In November of 2019, Tony Gonondo, who is now our Children’s Services Director, had a life changing experience. He was scheduled to travel to America in 2020 along with three other Mozambican Hope of a Nation teammates. Eager to receive his visa and solidify the opportunity to go to the U.S., Tony was the first one scheduled for an interview at the U.S. Embassy for consideration of a visa.
When he was denied a visa, the disappointment hit all of us hard, but especially him. But what Tony didn’t know is that God had another plan, and He had already put the pieces in motion before Tony traveled to the U.S. embassy.
In order for our team to interview for their visas, we had flown them to the capital city of Maputo, where they stayed a few days. We had found a place online for them to stay, a small lodging property called Casa Koinonia, which means “House of Christian Fellowship.” It was at Casa Koinonia that Tony met a group of missionaries from South Africa and Angola who had come to minister in Mozambique. The one from Angola talked with Tony awhile, and they exchanged phone numbers. After his embassy interview, Tony didn’t see the mission team again as they had already departed.
About a week after returning home to Beira, Tony received a message from his new acquaintance from Angola. When he found out that Tony would not be going to the U.S. at that time, he told him about a 3-month bible school in South Africa that he had attended, and he encouraged Tony to go study there as well. When the school heard about Tony’s life and upbringing and his passion for Jesus, they offered to pay for his travel, his room and board, and did not charge him tuition. After speaking with his uncle who encouraged him to seize the opportunity, Tony packed his bag and went the next day!
Tony shared with us how much he learned at that school and how he began to understand spiritual things that he didn’t understand before. Looking back, he is amazed at God’s hand in his life and how God has orchestrated things for his good even when circumstances were extremely difficult to go through. The experience helped him grow in maturity as a Christian and built his faith tremendously.
What a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness and how when He closes one door, He opens another!