October 2018 Children's Feeding Program in Northern Mozambique Update
A mission’s team from our home church in Summerside, Prince Edward Island visited Iris Pemba early in June and spent most of its time ministering in our two children's centres at Mieze and Noviane and among village children supported through our programs. One of the special activities we had planned well in advance was a chicken meal to be served to the many hundreds of village children who regularly attend our Saturday morning discipleship program in Mieze.
Everything was organized and prepared and the team members were looking forward to serving the plates of chicken and rice to the children. However, a couple of days before the big event, there was some violent unrest in nearby rural communities fomented by a small band of radicalized Islamists. Some were captured and imprisoned in--of all places--the prison in Mieze. Fearing retaliatory action by the terrorists, the government banned all gatherings and restricted the movements of all visitors. It seemed like the children's chicken meal wasn't going to take place after all.
Then at the last minute, the government gave permission for the children's meal to take place...though the restriction on visitors meant our team couldn't participate in the event. The Mieze church building was packed to overflowing for the discipleship program and an estimated 1,800 poor village children feasted on chicken and rice. Children from our Noviane and Mieze centres helped serve the meals and collect and wash the plates, assisted by large numbers of members of the Mieze church.
The visitor restrictions were lifted the next day, so our team members were able to attend church in Mieze and were thanked profusely for making the children's feast possible!
[Normally, 5-600 poor village children attend our Saturday morning discipleship program in Mieze; and they receive a hot plate of nourishing beans and rice following the program. But the smell of chicken cooking over wood fires all night long drew 1,800 hungry children from the surrounding village for a special meal on June 9th!]