Transforming lives on four continents

Portuguese, PEPE and corporal punishment – the Vilelas depart

In a matter of days, the Vilela family will be flying thousands of miles to begin their mission lives in Mozambique.

The Vilela family
Liz and Sergio Vilela are setting off to start their mission in Beira, Mozambique, with their 18 month old daughter Chloe. Newly commissioned at this year’s Baptist Assembly, the BMS World Mission worker family are ready for life after their 27 May departure. “We have been talking and praying about this for so long,” says Liz, “it’s amazing the time has finally come to go.”


Between tackling children’s rights in schools and sharing the gospel with young people, the Vilelas will be busy.


PEPE class Liz will be taking care of Chloe, until she starts preschool, and working with the preschool education programme (PEPE). In addition to supporting PEPE’s national co-ordinator, Liz will be working on issues of child protection and corporal punishment. While it is illegal in Mozambican prisons, corporal punishment is still used in schools. Older children are disciplined by being humiliated before their peers and younger ones are struck.


Sergio will be working alongside Pastor Moises, President of the Mozambican Baptist Convention, to train young pastors and will be working on discipleship within the churches and community. He will also be connecting with schools to spread the gospel among young people during class time and through sports.


You can support Liz, Sergio and Chloe in two ways:
by becoming a 24: 7 Partner or as a church through Church Partners.



Both Sergio, who is originally from Brazil, and Liz speak Brazilian Portuguese, but they will be encountering an entirely new dialect and language is an important part of their work. “Mission is about relationships,” says Sergio, “and it’s difficult to build them with the local people if you don’t speak the language. But if you do, they’re going to see Christ through your relationship with God and with them.”



Although little Chloe does not really understand the coming changes and will be living as a third culture kid, Liz and Sergio think she will do just fine. “Chloe is such a blessing from God and she’s so open to relationships,” says Sergio. “We visited a church and when the pastor finished praying and said amen, she shouted ‘amen’ so loud that everyone started laughing.”


Liz and Sergio feel prepared to tackle whatever challenges they may face thanks to their training at our International Mission Centre. “We have really appreciated the time we spent at IMC,” says Liz, “and all that we have learned will be of great value for us.”


Please pray for the Vilelas:

• that they will be able to fulfill God’s plan and make a difference in people’s lives

• that their families in Brazil and England will be comforted during their time of service on another continent

• that they will be able to adapt to Mozambican Portuguese and build relationships with the local people  

• that Chloe will be able to settle into life in Mozambique quickly and easily



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