Holistic Evangelism in Tete Province June Trip Report
Dear Friends of Tete Province,
My wife Elizabeth, Trustee Tom McDow, and I have recently returned from leading a trip to Tete Province, Mozambique, sponsored by The Outreach Foundation. There were two teams traveling with us. The first week, thirteen team members came from Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. The second week, six team members came from Tennessee, South Dakota and Florida. The teams traveled to different areas in Tete Province. The first team visited the Zobue and Tete City Districts where much of the work of the Holistic Evangelism Project has taken place. The second team visited the more remote Mutarara District. Both teams experienced exhilarating worship services that both inspired us and humbled us.
The team members were impressed with the ministries of the project led by Rev. Nedson Zulu and Sebber Banda. We saw how God is using these wonderful servant leaders and gifts from partners in the United States to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ to entire villages in Tete Province.
We saw a new school that has been built at the village of Kadiso and new teacher housing that has been constructed in the village of Canhungue. We visited several existing schools where a partnership between The Outreach Foundation and H2O for Life has drilled wells and built brick toilet blocks. We were excited to see that drilling efforts were finally under way on eight different wells. These wells and school related construction projects are truly a blessing, but there is still great need. For example, we saw children who attend school under trees because they have no school building.
Leadership Training for lay church leaders is an essential part of the Holistic Evangelism Project. Nedson and Sebber have designed a curriculum that covers 17 different areas of church life – elder training, women’s leadership, skills training for evangelists, and health awareness – just to name a few. These church leaders receive training on every aspect of church life.
While in Tete Province, the team had an opportunity to interview some of the elders who have received this Leadership Training. They were an impressive group of men and women. In the top photo, one leader who had learned carpentry skills talked of how he was able to provide coffins at no charge for families that had lost loved ones. He felt that the congregation had chosen him to receive the skills training so that he could be a better leader. As he helped families deal with their grief, providing a coffin as an act of service and love was a tangible expression of God’s love. In a similar way, an elder in the photo below, who had learned to be a tailor, provided clothes to members of the church who could not afford to buy them. Both of these elders demonstrated servant leadership. They did not utilize their skills training solely for income. They used them as an opportunity to serve their congregation and the community.
The seven leaders in the photo to the left were our hosts for our second week. These leaders had traveled from their own villages, walking or riding bicycles for hours to be at the Mutarara church to serve us. They cooked our meals, washed our hands, cleaned our dishes and prayed for us. They spent their nights on the floor of the church while they were apart from their families. And every morning and evening, they met us with smiles and warm greetings.
The Church in Tete Province is vibrant and healthy, growing by leaps and bounds. The Leadership Training provided by Nedson and Sebber is critical to that success. In fact, the long term future of this work depends on it. Everywhere we went, the people praised Nedson and Sebber. As one elder put it, "Whoever chose them did a good job." A big part of what makes that so true is the Leadership Training that Nedson and Sebber provide.
It was obvious to our team members that the Holistic Evangelism Project is bearing much good fruit, but also that the needs for this ongoing work remain quite high. The highest priorities for funding remain salary support, leadership training of lay leaders, evangelism through the showing of the Jesus Film, and public health awareness utilizing drama presentation and health seminars. We also are actively seeking funding to train an apprentice from the partner church (IPM) to work under Nedson and Sebber, which will help guarantee the long term success of this work. Your prayer support and financial gifts are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your commitment to help grow this amazing Kingdom work in Tete Province. Please continue to hold Nedson, Sarah, Sebber, and their families in prayer.
Zikomo kwambiri (thank you very much),
Minimum Goal for 2014
$253,000 for church, school, and teacher housing construction, lay leadership training, wells, village health kits, Jesus film, bicycles, operation
Tete Province, Mozambique