Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marching along...!!!

It was 10th April 2010, the Hall was packed with people from various Corps in Beira, Officer’s from North Division were all presence, yes, it was the day that the Lord has made for us to open a new Division in the Northern part of Mozambique, which was 1200kms far from the capital city Maputo.

The Salvation Army was officially started in Mozambique in the year 1919 March, there were not many soldiers by then. With the zeal and enthusiasm of our forefathers the Army was growing, because of the civil war arising within the country, the Army faced many problems in Mozambique.

In 1953, the situation became very worse. Local Administrators lost some of their power and the progress of the Mission had very much depended on their goodwill. Permission was refused for certain missionaries to return to the country, even those who had spent many years there. A number of Salvationists were humiliated. No meetings were allowed, books were confiscated and records were destroyed.

Salvationists continued to hold Kraal meetings, however. They would place food on the table as if they were about to eat a meal and begin their meeting. A sentry was posted in a tree outside, to warn them if anyone approach the house. If somebody knocked the door they quickly closed their Bibles and pretended to eat. If it was somebody they knew, the meeting continued. If strangers asked what the Bibles were doing on the table, they told them they always prayed before eating.

When they held a meeting they could not wear uniforms in case they caused trouble. When they entered the building they changed into uniform for the meeting.

They were arrested many times. Major Litsuri, promoted to the rank of Brigadier, spoke of his twelve months in prison. “We must not puzzled when we have to suffer, for this started with Jesus. He had to suffer but He triumphed, and He said that in the world we would have tribulation but that we must be of good cheer”And then, quite unexpectedly, in March 1986, a letter arrived at Territorial Headquarters from Macuacua informing them that the Salvation Army had been registered as a religious body. All their required was a form to be signed by an official at Territorial Headquarters and delivered to the Government. There was nothing to pay. A site was granted by the Government and all the Army had to do was possess the land and build. When the Field Secretary, Lieut Colonel Hall, visited Maputo in May of that year he was able to meet with Mr Job Chambale, Director of Religious Affairs, who had had some contact with the Army as a refugee in Tanzania and Zimbabwe. ‘This is the kind of Church we need in Mozambique’ he declared.

Little by little the buildings at Bagamoio began to take shape, at the same time war finally gave way to an uneasy peace and it looked as if the Army could at last plan an opening ceremony. And on Saturday 20th February 1993, the first brick built Salvation Army Hall in Mozambique was about to open after more than seventy years of witness. Now the long battle was over.

Then the war struck again, and again it was the Nhampossa family that suffered. In 1992 Commr Eliasen from South Africa made a tour of Mozambique, how thrilled the Salvationists were to attend a Congress led by someone who spoke their own language! They flocked to Maputo in Buses and by ship. Commr. Eliasen wrote later, “The scars of dilapidation and civil war are to be seen all around. It is common to see crippled people who have had their legs blown off by land mines. Thousands of refugees who flee from the war zones are attracted to the cities where they built makeshift reed dwellings, and a severe drought has added despair to their existing sufferings”

Because of those who fought for the Army and for the Lord whom they loved, the Army is still growing in Mozambique, which is why soldier form Northern part comes together today to witness the installation of the first Divisional Commander. The present Command leaders Lt. Col Torben and Deise Eliasen work so hard for the Army, they never have time without thinking how the Army could grow in this place, they traveled a lot, exploring all around Mozambique. Col. Torben said he even dreamed about the work in this place.

The Meeting was led by the Sectional Officer and installation of the New Divisional Leader and Inauguration of new division was done by the Officer Commanding Lt.Col. Torben Eliasen. Major Nhelenhele, the new divisional commander delivered a challenging message, in the afternoon Officer’s council was held. The soldiers were so happy, though they were not rich in terms of money yet their heart was full of joy witnessing the opening of the new division.

(Installation of new DC by Lt.Col. Torben Eliasen)

The Army has a good plot of land in Beira which was purchased in 1996, in the center of Beira city, the to be New Divisional Headquarters was constructed in this place. It was started in 2009 April with Mission Support Project received from UK Territory, the total cost is 181,244.61/- USD. It is indeed a nice building, it has two floors, the upper floor will be the quarters for DC and sectional officer will live in downstairs.

(The new building, our Pride and Joy..)

The next plan is to construct Prayer Hall in this same compound; the estimated cost is USD 120,000/- which was proposed to start in May this year. We are planning to have an opening and dedication of these two buildings in 2011 March.

We praise God for all His blessings, his power which strengthened us, his wisdom which guided us and his holy spirit which anointed us to be a blessing to others. To God be the Glory!!

Let me add one more photo. Attended Sunday meeting in a small Corps called Munhava. Look at the building, no doors nor windows.. it was rained heavily this day, those who sat at the back got wet through, still they sing happily and loudly...


  1. Nice post, it helped me learn a lot about history Mozambique command. With that much of the past hardships, persecutions and set-backs, it is indeed wonderful to know that a new division is being opened and that your command is really 'marching on'. I hope it will soon gain the status of a 'TERRITORY'!

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