[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The stories of Christians from Mozambique and Angola who have “been quietly getting on with building and being the church” will be published over the next four weeks as part of an Advent campaign by Manna – the Mozambique and Angola Mission Association. Their #StoriesOfLoveComing social media campaign is a follow-up to their Lent campaign this year when they published 40 stories from the region using the hashtag #Good2BAnglican.
“Manna is running this campaign to try and raise awareness of the thousands of stories of individuals in Anglican churches across Mozambique and Angola who have, over the years been quietly getting on with building and being the church and essentially being #StoriesOfLoveComing,” the association’s executive officer, Elizabeth Thomas, said.
“Advent is about waiting for THE Story of Love Coming,” she said. “The grand story governing and redeeming all of our stories. And yet God calls each of us to be part of this story and to be #StoriesOfLoveComing wherever we are, in the communities we find ourselves and in other communities, near and far.”
Over the course of the next four weeks, Manna will publish a series of stories of individuals, inspired by the four Advent themes of Patriarchs, Prophets, John the Baptist, and Mary the mother of Jesus.
“The first week – Patriarchs – will focus on individuals who have been instrumental historically in growing the church,” Elizabeth Thomas said. “The second week – Prophets – will look at some individuals who have driven social justice and community development issues in the churches. The third week – John the Baptist – will look at evangelists and priests spreading the gospel; and the last week – Mary the mother of Jesus – looks at inspirational members of the Mothers’ Union.
“These short stories will be of individuals young and old, well-known and unknown, male and female. Individuals who chose to be a part of that ‘love come down’ and whose communities are changed because of it.”
Among the stories to be told in the coming weeks is Padre Alberto, a 69-year-old community priest who travels his parish on a bike to serve his sprawling congregations; and Ana Matalika (pictured), a 78-year-old woman “whose simple prayerful life has impacted many in her community,” Elizabeth Thomas said.
Manna raises funds from churches, dioceses and individuals in the UK to support the work of the churches in Mozambique and Angola, helping them to “grow and thrive”.
You can follow the #StoriesOfLoveComing on social media or through the Manna website.