In Beria, Mozambique, Katrina and Isac Condesse are supporting churches to build stronger children’s ministries. Through The Living Word Ministries, the Condesses have developed a Biblically based children’s church curriculum which they provide to churches, alongside training for children’s church leaders. They also provide general ministry support and encouragement for pastors by hosting regular training seminars. And each year, the team provides school bags to local children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In 2019, ACCI’s 1Day program supported The Living Word Ministries’ school bag project, as well as recovery efforts after Cyclone Idai.
School bags for children
In 2016, The Living Word Ministries begun ‘the school bag project’.
It started with the team buying school bags for seven children from disadvantaged families, who they had come into contact with through their children’s programs in local churches. The next year, it grew to 100 bags. And in 2019, with the help of ACCI’s 1Day program, 110 children were able to receive a bag; along with a special Christmas lunch to celebrate.
Katrina says the bags – which contain two exercise books, two pencils, an eraser, ruler and sharpener – can be a big help for struggling families at the start of a school year.
“We have many testimonies of grandparents who are struggling to raise their grandchildren and are so thankful for our love; they have told us that it’s given them hope,” Katrina says. “We also encourage the pastors who we partner with in this to use this project to reach out into their community, so that it is not just families with their church who receive the bags but community families who may not go to church … It’s been such a blessing to be able to help these families!”
Recovering from Cyclone Idai
In March 2019, Cyclone Idai tore through Mozambique, causing widespread devastation and loss of life. In Beira, Katrina and Isac’s home and ministry was impacted, as well as many of the churches they work with. Yet in the aftermath, they witnessed God’s faithfulness in helping them rebuild and open new doors. As Katrina explains…
“Because of the cyclone, I spent a lot of time working alongside Samaritan’s Purse, being a voice for 20 local churches. For example, I was able to negotiate 50 tarps for each church, which is a total of 1,000 tarps! The tarps were for the churches to help rebuild their own place of worship, as well as use as an outreach to help bring hope and healing to the community. We encouraged each church to give ten tarps to people in the community who were not from their church and help these people put their tarps up and to develop relationship with these 10 new families. We were also able to give some tarps to local schools and neighbours, which was a great outreach for our ministry.
Through working with Samaritan’s Purse, we also made new contacts with many different pastors and since then have helped Samaritan’s Purse to host three different pastors’ seminars. Aside from this, I was also asked to speak at a youth conference, a woman’s conference and a church conference – all of this was a result of the cyclone.
Another major shift in our focus after the cyclone was to focus on prayer and fasting. I had already been feeling a need to start a prayer and fasting group but hadn’t been sure how or when but the cyclone catapulted us into what has become an amazing part of our ministry. We started with 2-3 people but now have a core group of 15-20 people. And if everyone came, we’d have 30-35 people! These people come from eight or nine different churches and God has been doing a deep, cleansing, healing and restorative work in the hearts of the people and in the life of the Church. Many people in the group have testified how this prayer and fasting has transformed their lives!
Cyclone Idai turned our lives upside down and we faced many challenges but at the same time as Cyclone Idai was a challenge, Cyclone Idai was a blessing. We expanded our ministry and made great connections and saw God moving in our lives to the glory of His name. A cyclone affects you mentally, physically and even spiritually, so we had to really depend on God. As we trusted in Him, our faith grew. God’s provision is real in our lives!”