God gave AOM a vision to expand the ministry into Mozambique in 2003. A country that had lived under Portuguese colonial rule for almost 400 years, then suffered 15 years from a war for liberation and then another 15 years of civil war. These wars destroyed much of the infrastructure of the country. Now Mozambique is slowly coming out of its dark days. Aid for new roads and foreign investments in mining and tourism is pouring into the country. Mozambique is blessed with hundreds of miles of white sandy beaches that are perfect for tourism.
The AOM team took several survey trips into Mozambique to determine if there was an unreached people group that we could engage. This search took us up and down the length of Mozambique. In April of 2006, God led us to select the unreached Tonga people which lives in the Province of Inhambane. The Tonga tribe has approximately 300,000 people, but they are less than 1% evangelical. The Catholic Church entered the area with the first Portuguese colonizers over 400 years ago, and the oldest Protestant denomination in the area is the United Methodist who arrived 100 years ago. The second largest Protestant Church in the Inhambane Province is the Assemblies of God. Additionally, there are other smaller Protestant Churches working in the province, but the Tonga have remained stubbornly resistant to the gospel.
In May 2008, the Harris family moved to Inhambane to work full time in starting a discipling movement. In 2012, the team is expanding with Jaco and Inge Le Roux from South Africa as well as Mandy Hunter and Mel Welch from England.
Join us in our prayer that God will continue to reveal key individuals who will be able to start the discipling-chains, resulting in the saturation of the Inhambane province with living fellowships of vibrant disciples.
ZIMBABWE - ZIMBABWE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
PO Box FM 186, Famona
From arid semi-desert regions in the west to the forest and tea plantations in the eastern highland, the former Rhodesia covers 150,300 sq miles, which is the size of California, and has a population of over 13 million. Two-thirds of the country speaks various dialects of Shona, while twenty-five percent speak Ndebele. The other main tribal groups are Tonga, Venda, and Twsana.
The vision of planting nondenominational churches in Zimbabwe was implemented in August 1980, when the Averys moved to the second largest city in Zimbabwe, Bulawayo. They had asked Robert and Marietta Reese to join them in this ministry. Robert had been born in Harare, Zimbabwe to missionary parents. The Reeses then moved to Zimbabwe in 1981 to join the Averys. The churches that were planted through the ministry of these two families grew into Zimbabwe Christian Fellowship. There are now about 30 churches scattered over the western provinces of Zimbabwe among the Ndebele, Tonga, and Twsana speaking peoples. Many Shona speakers have come to Christ and joined on of the four urban churches in Bulawayo.
These churches are now independent and function on their own with each having their own leadership committees and pastors. AOM provides encouragement and leadership training seminars.
ZAMBIA – FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST FELLOWSHIP
Followers of Christ Fellowship
PO Box 221362
Zambia is a land filled with over 10 million people, which are divided into 72 tribal groups. Larger than Texas by 23,000 sq miles, Zambia stretches over 290,320 sq miles. The largest tribes are the Bemba, Lozi, and Tonga.
The vision of planting churches among the unreached Lozi tribe of western Zambia was planted in the heart of Allen Avery in the mid-1970s. Allen found that the Lozi were almost without Bible believing churches in the rural areas of western Zambia where the Lozi lived. In 2000, AOM began partnering with Martin Mulyata and his wife Grace. Martin had been given a vision from God to plant churches among the Lozi several years before the Averys met him. Because of that calling, he took up a position as the head of the Math department at a government high school in the southern area of the Lozi tribe and learned their language.
In 2000, Martin was able to enter into full time ministry through the help of AOM. The joint vision of AOM and the Mulyatas is to establish churches throughout the Lozi tribe and to plant additional churches throughout Zambia. They have expanded to several urban centers with a churches in Kabwe, Chipata and Livingstone.
Under the supervision of Timothy Katoka and the Chipata congregation, three churches have been established in the neighboring country of Malawi. Timothy and other leaders are encouraging these new church plants through leadership training and evangelistic efforts.
These churches are now independent and function on their own, with each having their own leadership and a national committee to help these churches. Today, AOM continues to assists the Followers of Christ Fellowship churches with yearly leadership and discipleship training.