Holistic Evangelism in Tete Province
Dear Friends of Tete Province, Mozambique
My wife Elizabeth, fellow Trustee Tom McDow, and I have recently returned from leading a trip to Tete Province, Mozambique sponsored by The Outreach Foundation. We were joined by team members from Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Palm City, Florida. Marilyn Borst, Associate Director of the Outreach Foundation, also joined us. Our 16-member team of intrepid mission specialists had a wonderful and, I might add, life-changing trip. Rev. Nedson Zulu and Public Health Nurse Sebber Banda guided us as we visited churches, wells, schools, and clinics throughout Tete Province. We experienced a wonderful drama performance put on by the very talented Drama Team that works under Sebber’s guidance to instruct village communities on disease prevention and health and hygiene matters.
“There was no mincing of words when the Drama Team performed a skit on HIV/AIDs for the young students and villagers at the Tsuende school. It was quite explicit: a young wife whose husband traveled a lot had an affair. The actors were very comical in presenting this disturbing theme which captured the audience’ s attention and drove home the point in a way that no lecture ever could.” — Elizabeth
We also spent time with church elders, women’s groups, traditional birth attendants, skills training participants, and evangelists. They shared with us how important the leadership and health seminars are to both individuals and congregations. The fact that churches are thriving and growing in an environment of more than 60 churches and only 2 pastors is a strong testament to the effectiveness of the leadership training offered by Nedson.
“We met with Sampson Kampira, the head elder at the Chiwale church. He helps supervise and train the elders of three other churches. He told us about attending an Exposure Seminar and coming back a different person. He learned how to go out and tell other people about the Bible. He now realizes that the church is no longer just for the family, but for the entire community. His vision is to take the Word of God to other villages and help the church grow.” — Berry
The fact that maternal and infant mortality rates are dropping and that health awareness is increasing is evidence of the vital difference that is being made by Sebber’s health seminars and drama presentations, and by the training of Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) and Village Health Assistants (VHA). Trustee Tom McDow and team members from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nashville collected and delivered by airline-checked baggage 50 TBA kits and 25 VHA kits. Not a single suitcase was misplaced or lost by the airlines - a minor miracle indeed!
“The first TBA that I interviewed told me that her life was completely changed as a result of her training. Once she had been a drunkard, doing many bad things. The training helped her mature and taught her to be patient and caring and accepting. Because of this, she has received Christ and joined the church. Before there were TBAs, the elderly women in the communities assisted with births. They were often harsh and impatient and did not have the skills or the strength for the job. Now they let the TBAs do it, and the mortality rates have decreased.” —Elizabeth
We worshipped with three different congregations and were blessed immensely as we experienced the warm greetings, stirring songs, inspiring services, and generous hospitality of these gracious hosts. We were also blessed to have the opportunity to be with Nedson and Sebber and their families and to gain insight from these dedicated servant leaders regarding the various ministries taking place in Tete Province.
We left Tete Province uplifted and exhilarated by what we saw and experienced. The strong faith of our African brothers and sisters impressed and humbled us. We rejoice at what is being accomplished in God’s church in Tete Province. But we also recognize that there are still many ministry needs to be met in order for this amazing Kingdom work to continue to flourish. Some of the current priorities are:
|Salary and administration||$60,000 per year|
|Leadership seminars/training||15 per year @ $2,500 each|
|Health seminars/training||5 per year @ $2,500 each|
|A used 4-wheel drive vehicle||$30,000|
|New church buildings||$8-10,000 each|
|Traditional Birthing Kits||$175 each|
|Jesus Film||$400 per year|
We are deeply grateful for the prayers, support, and gifts of so many individuals and churches that enable the Holistic Evangelism Project in Tete Province. This amazing and vital work would not have been possible without your commitment in the past. However, there is much still to be accomplished! Please prayerfully consider a gift to support our current priorities listed above.
"I was once again reminded of the tremendous need for wells when I saw women and girls digging shallow holes in a dry river bed to try and collect the water that might seep out. How can they live with such a meager supply of water?” –-Berry
As I close, let me share some exciting news. The day after we returned from Tete Province, I learned of a gift of $10,000 from South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham. This generous gift, above and beyond their regular support, will help build a church at the Mameme 2 village, pictured to the right, and also provide funding for a training seminar. Thanks be to God for his wonderful providence.
The Outreach Foundation