Monday, 31 August 2015


 Pastor Egon Kopereck, President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil – IELB; Pastor Dieter Reinstorf, Bishop of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa – FELSISA; Pastor Leonério Faller, President of the Concordia Seminary – Brazil; and Pastor Carlos Walter Winterle, Coordinator of the Theological Education- TEE in Mozambique, currently pastor in Cape Town, SA, met at the airport in Johannesburg, SA, and flew together to Beira, Mozambique, on 5th August 2015, a Wednesday. Pastor André Plamer Buchweitz, from Brazil, was already in Mozambique since 15th July ministering TEE training sessions for the eight graduating students and for the new class of 20 students.
 While in Beira, we purchased 200 Bibles in Chisena Language for the TEE students and for the leaders of the congregations, thanks to several donations collected in Brazil especially to buy Bibles for Mozambique.
 We also bought New Testaments in Chisena Language and Study Bibles in Portuguese from the Bible Society in Mozambique.
 The day after, Thursday, we travelled to Vila de Sena, we took  an alternative route, 150km shorter, but it was a dirt road through the forest. It was a good trip.
 People were waiting for us and welcomed us with songs and dancing. Pastor André and the new students joined the celebration.
 We were well hosted in the Kuwangisana (Social Work Project|) new Guest House.
We went immediately to see how the place for the Ordination Service had been prepared by the eight students/pastors. It looked great!

Pastor André was finishing the first course with the new class: Bible Stories of the Old Testament and from the New Testament. They will now come together once a month to revise the course and to study together, orientated by one or two of the newly graduated pastors.
 Pastor André led also three courses with the first class of eight students.
 Friday: The gifts we bought were delivered to the students.
 Each graduating student received a tunic (alba) and a set of stoles and altar clothes for their churches, donated by Ladies Aids in Brazil.
 They were very happy with the gift, and they rejoiced as they  were trying on the Graduation Hats.
 The Lutheran Hour Ministry from Brazil also sent several pamphlets and booklets.
 The Concordia Seminary – Brazil, sent several books purchased on their weekly offerings at the Service at the Seminary, always destined to Mozambique Project.
 The Mensageiro Luterano, with the report of the June visit to Mozambique, was distributed to all as well.
 A very important step was taken by the publication of the Small Catechism in the Chisena language. Pastor Andre led the translation of Luther’s Small Catechism into the Sena language in 2013. For this a translator was hired, named Abel Sifa (brother of Mateus, one of the new pastors). He translated the Catechism and submitted it to the students/pastors for revision. The translation was evaluated according to understanding and style and has been used to teach church members. Now, the Editora Concórdia (Brazilian CPH) published it. In spite of Portuguese being the official language in Mozambique (therefore the church in Brazil, who speaks Portuguese, enters as an important partner in this project), the ordinary people do not understand Portuguese and still speak their tribal language. The training sessions are presented in Portuguese because the students had attended school. But the sermons of foreign pastors have to be translated to the tribal language, Chisena.
 Pastor Alfazema, hugged by Pastor André and by Pastor Egon.
 Bishop Dieter gave FELSISA’s bags to each graduating student.
 St. Thomas, Cape Town, SA, sent T-shirts with the Luther’s Rose embroidered to all students. The new class wore them as they ushered at the Ordination Service.
 They got also the Bibles bought in Beira.
The graduating students presented eight wooden sets for Holy Communion, made by a youth leader, according to a sample sent by St. Thomas Congregation in June.
 After this, we visited the Chief of the Village, Mr. Adamo, who asked us to offer a prayer and always receives us very well.
 In the afternoon we visited the church in Chemba.
  Pastor Nota and pastor Júlio with their families.
 We also visited the church in Três de Fevereiro, a branch from Chemba.
 The current church, just a hut. Pres. Egon got two pigeons as a gift.

 The new church, almost ready, donated by one single layman.
 The church inside.
 Saturday: Service in Mpango, Pastor Paulo. People were waiting for us. Pres. Egon led the Service, assisted by the local pastor, Paulo.
 People in the line for the Holy Baptism.
 53 adults and children were baptized by Pres. Egon. He got a copy of all the names of the baptized.
  He offered the Holy Communion as well.
  In the afternoon: Visit to the church in Mutarara, the other side of Zambezi River crossing a 3.5km pedestrian bridge.
 The church was built by reed and straw.
 Making plans to buy a plot and to build a brick church.

 Sunday, 9th August: The expected great day:  People coming to the Graduation/Ordination/Installation Service.

 Lorries brought people from the 10 congregations.
 They got a breakfast when they arrived – bread with eggs.
  They organized themselves by congregation to receive the breakfast.

 Almost ready to begin the procession from the Kuwangisana premises to St. Paul Lutheran Church.
 Beginning of the procession.
 The graduating students were leading the procession, carrying a cross.
 After a 30 minute walk along the main street of the village, we arrived at the stage especially prepared for the big Service. Many visitors joined the procession. Around 1.000 people attended the Service.
  The name of the graduating students and their Moto: “Our competence comes from God” – 2 Corinthians 3:5.

 The Graduating Students waiting for the beginning of the Service.

 Many relatives and friends came from far away to attend the service.
 The liturgy of the Ordination Service was led by the founder of the mission, Pastor Joseph Alfazema, an ex-refuge from the civil war and currently living in Canada and member of the Lutheran Church Canada - LCC.

 Pastor André read the Gospel
 The preacher was Pastor Carlos Walter Winterle.
 The Graduation was led by the President of the Concordia Seminary – Brazil, Pastor Leonério Faller, assisted by Pastor André and by the other pastors present.
 The Ordination and Installation were led by the President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil – IELB, Pastor Egon Kopereck, assisted by the Bishop of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Synod in South Africa – FELSISA, Pastor Dieter Reinstorf,; by pastor André Buchweitz Plamer, one of the teachers of the TEE program; and by the other above mentioned pastors.
 Greeting the founder of the mission, pastor Joseph Alfazema.

 Almost finished, after the two-hour Service.
 Bishop Dieter greeted the newly ordained pastors on behalf of FELSISA
 The three representatives of the government also greeted the newly ordained pastors.
 The Chief of the Village, Mr. Adamo, delivered his message holding an issue of the Mensageiro Luterano (Lutheran Witness, Brazil) in his hands. 
 The 20 students of the new TEE class were the ushers, organizing everything, helping people and distributing missionary pamphlets to all.
 The newly ordained pastors.
 Each of them received a Concordia Book as Graduation gift. Behind: two of their professors; Pastor Carlos Walter Winterle and Pastor André Buchweitz Plamer. – Pastor Horst Kuchenbecker was one of the Professors as well, but he was not able to come from Brazil for the Service.
 The eight newly ordained pastors are: Ernesto Domigos Raposo, born on 23 April 1969 in Beira, son of Domigos Raposo and Laura José Nvula. Married to Joana Ernesto. They have nine children and six grandchildren. He received the call of the  Igreja Luterana São Lucas – Murrema, and Igreja Luterana de Sabonete.
 João Luis Nota, born on 7  April 1977 in Chemba,  son of Luis Nota Catondo and Lúcia Mozolande Chate. Married to Chica Armando Lapuquene. They have nine children. He received the call to Igreja Luterana São Pedro – Chemba.
 Júlio Albano Castomo, born on 14 April 1980 in Cheringoma, son of Albano Castomo Thiquite and Luísa Limbo Chiou. Married to Ângela Manuel Gabriel Castomo. They have four children. He received the call to Igreja Luterana São Timóteo – Três de Fevereiro.
 Júlio Mineses Nhapigode, born on 6 August  1951 in Chemba, son of Mineses Nhapigode and Pintondia Chicandeda. Married to Vaida Araujo Thuboi. They have nine children and nine grandchildren. He received the call to Igreja Luterana de Zambeze.
 Manuel Jone Jambo, born on 19  August 1969 in Sena, Caia, son of Jone Jambo Macualo and Medina Vinte Camanguira. Married to Maria Araujo Lisboa. They have nine children and two grandchildren. He received the call to Igreja Luterana São Paulo – Sena, and Igreja Luterana São Tito - Mutarara.
 Mateus Domingos Sifa, born on 10 October 1989 in Sena, Caia, son of Domingos Sifa and Anita Bulande Chissai. Married to Ângela Benjamim. They have two children. He received the call to Igreja Luterana São João – Cado.     
 Paulo Ernesto Minesês, Born on 22 December 1987 in Sena, Caia, son of Ernesto Mineses Mpango and Joanita António Meque. Married to  Margarida Domingos Eduardo Mineses. They have two children. He received the call to Igreja Luterana São Mateus – Mpango.                                                                                                                  
 Rui Jalene Souza, Born on 12 March 1961 in Caia, son of Jalene Souza e Nsai Quembo Alfazema. Married to  Imaculada António Chipordeni, They have nine children and five grandchildren. He received the call to Igreja Luterana São Marcos – Kapasseni.
 Pastor Egon gave an interview to the TVM station of the city of Caia. A clip of 12 minutes was presented on the national chanel. You can watch the clip of the service on:
 A cake was brought to celebrate.
 Preparing food for all: One cow, 10 goats, one  pig, 10 bags of  rice 25kg each,  lots of potatoes onions, tomatoes, spices…
 Beginning to serve: very well organized.
 Preparing the pork.
Waiting for the “sacrifice”.
 Everyone brought their one plate/container.
 It was almost late evening when everyone went back home.

 Monday: Prof. Leonério presented a Mission Course to the newly ordained pastors. They will continue to have training sessions once a year.
 From Tuesday to Thursday Pastor Carlos offered a course to them as well.
 On Monday afternoon we visited a property with five houses  which was for sale for US$ 20,000.00, plus a plot behind this property which was for sale for US$ 2,000.00.
 The main house is for the husband,

.…the other three each for one of his wives (polygamy is allowed in Mozambique), and the fifth one is the common kitchen. The property is well localized in the main street of the village, has electricity and a water well.

 It was decided to buy it, after consulting the Chief and the secretary of the Village. Both gave us good support.
 It was night when we signed the contract and the Chief signed as witness. Much has to be done: The property needs to be fenced and several adaptations are needed: toilets and bathrooms, a water tank tower, plus some repairs and painting of the houses. They will serve as training centre and as dorms for the TEE students. A first instalment was paid as deposit, and as soon as the rest of the amount is paid the pastors will received the key. You are welcome to help the Lutheran Church in Mozambique to refurbish the property. See details at the end of the BLOG how to send your donation.
 Mozambique: The church is located in the centre of the country, in the Province of Sofala, on the shore of the Zambezi River, a strategic place to reach out to the whole country. Many other villages and cities are asking the Lutheran Church to preach the Gospel among them as well, after they have attended the Ordination Service. Even one of the governmental representatives present at the Service asked the church to come to her city.

 Most of them are very simple people who suffered under many years of civil war. Early in the morning you can hear the women preparing the grain for the daily bread for their families.
 Informal economy and small farms are the main source of livelihood of the ordinary people.
 A baobab: a huge tree, a symbol of life in the midst of the dry soil. It’s also a symbol of the church, as Jesus compared the church to a little seed that grows big. Ezekiel prophesied: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: … I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit…Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches…I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 17:22-24). The Christian Church is growing fast in Mozambique, and many are finding rest in the shade of its branches – the rest that only Jesus can give us. Soli Deo Gloria!
 Just for fun, some things that happened to us while in Mozambique this time: Pastor André brought two suitcases full of books mixed with his personal belongings.  He was so eager to bring the many books that he forgot to put his T-shirts in his suitcases. When he realized it, he bought some local fabric and ordered to sew some shirts for himself. The students loved to see him dressed in their local fabrics.
 Another case: My wife Lidia and I went together from Cape Town to Johannesburg airport. She took the plane to Brazil at 10:30am to visit our children in Porto Alegre, and I took the plane with my colleagues at 11:30am to Beira. But unfortunately we swapped our suitcases at the check-in: she took mine to Brazil and I took hers to Mozambique. You can imagine the panic at the first moment when we realized this. But after the first shock, we just laughed and made fun about it. As I had a second suitcase full of used clothes donated by my congregation in Cape Town, to give to the students, I chose some of them, wore them during the week and gave them  to the students when I came back home. I had to wash some clothes every night.  Lídia was lucky: Pres. Egon took her suitcase with him to P. Alegre and she got it.
 What about my tunic (alba)? Pastor André took me to the Taylor who had sewn his shirts
And in one day he made a new tunic for me. It was not the perfectly taylored, but it fit and I had a tunic for the Ordination Service.
 The five of us were very well hosted in this guest house, in one single room. Which of us snore the loudest???
 Mrs. Branca, our faithful cook, prepared everything on her charcoal stove.
 Beans with rice, some cassava and sweet potatoes, always friendly served.

 Pastor André was used to drive a motorcycle,

 But Bishop Dieter hadn’t driven a motorcycle for years. But he did it well. Even Prof. Leonério took a lift with him.
 Pres Egon, (a little scared) accepted a lift of one of the local pastors. But when he dropped, he fell down on the ground.

 Pres. Egon got two pigeons as a gift in Três de Fevereiro. His grandson wanted him to bring the pigeons to Brazil…
So, another exciting missionary trip to Mozambique comes to its end. We are eagerly waiting for the next one. God is pouring out many blessings upon Mozambique, and you are in God’s plan to help and support this mission with your prayers and donations, as some of you are already doing it. Thank you so much for your support! See below how you can send your donations. (Pictures from: Pastor Dieter, Pastor Egon, Pastor Leonério e Pastor Carlos. Thank you).
USA: (Note that the address has changed:)
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
PO Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861                                                                       
                      (Designate: Winterle – 60606)                                                                                   OR:                                                                                                           LCMS– Mission Central                                                                         C/O Gary Thies                                                                                       40718 Hwy. E16                                                                                     Mapleton, IA  51034                                                                                         (Designate: Winterle  60606)

GERMANY: Bleckmarer Mission: Volksbank Sudheide e.G. (BLZ 257 916 35), Konto 100 423  900 BIC: GENODEF1HMN; IBAN: DE09 2579 1635 0100 4239 00

SOUTH AFRICA: Mission of the Lutheran Churches (MLC)                                        Nr. 1913-137-538, NEDBANK  LTD., Cresta/Randburg,                     Swiftaddresse: NEDSZAJJ