These are stories from people who have visited Mozambique. We hope that they inspire you to visit this beautiful country. The story below is from the latest Mozambquie Initative newsletter. Past stories can be found in the archived issues of the Mozambique Initative newsletter found in the Conference Newsletter archive. Please contact Carol Kreamer if you have a story to share.
Story of the Month: Partner visits in August!
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. Ephesians 4:14-16
A delegation of 11 Missouri Conference leaders in three groups visited about 25 churches during 2-week itineration throughout Mozambique during August 2009. Stories of these partner visits will be shared in the next issues of the MI newsletter. Read on!
Nancy Lynch was a member of Memorial UMC in Farmington, MO and it just did not work out for her to participate in other VIM’s to Mozambique. Memorial UMC’s partner, Moatize UMC, was located in the far northwestern district of Tete in Mozambique – they had never received a mission team.
But Nancy was convinced that she needed to visit the partner after her church, through offerings, auctions, and events, had raised contributions totaling more than $12,000 USD to fund a permanent parsonage for the Moatize pastor. Nancy was invited to be part of the Missouri leadership team and a small delegation of Carol Kreamer, Fred Koenig, and Nancy Lynch would travel together to Tete.
After one day of visiting other churches in Tete District, the Sunday came for the parsonage dedication.
“The Moatize church made of local materials was originally located on private property of the church lay leader. The church was located in close proximity of the church members. Transportation was not a problem as it was located in the hub of the community. Fortunately or unfortunately, it was sitting on top of a rich vein of coal. Vale Minerals, the coal mining company, in an agreement with the government, is buying out and moving the entire community where the old church was located. The government gave the church a piece of land on the other side of town and that is where the present church and new parsonage is located. This appears to be an area of development and the church has an active core of members, however, transportation for members may be a problem.
The parsonage sits at the rear of the property, with the open-air church made of local materials to the right as you look from the street. There is a large area available to build a church at the front of the property, facing the street. The day of the dedication, the parsonage was painted white and a hedge had been planted around the perimeter of the property. Ladies of the church had a fire going in the side yard, cooking dinner. An awning for extra shelter and woven mats for seating had been added to the existing thatched roof church.
We were greeted with flower leis, singing and dancing as only the Mozambique United Methodist’s can do. Rev. Jacob Lucas Jenhuro had ridden seven hours on a bus from Beira to attend the dedication as the Bishop’s representative. Scripture and responsive reading was led by Rev. Jenhuro and then Nancy Lynch, as representative of the Farmington Memorial United Methodist church was asked to come forward to cut the red ribbon stretched across the front door of the new parsonage building. The scissors were decorated with red ribbon as well as the key to the front door. Nancy turned the key to unlock the front door of the parsonage and the members streamed in to see the new house for their pastor. There were high ceilings to keep the house cool in the hot temperatures of summer and thick brick walls covered in plaster to insulate the two bedrooms, living room, small office and kitchen. The rooms had windows that swung open with window screens to protect from malaria-carrying mosquitoes and a front porch to sit on in the cool of the evenings. The parsonage had electricity in all rooms, but no water. Bathrooms had been constructed a small distance from the house, but not finished. These are to be finished later.
The church service included scripture, prayer, Tete youth choir, Moatize choir, gifts from the Farmington Church to Rev. Janete Antonio Fanequiço, the present pastor, Rev. Armando Chovane Ricardo, the new pastor (January 2010), president of the Women’s Society, the three young men who built the parsonage and a wall hanging for the new parsonage. A capulana, matching the choir members, was given to both Carol Kreamer and Nancy Lynch, with much singing and dancing.
Tables and chairs appeared in the parsonage for dinner to be served to guests. Someone had managed to carry the tables, chairs, dishes, food, all of this to celebrate the day!
Nancy later learned more about the need to continue improvements in order to retain the entire piece of property and looks forward to a long relationship with her partners. She made email connections to keep in touch. What a wonderful day to see the fruits of the ministry at Moatize! What a wonderful gift to bring home to Memorial! God is good!
Xitswa Table Grace Learned During Visit
O Hosi katekisa kuga loku unga-hin-yika
Kuvuna ha mi-mi-ri a kubonga. A-A-men.
O Lord bless our food that you have given us to help our body.
We thank you. A-men.
But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. 1 Corinthians 12:24-26
Shared to the glory of God for the people of God,
Nancy Lynch – Mozambique ministry leader, Memorial (Farmington) UMC and Carol Kreamer – coordinator, The Mozambique Initiative