tearfund connected church
Over 300 Bibles now delivered in Mozambique
The Diocese of Niassa in northern Mozambique is an extremely poor area whose population is widely scattered with very small communities that are difficult to access.
Umoja is a church and community initiative that involves training local religious leaders and key lay people to help their communities build on the resources and skills that they already have. It is within this context that HTH has supported this work for several years, through our mission partner Tearfund.
In their group discussions, leaders in the Diocese of Niassa focus on how Jesus ministered to people, meeting both their material and spiritual needs. They reflect on God’s purposes for humanity and discuss the benefits and challenges of using Umoja to bring about ‘whole-life’ changes. They consider the resources that God has given them and how to use these to help their communities to flourish through new initiatives such as:
When a team from HTH visited the Diocese in 2018, it found the churches had very few Bibles and extremely low literacy. We therefore decided to try and help by raising money to send a significant number of Bibles in different formats and languages. From the outset, we understood that we’d need to raise the money on top of our regular funding.
We launched an appeal in May 2019. HTH people responded magnificently and we raised over £2,500.
Sourcing the Bibles
Finding and distributing appropriate Bibles was a significant organisational challenge. We contacted Scripture Union and paid its Malawi office directly for sourcing two hundred locally printed Bibles in the Chichewa language. Towards the end of 2019, staff from the Diocese of Niassa made a special trip to distribute these throughout scattered and remote villages.
In Beira, many hundreds of kilometres away in Mozambique, we sourced one hundred Bibles in Portuguese and had them shipped firstly to Tearfund headquarters in Chimoio in central Mozambique and then onwards to the Diocese of Niassa in the north, together with twenty audio Bibles in Chichewa and Portuguese, which we had sourced internationally. Only in the last few weeks have diocesan staff been able to finish distributing all of these, finally overcoming the considerable logistical challenges.
We were also able to add some two hundred books of liturgy and worship. Some of these have already been distributed, while others are currently being printed in Malawi and will be delivered in three to four weeks when the printers next visit Mozambique.
Bishop Vicente, the Bishop for that part of Niassa, has asked me to pass on the thanks of the people of this community.
21 April 2020