I left early to Guru and Mandie in central Mozambique to attend their annual certificate ceremony.  Hot and dusty as it usually is this time of the year.  I can hardly wait to finish the first 200 km to meet up with the leaders – many of which I haven’t seen for a long time.   More than 450 church leaders follow an extensive Bible study program with more than 26 books.  It takes the students about 6 years to complete the course.  We have had our first 12 students receiving their diplomas as early as 2007.  My arrival is greeted with several joyous pastors waving and running to the vehicle.  We sing, dance, teach and eat together.  And so it is at every school we visit in the bush – an experience never to be forgotten – doesn’t matter how many times we visit!

To keep leaders and students motivated they receive a certificate after the successful completion and exam of every book.  Local Mozambican leaders have many obstacles to overcome to study.  With language issues, geographical difficulties, various levels of education and other personal problems completing six years seems like an impossibility.  But we have seen year after year how miracles unfolds in front of our eyes.  Men who could never read or write miraculously prayed and they have completed their six years successfully.  These 450 leaders go back into their churches to teach their knowledge to their own local spiritual leaders.

What makes the program even more amazing is that we cover students from every church out here in the bush.  Catholics, Pentecostals, Presbyterians, Independent churches – all united to achieve what seems to be nearly impossible – studying in a rural setting which would otherwise not be possible.  Wish you could be at some of the seminars when leaders receive their first certificate …. oh the joy and praises!

The spiritual leaders studying with us are pretty much ….. very amazing people.  They have great influence in their communities and run several orphan and other community projects in their rural areas.  The church has truly become a beacon of hope in these harsh hit communities.  Some of the new projects that are currently run, is sustainable food procurement projects that will help areas crippled by hunger during flooding or severe droughts.

Photo:  Always a lot to eat at the seminars ….. but this interesting fish was quite an offering.  I did survive though!

Photo:  The heat of the day even got to Past. Ricardo Oliveira – our national co-ordinator for our Bible program!

Photo:  Our SBF school students in Mandie – a town many people don’t even know exist as it is hidden ….wel between somewhere and nowhere!

Photo:  And what is the day without a little fun!

Please pray for these men as they continue to study under difficult circumstances.  I dedicate this posting to Pastor Pedro Rede who suddenly died after a short sickbed at the age of 30.  An amazing leader which was getting ready to visit the US of A and preach at various places.  Also to others who have died – some finishing their course …. while others never tasted that privilege.