Dear Friends and Supporters,
We are taking this opportunity to write and share further news of what we have been able to achieve in recent weeks.
We continue to remain very grateful for all your faithful prayers and support which is always a huge help in the work we do, both in Mozambique and elsewhere.
Covid-19 update… As is the case everywhere, Covid-19 continues to be a constant battle. In Mozambique the official number of cases continues to remain low in comparison with other countries. Whether that is the case, or whether many cases are simply not recorded (such as in the rural areas) we don’t really know. But what we have heard is that the number of cases in Mozambique have been increasing, as have the deaths. We have also heard that hospitals are struggling to cope, with only a small number of the population having been vaccinated. The government has recently implemented more restrictions, including the closure of places of worship and schools. As so many people have no access to the internet, or limited access on mobile phones, this is a major challenge, particularly in schools. A small number of city churches are able to stream their services online, but most people are again only able to meet in very small groups in homes. For the people at this time this is causing much anguish.
Update on the conflict in Cabo Delgado… The situation in this far northern province of Mozambique, which borders Tanzania, continues to remain volatile; some newspapers have written of dreadful atrocities being committed. A number of African countries have sent troops to help deal with this very complex situation. This does appear to be having some effect in containing the violence, and some form of order has been restored in some communities. But news is very hard to come by and there remain many displaced people, including children. Please continue to pray for peace and protection, and also for emotional and physical healing.
In the midst of all these circumstances it is encouraging to hear of how the Church in Mozambique continues to remain active. So our team in Beira continue to print more activity books for Sunday schools located in a number of different areas. We hear that the Sunday schools can still meet in small groups in houses during the current restrictions.
In addition to the Sunday school material, we are very grateful for the arrival of more MP3 players with the Sena recordings of the Scriptures. These were sent to Inácio in Beira from Global Recordings Network in South Africa. They were delivered by a missionary called Danie, who is also from South Africa, and he took more MP3 players to churches further north, to an area east of the border of Malawi. After travelling to that area, Danie made a return visit to Inácio on his way back to South Africa, staying with Inácio and his family at their home in Beira. This was a very encouraging time for Inácio. Since then some of the MP3 players have already been sent out to a missionary family living about 90 kilometres from Beira who do a wonderful work among some of the Sena speaking people of Mozambique. This again shows what is being achieved as different missions and churches work together.
Inácio recently sent us a text to say how that Bible studies we print and send out to rural areas are currently being used in the homes of very small groups during the current restrictions. He also told us of small groups of women who are able to come together to use the MP3 players with the Sena Scripture recordings. So while there are no church services these small groups can still have access to God’s Word and so remain encouraged in Him. The photos about is of an occasion when Inácio (on far right) distributed Sena Scripture recordings to one such rural community.
While the news from the province of Cabo Delgado has been very disturbing, we sometimes receive very encouraging news from the province of Niassa, which borders Cabo Delgado. Here in Niassa (the largest province in Mozambique) a man called Steven (left picture) works very faithfully with churches through distributing Bibles and Bible studies. He also helps in teaching God’s Word. Steven was brought up as a muslin before accepting Christ Jesus into his life. He has since been involved in a number of missionary projects. We have been able to send him some of the literature we print, and Steven tells us that the message from such publications, including a little booklet titled the Word of the Cross, has been very powerful. It is encouraging to hear that what we send is having a positive impact in people’s lives which always happens in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Steven sent us an email last week in which he wrote, “We need your prayers as we are facing a big challenge with Covid-19. Many are being affected during this 3rd phase. Many are dying as well. But the Lord is our Shepherd in all seasons and we shall not want.” So please pray for Steven and his family, for his work and the people in his area.
In May of last year we wrote of how Rute was planning to launch a project called ‘Project Hug-Us’, following a visit with her husband Jónatas to Mozambique in 2018 to help us in the mission work. Project Hug-Us was to includ sending out used toys made from recycled textiles. These toys would be related to stories from the Bible with accompanying books to help teach children about Jesus and other Biblical events. Due to difficulties arising from Covid-19, this project has not yet been able to move forward. However, it is now our hope that we can soon start to move forward with this very exciting and imaginative project.
Please keep Rute in your prayers as she again starts to make plans, and also her
husband Jónatas and ‘Project Hug-Us’. We hope to have further news to share in the near future. The photo on the right, of Jónatas and Rute, plus their dog, was from a visit we recently made to where they live, just outside of Lisbon.
We thank God that the literature that we sent to Guinea-Bissau has arrived – we wrote of this in our last letter. We also thank the Lord for Pastor Samuel Trancoso of the Baptist Church in Portugal who took the initiative to send out pallets with the literature for local churches, plus material for a local orphanage.
As we are all aware, during the pandemic it has been very difficult to arrange further travel to Mozambique. However, flights to go regularly from Portugal to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. When the opportunity arises it is our hope that we can travel out again. We continue to keep this situation in our prayers.
Donations for the work of Project Mozambique-Plus can be sent to our treasurer: Mr Robin Barnes, 6 Speke Close, Merriott, Somerset, TA16 5PX.
Tel: 01460 74758
Robin can also provide information on gift aided donations.
Cheques can be made payable to ‘Project Mozambique’. Details for online donations are provided on our website.
U.K. address: Project Mozambique-Plus, c/o The Bible Christian Centre, Haselbury Plucknet, Crewkerne,
Somerset, TA18 7QX.
Project Mozambique is a registered charity, number 1074456.
Thank you so much for all your connued support and prayers.
Chris & Cámica Hemborough