Ministries cautious amidst rebel shootings

By July 15, 2013
Photo courtesy of Kay Adams/Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Kay Adams/Flickr.

Mozambique (MNN) — The Renamo party is getting active again in Mozambique—a disturbing issue for the population.

Over the past month, the Renamo guerilla movement has been targeting traffic on roads and railways in central Mozambique.

Police raided a Renamo camp two weekends ago in response to these attacks, according to suggested reports from BBC News.

Potential talks between the Mozambique President Armando Guebuza and the Renamo leader, Afonso Dhlakama, are at a standstill since neither want to meet at the opposition’s base.

Looming in the background is the ghost of Mozambique’s 16-year civil war that resulted in over 1 million deaths.

Tom Dudenhofer with Audio Scripture Ministries (ASM) says, “When these recent events began to take place, first the people living in the country became very fearful because they just remembered what it was like. So many of them who were alive then really have very bad memories of [the civil war.]”

ASM is looking at potential projects in Mozambique and has contacts on the ground. Dudenhofer reports, “The main road that goes between our studios…and this location came under attack on several occasions. They seem to be almost random. It was not political entities that were attacked; it was just buses that were carrying passengers or people that were perhaps in a car that were shot at.”

The problem compounds itself with upcoming November elections. Dudenhofer adds, “This is sort of new territory, not unlike some of the other countries that you’re hearing about in the news today that are really struggling with democracy.”

Renamo members have threatened to boycott the upcoming November elections in Mozambique. They are demanding changes in the election law.

Missionaries in Mozambique have to exercise greater caution and wisdom to continue with ministry. “They don’t want to be foolish, and yet they don’t want to have rumors like this stop their ministry,” says Dudenhofer. “They have to balance that with wisdom. Should I drive down this road or not? Should I stay in the country or not? Do we need to move our people to another location?”

Many schools were destroyed during the civil war almost 20 years ago. Today around 48% of adults in Mozambique cannot read, according All Africa.

The need for digital Bible players from ASM is critical for the spread of the Gospel. “They need and want some of the assurance and the security and the hope that comes when they hear about what God did in sending Jesus Christ,” Dudenhofer states. “We are right now in the midst of trying to supply more of the digital Scripture players that our ministry uses where we put the audio in Scripture on these little solar players.”

You can get involved in a tangible way by supporting ASM’s distribution of Bible players in Mozambique. Dudenhofer says the time is ripe for ministry. “The door is open. There’s no restriction yet. There once in a while are safety issues, but there’s no political restriction.”

Pray for safety of the people in Mozambique and for the proclamation of the Gospel. Pray for ASM as they move ahead in their projects.

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