Ministry Update: Comunhão dos Crentes em Cristo (September 2018)

Greetings to friends of Grace Missions, Grace Medical Mozambique, Charles and Julie Woodrow, and Hannah Malone.

Here is the latest news from Nampula, Mozambique.

UIFEC Seminar

On June 21, we were privileged to welcome onto our property a Christian youth seminar sponsored by UIFEC, an evangelistic ministry founded by three zealous young Christians in our church. (In Portuguese, UIFEC is an acronym for “Brotherhood of Believers in Christ.”) Throughout the day, on the pavilion outside our future hospital, two UIFEC leaders and three guest speakers preached excellent, biblical messages on the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. Between lectures, the 125 young adult participants from churches across the city sang hymns and listened to skillfully presented choir music.

In our nearby outdoor kitchen, volunteers prepared breakfast and lunch, which the attendees enjoyed on our lawn using catering equipment from our Fiel Conference. It is a blessing to be endowed with resources which we can share with others who have the same vision for teaching sound, Christ-centered theology here in Mozambique. Our next opportunity to do so will be November 16–17, when Mission Ekklesia, another ministry initiated by members of our church, will hold their second annual youth conference here.

Computer Training for Pastors

During the Fiel Conference, Dr. Charles taught an elective session on how to study the Bible topically using resources such as concordances and dictionaries.

During that lecture, after showing the pastors the usefulness of such tomes which are beyond their financial reach, he explained that they are available for the public to read free of charge in our library. He also informed them of websites where they can undertake much of the same research online. Since most of these pastors have neither computers nor high-speed Internet access, he invited them to come at any time to our Fiel Library and use our WiFi and computers for that purpose. And he announced Hannah’s willingness to sit with the pastors to show them how to use not only these websites but also computers in general. Three local pastors have accepted that offer and have faithfully come several times a week to build their typing and computer skills and to search for verses, passages, words, or phrases in the Bible, as well as consult commentaries and dictionaries online. Please pray that the pastors, who are making notable progress, will learn quickly and use their new skills to further their ministries for God’s glory.

Theology Seminar

Dr. Charles taught his annual intensive theology seminar July 20–28, the week after our conference. Some of the eighteen students arrived with very little prior Bible knowledge, so they didn’t learn as much as those with greater familiarity with Scripture. The class engaged in lively discussions during their week packed full of lectures, homework, and exams. Though at first the toddlers brought by some participants proved to be a distraction as they were left unattended in the back of the room, the pastor of those students, when notified of the issue, sent a volunteer to care for their children during the remainder of the course.

Church Ladies’ Meetings

Our church leaders have long intended to hold regular monthly meetings for the men of the congregation as well as separate monthly meetings for the women, for fellowship, encouragement, and teaching. The women’s meetings began in August, and we hope to start men’s meetings soon. For the women’s meetings, Hannah Malone has prepared a series of lessons entitled “Our Good Works: The Vital Role of Women in the Church.” The springboard for this study was the observation of a general assumption among the ladies in our congregation that since they cannot preach, there isn’t much they can do to serve in the church. Those who have studied this subject biblically—or tried to cultivate a robust church life without the assistance of sisters in Christ!—will probably agree with us that there are plenty of tasks that Christian women can and should do. Please pray for us as we seek to inspire the ladies of our fellowship with Scriptural teaching regarding their important role in the body.

Travels

On August 28, Dr. Charles flew to Mozambique’s capital of Maputo, where our motorist/mechanic Marques had succeeded in repairing our broken-down truck using parts shipped from England. He and Marques then took the truck to South Africa to drop off a transformer for repair and pick up the load of mission supplies that Dr. Charles purchased earlier this year. Thanks to God, the trip went very smoothly, and Dr. Charles and Marques, with the truck and all its contents, are now safely back in Nampula.

Meanwhile, Julie Woodrow was gifted with a trip to the United States to meet her granddaughter, Melody Joy Woodrow, born to Kent and Anna on July 18. She departed Nampula on August 23 and will return, Lord willing, on September 22. She has enjoyed visiting not only Melody, but other family and friends as well.

Grace Woodrow and Hannah Malone, far from being left behind at home, embarked on the adventure of learning Makhuwa, the local tribal language, spending three weeks at a Catholic language school outside of Nampula. From August 27 to September 14, they received excellent instruction from skilled tutors, and surprised friends upon their return by speaking to them in their native tongue. Please pray that Grace and Hannah can continue to make rapid progress in Makhuwa as they now study from home between their other responsibilities.