April Update from Mozambique
We are happy to report that the weather is getting cooler as we head into our wintertime here. GoiGoi is typically cooler than Beira, being near the mountains, and we look forward to wearing long sleeves soon and maybe even having a blanket on the bed! Work around the house and fields continue to progress well. Kim has been very busy clearing space for her new garden with the help of some church members. Erik has been working with church leaders to provide much needed Bibles and other church resources to the rural churches.
The last time we visited Beira we asked the church in GoiGoi what they would like us to bring back for them if we could. The resounding response was Bibles and other church teaching material. The United Church of Christ in Mozambique produces many educational booklets to help educate and inform its members and sells them from the bookstore in the main office in Beira. We asked for a selection of these booklets to bring back to the GoiGoi area so that the church members here could have easier access to them. We were also able to purchase a box of sixteen Bibles in the Chindau language to have in GoiGoi. When they heard about our plan, some friends of ours in the town of Dondo gave us some boxes of other Bible teaching material as well as an audio player loaded with the New Testament in Chindau. It has a solar panel and a hand crank to charge its battery. Church
member, Vasco, has been enjoying listening to it every day as he helps us clear brush from around the house.
Last week, we went to Dacata, a nearby town, for a special Men’s Volunteers conference. We were able to announce the availability of all these resources to our six GoiGoi area churches and many people purchased booklets and Bibles. It may sound odd that most of these resources are for sale and not simply free. They are sold at or below the print cost so there is no profit-making involved. When I asked about this myself, some time ago, the church leaders shared with me that they have found it important for their people to feel the Bible or other resource is truly theirs and by charging a small amount for these things they help foster a sense of pride of ownership. When I thought about it more, their wisdom began to make more sense to me. People here, like most everywhere, take a lot of pride in providing for themselves and providing a way to get what they need and still maintain that feeling is important. I remember buying my first Bible and how proud I was of that accomplishment. I still have it with me in fact. I am happy to be a part of the process of making these Bibles available for our friends in GoiGoi to have that same experience.
The social, political, and economic situation in Mozambique is still in turmoil and confusion. The people here welcome your prayers and enjoy hearing that you are praying for them as they pray for you as well. May God continue to bless you and keep you.
Kim and Erik Free serve with the United Church of Christ in Mozambique. Their appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.