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
"...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
Sergio and Chloe helping to deliver aid to the local community
From their January letter:
We hope you all have a special time of thanksgiving over the Christmas period. We have been able to spend it with our family in the UK. We give thanks to God that even though this year Beira greatly suffered from Cyclone Idai, we have lots to give thanks to God for and celebrate His mercy and love for His people.
Liz has started working with João Paulo to help develop safeguarding practices in PEPEs (pre-schools run by Churches) and in Baptist Churches. As BMS missionaries, we are always thinking about how our work can be sustainable so that it doesn't stop when we leave. One of the ways this happens is by working alongside local people and working together towards a vision. This also prevents cultural misunderstandings and enables us to work in the most culturally appropriate way.
During this year we plan to train the PEPE teachers to teach parents about how to protect their children from dangers at home, which we pray will have a big impact as so many children are at risk. We organised a Pastor conference in October in child protection, hoping to alert Pastors and leaders of Churches that run PEPEs to the importance of safeguarding practices in Churches.
We were a little disappointed with the turnout but pray that more will attend our next meetings and that the Holy Spirit will convict them of the value children have before God and their responsibility to care for them. The Bible says that children are a "blessing", "an inheritance from the Lord", a "present", and we hope that people realise this and that children experience the love that God has for them through those around them!
On 29th October, we celebrated Chloe's 7th birthday by going to the new Chinese park with some of Chloe's friends, where she had a great time. Chloe's time of home education has come to an end and in February she will start at a new bilingual Christian school that opened that year. We pray that it will be a place where she enjoys learning, where she will develop her abilities and also be challenged.
On our home assignment, we visited many Churches in the UK. Our base was been in Derby and we visited 11 places - Saffron Walden twice, Bishop Stortford twice, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Didcot, London five times, Guildford, Salisbury, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Ashdon. It was a lot of travelling but we enjoyed catching up friends and news.
Prayer Points for January:
• Chloe as she prepares to start her new school in February
• João Paulo and the child protection project
• Elias - for direction for the next steps and for wisdom as he continues to lead the Church plant
We wish you every blessing for the new year, that together as God's Church we can share the Good News with our friends, family, and neighbours, and that we can shine the light of Jesus in our communities. Matthew 4:16 says: "the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned".
Thanks for all your support.
Liz, Sergio, Chloe and Joshua