Min­is­ter makes re­turn visit to Mozam­bique

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews - Jonathan Ged­des

A Cam­bus­lang rev­erend has re­turned to Africa this week to help teach min­is­ters there.

Les­lie Mil­ton, of Cam­bus­lang Par­ish Church, will be in Nam­pula in Mozam­bique un­til Sun­day.

He is in the im­pov­er­ished na­tion to teach around 40 min­is­ters - 20 years on from first be­ing or­dained as a min­is­ter there.

He said: “That whole area is one of the most im­pov­er­ished ar­eas in what’s one of the poor­est coun­tries in the world and there’s a sense that the church needs a lot of sup­port in dif­fer­ent ways there, so I’ll be run­ning a course for min­is­ters there aimed at devel­op­ing their knowl­edge and mak­ing them more ef­fec­tive in what they do.

“There’ll be about 40 min­is­ters from across the north of Mozam­bique.”

Les­lie ad­mits he is look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing to Africa, hav­ing taught in the­o­log­i­cal col­leges in South Africa and Mozam­bique.

He said: “It was 20 years ago since I was or­dained as a mis­sion pas­tor in Mozam­bique and there should be a lit­tle party at the end of the course to cel­e­brate that.

“Peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang got to know the Rev­erend Or­lando Fazenda, who’s the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the church there, as he was or­dained the same day as me and came over to Cam­bus­lang in May this year,so there’s a lot of con­nec­tions there.”

Les­lie was in Mozam­bique from 1995 un­til the end of 2000. Dur­ing that time he saw var­i­ous is­sues af­fect the coun­try, in­clud­ing hor­ren­dous floods in Fe­bru­ary and March 2000.

He is in­ter­ested to see how the coun­try has changed since he was last there.

He added: “When I first went there I wanted to con­tinue the work I had been do­ing in South Africa, which was go­ing to work with peo­ple who have a deep sense of com­mu­ni­ties and work­ing in a part of the world very dif­fer­ent to Scot­tish cul­ture.

“It was about tak­ing and learn­ing skills, and giv­ing some­thing to com­mu­ni­ties that don’t have much.

“The last time I was there was 10 years ago and in many ways it’s now a much more pros­per­ous coun­try.

“At the same time the war had ended just be­fore I went but there have been more ten­sions and con­flict aris­ing re­cently, so we’ll see how the coun­try has pro­gressed.

“One thing that’s very im­pres­sive is the peo­ple have a tremen­dous resilience.

“There were bad floods in 2000 to­wards the end of my con­tract there, and I re­mem­ber go­ing out when the roads were opened north – our stu­dents had fam­ily be­yond the flood lines, and I re­mem­ber be­ing im­pressed at how quickly peo­ple had formed a way of liv­ing even in those dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.”

One thing that is very im­pres­sive is the peo­ple have tremen­dous resilience

Re­turn Rev Dr Les­lie Mil­ton is head­ing back to Africa

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