by Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Hosmer
Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 NRSV
Then the Lord God and the man formed the church from the dust of the ground, and breathed life into the church, and the church became a living being.
On Friday, June 7, our Outreach Foundation group visited the village of Amphande, in the Tete Province of Mozambique, where men, women, and children were creating their church from the dust of the ground. Their assembly line started in a water-soaked pit where two men hoed and shoveled. After they worked the mud to a smooth consistency, they scooped it by hand into wooden molds and passed them down the line. The last person quickly turned the mold upside down onto the ground and then gently pulled it off the brick-shaped mud. One by one each brick was formed, passed, and spread in drying rows on the ground.
Everyone took part in the creation process. The women carried heavy containers of water. Some rinsed the molds after each use, dunking them in a large drum filled with water. All helped in the assembly line. Each person had a hand in making bricks that would be used for their church.
Their new building will replace one on the same site that collapsed because it was not built with the right methods and materials. These bricks will dry in the sun for about a month before being stacked and fired with wood flames centered under the stack. Eventually, the congregation will prepare the foundation and construct their church. With assistance from The Outreach Foundation, they will purchase the materials to install a metal roof to withstand the storms of the rainy season.
Amphande is one of numerous congregations in the Tete Province where the Holistic Evangelism Project partners with persons of exuberant faith to build up the Body of Christ. We were blessed to witness their zeal and diligence. We observed how the Lord is breathing life into this church and how the church is a living being, formed and transformed to the glory of God.
We cherished moments of mutual encouragement and prayer. Before we departed, our group presented them with a cross to use in worship. The same hands that worked the mud received the cross. That seems wonderfully appropriate when we reflect on how the Lord accomplished our creation and salvation!
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey A. Hosmer
Senior Pastor, North Lake Presbyterian Church
Lady Lake, FL