Greetings and blessings from Beira. August was an exciting month for us here in Mozambique. We visited the farm project in Gogoi where we got a sneak peak at the home being built for us there as well as a glimpse of the fields and rivers near the small settlement. Now that we have seen it and had a chance to speak with the people living there, we are even more able now to share the church’s hope for renewing this important facet of the work in Mozambique. I say ‘renew’ because the farm in Gogoi is not only a very worthwhile current project of the church, it is also a long-held place of learning and equipping lay-people and evangelists whose history with the United Church of Christ in Mozambique (UCCM) goes back to 1905. The
farm has a fascinating history as a place of training in agriculture, carpentry, baking, domestic skills, theology, and primary/secondary education. There is so much potential there. Kim and I came home very excited and full of ideas from what we learned and saw.
August has also ushered in the beginning of the presidential campaign season in preparation for elections in October. Near the end of the month we witnessed the entire city of Beira transformed overnight by the sudden appearance of campaign stickers on every available surface. Peace talks between the two main political parties continued and culminated in the signing of a peace agreement, making the prospect of the coming elections an even more anticipated and hopeful event. The churches, including the UCCM, have been instrumental in this peacemaking process. You may remember reading about the peace conference I attended last month. All of those church leaders went home and continued the discussion for peace and have been called upon by civic leaders to assist in the process on a national level. When we talk to the people here about the coming elections, we hear them speak with a sense of hope and longing for a peaceful nation. That is their ceaseless prayer. May it be our prayer for them as well.
After visiting Gogoi, we were blessed to be invited to share in celebrating with Pastors Lucas and Messi Amosse and their family in Pastor Messi’s hometown. Her family held a celebration in their honor of their marriage and their many achievements. It was a wonderful event during which we were made to feel like family. I took way too many pictures and ate too much and had a great time. It was nice to be in the shadow of some mountains and feel chilly at night as well.
After returning from Gogoi, Kim and I have been researching farming in Southern Africa and brainstorming ideas for renewing the farm, ideas for crops, irrigation, power, etc. Kim has also been very active in the women’s group here in Beira and helping get some special cloth made for the upcoming Synod in November. I have been asked to start an English tutoring group at the church, which is going well. All-in-all we remain happy and healthy and in continual appreciation of your support.
In God’s love,
P.S. If you want to learn more about the history of the Gogoi and Machemeje farms check out this book: (available on Amazon)
Toward an African Church in Mozambique. Kamba Simango and the Protestant Community in Manica and Sofala by Leon P. Spencer
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.