June 01, 2016

By Craig Stevenson

From April 19-May 3, I traveled to Mozambique for my second trip since beginning to lead our partnership in October 2015. Ezy and I visited more than 10 churches in the Tete, Manica, Beira, and Massinga districts and saw progress on two microfinance projects. I was in contact with covenant partners prior, during, and after returning home to share the stories of my visit. 
Dedicating the Ngongane Primary School was something I will never forget. Manchester UMC’s leadership and partnership with MI and Hallsville UMC led to the construction and furnishing of a three-room classroom, administrative office, and bathrooms for this community that will serve more than 1,500 students. 600+ members of the community attended the dedication celebration. 
It was special to share Sunday worship with the 20 GTC students (pastors and laity) that completed theological, leadership, and educational coursework over the last three years. This dream from 2001 became a reality in 2014 when it opened. A new chapter begins as the first students have graduated.
Our partnership with Mozambique has breadth and depth thanks to the dedication and prayerful support from you. If you were unable to follow during my journey, you can catch-up by visiting the MI Blog for details of each day’s activities at www.mzinitiative.com/blog.
On the final day of my trip, I found a beautiful prayer, Philippians 1: 3-11, which continues to speak to me as I reflect and grow from the experience. Philippians 1:3-11.
“I thank my God every day I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to the completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending an confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best 
and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”