I flew to Beira, Mozambique, on Monday, where I stayed one night.
Beira is the main city of the Province of Sofala, in the center of Mozambique. Mozambique’s borders are: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. – Mozambique is a Portuguese speaking country (my mother tongue) and I was invited to begin a TEE Program (Theological Education by Extension) there. The TEE Program is offered by the Seminário Concórdia of Brazil. – It was a partnership with Kapasseni Project, who is in charge of that mission in Mozambique, managed by Carol Kerr and a Board, from Canada - THANK YOU ALL!
It was a nine-hour drive until we reach the village of Sena on Tuesday evening. Pastor Alfazema and the students were happy to see me arriving safely.
We began the TEE course on Wednesday morning. Every morning, at 08:00a.m, Pastor Alfazema had a brief devotional session with the employees and the volunteers of the Children Program. It’s a very good missionary link to the village inhabitants.
The classes were held in that church building…
… around a table. We had classes from 08:00am to noon and from 02:00pm to 06:00pm. - The wheater was very good every day we were there and they were no mosquitoes (malaria danger…), God be thanks!
This was my little hotel room, not far from the church.
We had all the lunches and dinners together, prepared by a cook in this rustic kitchen.
Our dining room was outside in the pastor house’s yard.
Beans and rice, or Ugali and goat, or rice and chicken, added to dark green leaves cooked (sukuma wiki) was our daily and nutrition food.
Eight students are being prepared by Pastor Alfazema as leaders in their villages. They lead the services in the absence of the Pastor, do counseling and visit the sick. They came from their villages by bicycle (some 40km far from Sena) and stayed at a small room in the church compound. Let me introduce Pastor Alfazema and the students:
Pastor Alfazema and his wife Perpétua. – He was a 15 years old refugee during the Civil war in Mozambique. He fled first to Tanzania, were he became a Lutheran; then to Kenya, were he studied to be Evangelist at the Matongo Seminary with Pastor Omodhi and the current Bishop Walter Obare; and then he moved to Canada as a refugee. There, when he was over 50 years old, he graduated as pastor and was sent back to his home village in Mozambique by his Canadian Congregation. He began his mission work in August 2006. He has now 9 congregations and about 800 baptized Christians. – His wife was also a refugee. She is the Coordinator of the Social Work in the Children Project. They have three children, who remained in Canada, where they are studying.
João Luis Nota, born on 7th April 1977, married to Chica G. João. They have six children.
He is leading the church in Chemba with Julio.
Manuel Jone Jambo Macualo, born on 18th August 1968, married to Maria Araújo Lisboa. They have seven children.
He is helping Pastor Alfazema at the church in Sena.
Julio Albano Castomo, born on 14th April 1980, married to Angela Julio Albano. They have three children.
He is leading the church in Chemba with Nota.
Rui Jalene Sousa, Born on 12th March 1961, married to Imaculada António. They have eight children.
He is leading the church in Kapasseni.
Mateus Domingos Sifa, born on 28th October l989, single.
He is helping Pastor Alfazema at the church in Sena.
Jolinho Inez Nhapigode, born in 1959, married to Vaida Araujo Tuboi Zabezil. They have nine children.
Ernesto Domingos Raposo, born on 23rd April 1969, married to Joanita Ernesto. They have seven children.
He is leading the church in Morrema.
Jordão Mairoci Chuva, born in 1962, married to Jarasa Mirizi Zanole. They have five children. –
He is leading the church in Zodanhe.
They received a Certificate of Participation at the end of the Course. A PROCLAIMER in Portuguese helped to pass through some of the New Testament Bible Stories.
On Saturday, 31st July, the plan was to visit all the different congregations where the students live. Pastor Alfazema drove us and some students in his car.
We visited the church in Mpango first. They have 97 baptized members. Their leader Marcelino had been admitted in the hospital in Malawi that week.
After this we visited the church in Morrema, where Ernesto is the leader. They have almost 100 baptized members.
This is Ernesto’s family (two children are not in the photo).
There we realized that a tyre of the car had a puncture . We were not able to go to Kapasseni, where the mission work began in 2006 and where they have a big Children Project as well. There was no cell phone coverage in that area and Pastor Alfazema didn’t have a right toll to change the tyre…
… so, we went back to Sena by bicycle (more or less 1:30 hour by bicycle…). Zeferino is the name of the guy who took me back to Sena. - It was nice to cross several villages and the people waving to us!!! - Pastor Alfazema looked for help in Sena, but he worked all the afternoon to repair the tyre, until 08.00pm at night.
On Sunday morning, 1st August, Pastor Alfazema led the liturgy and I preached in the church of Sena.
The people were sitting on the floor (someone is making the benches).
Mateus led the Youth Choir.
People gathered outside the church after the service.
Mrs. Alfazema was with the Sunday School children. They sang so nice!
After the service we visited the village around the church. This is Mateus’ house and some of his nephews.
Manuel lives in the same village. This is his family.
Manuel’s grandmother (at my right side) and some people of the village.
The village itself.
We went to Chemba on Sunday afternoon for another Service. (more or less a one-hour drive from Sena).
The service was outside, under a tree…
… because the church is under construction.
People sang so nice, with a drum and some rattles.
The Service was held under this big tree. The people were sitting on the ground. They stood up to sing and clap, in a very typical African style. Suddenly, all jumped up and ran away: A one meter long snake was slithering out of the bushes among the people!!!
One of the leaders killed the snake immediately!
God be thanked that no one was bitten by the snake!
This is João Luis Nota’s family. He is one of the TEE students and is assisting Pastor Alfazema in Chemba. (He killed the snake!!!).
This is Julio’s family, leader in Chemba as well and one of the TEE students.
The Christians of Chemba gave us a special gift: a Guinea fowl and a chicken...
… those were served as our dinner two days later.
Some carpenters were working in Pastor’s backyard…
… preparing three pulpits, three altar tables and three crosses, besides some doors and chairs for the three new churches that are being built.
THE CHILDREN PROJECT
THE CHILDREN PROJECT
Projeto Kawangisana (Sena) gives support to orphans , to HIV/AIDS infected people and to other needy people (like the Projeto Kapasseni, the first one of the mission).
Ryan Rushing, an American, stays by the Project several months a year, helping to develop the Project. He is working on behalf of an American social service entity that supports the Project in partnership with the two Lutheran Churches in Canada who began the mission and the Children Projects. – Mrs. Perpétua Alfazema is the Coordinator of the Projects.
These are the premises of the Project in Sena, where we had the TEE Program.
The well that supplies water to the entire compound.
Children of the Project receiving orientation …
… in that shelter. Rooms are under construction and new facilities are being built.
Marimba: Children play on it and it has a very nice sound!
The kitchen to the children, where ugali and other dishes are prepared.
A stretcher pulled by a bicycle helps to bring very sick people to the Project.
Pastor took me to see the new campus where the new facilities are being built: It’s in Sena,a little out of the main village.
The cement bricks are made one by one…
These cement bricks are made one by one…
I came back from Mozambique to Nairobi (via-Beira, via-Johannesburg) on 7th August, Saturday night, to be at the service on 8th August. Lídia came back from Germany on 9th August. We thank God for all the protection during our trip and for all the opportunities we had to see His awesome creation in Switzerland, in Germany, in Mozambique, and to serve Him through His people.