Victoria congregation provides pastor training in Mozambique

KAPASSENI, Mozambique – Eight local candidates for the Lutheran ministry finished their first training session in a remote region of Mozambique thanks to fundraising and organizing efforts of a Vancouver Island Lutheran Church–Canada congregation. 

Kapasseni pastoral students

“Pastor Alfazema (centre) is preparing eight students as leaders in their villages,” reports Rev. Winterle. “They lead the services in the absence of the pastor, do counselling and visit the sick.”

The 32-module extension course came from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, which shares the Portuguese language with Mozambique. The first instructor, Rev. Carlos Winterle, former president of Lutheran Church–Canada’s partner church the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil, travelled from Kenya where he is a missionary. But the $2,000 in living expenses for the students and instructor came from Redeemer Lutheran Church in Langford, just west of Victoria.  

The course, taught at the end of July, is the latest fruit of the 12-year-old Kapasseni Project, a collaboration between Redeemer, Victoria’s Getting Higher community choir and two former parishioners, Rev. Joseph and Perpetua Alfazema, who fled Mozambique during its civil war.  

“In the Kapassenni area there are very old people and very young people but no teachers or elders left alive,” says Carole Kerr, the chairperson of the project. “The tribal structure was destroyed and the people have been scattered.” Providing home-grown pastors to start local churches will help rebuild communities as well as bring the Gospel, she says.  

“At first Joseph asked us to find him pastors, but we wondered about the language barrier and came up with the idea of training local people,” says Kerr.  

Organizations such as the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League-Canada, Canadian Lutheran World Relief, and the Lutheran World Federation have been strong supporters over the years.  

The project has raised more than $200,000 for the people in and around the village of Kapasseni, largely from benefit concerts by the choir and performers such as Ann Mortifee. It has paid for a five-room school, a breakfast program, two wells, a health centre, eye care, HIV/AIDS education, a food orchard, a corn grinding mill, and fostered a healthy local economy.  

The Kapasseni Project is a Listed Service Organization of Lutheran Church–Canada. For more information see Dr. Winterle’s account of his visit is HERE

Posted By: Matthew Block
Posted On: September 15, 2010
Posted In: International News, Mission News,

More Resources