Saturday, 26 July 2014


 Pastor André Plamer came from São Paulo, Brazil and Pastor Carlos Walter Winterle came from Cape Town, South Africa, and we met at the airport in Johannesburg to fly together to Beira, Mozambique, for another Training Session of the Theological Education by Extension – TEE - program offered by the Seminário Concórdia to the future pastor of the Lutheran Church Mozambique – LCM. It was 4th July, a Friday afternoon when we arrived in Beira and we had time to buy stationery, food and other stuff to take with us to Sena.
 We didn't stay in a hotel this time, but in a Christian Guesthouse which has hosted many missionaries in the last decades according to their Guest Book.
 It is called Beach House, and it is an old Portuguese style house with several rooms and collective bathrooms.  
 The manager, pastor Anacleto, received us very well. We were referred to this house by a Brazilian missionary I met some years ago on a plane to Mozambique, Pastor Anézio.
 This is the beach behind the house that gives its name to the Guesthouse.
 Rustic canoes, build up from a single tree, were all along the coast…
 …and fish were sold at the road in the morning.
 Something interesting just outside the gate: Large spiders had built a net from one tree to another, and it looked like the spiders were hanging from the sky.
 We were lucky to be referred to the Bible Society in Mozambique, a small store in Beira. It will now help a lot, because it was always difficult to bring many Bibles from Brazil (they are heavy and the luggage is restricted), or to order them from Maputo, the capital far the South of Mozambique.
 Ready to travel on Saturday morning to Sena and to face 500km along a bad road. Our faithful driver Mr. Micas fetched us at the Guesthouse. It was very nice to meet him again. We spent more than 10 hours to reach Sena.
 We arrived in Sena at night and were hosted in this little hostel, where I had stayed when for the very first time I went to Sena in 2010.
 The rooms should have all facilities. But if the tap was working, the shower was not working; if the fridge was working, the TV was not working; if the toilet was working, the air conditioner was not working…
 We sometimes had our breakfast and our dinner at this outdoor restaurant…
 and this is the kitchen that prepared fresh food for us.
 The hostel was in the main street of Beira…
 …close to a free street market.
 People used to sweep the road in the morning…
 …and you have to protect yourself from the dust.
 Good tangerines were available every morning, and we bought some for our breakfast and to take to the class. 
 It was nice to see people early in the morning bringing their stuff to sell in the street market.
 The women carry everything on their head: wood for the fire to cook…
clothes, food, water in containers… Just to share a little bit about the local culture…


 I went to Igreja Luterana São Paulo, Sena, for the Service on Sunday morning, where I preached and performed baptisms and Holy Communion. Mateus Domingos Sifa, one of the TEE students, is in charge of this congregation.
 On the way walking to the church with Mateus, I saw an advertisement: “Traditional Doctor… heals every kind of illness… expels demons… helps to get job…” – The Old Testament reading for that Sunday was from Isaiah 55:6-13: “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon…” After the reading by a layman, I asked if I could say a few words (it was not the sermon). I used this text of the OT to call people back to the True God, and not to the spirits of their ancestors, following traditional doctors and witches. Our God is the Only One who forgives our sins and who loves us.  People should not go back to the evil ways of their forefathers, but God is near and invites to come to Him by faith in Jesus. – People clapped hands several times while I was speaking and agreed that they had left the work of darkness and are now walking in the light of Jesus.
 The youth group performed very nice songs during the Service…
 ...and they had a nice moment of prayers.
 16 children were brought to the Holy Baptism.
 Parents are waiting eagerly for an ordained pastor to come and to baptize their children.
 The eight future pastors received a Certificate of Deacons of the Lutheran Church Mozambique this year and are now authorized to perform the Baptism. (Read more in the Newsletter).
 God works in marvellous ways in Mozambique!
 After the Service, the mothers with their baptized children posed for a picture in front of the church.   
 Pastor André went this same Sunday to Kapasseni. He got a lift by motorcycle with Manuel Jone Jambo, one of the TEE students.
 They passed through the village of Mpango, where a new church has been built and should be ready this year.
 Paulo Ernesto Mineses, one of the TEE students, is the leader of this church.
 Kapasseni is where Pastor Alfazema was born in 1950, and where he began the mission of the Lutheran Church in 2006.
 The boy and the drum: this is the common instrument played at the churches.
 They also mark the rhythm of the songs with two pieces of wood, which makes a loud clap sound.
 Dancing while singing is a “must”. They cannot sing without dancing… and this is their way to praise the Lord!
 Baptisms were performed in Kapasseni as well and the Lord’s Supper was offered to the communicants.
 After the Service, they went a little further to visit the village of Zambezi. This is the church that was built last year, and they desperately need a better church to worship during the rainy season (summer).
 Julio Mineses Nhapigode (Jolinho) is the TEE student in charge of this congregation.
 Pastor Alfazema preached in Chemba this Sunday morning. He performed Baptisms and Holy Communion, and also gave a wedding blessing to Júlio Albano Castomo and his wife, and to João Luis Nota and his wife, two of the TEE students who have already finished their documents and are now legally married (and not only according to the tribe tradition). (Just to remind you: Brazil sent a special donation last year for the wedding expenses of the eight students.)
 In the afternoon, Pastor Alfazema and his wife visited the church in Sena. The whole congregation came together again and the church was packed. All were happy to see their first spiritual leader again.
Mrs. Perpétua Marcos Alfazema spoke to the people as well. They are loved by their fellow Mozambique people!


 Monday was a festive day! People had organized a welcome party for the visitors from Canada, Brazil and South Africa. This is the first time Pastor Alfazema came back after he went to Canada in 2011 for cancer treatment.
 All gathered at the chapel at Kuwangisana Project, the Social Branch of the church.
 This was the first time that the three visiting pastors came together with the eight TEE students.
 The guests had special places of honour in front, and a representative of the students was invited to sit there too. – One daughter of the Alfazemas and a Canadian friend were there as well.
 All had opportunity to address the people, and Mama Perpétua was the last one. She spoke in the local Sena language and was translated to Portuguese by Mr. Gabriel, Director of the Kuwangisana Project.
 Local people introduced themselves and gave so many thanks for what the Project and the Church are doing for them.
 Children receive special care from the Project.
 Food was prepared for everyone: rice, 
 A huge baobab tree was blown over by a strong wind onto the Project’s Guesthouse recently… The guesthouse will be rebuilt.
 Beautiful flowers make the place happy: bougainvillea.
 After lunch, we all went to visit one of the schools of the Project, at São Paulo Lutheran Church, in Sena.
 It was lunch time for the children.
 Well cared for, the children enjoy the school and the lunch.
 Even eating with the fingers, there was  not one grain of rice or  beans on the mat.
Director Gabriel and Engineer Elder. Elder is drawing the plans for the new Guesthouse and for the Concordia Lutheran Center (read more about further).