This photo came from our ALMA partner in Niassa last week and shows a community’s delight in the commissioning of their new well. Bishop Mark Van Koevering can be seen near the Afrid pump that supplies the ‘Living Water’ of London’s 2009 Lent Appeal. Our 2008 Appeal Education for All has seen the completion of two schools in Messumba and Nsosso and the 2010 Appeal ALMA’s Children means that orphaned children are being supported by the Mothers’ Union and assisted with School uniform and books.
To date the 2011 Appeal Training God’s People has raised £47,000 and has already been used to provide additional lay and clerical training – to support the tremendous growth the Mozambican and Angolan churches are experiencing – and will also fund the purchase of 180 ‘Africa Bible Commentaries’ in Portuguese.
Yet if we talk with our partners the biggest impediment to ministry and growth is transport! Their dioceses are huge: Angola is five times the size of the entire UK and each Mozambican Diocese is 1.5 times the size of the UK. Public transport infrastructure is minimal and, although the bicycle is king in local contexts, for effective ministry to happen our partners need vehicles – sturdy and reliable ones that can cope with the dirt roads in the most remote places, and not just in the dry season. Each diocese has two or three vehicles but at the end of their useful lives, so our final Lent Appeal of London Challenge 2012 will be Giving Ministry Wheels. Our aim is to raise £60,000 to help fund a good quality second hand vehicle for Angola, Lebombo (Southern Mozambique) and Niassa (northern Mozambique).
Materials will include Lent Posters (A3 and A4), Lent Appeal Cards and Gift Aid Envelopes which will be available for preview from early December and for collection early January (a sample will be sent to each parish). Additional materials including power points showing some of the journeys our partners make, and problems encountered, will be available on the London Diocesan and ALMA websites along with stories and photos for downloading.
Thank you to every one who has contributed to the Lent Appeals in past years and for your support of the mission and ministry of our partners. Please will you journey with us once more in 2012?
For further information please contact Sheenagh Burrell (Email: almacoordinator [at] london.anglican.org), ALMA Co-ordinator.