The faint buzzing of a mosquito somewhere in the bedroom was not a good start to my first day in Mozambique. I knew it was there and it was after my blood, but if I could get it first I thought I may get a night’s sleep. Sadly, I lost the battle and it, along with a host of other critters, feasted on my Welsh blood for 2 weeks! However, that was all part of this great experience of visiting Africa. I had never before visited the vast continent, so with fear and trepidation I, along with Pastor Phill Evans of Newbridge AoG church, boarded the flight at Heathrow bound for Maputo. Upon arrival, we were met by our OMS workers and taken to the OMS compound where we were soon introduced to the mosquito population! As well as that, we met the rest of the Team: a great group of individuals from different parts of the world endeavouring to unite behind the message of the gospel. Through a variety of ministries, the Team is facing challenging conditions in order to spread a little of the love of Jesus in Africa.
A variety of experience for all the senses takes place as one journeys around Maputo and its environs. The acrid smell of raw sewage, the heat of a tropical sun, the sight of waste disposed of on the side of the road, the feeling of hopelessness in the lives of many torn apart by years of conflict and difficulties caused by natural disasters. Yet, despite this, Mozambique feels like a country with a future; investment from the Far East is slowly making a difference and tourism is something the country surely needs to invest time and money in as the beaches are beautiful and the sun is hot.
But what of our visit?
It was a great privilege to attend the OMS annual staff retreat a few hours drive outside the hustle and bustle of the city. Spending quality time relaxing, getting to know our Team, and sharing from the Word of God, was a blessing. Phill ministered from the early chapters of Revelation and I shared around a communion service. It was an oasis in the struggles of life in Mozambique.
Following the Retreat, I was involved in teaching at the Maputo Biblical & Theological Seminary; my subject being `Lessons from Revivals in Religion’. 18 eager students gathered each morning for 5 days to learn from Church history and to endeavour to apply those lessons to their present situation. With the day starting with breakfast at 4:30 am, leaving the house at 5:30, arriving at the college by 6:15, and teaching from 8 – 12 is a rather ‘topsy turvy’ way of life. However, that’s how it rolls, and so as a visitor one just tries to adapt and stay awake long enough to fulfil the class time.
Whilst I was teaching at the college, Phill was involved with a variety of ministry opportunities: visiting the Helping Hands Project; speaking to children at Christian Academy; supporting the football outreach programme; preaching at a local church; attending a local Pastor’s prayer meeting; and assisting in the home schooling of one missionary family.
Please pray for the Team in Mozambique; it is a country with many obstacles, but also with the great opportunity for people to impact lives for the sake of the Kingdom.
Regional Director Wales & West of England & OMS Theological Education Team (TET)