While the others did some sightseeing, I, (Helen) was hard at work in the synod office with Reynaldo looking at the finances. We looked at the accounting systems and the way the churches and Synod organised their income and expenditure. I met the staff in the office and we had lots of fun as they helped me learn some Portuguese! They would like us to teach some English to follow on from Gordon and Elaine’s recent visit. We hope to purchase computers and accounting software while we are here with the money raised by Northern Synod.
Lis, Meg and John spent the morning exploring Maputo. They visited the RC Cathedral, a beautiful white, airy building and the markets which were noisy, bright and crowded. Maputo is full of contrasts: people sorting through piles of charity clothes to drivers in expensive cars, litter-strewn streets to beautiful shady park areas, rundown tower blocks to opulent apartments and hotels.
In the afternoon we had a meeting with Obed, Ernesto and Reynaldo to put us in the picture regarding their current state of affairs and the challenges they are facing. One of these issues is to do with their churches in the north of the country which are rural, remote and poor. Another challenge is communication as churches don’t know each other and there is no system in place. We shared details of our synod e-news and Reform magazine and promised to send them for information. We compared methods of payment to ministers and they shared their difficulties in organising a more centralised system but they do have a desire to be more systematic in all of their church affairs.