Last month, our team set out on a whirlwind tour of Mozambique and Malawi to visit listeners, document their stories, and observe what our teams in Africa are doing amongst the least-reached people groups in those areas.

Our National Director, Dr Jurie Vermeulen, was accompanied by content creator Gerda Potgieter, Pastor Geo de Kock, and cameraman Kaunda. Their first stop was Blantyre, Malawi, where our station Litala FM is situated. Blantyre is known as the industrial capital of Malawi, while Lilongwe is recognized as the political capital. Most Malawians live in extreme poverty and the biggest challenge they have is lack of food and funding. The continual devaluation of their currency over the last few months has only worsened matters for the common people.

Our team visited several listener clubs in remote areas. The roads to these communities are in bad condition and vulnerable to extreme weather, like heavy rainfall. Some of the villages can only be reached with a 4×4, with the journey sometimes taking the best part of a day.  Our team in Malawi gladly and frequently travels these roads to visit newly converted Christians in order to encourage, support and pray for them. A large portion of FEBA Malawi’s ministry is dedicated to follow-up ministry and this is one of the reasons why their listener clubs continue to thrive and grow. FEBA Malawi’s Director, Rev Amos Phiri, travels these roads often, even in bad weather conditions, to reach listeners.

The village of Balaka was one of the first to be visited by our South African team. The village boasts eight listener clubs and they are growing rapidly. One of the clubs is located in the Sawali area. The club started with prayers and fellowship in 2010 and then planted a church in 2011. Pastor Andrew Patrick Munama and his wife Cecilia are responsible for the small congregation.

Four churches have been birthed from these listener clubs and eight Christian centers have been established in Balaka. The team had the privilege of attending a service in one of these churches built with clay bricks. The pastor’s wife visits women and the elderly every Tuesday to encourage them to grow spiritually and socially. She also leads the women’s choir. The congregation hosts a service every Sunday and the pastor often walks between 15 and 20 kilometers to visit and encourage his church members.

Gerda, who was present, had the honor of witnessing many new converts coming to Christ. “On this day, we witnessed the baptism of sixteen converted Christians – men, women, and children – and had to walk quite a distance to the nearest pond.”

The team also visited the Ntcheu community, where the leader is a woman. There are three listener clubs in the area. Dr Jurie was asked by the leader to deliver a short message and to pray for the small community. A group of children observed from a distance and asked that our team pray for them. Another defining moment of this journey was when the team stopped along the road to meet with a group of new Christian converts. Moses, Nicolas, Layisatu and Martha, from the Irushi village, waited for the team by the roadside near Chionde. They wanted to meet Dr Jurie in person so that he could pray for them. They could not invite the team into their village, as they are experiencing persecution from community members. Nicolas’ house and all of his belongings were already destroyed after his conversion.  Because most of the community members are Muslims, Christians experience fierce opposition and in extreme cases, they are even killed.

On the second leg of the journey, our team visited Mozambique. Like many other African countries, Mozambique is scenic, rich in natural resources, culturally diverse, and has a tropical climate. However, the country’s turbulent history has made it impossible for its people to enjoy the country’s natural advantages.

The country has not yet developed a stable and diversified economy, and about 70% of the total population lives in extreme poverty. Approximately two-thirds of the estimated 31 million people live and work in rural areas, and the least-reached of these communities are FEBA’s target audiences. When looking at a map of Mozambique, it is impossible to imagine the seemingly never-ending vastness of village upon village hidden in every corner and crevice of the country. To an outsider it may seem like chaos, but this is the way they live and raise children.

Our team spent some time at FOT Radio FM in Lichinga to meet the team members. Our team in Mozambique has helped establish 1200 listener clubs in the district. FOT is the acronym for Fountain of Truth and director Bright Sonjera is in charge of all 6 stations and 50 satellite centers. These radio stations are not just for one-way communication; there is a variety of programs and call-in shows that allow the listeners to work with the broadcasters and influence the programming.

The station itself is equipped with a meeting room and studios with microphones, computers, and other equipment that they need to do the work. Bright is a real go-getter and seems to sleep little. He says that he works 24/7 because he has many radio stations to take care of and he cannot let anyone of them down.

Radio FOT works closely with the government to convey messages to the communities, in order to help them understand the government better. In this way, a strong relationship between the state and the radio station has been built over time. The outcome of this relationship was two pieces of land that the government gifted to the station that they now use to plant maize and beans to help feed the community. The land that is now being farmed is also a source of income for the widows who live in the area. In a country where employment is scarce, this “farm” gives the people who work it a sense of dignity and purpose and provides them with a decent income to feed their children.

Another aspect of the ministry in Mozambique that is especially effective is their work with the youth. The station airs a youth program that is produced in collaboration with young listeners. At the end of our team’s stay in Mozambique, two brothers, Mustafa and Santo Massipuca, came in to enquire about the next program. The youth program, “My Future”, focuses on youth development and issues such as drug addiction, and the host also openly discusses topics like teen pregnancy with listeners.

“Our visit was short, and our program was packed, but it was a visit full of soul-enriching experiences,” says Gerda. “One lesson that I took with me, is to put aside complaining and stop whining during tough times. The people of these countries live in difficult circumstances, but they rejoice in the blessings God has bestowed upon them.” This feedback basically encapsulates our ministry in Malawi and Mozambique. God is doing wondrous work through our teams in Africa, bringing restoration to the lives of many and gathering to Himself His own chosen people. To think that it all began with a device as simple and as powerful as a radio.


Tags :
Share This :


Recent Posts

Our Magazine

Radius Magazine – Issue #2
Radius Magazine – Version #3
Radius Magazine – Issue #4