Tuesday 2 April 2019

Visiting Sofala Province, Mozambique in the wake of Cyclone Idai

St. George's, Beira, on Monday
 Archbishop Thabo blogs from Mozambique, where he is visiting Bishop Carlos Matsinhe and the Diocese of Lebombo: 

Monday April 1 - After waiting for four hours to get clearance to enter Mozambique airspace, we left Pretoria for Beira, accompanied by the SANDF Chaplain-General and the Administrator in the PEO's office, Matlotlisang Mototjane (who is also a disaster management expert).

We were received in Beira by a representative of the governor of Sofala Province and Col Zurich of the SANDF, and then were whisked into St George’s Anglican Church, where Bishop Carlos Matsinhe was leading Mass.

St George's had recently built a new church, but alas the church is now in ruins. We held a moving service, joined by the two SANDF pilots, the chaplain-general, clergy of the area and local parishioners.

After Mass, we dedicated to God the fruit of the labour of the parishioners among the ruins, and symbolically took down a brick to signify that we will fully demolish the ruined new church and rebuild again.

In my message to parishioners, I recalled how the Temple in Jerusalem took time to build, how Christ is the cornerstone and how, after the flood, there was a rainbow. We then went to eat, agreed on the schedule for Tuesday and retired to our accommodation.

Even at night we could see how old and established trees were uprooted from the ground and now lay flat. Palm trees are resilient but were flattened too.

Archbishop Thabo blessing children

Bishop Carlos Matsinhe

Praying for the people

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