Community Driven Development.

7:10 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

Continuing with the community driven development program - we recently had two community meetings. One for the men and one for the women. In both meetings the road was the greatest need presented. We discussed the pros and cons of fixing the road and at both meetings the people said that without a road their community will not develop. It was also discussed that some disadvantages of better access to the nearest town is that in turn they have greater access to you. This will attract business people as well as thieves and unsavoury people but the positives are greater access to goods and services and markets to sell their produce. 

We spoke about the red tape involved and the time frame to build a road that includes 5 creek crossings. The community felt it would be a great idea to build a Health Post whilst we worked on the documents for the road. I told the community we are offering our help but the project is theirs, so they need to keep it moving along. They community took that on board and within a few days of the meeting, 75 ladies turned up to clear the land and started to make bricks to help with the construction. One of our roles is to find out from the Department of Health the steps required to build a clinic. We need plans, standards, and also to register the project. We have the green light from the head of the district we just need the process to be completed. 

As for staffing the Health Post there is currently a young man being trained in health, ready to enter the Health Post once it is finished.

Without looking at the plans I would estimate under $1000 will be needed to buy roof sheeting, cement and steel and I doubt the community will have it. Maybe this can be our gift to assisting the community. Lets see how it progresses.

As for the road the government has offered the use of their earth moving equipment if we provide the diesel. All we need is a stone mason / bridge builder that would like to visit Mozambique. Two bedroom lodging can be provided and plenty of hard work is lined up. The community will provide the stone, sand and labour. We will need to provide the cement, steel and expertise.

The photos show one of the current bridges and it's condition and the type of bridge we would like to build.

Bible College Challenge

4:34 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

This year we have been having trouble with one of our bible college training centres. Although 48 people registered from the 30+ churches in the area, we have been getting around 7 people on average to each lesson. On Monday instead of training we spent time discussing the problem with the students. What we spoke about highlights a major problem with the African church.

The people that have been showing up to our training have moved into the region from other areas of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. One of these students was a past student to our training and had invited us to hold bible training in this new district. The local people don't trust these people enough to sit with them in bible college to learn the bible. They have their church doctrines and they don't want to change even though the leaders have never had bible training before. These people use traditional black magic to invite spirits into their churches to manifest miracles in-turn giving the leaders influence. These leaders don't want to risk losing their "power" by studying the bible as it will upset the controlling spirits. As you can imagine there is division in these communities which creates further problems.

Our answer is to postpone bible college until next year. For the remainder of this year Kim and I will visit churches on their meeting day to give a simple evangelism message in the hope to gain trust and get some church members refocused onto Jesus. Once we have a sprinkling of people from each of the 30 churches we will start to have story telling meetings in the market place until we have provoked interest in bible study. Then we will reintroduce our bible college.
In the other regions bible college is going well and we will continue them as they are.