The Rev. Shadreck Kwagwanji was inspired by the widespread fear of vaccination, and the prevalence of mis-information, about COVID-19 in his home Niassa province of Mozambique. He dreamt of empowering church leaders to recognize themselves as the Body of Christ, to support one another, and to reflect God’s concern for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
He used grant funding to convene a training for 32 participants in December ‘21. Participants included clergy, leaders from the Mothers Union, and youth leaders. Trainers included himself, a health professional and a theologian. Each trainer addressed misinformation about COVID-19 from their perspective. Participants were inquisitive and receptive. Kwagwanji’s goal was for all participants to record messages that would be broadcast around the region; some participated in this but others wanted more time to prepare.
The Rev. Kwagwanji describes the evangelism of the project as empowerment of Christian knowledge, rather than conversion. Participants believe that a Christian response based in faith, hope and love is an appropriate response to COVID-19. He regrets that not all denominations were represented, and that misinformation may still flourish.