Learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in Africa for Les­lie

Rutherglen Reformer - - News from the Pews - Jonathan Ged­des

The min­is­ter of Cam­bus­lang Parish Church has re­turned from his lat­est visit to Mozam­bique and he be­lieves both churches can learn from each other.

The Rev Les­lie Milton was mak­ing his sec­ond trip to the south­ern African na­tion in the past two years.

Last Au­gust he ran a course for around 40 min­is­ters in the coun­try, and his purpose this time was to again help teach.

He said: “It was with the Evan­gel­i­cal Church of Christ.

“In North­ern Mozam­bique, there is a lack of ed­u­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly be­cause of the war there (the coun­try had a 16-year long civil war that ended in 1992) so the idea was for me to give them some train­ing in the min­istry.

“The other part was that all the min­is­ters don’t have a for­mal or­der of ser­vice for things like bap­tisms and fu­ner­als, so we were giv­ing basic train­ing in how to or­gan­ise that. “It was a re­ally good fort­night there. “I gave 10 full days of teach­ing and the cour­ses were very well re­ceived - the folk there were ea­ger to learn, es­pe­cially hav­ing been de­nied an op­por­tu­nity to learn in the past.

“We man­aged to pro­duce a good cou­ple of orders of ser­vice when there and we talked about what the needs of the pas­toral com­mu­nity were and how they re­lated to their own peo­ple, as it couldn’t just be us telling them as the Church of Scot­land.

“That was very in­ter­est­ing for me, to learn about that and have their voices heard.”

Les­lie spent sev­eral years work­ing in Mozam­bique in the 1990s, and his re­turn last year co­in­cided with the 20th an­niver­sary of be­ing or­dained as a min­is­ter.

Ear­lier this year two min­is­ters from Mozam­bique re­turned the favour by vis­it­ing Cam­bus­lang, and Les­lie’s re­cent visit let him see Rev Daniel Joaquim again, strength­en­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two churches.

He added: “Daniel’s great and a re­ally ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tor.

“Mem­bers of the con­gre­ga­tion in Cam­bus­lang were re­ally sup­port­ive of our visit. There is a sense of a grow­ing re­la­tion­ship, and how their church life can en­rich us.”

Les­lie’s visit also let him see some of the coun­try.

“I got to see be­yond city life and see ru­ral life.

“There has been a huge ex­plo­sion in com­mu­ni­ca­tion there, and the lit­tle ru­ral houses, built on mud, didn’t have an elec­tric­ity grid but they did have so­lar pan­els to bring light to them.

“There are of­ten neg­a­tive images of Africa but Mozam­bique is do­ing well, there is a sense of peace there at the mo­ment.”

Mozam­bique is do­ing well, there is a sense of peace there at the mo­ment”

Ar­rival Les­lie was given a warm wel­come when he was out in Africa

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