When you read this, I’ll be somewhere in Africa – Mozambique, actually, which is in southern Africa just northeast of the country of South Africa and along the coast. But of course, many of you know that since you’ve been there.
Yes, for many years United Methodists in Missouri have been traveling to Mozambique to help the people and United Methodist congregations in many ways. Our conference has a special connection with the church in Mozambique, and many congregations in our conference have established a “partnership” with a congregation or district there. We call this our “Mozambique Initiative”. It’s a great example of congregations reaching out directly in mission work – with a little connecting help from the conference. Carol Kreamer led the Mozambique Initiative for several years, and now Sarah Bollinger is coordinating the connections.
I’ve always heard about the Initiative, seen information about it at Annual Conference, talked with folks who went there, and marveled at their missionary zeal to go that far. Frankly, I’ve also felt that, as your Conference Lay Leader, at some point I needed to go there too. So, when I heard last year that Bishop Schnase and other conference leaders were planning a trip for April 2013, I thought it might be a good opportunity. It seemed like a long time in the future.
Now, the trip is about to begin and I’m finishing packing. I’m filled with anticipation, excitement, and yes, a little anxiety. As you who have traveled there know, it’s difficult getting away for almost 2 weeks from family, work, and all the responsibilities here. The travel is long. But I’m excited to be able to spend time with some great leaders in our church, getting to know them better as we travel and experience Mozambique together. And I’m excited to make new friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, whose faith and trust in God will surely open new ways for God to speak. And, perhaps, strengthen my faith and witness as well.
Please pray for the team as we travel and connect with United Methodists in Mozambique. You can follow along on Facebook at the Mozambique Initiative page for updates and pictures. There will be articles in future Review issues, and I’ll plan to write one for this column while we’re there. And continue to be in prayer for the people and congregations in Mozambique along with their covenant partners here in Missouri.
Who knows – perhaps God is leading you to learn more about the dynamic work of God’s Spirit in Mozambique and even go there sometime! That’s something else to pray about!
Thanks again for your leadership!