Rooted in Jesus in Zambesia – June 2023
Daniel Magagnin, the Relay Trust’s Regional Relationship Manager for Lusophone Africa, recently travelled to the Missionary Diocese of Zambezia, in Mozambique, to participate in the Rooted in Jesus training conference, organised by The Mathetes Trust and supported by the Relay Trust. Invited by Bishop Vicente Msosa, the team was thrilled to support the mission of introducing people to Jesus and fostering effective discipleship in this newly formed diocese.
Led by Bishop Martin Breytenbach, the Rooted in Jesus team comprised members from both the UK and South Africa. Their conference catered to two streams: training leaders for small groups of adult disciples and equipping others to work with children, using the Rooted in Jesus Junior programme. Bishop Martin shared his impressions of the diocese, emphasising its rural and isolated nature, as well as the devastating impact of Cyclone Freddy, which had caused extensive suffering and destruction in February and March this year. Despite the challenges, the team witnessed the resilience of the local community, with many individuals travelling for days to attend the conference in Mocuba.
Zambezia, a newly established Missionary Diocese, formed from the Diocese of Niassa in September 2021, holds great potential for church planting and disciple-making. Testimonies from local residents highlighted the positive impact of having such a dedicated and inspiring bishop in their midst. This training event marked an important milestone for the new diocese.
The team’s primary objective: to train leaders for Rooted in Jesus groups, enabling them to make disciples who would discover their gifts and continue the cycle of disciple-making. Additionally, at Bishop Vicente’s request, they conducted parallel training for leaders of Rooted in Jesus Junior. The conference saw diverse participation reflecting the diocese’s demographics, including laypeople, clergy, and individuals of various ages. The team was particularly impressed by the calibre of the clergy, and Bishop Vicente himself set an example by actively engaging in the conference alongside the staff of the Diocesan Office. Leaders from the Mothers’ Union and Youth were also actively involved in the proceedings.
The growth of the church in Zambezia presented a unique opportunity to teach and disciple individuals who had received Jesus but lacked prior knowledge of the Bible. Amidst the conference, the team repeatedly heard the testimony: “God is here!” Participants marvelled at the absence of drinking and fighting, prevalent issues in the region. The evident fruit of the Spirit and the atmosphere of peace and unity served as a powerful witness to God’s presence among them. In one of the ministry sessions, prayer for healing was offered, and the participants eagerly sought prayer from the team members. Encouraged to pray for one another, they experienced healing and testified to God’s transformative work.
The participants’ enthusiasm for learning was palpable, evoking the example of the believers in Berea, from the book of Acts. Daniel vividly recalls witnessing a group huddled together, diligently searching the Scriptures to verify what they had learned during practice lessons. Looking back on the conference, it was a great opportunity for Daniel to become more familiar with the training needs of the church in IAMA, as well as to understand the training provided by Rooted in Jesus.
Within the four weeks since the conference, encouraging reports have emerged of numerous groups that have started, for both adults and young people, gathering regularly in various parts of the Diocese of Zambezia and beyond. Astonishingly, the conference’s inspiration and empowerment have led to the establishment of at least four new churches. Grateful for God’s faithfulness and the courageous obedience of church leaders in Zambezia, Niassa, and Nampula, the team praises and acknowledges the great things God has done, continues to do, and will accomplish in the future.