September 30, 2016

Verena Schafroth

Verena has been interviewing women at different theological colleges as part of her studies for a PhD. “After six weeks of interviews in three different cities, I got to know a wide range of women… When I finished with the interviews in Beira, I thought that all women in theological education were great fighters, who have five kids at home and a full-time job and still go studying for three hours at night at Bible school only to get up at 3am to do their homework – this being the only time when there was peace and quiet in the house since the kids would be sleeping. In Chimoio I got to know my first two ordained female pastors – in quite a pragmatic fashion, these incredible women were ordained before they even entered theological education because their husbands were also pastors… Then I headed on to another Bible school in the province of Tete and again, I was surprised – but this time in a different way… All the women who were there had come because of their husbands, who were studying theology while the women were doing a course for pastors’ wives… 10 of the 12 pastors’ wives did not speak Portuguese, but only their local language, and four of the women could not read and write. The interviews were done with the help of a translator and I realised how isolated these women were from the wider Mozambican culture. My translator… had come to the school with her husband and five kids thinking she would be studying with him but then she was told that she was not allowed to study theology and was asked to sit with the other women. Hearing this really broke my heart and I vowed to pay more attention to the needs of pastors’ wives in the future, who are often forgotten despite all the sacrifices they make. And now I am on my way to get to know yet another different world: on the 11th October I will be heading to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. I will stay there for about two months to do interviews at four more Bible schools. Please pray for strength and God’s leading, for good encounters and open doors, for good networking and that the Bible schools give me the help I need to finish everything well.”

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