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
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
We hope you are doing well. We bring you greetings from Beira where we are enjoying warm weather and pineapple season. We are sorry that this is later than usual as we had forgotten to send out an update for the last month.
This last month has started getting busy for us again after a slower period over Christmas and New Year. In January, Sergio travelled to Maputo to visit missionaries that have been taking part in the training programme he is doing with Pastor who is President of Mission at the Baptist Convention of Mozambique. He also met the new President who will start in July. He returned to Beira for 4 days before returning to Maputo and on to South Africa to take the Action Team to renew their visas. The plan was for them to go to Zimbabwe but due to the instability in the country at the moment, it was decided for them to go to SA. Unfortunately, they were told that due to new regulations they couldn’t get another visa for Mozambique as they had reached their limit. So we all prayed that they would get a 30 day visa when crossing the border back into Mozambique, and thanks to God they did. It still means they have to leave a few weeks earlier than planned but at least they get to stay an extra 30 days!!
Liz spent time over a week giving classes on child protection and planning to new PEPE teachers. There were about 35 participants, which is exciting to see such an enthusiasm for Churches to serve the community through PEPE. If you read our recent newsletter you will find out more about this training.
This month, Liz has started back doing therapeutic play at a local school. She now has 4 clients (the maximum she can have as a student) and is enjoying getting back into this after a long time of school holidays.
Sergio, Liz, Chloe and Joshua
Prayer Points for February:
A BMS rep and other team members who will be having meetings with the Baptist Convention to work through some partnership issues
Liz as she gives a talk to the youth of the Baptist Churches on dating
Sergio as he preaches and plans his work for the future
The Action Team as they spend their last weeks here and prepare to travel back to the UK
Our family as we travel to Brazil for holiday after not being together for two and a half years. We travel to Maputo on 26th Feb and then onto Belo Horizonte via Angola and Sao Paulo on 27th Feb. We return on 3rd April.
Thank you for your prayers. We are looking forward to seeing some of you when on home assignment in May-July this year.
At the Bible Institute