Mozambique visitors enjoy a warm welcome from Kirk
Published on 10 February, 2017
Two church leaders from Mozambique spoke to the World Mission Council this week as part of their six-week visit to Scotland to learn about the Kirk’s approach to worship, church governance and pastoral care.
Daniel Joaquim, Moderator of the Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique, and Inacio Somueque, Vice Moderator of the Mozambique church, were hosted in Edinburgh parishes where they had opportunities to see the Kirk in action at the grassroots as well as the national level.
Daniel, one of the youngest church Moderators at just 34, worked alongside Rev Graham McGeogh of Broughton Parish Church, while Inacio worked with Rev Drausio Goncalves, minister for Bristo Memorial Church.
“It was very helpful and very useful,” said Daniel, who holds a master’s degree in Theology from the University of Strasbourg and is now working on his PhD from the University of Pretoria.
“One of the most important things I learned from the Church of Scotland was about the pastoral care team. They work hard and they do a very good job.
“I also saw the food bank in action. It is an amazing group and I plan to take that idea back to my congregation.”
In Mozambique 25 degrees is cool
Daniel, who is married and has a 16-month daughter, met Broughton’s administrator, treasurer, and session clerk, as well as the pastoral care team, Sunday school leaders and representatives from local HIV charities, the Army and the Scouts. The UN estimates that around 1.5 million people in Mozambique are living with HIV.
“We have had very big problems in Mozambique and I learned from Positive Help that the way they deal with it is very practical," Daniel says. “They offer a lot of support and guidance.”
Inacio, the father of 10 children aged from 25 to 42, including two sets of twins, has been a minister for 38 years.
Like Daniel, he found Scotland’s weather chilly since in Mozambique a temperature of 25 degrees is considered cool. In contrast, they have been impressed by the Scottish people’s hospitality and warmth.
“People have been very helpful and I have found it very useful,” Inacio said. “Daniel and I work very closely together and we will be taking back the things we have learned and adapting them for Mozambique.”
Rev Barbara Ann Sweetin, who met Daniel and Inacio last year during a World Mission trip to Malawi where they worked on a tripartite twinning arrangement invited the pair to visit her parish in Forfar.
“They were very surprised when I took them into a café that the owner was actually working in the café,” she said. “That is very unusual in Mozambique.”
Hear Daniel and Inacio preach
Daniel and Inacio also visited Arbroath, Dundee and Glasgow, where they met the prominent Kirk theologian Rev Doug Gay and attended a concert.
Next Sunday, 12 February, church members in their host parishes will have an opportunity to hear them preach. Daniel will be preaching at Broughton Parish Church and Inacio will preach at Bristo Memorial.
The Evangelical Church of Christ in Mozambique church was founded by Church of Scotland missionaries in 1913 and links between the two churches have remained strong. During the Mozambique civil war 1977-1992, for example, the Kirk paid the salaries of ministers in the Mozambique church.
Now Daniel and Inacio would like to invite Scottish church members to visit their country.
“We would like to invite people from Scotland to visit Mozambique and get to know us personally,” Daniel said. “It was lovely to meet people’s families and we would be happy to welcome you.”