socially distancing, still isolating, still numbers were low having to wear masks, not being able to have people in their homes, we weren’t vaccinated yet. And so that was just another challenge of just having a totally different worldview and having navigated COVID in a different culture <laugh> and coming home to a world that was quite polarized.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (17:38):
Do you sometimes feel like it’s hard for people to understand the experience that you’ve been through?
Chelsea McManus (17:44):
Yeah. And I think it’s hard for us to articulate as well. Like the things that we lived because it was, it was our life. It wasn’t just one story or one experience. It was our life there <laugh>. And so there, there’s very few people here who can really relate to that. And we’re really thankful for the people. You know, we had people who visited us and then thankful for others who maybe have done other work on the missions field, because I feel like there’s just a, there’s a heart connection there that no one else understands.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:10):
I haven’t been to Mozambique yet, but I want to go, but I’ve been to many places in Africa and you just fall in love with the, the people, just such wonderful people and, and so full of life and so full of excitement. And it’s really wonderful. But then also I think when you come back to north America, sometimes there’s a feeling like you’re sharing stories and people don’t really care. Mm-Hmm, <affirmative> what you’re and you’re like feeling it. All right. So let’s, let’s talk about Sam ministries at church last Sunday they showed a video about needing money to dig a water. Well, mm-hmm <affirmative>. And so you’re wearing a, a shirt right now that says walk for water. And that the church here in Canada is, is actively working to, to raise money to, to dig a water. Well, and, and so tell us a little bit about, about Sam ministries and then what their website is, so that if somebody wants to help support them or wants to help dig a water well, in Mozambique, that they’d be able to find out more information about Sam ministry can speak
Josh McManus (19:20):
To that. Yeah. So one of the main facets that Sam is involved in is a Bible school for rural Moza me and Bush pastors, mostly pastors who aren’t well educated. And so three or four times a year, the pastors come out to our mission and they go in about two weeks of intensive biblical training where they do, we teach seminars and do different courses with them. They do exams and yeah, it’s a really good time. But one of the main problems that we have is we don’t have a good water source to provide water for the training center for the pastors.
Chelsea McManus (19:54):
We’re talking like a hundred and some pastors.
Josh McManus (19:56):
Yeah. About a hundred. Oh
Chelsea McManus (19:57):
Yeah. We’re talking like a hundred and some pastors in the middle of nowhere, Mozambique meeting together and needing to be hygienic, have water to drink water, to cook dishes, to wash. Yeah.
Josh McManus (20:10):
Yeah. And so one of the, again, they they’ve been trying to get a water well drilled at the, the mission at the training center just to provide water for these events. And so, yeah, that’s what they’re working on currently.
Chelsea McManus (20:23):
And the second one at the school.
Josh McManus (20:25):
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:25):
Cool. And so what’s the, the website, do you know it off the top of your head,
Chelsea McManus (20:29):
Sam ministries.org, or you can check steps with Sam.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (20:34):
Wonderful. All right. Let’s finish up by speaking to people who feel like God has called them to be a missionary. They don’t really know what the next step is, but they’re, they maybe want to go to the mission field someday. What type of advice would you give to someone who feels called by God to be a missionary,
Josh McManus (20:58):
Don’t try and figure everything out, just let God do what he does. Cuz he is really good at it. <Laugh> you’ll order your steps.
Chelsea McManus (21:06):
And I would say, look for wise, counsel, gather around yourself a team of people who will pray with you and help you discern what God might be saying to you and helping you discern. What’s just feelings and what’s God’s call. And what’s the mix of both, because I think for us, that was one thing that we often had to go back to was this feeling like when things got really hard was like, are we really supposed to be here? Is this really where God has called us to be? And we had to really wrestle with that. And we were able to go back to those people who had prayed with us and journeyed with us and they were able to just encourage us and remind us, like we walked with you and we prayed with you and, and we’ve heard God say yes. And so I think having that really strong support of prayer and encouragement is a thing that once you get there helps you stay.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:54):
That’s awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on the evangelism podcast. I really appreciate it. And you’re back here in Canada for a time, but I know that your journey with ministry and what God has called you to do is not finished yet. And so in the future, I know God has many more amazing adventures in store for the two of you. And I just love your heart for God, your passion, to follow after God, your passion for following his plan for your life. And, and so I’m just so excited to see what God will do with you guys next.
Josh McManus (22:29):
Thanks for having us.
Chelsea McManus (22:31):
Thank you so much, Daniel.
Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:32):
Thanks so much for listening today. I am excited about telling people about Jesus and I want to invite you to be a part of helping us to rescue people from hell and take them with us to heaven. There’s two things you can do to help. First of all, can you go find the evangelism podcast on apple iTunes and leave us a positive review by giving a review, you will help other people find these valuable resources about sharing our faith. And second, would you become a financial partner with king ministries? Every single dollar that people give us enables us to lead at least one person to Jesus. And so that means for only $1, you can help start a party in heaven. And so today I want to invite you to become a monthly partner. You can start out for just a dollar, but if God puts it on your heart to do more, of course you can do more. But please go to king ministries.com and become a monthly partner with us today to help us to lead more people to Jesus. Thank you so much. And God bless you
Evangelism Podcast Host (23:51):
For more information about how to share your faith or to financially support our worldwide evangelistic outreaches. Visit king ministries.com. Again that’s king ministries.com.