Unreached peoples are still more concentrated in Mozambique than anywhere else in southern Africa. But this is rapidly changing, since many are responding to outreach. Most existing outreach is through Mozambican missionaries and pastors. Challenges for prayer include:
a) The Makhuwa. Mostly Catholic-animistic (interior), Muslim (coastal) or a mix thereof, these six northern peoples represent nearly 40% of Mozambique’s population. There is a remarkable ingathering of Makhuwa into the Kingdom as a result of preaching, aid and miracles. Iris Ministries, Churches of Christ/Christian Churches, AIM, IMB, NTM and others work among them. Pray for the many thousands of new believers to become solid disciples in biblical churches.
b) The Yao of Niassa Province, along the shores of Lake Malawi, are 96% Muslim. Only about 2% are Christian of any kind (mainly Anglican, Catholic and Assemblies of God, African). Many Christian resources are available (GRN, the JESUS film, radio, literature) and several groups work among them.
c) Other northern/coastal Muslim peoples, Islamized centuries ago by Swahili traders (Mwani, Koti, Makwe, Swahili, Ngoni, Makua-Mwinika). These may be the least responsive of Mozambique’s peoples. Bible translation is in progress for Mwani, Koti, Ngoni and Makwe. NTM started work among Makua-Mwinika in Zambezia province.
i Mwani believers are very few, despite AIM ministry, Scripture portions, oral chronological stories, the JESUS film and GRN recordings being available.
ii The Koti are staunchly Muslim, but there is a very encouraging breakthrough among them, with perhaps 20 churches and 1,200 believers. The True Way movement remains focused on this group, despite greater responsiveness from neighbouring groups.
iii The Muslim Ngoni expelled all priests after independence, and have had no exposure to the gospel since. The few remaining believers left the area due to social pressure.
iv The Makwe live in the extreme north of Mozambique and are one of the forgotten peoples in remote places.
d) The animistic peoples of the Zambezi valley, especially the Sena, Tawara, Nyungwe, Lolo, Kokola, Manyawa, Marenje and Takwane. The Church among the Sena people is growing quickly in most areas.
Expatriate missionaries have a vital but sensitive role to play, particularly among the unevangelized. There is a great need for missionaries in this open and spiritually responsive country. Pray especially for these issues:
a) Hard conditions such as travel difficulties, widespread disease, hot and humid weather, poor infrastructure, very active spiritual powers. A real calling is necessary in order to persevere. Workers must be willing to sacrifice and suffer as the national Church has done for decades.
b) Relationships between missions and churches are often very fragile. Foreigners must learn to serve and truly partner with the national church where it exists; the spectre of colonialism must be avoided. Tribal languages must be learned, since only a minority understand Portuguese.
c) Churches too often see foreign agencies as a cash cow to finance their every need. Money, being so scarce, can be a hugely divisive and destructive issue that needs to be handled with wisdom.
The greatest needs are for all levels of leadership training, initiating youth and children’s work, aid/relief, medical programmes and grassroots business development. Major mission agencies: Nederduitse Gereformeerde, NTM, SIM, YWAM, CCCC, IMB, Convenção Das Igrejas