Impressions of Mozambique

From 18 April to 7 May, Heather Phillips’ parents, Sam and Marion, visited Mozambique where Heather is on a six month placement with OMS, working at the OMS compound “Boa Nova” in the Machava district of the capital Maputo.

They write,“It was of course great to see Heather and spend time seeing a little of the work she is involved with in helping Melvin Kelly and local pastors to set up the “Helping Hands” disabled project and also meeting her other OMS colleagues.  It was also particularly special to meet many local Mozambican Christians, including pastors and leaders who are working with their own people seeking to win them for the Lord and teaching them to follow Him.

Sophie tutoring Mathematics

We stayed on the OMS compound in the house shared by Heather and Sophie Jenkins, who is teaching and tutoring Mathematics at the CAM School.

We found Mozambique to be a land of contrasts.  We could go into Maputo and find beautiful hotels and houses and big shopping centres and yet only a few minutes away we could find abject poverty, people living in shanty areas and rubbish everywhere.  The Mozambican people were very warm, friendly and welcoming.  The weather was warm and sunny and Maputo was colourful, crowded, and chaotic.

Some families from the church near Quissico

Sam with Pastor Abel, Pastor Nellio and Papa Thomas, the headman of the village

Early in our visit we enjoyed a trip 6 hours north to Quissico in the province of Inhambane where we met up with OMS worker Aimee Howarth and some local pastors, and shared a three hour long church service under a large tree!  This was followed by a meal provided by the villagers while we sat around a table set out in the middle of their village houses.

Marion with Melvin Kelly taking a class at the OMS Seminary

We visited the OMS Seminary in Maputo where Marion took a class on HIV/Aids and its causes and prevention, with Melvin Kelly acting as interpreter.  We also visited with local pastors and attended church services at Kongalote and Chamanculo districts and it was wonderful to worship the Lord together with them.  We also visited a new church plant at Machavana, about an hour north of the city.

At the OMS compound we saw the work of CAM School and the dedication of the teachers who are working there.

Sam speaking at CAM School Assembly

Sam enjoyed speaking to the young folk at a school assembly and the children seemed to enjoy the illustrations of some of the “I am’s” that Jesus said in the gospel of John… the way, the truth, the life, the bread of life and the light of the world.

During our stay we were able to visit a number of ongoing projects – a day home for street boys, a children’s club run by Fernando Almeida, an orphan support project run by a Zambian couple and various ladies’ craft and discipleship courses run by Sharon Kelly.  It was also a joy to learn that the expected container with the wheelchairs had arrived in the port while we were there, and it was released and transported to the compound a week after we left.

There is so much need in this beautiful land.  Please pray for Mozambique and for the local believers, as well as the OMS workers as they cope with the workload both physically and spiritually.  Many new believers need discipleship training themselves as they in turn strive to disciple others.

We were so impressed with the dedication and hard work of the OMS team, and with the variety of work they are involved in, and when the time came to say goodbye and return home it was very hard but we are most grateful for the opportunity to visit and for the hospitality of the OMS workers at Boa Nova.”

Praise the Lord, all ye nations, praise him, all ye people.
For his merciful kindness is great towards us: and the truth of the Lord endureth for ever.  Praise ye the Lord
(Psalm 117)

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