By Blair Moses Kamanga
October 28, 2022 | CHIMOIO, MOZAMBIQUE
When I received an email confirming my selection as a missionary to serve in Mozambique, I couldn’t believe it. When I arrived, I faced different challenges, including language, since I come from an English-speaking country. The driver who was waiting for me at the airport only spoke Portuguese; we traveled about 700km without talking to each other! However, everything was set for me to begin work as an agriculture coordinator with the North Mozambique Annual Conference, where I work with rural communities to bring sustainability in the church.
Just as most missionaries serving in unfamiliar countries, at first, I faced an identity and productivity crisis. I believe that my level of anxiety was exacerbated because I had only limited contact with local people and partners. Mozambique issued a total COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. As I was going through this hard time, God reminded me through the words of John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” I also gained confidence and morale after remembering the word of God in Isaiah 41:10, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.”
My first demonstrations were in Massinga, by which time I had learned both the local language and Portuguese. My main responsibilities were to organize and train farmers on appropriate methods of farming and conduct practical demonstrations. I met different people of different backgrounds, mainly poor farmers. The words of Psalms 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you,” helped me to build relationships with the farmers and encourage them to work hard.
Despite agricultural research and innovations in technology, farming is also an act of faith. You plant a seed, wait for plants to mature and then harvest a crop. You care for your livestock, and they provide you with offspring. Much of what happens in between is out of our control.