Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Mozambique Christian Book Ministry Fund

The Goal: To purchase a building in downtown Nampula, Mozambique to house one of the country’s only Christian Bookstores.

Since 1999, Dr. Charles Woodrow (a church-planting, medical missionary (surgeon) supported by Grace Fellowship Church) has teamed with Editora FIEL (Faithful Publisher) of Brazil and missionary Karl Peterson of Maputo to provide Reformed Christian literature in the Portuguese language to Mozambican pastors and church workers.

Seven annual Pastors' Conferences have been held in Nampula with enthusiastic participation from local church workers. Each year 85-150 leaders have come from eight of the country's ten provinces, representing over 40 denominational and para-church groups. Gifted international speakers are brought in to lead the three to four day meetings. The purpose is three-fold: to refresh and encourage Mozambican pastors in their labors for Christ, to better equip them for pastoral ministry, and to acquaint them with the doctrines of grace and the rich legacy left the church by the Reformation fathers. Many of these leaders have participated in the Pastor's Library program of Editora FIEL, receiving one new book each month for three years.

Christian literature is almost impossible to obtain in Mozambique, so at these conferences thousands of books are imported for sale at one-sixth to one-third their normal cost. In 2004 Grace Missions in conjunction with Editora FIEL opened a bookstore and reading room in downtown Nampula. It is the only Christian bookstore to our knowledge in the northern half of the country.

Reporting on the last FIEL Pastor’s Conference held this past fall, Charles Woodrow writes:

“Grace Missions purchased twenty-five thousand dollars-worth of books (including freight) which FIEL provided us for only $10,000 and which we sell at the conference and in our bookstore at half that cost. As in the previous six years, Richard Denham, founder of Editora FIEL, Karl Peterson, and I rejoice to sink our personal finances as well as our ministry funds into the Annual FIEL Pastors' Conference because like many of our participants, we believe it is vital to the churches in Mozambique. Please join us in this ministry, as additional funds would enable us to expand its influence even further. Even though the books we supply are sold at a fraction of their normal cost in Brazil, they are still out of reach of most of our men... Additional book subsidies would get this fine literature into the hands of many more pastors.”

Grace Fellowship Church is attempting to purchase the building that houses the book ministry; a building that is currently rented by Dr. Woodrow. The building’s owner is anxious to sell and it is located in a strategic area of downtown. It would serve as a base for the Pastor’s Conference, the Pastor’s Library Ministry, a lending library and not-for-profit Christian bookstore (all the books are sold for one-sixth of their cost).

So far we have raised $15,190 (1/21/07) toward our goal of $35,000 (the purchase price). $1270 of this was raised by 8 kids who read Books for Mozambique. But you can see we have a long way to go - another $19,810.

If you feel that the Lord would be pleased to have you contribute to this ministry, please make your cheques payable to Grace Fellowship Church and in the Memo line write: Mozambique Books. You will be receipted by the church for the tax year in which you give. We plan to accept donations for this ministry until May 31, 2007. You can mail cheques to: Grace Fellowship Church, c/o Timothy Christian School, 28 Elmhurst Dr., Toronto, ON, M9W 2J5 CANADA.

Notes:

There are no administrative costs to this project. Every dollar collected will go directly toward the purchase price of the building.

Here is a post on Dr. Charles Woodrow.

Here is an earlier post on the Book Fund that includes a link to Dr. Woodrow's sermon preached at GFC. If you get to the sermonaudio page, you can link to other sermons by Dr. Woodrow. I highly commend this one!