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Mozambique ministry flourishing

March 30, 2012 3 Comments

Gabriel Miandica, President Bugbee, and Deacon Jambo

MOZAMBIQUE – During his recent trip to Africa, President Robert Bugbee met with members of a Mozambican ministry with Lutheran Church-Canada (LCC) connections—the Kapasseni Project, a ministry which grew out of mission efforts by retired LCC pastor Rev. Joseph Alfazema and his wife Perpetua.

President Bugbee was in Mozambique for Canadian Lutheran World Relief’s (CLWR) “Global Encounter” program. While he could not visit Sena, where the Kapasseni ministry is headquartered, Manuel Gabriel Miandica (Kuwangisana Country Director) and Deacon Manuel Joni Jambo (Preaching Missionary) were able to join the CLWR group for a few days.

During that time, they reported the fruits of their work in the Sena district. Preaching ministry now takes place in eleven villages. The main congregation in Sena now counts 300 adults at Sunday worship, with children bringing the number nearer to 500. The Kapasseni Project is also heavily involved in caring for the physical needs of people. They operate a project called Kuwangisana, which means “For the better health and well being of all” in the Sena language. Through this work, they provide HIV prevention education, support orphans and vulnerable children, and provide home-based care for critically ill people living with HIV and AIDS.

President Bugbee expressed gratitude for the opportunity “to spend hours in the car together with these mission friends of our as we traveled to far-flung villages each day” in Mozambique. “They were able to explain in detail,” he went on to say, “just how traditional beliefs and practices have contributed to the tragedy of AIDS, and how the proclamation of Christ’s Gospel goes hand-hand with acts of mercy in changing people’s lives.”

The Kapesseni project was founded by Rev. Alfazema and his wife Perpetua, who first came to Canada in the 1980s to escape civil war in Mozambique. When the war ended, they returned to Rev. Alfazema’s home village of Kapasseni only to discover the area in ruins. HIV/AIDS was rampant and medical treatment scarce. Schools, churches, and hospitals had been closed during the war.

Upon returning to Canada, they began working with Redeemer Lutheran Church (Victoria, B.C.) to find ways to address the needs of people in Kapasseni. Eventually, Rev. Alfazema began studies at Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary (St. Catharines, Ontario) to become a pastor, and Perpetua pursued studies in social work. In 2006, they moved to Mozambique to serve there full-time, with Rev. Alfazema focusing on Gospel-proclamation and Perpetua on Kuwangisana social ministry. Perpetua continues to work on the project, but they have since returned to Canada following Rev. Alfazema’s retirement. The work they began in Mozambique continues to thrive.

“I can only thank God for the ministry of Rev. Joseph Alfazema and his wife Perpetua,” said President Bugbee. “They planted wonderful seeds in that region of Mozambique which are now blessing people in body and soul.”

For more information on the Kapasseni Project and its Canadian connection, visit www.kapasseni.org. More information on the Kuwangisana effort is available at www.kuwangisana.webs.com.


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