The current partnership between the United Church of Christ in Mozambique (UCCM) and Global Ministries has its roots in the 1870s when the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission showed an interest in working in Mozambique. Today, the mission of the United Church of Christ in Mozambique is to serve God and bring people to a progressive religious experience inspired by Jesus Christ through worship, preaching, and the sacraments. The church is active in evangelization and awareness-raising of the people of Mozambique where UCCM churches are present.
Pastors assigned to rural parishes are faced with many difficulties to serve the local congregations because these are spread far apart from the main offices of the parishes. The church has a project to purchase motorcycles for pastors in the rural parishes of the areas of Tica, Chinde, Caia, Chababava, Machaze, Buzi, and Gogoi. There are, on average, six congregations in each of these parishes. Pastors of these parishes attend to approximately 200 Christian families per month, a very difficult task to be accomplished on foot or on a bicycle. Because of this, the communities stay for long periods without a pastor's assistance and not sharing in communion. Congregations are often up to 80 km away from the pastor's house.
To minimize the traveling difficulties that these pastors have, it is necessary to have at least seven motorcycles which can withstand the travel conditions and terrain of countryside work. With this project, the UCCM will reduce in part the tremendous challenges the pastors presently face as they serve the families in their churches. Many times during their pastoral visits pastors sleep in the open air, risking their lives. Most of the preaching points which the pastors visit have no water and, at times, they must cross thick forests on foot.
An additional advantage to the use of motorcycles is they will enable the pastor to travel with his wife to distant zones where she can work with the women in various activities.
- $50 can pay for delivery of one motorcycle for a pastor.
- $100 can pay for the registration expenses of a motorcycle.
- $1,000 can purchase a motorcycle for use by a pastor serving many preaching points.
Update: June 2017
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.
The UCCM continues to prioritize the purchase of motorcycles for pastors. Transportation for pastors in rural parishes is a big complication as there is a vast distance between churches and residences. On average, each ordained rural pastor in the UCCM serves six congregations within one parish, an average of 200 families per parish, covering an area spanning 20 to 80 km (12 to 50 miles).For most pastors, the only options for transportation are to walk or use a bicycle, which are extremely slow and dangerous as pastors have to spend the night in the wild and cannot carry much water with them. UCCM would like to purchase motorbikes for the pastors so that they can spend more time attending to congregants as well as use the increased mobility to serve communion more often and lead more worship services.