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 seven 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 May letter:
First we would like to apologise for being less regular with these prayer updates. Everything has been a bit irregular and up the air over the last few months, as you all know well, so we didn’t get round to sending this. You have all been in our thoughts and prayers over the last few months. It is strange to think about how Covid-19 has brought much of the world to a standstill but here, even though we have some restrictions in place, we are not in lockdown and so have a little more freedom than you do, although we are still taking care of ourselves and others.
The schools here closed at the same time as in the UK even though there were still no official cases of the virus. We currently have 80 official cases in the country, though I’m not sure we will ever really know how far it has spread due to a lack of tests available, and people not going for testing. Also there is are a lot of deaths here and most of the time the reason for dying is unknown. The president has said we will continue as we are until the end of May, with schools, Churches, entertainment venues closed. Shops shut early and masks must be worn when in public places. If you want to learn more, go to our blog at https://lsvilela.wordpress.com and you can see some photos too.
Sergio is continuing to coordinate and monitor the rebuilding of the PEPEs during this time and Liz has been involved in a BMS project of giving out soap and teaching how to hand wash properly to the PEPE teachers, who then have been distributing it to the parents. It’s one of the ways we felt we could help at this time. We have other projects that could be happening soon and we will let you know about them.
Chloe and Joshua are doing school at home. It’s funny to be back doing home school when I thought those days were done, but it’s a bit more helpful this time to have some work sent home from the school to keep Chloe busy. They strangely appear to be enjoying being at home, to be honest there isn’t a lot to do here even if we could, but we do like to have a walk on the beach each day. There are some trees that had fallen from the cyclone that are good for climbing and some rocks, so we have a good natural playground for the children to play.
We are unsure what the next few months will look like here so we are not planning too much or expectant but prepared for anything to happen.
It seems strange to ask for your prayers at this time as the UK is in a more difficult situation than us right now, but we will continue to pray for you and hope that the virus spread will begin to slow and people will be safer. Please pray for us, that the virus doesn’t spread and take a hold of Mozambique. The numbers are going up very slowly so hopefully they won’t rise very high. Pray for wisdom for BMS and us while we sort out other projects to help the people here. Even though Covid-19 isn’t directly affecting people here right now, lots of people are out of jobs due to a decrease in the number of people who can work at any one time. We are glad there is no lockdown as people wouldn’t be able to survive without going out to the streets and making money, but others are still being affected. Please pray for them.
We hope you have been able to have a read of our recent prayer letter, and please look at our blog, and we have a video that we made that you can access too, I think on the BMS website.
Take care, God bless, and stay safe.
Love Liz, Sergio, Chloe and Joshua
Prayer Points for May:
Liz's play therapy clients and vulnerable children and families.
For continued good health and protection for our family. -
For the masks project, giving thanks for all those who are involved and pray that they will really help to combat the spread of the virus.
That the virus will die out and that as Christians we can shine His light in these dark times.