Mozambique, Africa

MOZ01 - Kutwanana Home Based Care: Partnership Reports

Other Reports Available:

Print friendly version

Back to Partnership

Report Date: July 17, 2023

Report from BHW Mozambique Partnership Facilitators Following Visit

Key people:  Patrick and Grace Mulenga

For two days a team of four from BHW visited Kutwanana. We spent time with Patrick and Grace and interviewed many of the current beneficiaries as well as some who are waiting to enter when there are places available. 

Recent Events


changing livesPatrick and Grace continue to care for orphans and vulnerable young people in Machava. They support them financially in their tertiary studies. Many of those they seek to help attend the church that Patrick and Grace pastor. As a result, many of their parents and families attend the church. The church has grown significantly in the past three years, and they have had to double the size of their building. 

Up to the end of 2019 more than 100 young people had graduated from the programme; 19 more were added in 2020; 17 more in 2021; and another 40 up until today’s date in 2022 and 2023. A few special cases are helped at high school but very few now. 

At any one time there are about 30 students being assisted. The academic year begins in January, and in most of the study courses there are two semesters of study. Six new students were added in 2023 and there are three graduating at the end of the year. This varies from year to year. There are already another three ready to join the programme.  


As well as overseeing Kutwanana, Patrick is the leader of the brethren churches in Mozambique. There is a splinter group that has foreign support and is able to send people to the IBCM conference and other international events. However, a representative of the official group could not afford to attend. 

He used to be the legal secretary but now a local has that role. There are more than 80 churches now in seven or eight of the provinces of Mozambique and several times a year leaders come from the provinces for training and discipling. 

Patrick is the pioneer, however he does want to retire and go back to Zambia and is making plans to do that. It does need some others to step up into roles like his and to take the movement to a different level. Funding this is going to be a major challenge. 

Profiles of New and Emerging Leaders

There are several great younger people who have the capacity to lead the movement. However, as said above, funding them to do it is a major challenge. When Patrick leaves, the international connection will be broken, and the flow of money will diminish significantly. We met several other young people who are emerging leaders as well as the three below. The impact of the programme is best exemplified in those people. They are confident, thinking and gifted. Luigi is one of them, now full time organising the ABC Bible study in the local communities and an Elder in the church.

Delson – 29 years old (left)
emerging leadersDelson lives with his father and sister.  He met the Lord 10 years ago when he came along to youth group. His family are Catholics and weren’t at all happy about him attending a different church. He is now a deacon in the church and also teaches the 13–15-year-old teenagers. It is a tough job according to Patrick. 

He went to university and has been helped by this scholarship programme. He now assists the programme by going out to look for training opportunities for the children who are coming out of primary and high school who may drop out. He loves teaching the teenagers.

He hopes to be married in the future but will continue to serve the Lord within his giftings regardless of his marital status. He wants to work within his professional training, so after a while he can stop working and serve the Lord full time - not only here in this place, but wherever he can help in other provinces.

He helps the programme by fundraising to help more people and teaches people to give. He also works for Mumba on the farm and selling cashew products. 

Domingos – 30 years old (middle)
He is a Deacon in the church and has been married for two years. His sister lives with them here in Machava. He grew up locally and lived with his mother who passed away during his first year of university. From then on, the church took over financially to help him complete his studies. This intervention paid for many his costs which would have been impossible for him.

He now works a long distance away as a computer engineer in industrial automation at a large water treatment plant. Treated water from here is transported by pipe to other areas. He would like the programme to continue as many people are benefitting from it. Most cannot afford to go on to university, so the programme needs to carry on. He stated that if Patrick wasn’t here in the future, there are now people who could continue to run the programme.

If the programme wasn’t running, he couldn’t imagine where he would be now. His old friends he grew up with just spend time drinking, some are wanting to become a policeman or soldier and are just doing casual work whenever they can.

In the future, he wants to continue to serve the Lord in the church and use his gifts to bless others. He is a Sunday School teacher and preaches some Sundays. He has great English and is very good at translating. 

He would like to see his family walking with the Lord and wants his younger sister to stay in the ways of the Lord as well. He and others help the programme with their involvement in Sunday School where they encourage young people to be devoted to the things of God. They try to help in any way they can in terms of finance.

Halder – 30 years old (right)
Helder became a Christian in this church. He is currently living with his father and brother. His mother passed away in 2017.  

His mother passed away just after he joined the programme as he was preparing to go to university. That impacted his plans and he failed to get there but continued to be part of the programme. He completed another course for a bank manager position. He had the opportunity to work at a bank and other companies during his internship. After a while, the course stopped so he became involved with Mumba in an agricultural programme which he is currently involved with. He is a Deacon in the church and a Sunday School teacher. He was previously involved in delivering the Gospel in prison. He is planning to get married on 29 July. His family are not Christians yet and he wants them to hear the Gospel during the wedding service.  

If there had been no programme, he says it would be difficult to imagine what he would be doing as many don’t have this opportunity to go to school. When he started attending the church he was encouraged to continue to study. He sees the hand of God has helped him to continue his studies.  Many local young men have bad lifestyles – drugs, drink, thefts etc. They don’t have the opportunity to hear advice and good counsel. The toughest time in his life was when he lost his mother. He felt there was no one to guide him except Pastor Patrick and his wife Grace for whom he is very grateful for.  

In the future, he hopes to have a family with children. He wants to serve the Lord together with a wife and family.   


Personal Stories

We interviewed many students in groups. It is five years since we were last here, so it was important to dig deep. 

The Machava area where this programme is based is a very poor community. When Patrick and Grace began here some 27 years ago the houses were made of grass. Now, most are solid block and in good condition or maintained well. The church has built some houses for very poor families. 

Here are some of their stories:

Wilmer - 3rd year university student

now have a futureWilmer (left) is 21 years old. She was born in South Africa and shifted here when very young. She lives with her grandmother. Her father has died. She has a mother and younger sister. She is involved as a teacher in Sunday School and in the worship group. She speaks four languages. Her grandmother and aunty come to church here. Her uncle is starting another church in the area as a plant from the main church. She started coming to church with her grandmother in 2008 and became a Christian in 2018. She is studying International Relations and Diplomacy and is learning Mandarin.

Her greatest challenge is the fact that her mother is not a Christian, so she finds it difficult to deal with her because Wilmer doesn’t agree with what her mother says and does. This makes her mother feel like Wilma is judging her.  Also, at university, her friends are not Christians, and their conversation is all about destroying other peoples’ lives. It is hard to stay alone in university as they need to socialise. Most of the teachers are non-Christians and the way they speak is troubling.

She is an outgoing, confident young woman and a very good translator even though English is her worst language. 

Palmira - 3rd year university student

Palmira (right) is 23 years old, and she lives with her grandmother, sister, brothers and three nephews - eight in the house. Her mother and father have passed away. She is a Sunday School teacher and part of the worship group. She started coming to church at 3 years old and became a Christian in 2018. She is studying Mandarin at university as there are a lot of Chinese companies all over Africa where she could get employment.

Palmira says it is not easy to do what the Bible says when most of her colleagues are not Christians. She doesn’t have friends because she can’t do what they are doing. They call her ‘Pastor’ because her lifestyle challenges theirs. There are three Christians out of a class of 30. She admitted that sometimes she is not as strong as she wants to be. Her Chinese teachers get the students to pray to Buddha and she refuses. As a result, she gets poor marks.

Dora - 2nd year university student

changed lifeDora was born into a large family; she is fourth of seven siblings and is 22 years old. There are 11 at home including her cousin. She studies in Maputo, but away from this area. She is a Christian and involved in Sunday School, teaching the 5-6-year-olds. She is studying Statistics and hopes to work in an office when she is finished. There are many opportunities available to her.

Her biggest challenge is living at home. Her father has different beliefs to her so there are problems when she tries to share her faith with him. He is often away from the home. Dora is very gifted and intelligent. Patrick is very frustrated with the father who doesn’t see the potential in his children but is off all the time with no care for them. 

Alfa - 1st year university student

hopeAlfa is 19 years old. She started church at 6 years old and lives with her brother and sister-in-law.  She lost her mother at 9 years old. She is a Christian and is a sister to Domingo. She is doing accountancy studies through the institute.

If she wasn’t part of the programme, she wouldn’t be able to continue as she needs to pay her course fees monthly, and her family also couldn’t afford transport costs.


Partnership's Influence within the Community

This is hard to gauge from a short visit but as we moved through the area with Patrick, everyone knows him. The church has several programmes operating in the community: a youth group with over 100 young people, Sunday school (on Saturday) with about 200 children, Emmaus Bible correspondence courses, church services. While we were there, they were having a week of prayer, every evening over 100 people gathered to pray. 

There is a little vocational centre and one woman, Benilda, operates her sewing business. She is a deaf and dumb girl whom they brought up (see previous reports). In the past three years she has got married and has two children. It is so cool to see this girl who was a castaway from the community now flourishing. She was sewing bridesmaids' dresses for the wedding of two of the young people from the area. This centre once housed a small bakery which has closed down. 

There are some simple rooms on site as well which are used for temporary emergency housing. An abandoned and abused mother is there currently with her two teenage children. 

As well, Patrick and Grace have young people living with them, sometimes two or three. They currently have one, Dorothy. We met two others as well who used to live with them, one for six years. Patrick thinks that the church presence and the Home-Based Care in the past, and now the youth activities including the scholarship programme, is the single biggest reason this community is changing. The calibre of the young people coming out of the programme is evidence of that. 


Plans for the Future

They do want this programme to continue and to be enlarged. Costs of transport, training fees and accommodation have all gone up and food prices have doubled in the past six months. 

They are planning to start a community pre-school under the registration of the church in order to provide more jobs. Those attending would pay minimal monthly fees. There are people who could run it and they have parents who are desperate to get their children into a programme when they are young, as they have seen how their older children have succeeded. We encouraged them to clearly decide on the purpose. If its purpose is an outreach to the poor, they would always need to be able to fund it or get the church to support it. Alternatively, if it is to provide jobs for young people, then it wouldn’t be a ministry to the poor and that may well change the location. BHW could potentially look to putting some funds towards set up costs, e.g., the purchase of chairs etc, but operational costs would need to be funded by the locals.

One future event is looming rather large for this ministry. Patrick and Grace are of an age that they are considering leaving Mozambique and returning to Zambia. We talked about this several times, wondering what the future of the work might be with them not in the picture. Of course, it would mean some changes. However, they have an amazing team of young people to lead. We specifically asked some of the older alumni of the programme if they have the capacity and they assured us that this was entirely possible. It is interesting to note that several of them are already contributing to the programme as they have graduated and got jobs around the country. 

Patrick and Grace’s son, Mumba, and his wife Jessica are involved with the church and the work, and they are an amazing couple. I would have total confidence with them involved. 


Current Issues and Challenges

The biggest challenge for the graduates is how to handle money. Patrick encourages them to give their mother all of their first month’s wage, and then get their transport money off her. Not many do this, but it has a huge impact on the mother when they do. Some however, get distracted by money, or want to try the world.

Patrick said another challenge for them is when the students are aged 13–15 at high school, when they start maturing because they test the world and can be led astray. After 16 years old they become more stable.

After studying sometimes some of them cannot get a job which is discouraging for them.

Some of the leaders and supporters have passed away. This changes things as practical help and financial support dwindles.


Prayer and Praise Points

1) Patrick and Grace’s greatest joy is that these young men can stand and preach the Gospel. He is encouraged when they see those who had no hope, helped in life. They encourage these young adults to help others. ‘The Lord has done great!’

2) That there are more than 100 young people empowered out of poverty and who are living fruitful lives.

3) That many more young people will be able to be helped. 

4) For the next generation of leaders to emerge to run this programme. 



The impact of this programme is very encouraging and obvious in the changed lives of those who have come through it. It has provided the glue that keeps these kids connected for long enough for them to be well discipled. Their lives are radically changed from being poor beggars and living in squalor to being independent, spiritual leaders in churches. 

Prices have gone through the roof here as mentioned above and they would like an increase in the amount we send if possible.