Mozambique

The life expectancy in Mozambique is only 45 years of age due to poverty, disease and AIDS, and 52% of its population survive on less than $1 a day. Only 58% of its men can read, and only 27% of its women.

Mozambique is a beautiful country, though. It is covered in forests and has many lakes and rivers. Its natural resources are immense and there is much potential for economic growth. The government is making efforts to restore the ruined infrastructure and welcomes outside assistance from other countries along with non-governmental organizations.

The Church there has seen amazing growth. Mozambique was officially a Catholic country before the civil war, and all Protestant missionaries had to leave during the fighting. They returned in the late 80s to find, however, that the Protestant Church had exploded in growth during their absence. The church leaders, though, had no formal training. Even now, the number of pastors and church leaders with little or no formal Bible training remains near the 80% mark. As a result of this lack of training, strange practices without biblical basis have sprung up in Protestant churches, and almost all Mozambican Christians are in need of instruction in the basics of Christianity. They have a strong desire to spread the Truth, but need support and training to build a stable, Bible-based Church.

Here’s a link to a good map (you must have Acrobat Reader to view it):  http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/mozambiq.pdf

We live in Nampula.  There are between 250,000 and a million people, though there was recently a census so there should be better information on that soon.  It is a town with a city center of many shops, and then slum after slum after slum.  Small houses, many with grass roofs, many with tin roofs.  Many people with no running water or electricity.  Many living in poverty, many who have reasonable jobs.  It is really a mix.  The shops are owned almost exclusively by people of middle east or Asian descent.  Many of them have lived in Mozambique for generations, though there are quite a few immigrants too.

There are many, many churches in Nampula.  We have visited a lot of them.  There are different style of worship, giving, and preaching.  Some of them seem to be mature.  Some are just wacky.  Many have a rather twisted view of biblical teachings.  Often, the maturity of a church depends on whether it’s pastor has received good training.  In many cases the pastor has received no training at all.

Here are some links for more information about Mozambique:

http://www.un.int/mozambique

(1)  The Mozambican embassy website

http://www.unmozambique.org

(2)  The United Nations website on Mozambique

http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Country_Specific/Mozambique.html

(3)  A website with general information about Mozambique

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/africa/mozambique/

(4)  Lonely Planet’s website with travel info and general info.

http://www.aim-us.org

(5)  Africa Inland Mission’s website