The faces of those whom we've encountered today are clear marks of the Glory of God. Certainly we see it in the faces of children. But we've seen God at work in a rural hospital in Chicuque, a remote church near the Indian Ocean, and in -- of all places, one might say -- a United Methodist District Conference.
Hundreds crowded into the church at Arnaldo Guibunda UMC for a District Conference. Roughly two dozen pastors are attending the three-day conference. Business was suspended for our arrival, and we were welcomed in a jubilant song accompanied by hand clapping, drums, wood blocks, sticks and even a referee's whistle. Our team was introduced to much applause, and afterward, the District Superintendent dismissed us to a congregational song equally jubilant as the one we came in with.
The church at Sahane is a model of what the Mozambique Initiative is about. We went to observe their new well and to learn what the church is doing in their community. And what a vital congregation! They have a herd of work cattle, are starting an egg-producing chicken coop, and are considering applying for a micro-loan to purchase a plow and wagon that the bulls can pull. Laypeople serve in various teams to oversee these operations, and in the past few months, the congregation has grown by four families.
The hospital, founded by Methodist missionaries a century ago, may appear to Westerners as a shabby, antiquated compound of simple shed-style buildings in the middle of nowhere. But to a population of a half a million Mozambicans it represents hope and health where both seem to be in short supply for many. The 11 physicians on staff clear 4,000 cases a month, with treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and hernias the most frequent. 300 babies are delivered each month in the two delivery rooms.
In this part of the world the Wesleyan system is very much alive, providing a strucutre for doing good Gospel work for the Glory of God!
Written by Tim Rosenbury
District meeting and children at Arnaldo Guibunda UMC: