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Mozambique - AFM: Tonga Project

To hasten the coming of Jesus by giving unreached people in Mozambique the opportunity to know Him and become His disciples.

As a Bantu-speaking people, the Tonga share the general history of migration from Central Europe, which began around the time of Christ. Now they live in Mozambique, eastern Africa, where they are a small minority tribe. A former Portuguese colony, Mozambique is still recovering from a long civil war after they gained their independence in 1975, complicated by a series of severe droughts. No internal development was provided by the Portuguese, and little infrastructure is in place in the huge geographical area of Mozambique. Social integration is being pursued by the current government, and educational opportunities are expanding. The Tonga are famous for their woven baskets. There is a world trade and technical study of the patterns used by the Tonga in these baskets, now also fashioned and exported as handbags. They feature strips of unique color patters, called sipatsi, of which 494 unique patters have been identified. The Tonga follow ancient practices of tribal ancestor worship. Unlike the dualistic worldview as in the west, traditional African peoples do not separate a secular sphere from unseen sphere of the spiritual realities. The spirit world is seen as active and immediate, and many people’s lives revolve around serving spirits. They believe in a creator God, but consider Him to be far away and not involved in the direct affairs of humans

More Info
  • Average Fundraising Goal: Prices may vary. ~$5,000. See Student Missions office for details.
  • Timeline: A full school year (~9 months) is required to serve with AFM.
  • Location: Maxixe, Mozambique is a sister town of the city Inhambane also known as Terra de Boa Gente (Land of Good People). Inhambane is in southern Mozambique, lying on Inhambane Bay, 470 km northeast of Maputo. It is the capital of the Inhambane Province and according to the 2017 census has a population of 79,724, growing from the 1997 census of 54,157. It is a beautiful charming town known for its serene atmosphere surrounded by beautiful seaside and a combination of modern local and rusting historic architecture, making it popular among tourists.The settlement owes its existence to a deep inlet into which the small Mutamba River flows. Two protective sandy headlands protect the harbor and form a sandbank. The climate in all of Mozambique ranges from subtropical to tropical. The temperature in Maxixe in the winter averages 53 Fahrenheit to 80 Fahrenheit (11 Celsius to 27 Celsius) and the average during the summer is 88 Fahrenheit to 100+ Fahrenheit (31 Celsius to 38+ Celsius).  There is little rain but a lot of humidity.
    Check out the location on Google Maps!
  • Living Accommodations: Student Missionaries will live with or nearby the career missionary family
  • Language: Fluency in Portuguese is all but necessary.
  • Food: Student Missionaries will be responsible for their own meals. There are two supermarkets nearby with only a small variety of goods. Many small shops run by merchants from India offer bulk items. Most of the commerce takes place on the street or in the public markets. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available. To get a broad selection of food or other items such as tools or electronics one must shop in the capital city of Maputo seven hours away.
  • Internet Access: There is very good cell phone coverage in the area. Internet is available through cell networks and there are local in-home providers.
  • Requirements: Visa
Position Info
  • Friendship Evangelist - seek to work with and strengthen the evangelism of 13 SDA churches and branch Sabbath Schools in and around the cities of Maxixe and Inhambane. The missionaries will focus on seeking to create interests in Bible Studies and will give Bible Studies among the Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Hindus, and Animistic peoples. Will lead in Pathfinders and help in other youth activities of the churches such as Calebe. The missionaries will support and attend local church activities: prayer meetings, Friday night vespers, and Sabbath programs. They need to spend time with and work alongside local youth leaders. They can expect to be invited to preach sermons, teach Sabbath School, sing in singing groups, and do member visitation just like the other youth of the church. The missionaries will establish a weekly schedule of regular and systematic seeking for Bible Study interests. This will require regular visitation with people and a willingness to use WhatsApp to communicate. They will work in support of the local district Pastor. Many of the older people don’t speak Portuguese, only Xitswa, their local tribal language. Most church services are translated from one language to the other. The missionaries would find it helpful to learn to speak Xitswa, otherwise they will need to use an interpreter to give Bible studies to the Xitswa spekers. 



(Click to enlarge)

Career Missionary, Edie Hicks, with local women in Mozambique
Famous Tonga woven baskets at the market.
Papayas for sale along the streets of Maxixe
Village girls harvesting mussels on a seagrass covered beach on the Mozambique coast
Ferry that crosses the Inhambane Bay between Maxixe and Inhambane city
AFM's Website - Mozambique

Interested in Mozambique?

Apply for your preferred position at least four months before you plan to serve, though spots may be available up until a month before departure.