26th March 2020,
Dear Fellow Congregationalists,
We bring you Christian greetings from the Central Office of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa at this time when both the Church and society are going through a hitherto unknown public health crisis causing unprecedented challenges at all levels of our existence as people in society.Read more
On April 29th, Cyclone Kenneth touched down just six weeks after Cyclone Idai. Cyclone Idai displaced thousands and claimed the lives of almost 500 people in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Tropical Cyclone Kenneth has caused death and destruction in the Comoro Islands, Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania. An estimated 38 people on Africa’s southeastern coast have died due to Cyclone Kenneth.Read more
Hundreds have died after cyclone Idai hit Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi. Thousands are missing or displaced. International news outlets report that 1.5 million people are impacted in these three southern Africa countries.
There are reports that Beira, Mozambique has been hardest hit. Cyclone Idai destroyed 90% of this central port city. Much of the city is covered in water with some survivors clinging to trees and rooftops awaiting rescue. Beira is the home of the central office of the United Church of Christ in Mozambique, a historic Global Ministries partner. In addition to the United Church of Christ in Mozambique, Global Ministries relates to the Christian Council of Mozambique, Mozambique Synod of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, and Ricatla United Seminary. Rev. Marco Cable, Area Executive for Africa, is still waiting on news and information from some partners in Mozambique due to the loss of electricity and instability related to the cyclone. Detailed information related to the cyclone’s impact on partners will be shared as available. However, the Africa office has received this report from the Christian Council of Mozambique:
“I can share with you is that Beira was destroyed by the cyclone. The city doesn't have electricity, water, communication, and roads were destroyed. More than 84 people died in the past 4 days. The cyclone was coming with almost 220k/h of wind. People lost all of their goods, including food. Now many are standing on trees, and more than 6,000 homes were destroyed. Today, we found 11 corpses in the river.
It is still raining in the Tete province. This province is affected by floods, as are most districts, including the capital city. The bridge is closed because the government is afraid that it may collapse. People are suffering as a result of no water, food, and shelter.
Zambezia province was affected by the cyclone specifically in the district called Chinde. More than 400 houses were destroyed. Floods are affecting many districts in that area.”Read more
It is with deep sadness, sorrow and pain that we inform you of the passing on of the UCCSA General Secretary – The Rev Alistair Arends. Rev Arends was diagnosed with cancer and has not been well for some time now. He has been in and out of hospital over the past few months, after being discharged in June 2017, his condition was stabilized and was recuperating very well. However, on Monday we received the tragic news that he has been called to higher service.Read more
Founded in 1905, the United Church of Christ in Mozambique (UCCM) is a Reformed Protestant denomination with headquarters in Beira. The church supports cooperation among different denominations, and therefore prioritizes projects in areas where there is the most need, not focusing solely on areas where their own congregations are located. UCCM provides aid for a wide variety of causes, which in the past have included disaster relief, gender activism, education, and supplying water to residents in areas facing drought conditions.
Currently, UCCM prioritizes new efforts in expanding the Family Development Microcredit Project, launching the Girls’ Education Project, and continuing services offered by the Health Center.Read more
Well, for those of you that don't know, Kim and I had to return a year early from Mozambique due to political unrest with armed fighting too close to where we were working in the rural areas. Thankfully, we have been able to remain in contact with our church partners and colleagues in the area around GoiGoi and know that they are keeping as safe as they can, though life is very difficult. Farming their fields is often impossible due to the fighting, making food scarcity an even bigger problem than it has been in recent years.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 5:1-12
Prayers for Mozambique:
God of peace, we pray today for our sisters and brothers in Mozambique. We ask your hand of blessing to continue to rest gently upon their country, to inspire your peace in their leaders and their people. May our partner church, the United Church of Christ in Mozambique, continue to be inspired by your love in their work as peacemakers and conduits of your blessing in the world.
Lord, there are people in Mozambique who suffer from hunger and little access to fresh foods.
Use your people to bless them with abundance and the bounty of the earth.
Lord, there are people in Mozambique who live in fear of violence.
Comfort them with your Holy Spirit and inspire peace in the hearts of those who would do violence.
Lord, there are people in Mozambique striving after you and your kingdom. Bless them with the knowledge that they are not alone, that they have your Spirit within them and the prayers of others around the world supporting them.
God of Grace and Blessing, we lift up the people of Mozambique with these prayers today which we ask in your Son Jesus' name, Amen.Read more
Carol Ann Cannon Gilley
November 18, 1936 – September 19, 2016
Lectionary Selection: Luke 14:1,7-14
Prayers for Mozambique:
God of wisdom and grace, we come to you seeking your guidance. We hear your words regarding humility and we must admit that we fall short. We need you to show us the way of humility, the way of Jesus. Show us the way of love, O God.
We lift up the people and nation of Mozambique in prayer today. Open our hearts to the poor in spirit, a country crippled by an imperialist past, those struck lame by discouragement, and people who are blind to your Spirit. Help them to hear and accept the invitation to the table of your blessing, God. May we do our best to be examples of your fantastic love across the physical and cultural divides that separate us. Let us take the back seat and humble ourselves for the benefit of your beloved in Mozambique.
May your Spirit of giving and love abound in all people; especially in the hearts of the people of Mozambique, for whom we pray. May their leaders be humbled by your message of love and inspired to put the people first and self-interest last. Make us all instruments of your peace, O Lord. Amen.