MOZAMBIQUE – Mission efforts in Mozambique have reached a new milestone, as theological students there have issued a call to the Igreja Evangélica Luterana do Brazil (IELB – Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil) for a full-time missionary pastor to come serve among them. The official language of both Brazil and Mozambique is Portuguese.
The students made the request in a letter sent to the IELB. “Without asking too much,” they write, “we students studying to be future pastors come to you… requesting one Brazillian pastor to come and facilitate evangelism with God’s Word here in Africa—particularly in Mozambique.” (The full letter appears as an image at the bottom of this story).
Eight students are currently enrolled in the Theological Education by Extension (TEE) program in Mozambique—a program organized by the IELB. These eight students are already in charge of six local congregations and have been trained to lead services. Upon successful completion of the program, the students will be officially ordained.
Even with that growing crop of pastors, the workers are few when compared to the need. The Mensageiro Luterano (the official magazine of the IELB) reports that, on a recent trip to Mozambique to teach a session for the TEE program, Rev. Horst Kuchenbecker was called upon to baptize 283 children and 91 adults over five worship services.
“It’s my prayer and desire that the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil receives this call with joy and commits to continue missions among Portuguese-speaking people in Mozambique,” said LCC Mission Executive Leonardo Neitzel. Prior to accepting a call to Canada, Dr. Neitzel served as a parish pastor and seminary professor in his home country of Brazil.
Mission efforts in Mozambique have a Canadian connection as well. Work in the Kapasseni area of Mozambique (where the TEE program takes place) began through the mission efforts of LCC pastor Rev. Joseph Alfazema and his wife Perpetua. While the couple has returned to Canada following Rev. Alfazema’s retirement, the work they began continues through The Kapasseni Project, a Listed Service Organization of Lutheran Church–Canada. In addition to other initiatives, The Kapasseni Project supports the training of TEE students by raising funds for in-country expenses related to their education. The Kapasseni Project is itself financially supported in part by Lutheran Women’s Missionary League-Canada (LWMLC).
“Praise God for the work of The Kapasseni Project and LWMLC!” said Dr. Neitzel. “Their generosity is making possible great strides for the Gospel in Mozambique. Please keep our African brothers and sisters in prayer as they share the Good News of Jesus Christ in their land.”
Note: This report comes from The Canadian Lutheran.