Home > Our World > News > News Archives by Date > News Archive 2008 > August 2008 > News - August 2008
Missouri Methodists surpass Mozambique goal

Working with Habitat for Humanity Mozambique, United Methodists from Missouri build a house July 16 in Massaca near the capital city of Maputo.
UMNS photos by the Rev. Mark Dumas.

A UMNS Report
By Jennifer Lind*

Aug. 22, 2008

United Methodists in Missouri built 16 houses in Africa during eight days in July to surpass their goal of building 75 houses in three years through Habitat for Humanity Mozambique.

When all the dust had settled, the church's Missouri Annual (regional) Conference and its Volunteers in Mission program had completed 82 houses in the southeastern Africa nation since 2006.

A team member mixes cement
for the foundation.

An eight-member team from First United Methodist Church in Jefferson City and Kingsway United Methodist Church in Springfield dedicated the final houses July 24 in the community of Massaca, a former refugee camp near the capital city of Maputo.

"It was a lofty goal, but when we saw how quickly houses went up last year, we said, 'Of course we can do this,'" said the Rev. Mark Dumas, pastor at the Jefferson City church.

The houses were built on circular concrete slabs using thatch and reed and other building materials native to the area.

Many occupying the new homes are some of the nation's most vulnerable people—widows, orphans and single mothers and grandmothers caring for children left behind by HIV/AIDS.

"When we were presented with the needs of orphans who live in a world that doesn't make it easy for them, our hearts went out to them," said Dumas.

Approximately 17 percent of Mozambique's population is living with HIV/AIDS, which has left behind 1.5 million orphans, or 8 percent of the population.

"HIV—that's the biggest problem in Mozambique right now," said Andrew Lind, manager of HFH Mozambique’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children program. He lauded the churches' efforts for "creating a relationship with Mozambiquans."

Missouri United Methodists have strong ties with churches and people in Mozambique.

Each home is built with reed and thatch
and other materials native to the area.


"There are more than 900 United Methodist churches in Missouri, many who are partnered with United Methodist churches in Mozambique for a number of ministries, so building Habitat for Humanity homes together was a natural match," Dumas said. "The Catholic Church is also building homes, and a local group of businesses are digging latrines and installing outhouses for improved water conditions."

Formed in 2000, Habitat for Humanity Mozambique has worked with poor communities, local volunteers and international teams to build hundreds of houses in Maputo Province and the provinces of Manica and Gaza.

Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, thanked United Methodists in Missouri for their compassion and commitment.

"This has been a remarkable example of how churches around the world, which have already built relationships together, can partner with Habitat for Humanity to make a huge difference in communities where the need is so great," Reckford said.

On the Web: www.habitat.org.

*Lind is an intern at United Methodist Communications and a senior religious studies major at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

News media contact: Marta Aldrich, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Related Articles

Missouri churches provide aid to Mozambique

Missouri struggles under flooding, cyclone

Mozambique: A land of contrasts


Habitat for Humanity Mozambique

Missouri Annual Conference

Missouri Mozambique Initiative

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission

Ask Now

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add this address to your list of approved senders.

Would you like to ask any questions about this story?ASK US NOW

Original text