Holistic Evangelism in Tete Province - May 2014 Update
Tete Province, Mozambique
Dear Friends of Tete Province,
My wife Elizabeth, fellow Trustee Tom McDow, and I returned Thursday from leading a trip to Tete Province, Mozambique sponsored by The Outreach Foundation. The eleven team members came from Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, and South Dakota. We were joined by Nedson, Sebber, and the two Tete Province Presbyterian pastors, Carlos Faquione and Candido Macuacua. We visited all three of the Tete Province districts in which the Holistic Evangelism Project takes place, which meant a lot of driving on challenging roads. We were deeply impressed with the impact the project is making all across Tete Province. The leadership skills of Nedson, Sebber, Carlos, and Candido were readily apparent as was the love and respect with which they are held by all that we met. We saw firsthand how God is using these servant leaders to transform entire villages and to build his kingdom in Tete Province.
We started out in the remote village of Chikoti where two hand drilled wells had just been completed with the assistance of drillers trained by PC(USA) missionary Jim McGill, who works primarily in Malawi. The village was overjoyed to see us and thanked us for the gift of fresh, clean water. The former source of water for them had been a crocodile-infested river that was quite a distance away. We also saw mechanically drilled wells that had just been completed in the town of Zobue and also in the village of Chazia, which lies 2-3 hours (depending on the vehicle suspension) along one of the most challenging roads I have ever traversed. The fact that we had to use reverse for quite a bit of the time on our return is another story in and of itself.
We saw a new school that is just starting to be constructed at the village of Canhungue. The chief welcomed us and proudly showed us the site clearing, foundation, and the many workers we found preparing the bricks that will be used in the construction. We were also amazed and delighted to see that a large group of villagers were walking to the site carrying the stones that would be used to fortify the foundation. The construction projects with which The Outreach Foundation assists are truly works of partnership and heavily utilize the sweat equity of the surrounding villages. Later during the week, we also visited a school that is being constructed at the village of Madzimaera. That school is about halfway finished, and we were greeted by a large crowd of villagers who sang and danced to express their joy! Again we saw the evidence of how the village is very involved in the construction of the school.
One afternoon, we saw an amazing drama performance at the village of Khanga put on by the talented actors who have been trained by Sebber. This is an extremely effective way to communicate information on health education and social issues. Watching Sebber address the large crowd of villagers was a study in teaching, crowd control, and love. Sebber is truly amazing, and her work in health awareness is making a tremendous difference in the living conditions of countless villages. After we watched the drama performance, we learned that a church about an hour away in the village of Mameme 2 had been waiting for us since 8:00 that morning. That was not part of our itinerary, and we don't know how they heard that we were coming for a visit. We rushed there and were welcomed with open arms, singing, and dancing. They had a greeting for us in the church, showed us their well, fed us, and gave us gifts, including a goat. We left humbled by their extravagant hospitality.
On Sunday, the team split into three groups and worshiped in different locations. Each group experienced lively and joyous singing and dancing in wonderful worship services that lasted several hours. On our last day in Tete Province, we were invited to eat breakfast at the home of the very influential District Commissioner of the Zobue District who thanked us for the many ways that The Outreach Foundation is partnering with the people of his ditrict. Then we met with elder-evangelists who shared their personal faith stories and experiences of helping to start and lead churches in an area where there are only two part-time tent making pastors for 70+ churches. It was our privilege to present them some bicycles that in their words, "allow them to carry the gospel to villages beyond where they can walk."
The church in Tete Province is vibrant and expanding. The leadership training, construction projects, wells, and health awareness led by Nedson and Sebber are bearing much great fruit. However, there is still much work to be done, and the ongoing needs of the ministry remain quite high. The greatest priorities continue to be funding for salary support, leadership training of the lay leaders and evangelists, evangelism through the showing of the Jesus film, and public health awareness initiatives. There is also a need for the funding of a lay leadership training center that would allow even more participation in the vital lay leadership training program.
Thank you for your prayers for the team that visited Tete Province. We felt your support. And thank you for your commitment to partner with our African brothers and sisters as we work together to help build God's Kingdom in Tete Province. Please continue to hold Nedson, Sarah, Sebber and their families in prayer.
Zikomo kwambiri (thank you very much),
Amount needed in 2014
The Outreach Foundation seeks to raise at least $2,500 per month for church, school, and teacher housing construction, lay leadership training, wells, village health kits, Jesus film, bicycles, and operations for the Holistic Evangelism Project in Tete . To make a donation, click the Donate Now link in the sidebar.
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