Do you remember that gruesome Island we talked about in the article We are all slaves https://kuzaapp.com/blog/2020/10/19/we-are-all-slaves?rq=We%20are%20all%20slaves, that infamous gory Goree Island, 3 kilometres off the Senegalese coast? You might want to read it to enable you to understand why a particular tribe in the coastal strip of Northern Mozambique were ready to do anything to avoid facing the same ordeal. The Island of Zanzibar, a well-known holiday destination, acted as East Africa’s slave hub, the equivalent of Goree Island. Here, slaves from all over Africa were kept before being transported to the Middle East, Asia and other parts of the World by the Arab traders. The Mwani people of Northern Mozambique figured out a way to avoid becoming Slaves. Islam forbids a Muslim from enslaving fellow Muslims. The most sensible thing, therefore, was for everyone to convert to Islam. This is why, 1,100 years after the end the Arab slave trade, out of the 149,000 Mwani people group, only about 0.03% of are Christians. The term “people group” describes a group of people who are part of the same tradition, linguistically and culturally. Karen Zimmerman, a missionary in Mozambique with Africa Inland Mission (AIM), notes, “to be Mwani means three basic things: to live near the ocean, to eat seafood every day, and to be Muslim. These things are non-negotiable.” Islam is firmly established among the Mwani people group and are yet to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I came to know about this people group through my friend Maureen, who I met during a ministry internship program in 2014 by https://africanchristianoutreach.com/#intro, the same year her life became His. “Shortly after completing my environmental science degree in 2014, I became a believer!” Maureen reveals on her Notion profile https://www.notion.so/Invitation-for-support-while-serving-as-a-missionary-in-Mozambique-9dc5c99194d349ca82a7999aa41d076b
We are all under the authority of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:23 rightly states, “And you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” Thus, we are mandated to obey Him in everything, and this incorporates the command in Matthew 28:16-20 of spreading God’s words to the ends of the earth. Her life has been revolving around the Mwani’s in the last three years, having that fervent desire come to introduce Christ to them, “The Mwani people of Mozambique, who follow folk Islam, had been on my heart and in my prayers since 2017.” Have you given your life to God’s work, specifically the work of taking the Gospel of Christ to the unreached?
HIS HAND AND FEET
Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
-Annie Johnston Flint (Poem: The World’s Bible)-
You’re probably familiar with the works of Annie Johnson Flint (1866–1932) who penned a famous poem, “He Giveth More Grace.” Ravi Zacharias used to quote it all the time. In her poem “The World’s Bible,” Annie points us to Romans 10:14-15, which refers to the unbelievers like the Mwani people, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, ‘How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!’” Maureen has dedicated her life to being ‘his hand and feet’ among the Mwani’s. She has been praying, working and raising support for this sole purpose. Are you willing to be his hand and feet? Would you accept to leave your home and everything behind and go live in a strange place for his sake? We need more Christians to go into the mission field. How much do you give towards the mission? We have a group of believers who have dedicated part of their monthly income in supporting Maureen’s mission work. Anyone can give, even those who don’t have jobs. I usually encourage people to give as low as ksh—50 per month. Take up the challenge!
ROLE OF CHURCH IN MISSIONS WORK
Maureen made a short-term mission trip to Mozambique in preparation for moving there in 2022. Her local church in Nakuru, Covenant Baptist Church, supported her financially and by praying for her during that mission trip Willie Crew (1997) in his article “The Missing ingredient in world evangelization” says, “To do missions without local church participation is like baking a cake without baking powder. We will never complete the job of world evangelization unless we make the local church the senior partner in mission.”
The modern church has failed when it comes to equipping missionaries. Very little has been done. While doing the Kairos missions program on Campus, I was utterly shocked to learn that only 0.1% of all Christian income gets used for mission work in the most unreached countries in the World. The Travelling Team, a mission’s mobilization organization, gave a damning report, “Christians’ annual income is $12.3 trillion. $213 billion is given to Christian causes. $11.4 billion is given to foreign missions, 87% of which goes to work being done among the already Christian, 12% goes to work among the evangelized non-Christians, 1% among the unevangelized.” How much does your church spend on missions to the unreached versus other projects? The Church’s active involvement in mission work is long overdue.
CONCLUSION: TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH
Annie Johnston Flint winds up her Poem The World’s Bible posing some questions:
What is our hands are busy
With work other than His?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin’s allurement is
What if our tongues are speaking
Of things, His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him
And hasten His return?
My straight answer will be from what we’ve discussed. We must become God’s hand and feet, just like Maureen, for the glory of God. The promise given to Israelites in Isaiah 49:6 should apply to all of us now, “I will also make you a light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”