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.
Taken on their visit to the church on the 8th December 2019
"...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 six 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.
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
Liz and Sergio write
From their February letter:
We arrived back in Mozambique about a month ago. Chloe and Joshua were still on school holidays (it's about 3 months Summer Holidays!) so everyone was glad that they were off to preschool and a new school in the first week of February. Joshua is back at the preschool he was attending last year, which is a PEPE run by some Brazilian friends together with a team of Mozambicans. He is now remembering his Portuguese after speaking lots of English. Chloe has started a Christian primary school that uses an American and Mozambican curriculum so it's also a bilingual school. She has a number of friends there already and she is really enjoying it, particular the day when she visits the school library. Sergio and Liz have settled back in to the warm life here and keeping busy with both of their studies as well as everything else.
Last month, Joao Paulo and Liz led two days of training for 43 PEPE teachers, training them to teach the PEPE parents about how to better protect their children from dangers in and around the home. The training went well and everyone had a lot to contribute. However, it was another moment when I realised how differently children are raised in different cultures. There are things we can learn from Mozambicans like having strength and resilience in difficult times, but there is also a need to create awareness of emotional wellbeing and how parents and teachers can have a positive or negative impact on this depending on their words and actions. For example spending quality time with children can improve their emotional wellbeing and behaviour, amongst other things.
Prayer Points for February:
Thanks for all your support.
Liz, Sergio, Chloe and Joshua
that the PEPE buildings will be a blessing to each Church and that the Lord's name will be praised in those places.
for our children, that school will be an encouraging place for them.
for Sandra and her family.
that many people will be impacted through the child safeguarding training and that lives will be saved due to awareness and understanding.