BMS Link Missionary
The church regularly supports the BMS (Baptist Missionary Society) financially through its monthly offerings. The BMS has linked the church to Liz and Sergio Vilela who are in Mozambique with their children. This is so that we can support their work and family in prayer. Some in the church will correspond with them so that they are kept in touch with life back in the UK. They have 2 children, a daughter Chloe and a son Joshua.
"...I have come that they might have life, and have it in abundance” (John 10:10)
Taken from the BMS website: http://www.bmsworldmission.org
Liz and Sergio are serving in Beira, Mozambique. They are working alongside the Mozambican Baptist Convention helping to build capacity in youth ministry and community projects.
Liz and Sergio met in Brazil when she volunteered with YWAM during her university holidays. Sergio was already working as a mission worker with them. After marrying in 2007 they continued to work in Brazil for another year and then both felt called by God to do some Christian work in England. As a result they have spent three years as youth pastors at Saffron Walden Baptist Church, which is now their sending church.
Liz and Sergio knew moving to England would not be long term as they had always felt a call to mission overseas. So when their time at the church ended in 2011, they felt it was right to seek opportunities to work with BMS.
After training they went to Mozambique in 2013 where they work with the local Mozambican church. Sergio encourages and supports pastors and church leaders throughout Mozambique. He also works in the Igreja Baptista do Aeroporto (Airport Baptist Church Beira).
Give thanks that after five years in Mozambique, they now feel settled in the new culture and that their ministries are progressing well.
The Mozambique Baptist Convention has many local Pastors and Missionaries who have NEVER had any formal theological training!
After Sergio's first successful training course they want more.
He is now engaged in providing six separate weeks of training over two years and he will have to visit churches all over the country.
Liz uses her skills through PEPE (a pre-school education programme) to train and develop pre-school educators and community workers across Mozambique. She has just returned from Play Therapy training in France
Liz teaching a new dance and song to a group.
Liz is very concerned that the PEPE parents and teachers have little appreciation of the dangers that children encounter every day.
She holds well attended classes to show that children are God's gift to be treasured
At the Bible Institute
Liz and Sergio write:
Liz had a great time in France doing her post grad certificate course in play therapy skills, though it was very intense, but she is really looking forward to starting her placement as a therapeutic play practitioner and getting on with her assignments. She has to do 100 clinical hours alongside Skype supervision, and has set up a placement at a local Christian school. We are excited about what God is going to do through this ministry, but Liz needs His guidance and wisdom, and also that He will give understanding to the staff at the school as she gives a presentation to them on play therapy. The concept of play being very beneficial to children is a new concept here so play therapy might take a little while for people to get on board.
We give thanks to God for a safe journey back to Beira from Maputo. The car wasn’t in a good state on the way there but now it is fine.
Three days after Liz arrived from France, we all went to Chimoio, a town near to Zimbabwe where Sergio always has his training with the Mozambican Pastors/missionaries. He had a week’s training with them in a local Church, with classes on finance, marriage and the law, the role of the Church leader. Liz also gave them a class on child protection, which was a great opportunity for Church leaders to learn about what isn’t done and what should be done to protect children and it was visible to see how a lot of the Pastors eyes were opened to what needs to be done. At the same time as Sergio’s training, the PEPE national conference was also happening in the local Baptist Church, where 71 PEPE teachers attended to spend time together, learn new things, and worship God. Liz gave 3 sessions on child protection and was able to use some of what she learnt at her course in France. It was a special week and one in which we were both encouraged to see what God is doing in both of our ministries.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Col 3:17
November has been quite a busy month. We had to move house as the owner of our old house decided to sell it. So Sergio went out on a hunt for a house and we moved at the beginning of the month. The Action Team are also living with us and God has blessed us with a house that has lots of outside space and 4 bedrooms and we all fit in well. So we are enjoying living here, and it’s just down the road from where we were before. The Action Team managed to get the visas that they needed when they had to leave the country so we thank God for that. They are very involved now in their programme, participating at a local Baptist Church as well as a variety of other things. We are now in Summer holidays here so everything slows down a little bit, but we will make sure the team always has something to do!!
We still don’t have our visas!!
It is very frustrating as Sergio hasn’t been able to do the travelling and training that he planned to do, and we hope to go to Maputo this weekend to do some PEPE training and meetings but we can’t travel without ID.
Liz would like to give thanks for the changes in the clients of therapeutic play. She did reviews with the parents and teachers and there are some positive outcomes, so we hope and pray that the clients will develop more and more through the play sessions that they will have next year when they return to school after the holidays.
The month of December will be a bit quieter as it’s the holidays, so it’s a good time to catch up on admin, spend time with the action team and with our Church, and Liz will be writing assignments (and do training and have meetings in Maputo, if we get our document!!).
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!!
Sergio, Liz, Chloe and Joshua
Prayer Points for December:
Discernment and guidance for the right person to be responsible for child protection in the Baptist Convention
Our Mozambican visas
The Action Team as they have to leave the country to re-apply for new visas