Biblical Reconciliation at Natanje!
A Biblical Worldview and Transformational Development Conference were conducted at Natanje, Mozambique from 27-30 of September 2010 by Hope for Africa in partnership with Hande Vat Project and the Reformed Church of Mozambique. Hein van Wyk, Johannes Aucamp and Danie Murray facilitated the Conference.
Thirty five delegates from the communities of Natanje, Ile and Napipi attended the three day Conference. Together they represent three denominations.
The Conference was hosted and organised by Past Carlos Herbert from the IRM Congregation at Natanje. This was the first time that a Conference of this kind was arranged and funded by the local community. The successful hosting of the Conference, which was done in a sustainable manner i n the local economy, is a huge step forward in cultural transformation. The impact and outcome of the Conference build capacity and gave confidence for similar conferences in future.
The outcomes of the conference were to see a growing vision for community development through cultural transformation, a basic understanding of worldview and of the role of the Church in society. All of this is practically applied through the demonstration of God’s love in every area of community life.
During the conference the delegates had the opportunity to deal with cultural lies like tribalism, male superiority and the worship of the ancestors in practical small group discussions.
During the conference the delegates had a number of opportunities to demonstrate God’s love in practical ways to one another and to the community. This include
o Washing one another’s clothes
o Help to wash dishes
o Cleaning the church premises
o Cleaning shoes
o Serving coffee
o Buying and giving away sugar cane
o Cleaning a motor vehicle
o Cleaning floors
The impact of the conferences is seen n the testimony of one of the delegates. He experienced hostility in his family for 7 years and as a direct result of the Conference, reconciled with them. This s his story n his own words:
My father lost his life. There were other brothers that came and took our fields. Nearly 7 years passed that we never talked to those brothers. But because of yesterday’s teaching it touched my heart. When left here yesterday I didn’t go to my house; I went directly there. When I arrived there, they greeted me asking how s your family. At home it is well, but I come from the church now. I said that because you are my brother the hostility must stop; we need to talk and we need to share and we need to walk together. They saw it as a strange thing. I said these things, the hostility, are things of the world. We need to forget things. One day we will be together in paradise and we will be happy. My brother asked me where I got these thoughts. I said that it is not by my power and my word but through the Holy Spirit that came to me so that we can be one in Christ.
This morning he came to my house and he brought a bag of his rice and we ate it together. This means that our relationship is now good again.
Further results of the Conference included action plans drew up by delegates for the communities of Napipi, Natanje and Ile. The Conference also provided the opportunity for Pastors Souza Estaforde (IRM Luala) and Jose Ganhale (IRM Malimwe) to be involved in the facilitation of these Conferences as third generation mentorees.
Soli Deo Gloria!