Church planting is the supreme goal of Grace Missions, for it is through the local church that new Christians grow in grace and truth.
For four years prior to sending out its first missionary, Grace Missions prayed that God would raise up a national Christian who could work with its missionary in establishing Biblical and indigenous local churches. God answered this prayer in a marvelous way on Dr. Woodrow’s first day in the government hospital when Arnaldo Aquiles was assigned to work continuously at his side as his Makua interpreter.
Arnaldo was a 29 year old Muslim, but over the next several months God brought him to salvation and produced almost meteoric spiritual growth that has continued to the present. As the first man to be saved under our ministry, and the most rapidly growing Christian among his associates, Arnaldo has been the answer to Grace Missions’ prayer for a national church leader to assist in church planting.
The opportunity for church planting arrived near the end of the first term. Nine men who had responded to hospital evangelism and had been discipled for one to two years asked to form a church aligned with the 1689 Baptist Confession. This became the major focus of Grace Missions’ efforts during the second term, and during the third term the church was granted legal recognition by the Mozambique government. With this comes authority to sponsor additional church planting missionaries in Mozambique.
The church work has been at once the most exhilarating and most trying of all our ministries, with marvelous highs like the conversion of Arnaldo related above alternating with deep disappointments such as being arrested and jailed on false, scandalous charges manufactured by ravenous wolves seeking to rend the flock of God.
Grace Missions is praying for an experienced church planting missionary to further equip the church’s present leaders as they minister, and to assist them in establishing additional congregations throughout the city of Nampula and beyond.
For further stories about this aspect of Grace Missions’ work:
The Church in Mozambique (an inside look)
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