baptism Cuave Christmas18In most Wesleyan churches across Mozambique, Christmas is not celebrated with tinsel, lights or nativity scenes (as these are not available) but is celebrated with all-night services or baptism. The picture at the top shows members of a church in Nampula district, northern Mozambique overseen by Rev. Abel Nove who helped start the work there and now oversees dozens of church plants, particularly in rural areas showing the Jesus film and encouraging lay pastors. The picture at the left is one of the four believers baptized in Xai-Xai by Pastor Domingos Cuave on Christmas. Pastor Cuave also teaches at the Xai-Xai Bible College.

Baptism has various forms depending on the location. In the north they often walk to a nearby river. In the south, people are usually baptized standing in a basin and having a jug of water poured over them.  One church even has a baptismal in their platform.

Baptism is an important part of the Christian faith representing our dying to our old selves and being “risen” in new spiritual life to live for Christ. In Mozambique it is celebrated with much singing. People often have a godmother or godfather at their (youth/adult) baptism. This person is someone they can turn to later in times of difficulty or questions. They also invite this person to future life events like weddings and are allowed during the ceremony to share a moment of advice. Baptism is also the time at which people in the Mozambican Wesleyan church become members and take communion.

 

 

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