While Helen went to work at the office, the others were taken to the Christian Council of Mozambique to meet the staff there and hear about their work. The Council is very active politically. It is involved in peace negotiations with rebel fighters; managing a campaign to collect all weapons to turn them into sculptures in line with the Biblical prophecy to turn swords into ploughshares; running an orphanage for girls between 6 and 15 and there are plans for one for boys also. There is also great concern about a Brazilian Pentecostal movement who are propagating the prosperity gospel and who seem to have the ear of some political figures.
We then joined together with synod staff and Helen to talk about our partnership and how we might help each other. We both described our challenges and shared ideas on how we can learn and grow. It was clear IPM want to continue the relationship with Northern Synod and find it advantageous. Whilst appreciating the financial assistance from the synod they are very keen to share and develop in other ways too. We acknowledged that we are also benefitting and learning from the partnership.
Helen went to attend a meeting with a computer software designer to discuss a custom-built accounting system. This will be purchased with the money sent from Northern Synod once a suitable system has been found. Lis and Meg went to meet Lazaro and staff at the Mozambique Bible Society to hear about their work. They are mainly involved in translating the Bible into native languages, but also the project ‘Faith by Hearing’ which gives the ‘Proclaimer’ – a radio that can be powered by electricity, solar panels or wound up – to people in remote areas who cannot read. There is the ‘Bible a month club’ whose members fund the distribution of a Bible every month to those who are unable to afford one, and the Samaritan project which gives Bibles and works with people suffering from HIV/AIDS. We were treated to some Mozambican hospitality with gifts and lunch. (John and Helen made do with a coffee and cake!)
After lunch, Helen and John taught English to some staff, (who were much further on than they themselves thought) and Lis and Meg went to exchange greetings with the Women’s Movement. They sang several songs to us expressing their joy and welcome. Some of the women took us to see the knitting project and over juice and biscuits we were presented with a knitted shawl in the grey and white colours of their Movement.
In the evening, we presented 2 bible studies in different styles to a group of 18 people from the church who have chosen to attend each weekday evening for 2 hours to learn more about God and their faith.
It’s been a busy but rewarding and informative day.
Tomorrow we are off to Xai Xai and we do not know where we will be staying so there may not be another posting until Sunday evening!