From 1960 to 1985 there were no missionaries in northern Mozambique due to opposition from colonial Catholic rule and later from the Marxist African government. In 1985, when opposition to mission work began to wane, Grace Missions was established to send missionaries into Mozambique. In 1990, its first family, Dr. Charles and Julie Woodrow, arrived in Nampula.
During the Woodrows’ first term on the field (1990-1993) the hand of God was strikingly evident in establishing a medical-evangelistic outreach that became known throughout Nampula province, eventually attracting patients from three surrounding provinces and even further beyond.
During their second term (1994-1998), church planting was added to their ministries as God used the hospital evangelistic work to raise up a local church aligned with the 1689 London Baptist Confession. Progress continued on the medical front. In a stunning display of divine intervention, authorization was granted by the Mozambique Minister of Health for Grace Missions to build, own, and operate a mission hospital in the city of Nampula. See the article “Winning the Minister’s Approval“.
Also during the second term, the government recognized the church as a legitimate religious enterprise, granting it authority to sponsor additional missionaries in Mozambique, an opportunity that has yet to be fully exploited.
During the Woodrow’s third term (1999-2003), probably the most fruitful ministry of all was initiated, again with the hand of God clearly evident. Missionaries Charles Woodrow in Nampula, Karl Peterson in Maputo, Mozambique and Richard Denham of Editora FIEL (Faithful Publishers) in Brazil worked together in establishing a nationwide literature distribution outreach, Christian bookstore, and conference ministry for pastors and church leaders of all denominations. See the article “First Fiel Conference“.
The third term also saw the foundations laid for the future Grace Evangelical Hospital, but it was not until the fifth term (2006-2011) that the main structure could be erected under the supervision of volunteer contractor Mike Stolk.
With the surgical center nearing completion, Grace Missions is now recruiting additional medical missionaries to serve the hospital. Also needed are experienced church planters, someone to assist in the literature distribution program and pastors’ training conferences, and an administrative assistant/secretary for Dr. Woodrow.