The Republic of Mozambique, a colony of Portugal for nearly 500 years, received its independence in 1975. This was followed by a civil war between two guerilla factions that included deliberate destabilization efforts financed and backed by external sources in the region. This destabilization devastated Mozambique until peace agreements were formalized in the early 1990's. Despite some real improvements, poor infrastructure and high poverty remain significant problems. Democracy is still relatively new for Mozambique, as in 2009 they held only their fourth presidential elections.
Montepuez is the second largest city in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, with a population of over 70,000 people, and serves as a hub for 6 districts. It has electricity, three gas stations, cellular service from three different companies, and running water, as well as a large clinic. The area around the city of Montepuez is made up of many villages, both large and small.
The Makua-Metto number roughly 1 million people and are located in the two northernmost provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa. The Metto people live in a spiritually dark region, and while the majority of them would call themselves Muslim, they are heavily bound to witchcraft and fear. Very little Christian witness exists in the area, and the number of Makua-Metto Protestant believers amounts to less than 1% of the population.
The culture and way of life for Makua-Metto people is very different from our own in countless ways. Dependency is highly valued, and ambition is frowned upon and discouraged. Almost everyone is a subsistence farmer, though there is a slow exodus from villages into towns and cities as the educational system slowly improves. Communities are very relational, and hospitality is very strong, but alcoholism and infidelity are rampant. The Makua-Metto are matrilineal, meaning they trace their family lines through their mother's family, which affects family dynamics, marriage, churches, and caring for children. Poverty and lack of access to clean water and adequate health care are still significant problems.
MISSION AMONG THE MAKUA METTO
- Mozambique, Africa -