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“We Are Not Cursed!”

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Some long-believed lies in southern Africa were exposed during a recent Biblical Worldview and Transformational Development Conference.

Over 40 people attended the three-day event, conducted at Mawilini in September. They came from the communities of Mawilini and Kandeni and represented four denominations: the IRM, Kalibo Church, Methodist, and Catholic.

Hein van Wyk (center) facilitating with Pastor Jose Ganhale (L) translating into Takwane and Rev. Danie Murray (R) translating into Portuguese.

The session was sponsored by four partners: Hope for Africa (Hein van Wyk), Hande Vat Project (Rev Danie Murray), TOPIA (Rev Johannes Aucamp) and The Tumbine Synod of the Reformed Church of Mozambique (IRM). The IRM Synod was represented by Pastors Souza Estaforde (IRM Liazi) and Jose Ganhale (IRM Namitimba) who are both being trained as conference facilitators.

The IRM congregation at Mawilini, pastored by Pastor Carlos Herbert, Moderator of the Tumbine Synod,  hosted the event.

This conference was the first in Mozambique to be arranged and funded by the local community. The desired outcomes were: 1) a growing vision for community development through cultural transformation, 2) a basic understanding of worldview and of the role of the Church in society, 3) all of this practically applied through the demonstration of God’s love in every area of community life.

The facilitator team debriefing

During the conference the delegates had the opportunity to deal with cultural lies like tribalism, male superiority, the lie that work is a curse, and fatalism. In small groups they discussed the roots and fruits of these lies, how they are transmitted in the culture, what the Bible says about them, and what practical steps can be taken to expose these deceptions.

The group made one practical application during the week. The married men left their benches to cross the aisle and sit with their wives on the floor on the other side. The next morning the wives in turn sat with their husbands on the benches. This simple action showed a changed mindset, one which acknowledged that Jesus Christ had demolished the wall of separation between male and female.

The following are some of the comments delegates made during the course of the conference:

A wide range of ages was represented
  • We as Africans are not cursed; we do not use our opportunities and what we have. Because of this others take away what we have.
  • Now we know that God sent us to work.
  • I’m encouraged by Galatians 3:28 which say that there is now no separation between different tribes and between male and female. It liberated me.
  • We discovered Africa has two sides – blessed and broken. We know the reason is our thinking; our glasses. We should change our glasses.
  • We now have new ideas to start new things.
  • We talked about fatalism that we cannot change anything, but now we know that we can change things.
  • All things are possible in Christ.
  • Wives can now sit with their husbands in Church.
  •  Church is not the building but people who believe in Jesus Christ.
  • Christ is the Head; we are the body who demonstrates His love.
  • Christ came to reconcile us; all of us – with one another and with God.
  • Jesus is who God is.
Pastors Souza Estaforde (R) and Jose Ganhale (L) being trained as facilitators

As a result of the training, three Seed Projects were done by the participants. The first was the repair of a damaged bridge at Maramotondo. A second project, done by people from different denominations to demonstrate unity, was repairing the house of Pastor Kalito Mario (the pastor from Kalibo Church) which had recently burnt down. The small group also raised 100 Malawi Kwacha and presented the gift to him at the closing of the conference.

A group of youth did the third project. They composed a new song and sang it to the conference attendees at the conclusion of the three-day gathering. One of the truths of the conference lessons was captured in the lyrics: “To work is not a curse; it is a blessing. Go and read Genesis 2:15.”

By Hein van Wyk

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