ALL Communities

Wednesday 12 Oct

Scott share snapshots of God breaking through in Malawi and Mozambique.

I recently sat in a village meeting in a Massangulo, Mozambique. And the power of partnership was front and centre. 

An elderly man looked across at me, speaking in his local language. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I could see the emotion on his face. Kath, one of our team members, began to translate. The man wanted to thank me for coming “all the way” from Australia to his village in a small town in Mozambique. He wanted me to convey the thanks of his village to Australian Baptists who cared about people so far away in such an ‘insignificant’ place. 

As he finished speaking, I stood and walked over to the man and we hugged. 

Fast forward, and less than two months later, the project we discussed that morning in the Massangulo village is underway. Under stage one of a Baptist Mission Australia project, fresh water is now available in the village. To come is a large tree planting initiative that will leave a generational legacy in this local community. (You can watch a progress update video from Cam here >>) 

As I reflect on that memorable village meeting, I am reminded that our people are serving there because no place or people on earth are insignificant to our loving and gracious God. 

Cam and Kath, Sally, Scott and Bek and their families live in Massangulo, embodying the hope of Jesus by word and deed. As they open the Scriptures, teach English, plant trees and walk alongside an impoverished people, they bring hope. They bring hope to people like that beautiful old man, who was so thankful that Massangulo was on the map for Australian Baptists. They bring hope to people like the women I sat with in another village as Sally shared a Jesus story with them in way that made sense to them in their Yawo culture. 

And what is true in Massangulo is also true in Lichinga and Mangochi where our people serve alongside the Yawo.

In Lichinga it was wonderful to see first-hand our innovative oral Bible translation project, led by Tobias. And it was a joy to walk the dusty streets of Lichinga and to see Ben and Sam, engaging with local people, in their language. There was laughter. There was conversation. There was relationship. 

Across the border in Malawi, we see God at work through our team and local Yawo leaders. 
As I sat in a small village in the hills overlooking Mangochi, again there was the echo of thankfulness for the support provided to allow our team to be on the ground.

Again, this back-block village could easily be written off as insignificant, but it was beautiful to see God’s Spirit at work in this place. The faith community gathering was attended by more than 50 people and was led by passionate, local Yawo believers. 

Tim and David from our team were there to encourage and cheer on. Melanie and Susie are doing the same with women’s groups. And as our team members continue to invest in the development of local leaders, we are seeing the multiplication of Yawo disciples, the growth of faith communities, the translation of the Scriptures and the emergence of imaginative local ministry ideas. 

We are also seeing the development of new income-generating, employment and training initiatives, including a pre-school and riverside cafe. 

And with Jean Claude and Joyce having recently returned from their home assignment, we are seeing team members empowered to pursue their specific call, aligned with their gifts and passions. 

As you read these brief African reflections, let me remind you, that as a partner you enable us to enter into communities that are rich with culture, but struggling with brokenness and a lack of hope. Your prayers and generous financial gifts are being used by the Holy Spirit to witness to the life-transforming message of Jesus. 

It’s wonderful that together we can share with people who think they live in insignificant places, knowing that God desires to break into all communities on Earth with His love, grace, purpose and peace. 

It’s great to see first-hand the hope our teams are bringing in Africa as they embody the good news of Jesus, by word and deed. 

Thank you for being part of this wonderful faith story!

Grace and peace
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