The first service was on Saturday afternoon, 3 August, in Chemba. When I preached there two years ago the church was under construction and the service was under this big three. During the service, a snake fell from the three among the people sitting on mats.
Now the church is ready and they even have a school close to the church, run by Project Kuwagisana.
Júlio and Nota are the pastors at this “São Pedro” congregation. (The students are already recognized and called as pastors by their members, but they are not ordained yet).
People were waiting inside and outside the church, singing and clapping.
Mateus and Jambo came with us and they helped with readings and prayers in the Service.
The whole Service was in their mother tongue, Sena, and the sermon had to be translated.
The Baptism’s fountain had to be improvised. 4 adults…
...and 41 children were baptized in Chemba.
Lord Supper was offered to 63 people. The only time they have Baptism and Lord’s Supper is when an ordained pastor comes to visit them, since the students are not yet ordained.
The pastors were introduced to the congregation at the end of the Service,
and the congregation received the blessing and sang the closing hymn.
Some candies were given to the children.
Outside the church, some pictures of the people…
Good bye to God's people in Chemba.
The next Service was on Sunday morning in Kapasseni, were pastor Alfazema, the founder of the mission in 2006, was born. He was a refugee in Canada, where he graduated as pastor of the Lutheran Church Canada, and was sent back to evangelize his people. The Lutheran Church in Mozambique has more than 1,000 members in total.
Six of the future pastors helped to celebrate the service. It was a joint service: Jolinho brought his people from Zondane to the church of Rui.
All candidates to the baptism were called to the front and they sang a hymn very nicely about the baptism. I addressed them some words about the baptism and asked them the traditional questions for the baptism. When I asked them, “Do you renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways?” A loud “YES!” was the answer. – The devil plays a very important role in their traditional African religion. – This was done in all the services.
They confessed their faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and were called one by one to the Holy Baptism.
Sometimes mom and child were baptized.
– Pastor Jolinho brought his daughter-in-law and one of his grandchildren to the Holy Baptism, plus his youngest child.
The Baptism’s Fount had to be improvised again: a basin over a plastic container, over a chair…
After the service, a picture with all the newly baptized: 5 adults and 13 children, with their moms.
And another picture with all the attendants.
The congregation gave me two gifts: a goat and a chicken.
We had enough meat for our next suppers!
The next Service was at noon in Murrema, where Ernesto is pastor. Paulo brought his people from Mpango to this joint Service. – (There was no time for lunch that day; only some snacks on the way).
The Baptism’s Fount was a little better improvised.
The adults knelt to be baptized.
After the service, a picture outside the church with all the baptized and their pastors, who had instructed them.
All the congregation came together for a picture as well. (Thank you to driver Micas, who took most of the pictures of the services).
– The old lady on the right was baptized as well, Mrs. Sasa Capira. When I asked her, ‘How old are you?’, she answered, ‘I don’t know…’
This lady cannot walk. She asked for new tires for her tricycle. We gave her. She doesn’t have any children or grandchildren. The congregation takes care of her machamba (farm), helping her at home as well.
Many took a lift to their home church in Mpamgo (they came to the Service in Morrema walking), and they were singing all the time.
We dropped some people in Mpango (on the way back to Sena), and we saw the beginning of the church building in Mpango.
They still worship in a straw hut chapel, and are happy that they will have a chapel soon. (See Blog Mozambique 2011).
The last Service for this Sunday was in the Village of Sena, at 3pm.
– The school was dedicated two years ago when I was there.
We had rehearsed some hymns from the Lutheran Hymnal (in Portuguese) with the students and they sang
in all the services.
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sena has a Baptismal Fountain.
– Mom and child were baptized.
Pastor Mateus and his wife Angela brought their firstborn Rosa Mateus to the Holy Baptism.
This was the youngest of the children brought to the Holy Baptism, one month old.
– In total, 182 people were baptized in these four services, 117 children and 65 adults. God had lots of work this day registering all the names in His Book of Life! Praise the Lord! – The total attendance in the four Services was 492 members, and Lord’s Supper attendance: 189 communicants.